Assurance of Learning Exercise 1B
Gather Strategy Information
The purpose of this exercise is to get you familiar with strategy terms introduced and defined in
Chapter 1. Let’s apply these terms to The Walt Disney Company (stock symbol = DIS).
Step 4 Using the Cohesion Case, the www.finance.yahoo.com information, the 2011 Form 10K,
and the Industry Survey document, on a separate sheet of paper list what you consider to be
DIS’s three major strengths, three major weaknesses, three major opportunities, and three
major threats. Each factor listed for this exercise must include a %, #, $, or ratio to reveal
some quantified fact or trend. These factors provide the underlying basis for a strategic plan
because a firm strives to take advantage of strengths, improve weaknesses, avoid threats, and
capitalize on opportunities.
Assurance of Learning Exercise 1D
Strategic Planning for My University
External and internal factors are the underlying bases of strategies formulated and implemented by organizations. Your college or university faces numerous external opportunities/threats and has many internal strengths/weaknesses. The purpose of this exercise is to illustrate the process of identifying critical external and internal factors.
External influences include trends in the following areas: economic, social, cultural, demographic, environmental, technological, political, legal, governmental, and competitive. External factors could include declining numbers of high school graduates; population shifts; community relations; increased competitiveness among colleges and universities; rising numbers of adults returning to college; decreased support from local, state, and federal agencies; increasing numbers of foreign students attending U.S. colleges; and a rising number of Internet courses.
Internal factors of a college or university include faculty, students, staff, alumni, athletic pro-grams, physical plant, grounds and maintenance, student housing, administration, fund-raising, academic programs, food services, parking, placement, clubs, fraternities, sororities, and public relations.
Step 1 On a separate sheet of paper, write four headings: External Opportunities, External Threats, Internal Strengths, and Internal Weaknesses.
Step 2 As related to your college or university, list five factors under each of the four headings.
Assurance of Learning Exercise 10D
The Ethics of Spying on Competitors
This exercise gives you an opportunity to discuss in class ethical and legal issues related to methods being used by many companies to spy on competing firms. Gathering and using information about competitors is an area of strategic management that Japanese firms do more proficiently than American firms.
On a separate sheet of paper, number from 1 to 18. For the 18 spying activities listed as follows, indicate whether or not you believe the activity is ethical or unethical and legal or illegal. Place either an E for ethical or U for unethical, and either an L for legal or an I for illegal for each activity. Compare your answers to those of your classmates and discuss any differences.
1. Buying competitors’ garbage
2. Dissecting competitors’ products
3. Taking competitors’ plant tours anonymously
4. Counting tractor-trailer trucks leaving competitors’ loading bays
5. Studying aerial photographs of competitors’ facilities
6. Analyzing competitors’ labor contracts
7. Analyzing competitors’ help-wanted ads
8. Quizzing customers and buyers about the sales of competitors’ products
9. Infiltrating customers’ and competitors’ business operations
10. Quizzing suppliers about competitors’ level of manufacturing
11. Using customers to buy out phony bids
12. Encouraging key customers to reveal competitive information
13. Quizzing competitors’ former employees
14. Interviewing consultants who may have worked with competitors
15. Hiring key managers away from competitors
16. Conducting phony job interviews to get competitors’ employees to reveal information
17. Sending engineers to trade meetings to quiz competitors’ technical employees
18. Quizzing potential employees who worked for or with competitors