UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE
School of Business
BUS 109 ~ Competitive and Strategic Analysis
Dr. Sean D. Jasso
Below are the essay questions for your second take-home exam. The exam is intended for you to work
independently. Each question is worth a total of 20 points. Please answer each question as thoroughly as
possible, providing rich detail from our lectures, readings, and discussions. The organization of your answers,
the complexity of your analysis, and the clarity of your critical thinking are the key elements of your
1. On Functional Strategy – Pertaining to your CEO Project Company a. Among the various functional divisions of the firm, identify the most burning issue whereby your
functional strategy (marketing, financial, operational, etc.) impacts the overall corporate AND
business strategies. Explain in detail.
i. More directly, select from two functional areas and discuss the following: 1. Identify the function’s essential goal for 2020 2. What resources must be employed to effectively realize this goal 3. What measures will indicate whether your functional strategy has produced the
2. On Strategy Implementation – Performance Excellence We studied the idea of Six Sigma as a way to create synergy across the organization, to increase the
probability of mission buy-in as well as the effective alignment of resources, and, most fundamentally,
the production of near perfect output of product and service. Discuss the following in detail:
a. What does Six Sigma mean to someone like Jack Welch? Be detailed in your response. i. What is one strength and weakness of this widely subscribed philosophy?
b. Lastly, pertaining to your CEO company, identify the ONE burning issue that is a prime candidate for continuous improvement – that one thing holding the firm back from implementing good
strategy (remember good strategy clearly defines the obstacles from which we must overcome –
bad strategy does not)
3. On Strategic Intent and Strategy Implementation a. First, identify your CEO company’s strategic intent, that is, the ambitious stretch targets that go
beyond corporate vision propelling the firm to win. Pull from the readings to support your response
b. Second, identify and discuss the important components of your strategy’s implementation – mainly the who, what, how:
i. Who are the central players/managers who will carry out your strategic recommendations? ii. What must be done – describe the program that is (or needs to be) in place to carry out your
iii. How will everyone work together – what organizational structure will work best and why?
4. On Evaluation and Control Referring to the Balanced Scorecard’s key measurement concepts, illustrate and discuss the
a. Using the traditional model from Kaplan and Norton customize your team company’s BSC model by identifying and completing ONE objective you will ‘measure’ for each scorecard component.
Discuss in detail.
b. Additionally, provide a basic, yet customized, illustrative model of your BSC to complement your response.
5. On the Journey a. And, lastly, why does strategy matter? Be specific and brilliant.
i. Consider including the key ‘take-aways’ from the course from the readings, lectures, discussions, team work, etc.
1 Recommendations on excellence – ten pages is your minimum target; dig deep into the readings and lectures; provide unique
insight; reach for high-level analysis, presentation and formatting; use 12-point, Times New Roman font; double-space; use
endnotes to cite your sources using full APA bibliographic formatting including page numbers; pay attention to details; put some
time into this assignment; teach me something new.