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Ms-11 Question bank

Ms-11 Question bank (12)

Ms-11 Question bank

Term-End Examination
December, 2015

Time : 3 hours Maximum Marks : 100
(Weightage 70%)
Note : (i) There are two Sections : Section-A and
(ii) Answer any three questions from Section-A.
All questions in Section-A carry 20 marks each.
(iii) Section-B is compulsory and carries 40 marks.

(a)Differentiate strategy with policies and tactics giving examples.
(b)Differentiate strategy with programmes, procedure and rules giving examples.

2. (a) What are different types of differentiation ? Explain each of them with the help of examples.
    (b) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of differentiation.

3. Describe Porter's five forces framework as the most widely used tool to analyze the competitive
4. What do you understand by 'International Expansion' ? Discuss the different ways through
     which expansion into foriegn markets can be achieved.

5. Write short notes on any two of the following :
(a) Forms of organisation structure.
(b) Strategic alliance.
(c) Dimensions of leadership styles.
(d) Value chain.



6. Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end.


Apple Inc sued Samsung Electronics claiming the South Korean firm's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad, according to court papers, a move analysts say is aimed at keeping its close rivals at bay


Apple is one participant in a web of litigation among phone makers and software firms over who owns the patents used in smart phones, as rivals aggressively rush into the smart phone and tablet market which the US firm jumpstarted with iPhone and Wad.

Nokia has also sued Apple, which in turn has sued Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp.

Samsung is one of the fastest growing smart phone makers and has emerged as Apple's strongest competitor in the booming tablet market with models in three sizes but it remains a distant
second in the space.


Its Galaxy products use Google Inc's Android operating system, which directly competes with Apple's mobile software. However, Apple's claims against Samsung focus on Galaxy's design features, such as the look of its screen icons, the lawsuit said.

John Jackson, an analyst with CCS Insight, said Samsung is essentially Apple's only real tablet competitor at this stage. "It's clear that they do not intend to let Apple run away with the category", Jackson said


Samsung faces the challenge of moving beyond being a hardware company, clever at copying ideas, to becoming more creative, better adept at software, at a time when consumer gadgets are getting smarter all the time.

It has yet to come up with the kind of original, iconic, market-leading products that powered brands such as Apple's i-series or Sony Corp's Walkman. Nor has it taken the kind of initiatives in software that Google and Apple did to thwart Microsoft.


The lawsuit, field on Friday, alleges Samsung violated Apple's patents and trademarks.

"This kind of blatant copying is wrong", Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement.

Samsung said it would respond to the legal action "through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property."


"Samsung's development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success," it said in a statement.

Hit by a lawsuit from Apple last week, Samsung returned the favor yesterday, countersuing the iPhone and iPad maker over claims of patent infringement.

In its suit filed in Seoul Central District Court, Samsung claims that Apple is violating five different patents. Samsung has also field a suit in Tokyo, citing two patent infringements, and another in Manheim, Germany, citing three instances of infringement.


A statement on the Samsung Web site says that the company is "responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business."


Symbiotic Relationship
Apple has reportedly become Samsung's biggest customer in a move that can boggle the mind. How can Apple, a rival of Samsung's electronics unit, also be the largest customer ? And how long can this scenario go on ?


According to the Korea Economic Daily, Apple is poised to buy $7.8 billion in components from Samsung. These components range from liquid crystal displays, application processors and flash memory used in the iPhone and Pad.

If you bring this up in conversation, the Apple - Samsung relationship can become a headscratcher. Apple's iPhone battles Samsung's Galaxy phones. The Galaxy Tab takes on the iPad. Meanwhile, Samsung's tablets can't match the iPad on price - even though the Korean electronics provider has many parts lying around the company

How is this Apple - Samsung thing even possible ? Apple certainly wouldn't sell components to Samsung if the roles were reversed. If you carry this line of thinking out to an extreme Apple could squash Samsung with its own parts. It's strange.


Questions :
(a) Describe the strategies adopted by Apple to become the leader in the smart phone market.
(b) How can Samsung Electronics Counteract Apple to capture the market ? Explain with relevant R and D strategy that it can persue.


June 2013


1. (a) Differentiate between objectives and goals and the need for setting the objectives.

(b) Describe the features and the process of setting objectives.

 2. What do you understand by the competitive environment of an industry ? Explain with the help of examples.

3. (a) Whit are the two variants of focus ? Discuss each giving examples.

(b) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a focus strategy.

 4. Explain the process and importance of Turnaround Strategy. Support your answer with the help of examples.

 5. Write short notes on:

(a) Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

(b) Balanced score card.


6. Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end of the case.

 Whirlpool's Dramatic Turnaround Through Internationalization Home appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan, generated over $19 billion in annual sales in 2006, an increase of 26 percent from the previous year. Key factors influencing this performance include the acquisition of the Maytag Corporation in 2006 and an increased global demand for its brands and innovative products. During the next several years, the company expects growth in Asia and Latin America to be significantly higher than in North America and Europe.

 Whirlpool employs more than 80,000 employees in over 60 manufacturing and technology centers world wide. The firm manufactures washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers, ranges, compactors, and microwave ovens in 13 countries and sells them in 170 others under brand names such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Magic Chef, Jenn-Air, Amana, KitchenAid, Kenmore, Brastemp, and Bauknecht. Whirlpool generates almost 60 percent of its sales from North America, 25 percent from Europe, 15 percent from Latin America, and just 2 percent from Asia.


International Expansion


As the U.S. appliance market matured in the 1990s, Whirlpool faced intense domestic competition and more demanding buyers, resulting in lower profit margins. Meanwhile, international market trade barriers fell, consumer affluence grew, and capitalism flourished. Management realized that it could best deal with these threats and opportunities by undertaking a systematic program of internationalization. As a result, Whirlpool engaged in a series of moves over the next decade.

Whirlpool acquired the appliance business of Philips in Europe, 65 percent of Italian cooling compressor manufacturer Aspera, and purchased Poland's second largest appliance maker. In Eastern Europe, Whirlpool created subsidiaries to sell and service appliances in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

In China, Whirlpool formed a joint venture to produce air conditioners and established a corporate headquarters and product development/technology center in Shanghai. The company also opened regional offices in I-Iong Kong, New Delhi, and Singapore. In Mexico, Whirlpool acquired Vitromatic, a former joint venture partner in Mexico. It also developed low-cost versions of popular models to target customers in low-income markets in Latin America, China, and India.

 Three factors have driven this global expansion. First, Whirlpool sought to reduce its costs of R & D, manufacturing, and service by locating plants and other operations in lower-cost locations such as China, Mexico, and Poland. Second, flat to declining sales growth in the United States pressured management to target sales in new markets abroad. Third, Whirlpool realized the firm's manufacturing and assembly operations would benefit from a more global approach. Management redesigned products with more standardized parts and ramped up marketing to make Whirlpool a globally recognized brand. The company integrated the activities of regional subsidiaries so that Whirlpool's most advanced expertise in appliance technology, production, and distribution could be shared with the firm's divisions world-wide.


 Whirlpool conducted an internal critical assessment in the late 1990s. It became apparent

that a consumer walking into any appliance store anywhere in the world would witness a "sea of white" appliances with little differentiation, even between manufacturers. The industry became known as the "white goods business." Consumers perceived the products as commodities, which offered little differential advantage and commanded ever lower prices due to increasing competition.

 In 1999, Whirlpool management launched a major campaign to differentiate the firm's offerings by emphasizing innovative, value-added products. In early 2000, Whirlpool enlisted 75 employees from almost every job classification and assigned them in groups to Benton Harbor, Italy, and Brazil. Training lasted nearly a year and was conducted by an outside consulting group.


The next step was to get the rest of the global workforce involved. Whirlpool established an intranet site and created a do-it-yourself course in innovation. Throughout 2001 and 2002 Whirlpool's "knowledge management" intranet site recorded up to 300,000 hits per month. The company established a rating system to identify high potential, innovative ideas. Since 2003, revenue has quadrupled annually. Whirlpool estimates that the new appliances in development from this system, once marketed, could produce $ 3 billion in annual sales, up from projections of $ 1.3 billion in 2003. Whirlpool developed microwave ovens that can grill steaks, bake pizzas, or come in the form of a drawer that slides out for easy access to large dishes. The firm invented a washer with a built-in sensor that detects the size of the load and automatically picks the water level, spin speed, and type of wash cycle, essentially making all decisions for the user.


Local Preferences


Cross-regional R&D teams also collaborate on innovations to adapt offerings to meet local demands in diverse international environments. For example, due to very different climates, Italians often line-dried their clothing, while the Danes need to spin-dry then clothes. Capacity requirements vary greatly for refrigerators. The Spanish care about capacity for meats, the British want well-constructed units, and the French are more concerned about the capacity for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. Germans are particularly concerned about environmental features, while child safety features are very important to the Italians. In India, Whirlpool developed a washing machine that delivers a higher level of cleanliness for consumers who believe whiteness of clothing expresses purity. The washer's gentle handscrub movement and unique "hot wash. technology" maximize the effectiveness of laundry detergent.

Whirlpool has benefited immensely from international business. The firm is a leading example of how internationalization can revive declining sales and optimize cost structures. It has developed international distribution that reduces expenses, leading to higher profits, and has positioned itself to challenge competitors on a global scale. The firm has thrived through sensitivity and commitment to consumers in diverse cultural and economic settings around the world.


Growing Competitive Threat from Abroad

Yet not all is bright and sparkling on Whirlpool's horizon. Haier, China's largest appliance maker, established a production base and a distribution center in South Carolina in the United States. The firm also bought a six-story landmark. structure in New York, dubbed the Haier Bulding, to house its U.S headquarters. The world', fifth- nearly 20 percent and 50 percent of the markets for window air conditioners and small refrigerators, respectively Now it is expanding into full-size refrigerators, Haier's moves are especially troubling given. that Whirlpool generates very little of its sales from Asia, the world's most populous region, where Haier already has a strong presence.

Ironically, Haier's South Carolina factory is creating new jobs in a state that witnessed a mass exodus of textile jobs to factories in China, South Carolina receives foreign direct investment from various countries and is home to four Japanese and 18 European facilities. These trends show that globalization both benefits and poses new threats to Whirlpool's international ambitions.

As it struggles to remain a world-class player in a key industry, Whirlpool faces

new challenges. Management wants to expand sales in emerging markets while defending the home market from global rivals from China and elsewhere. The firm seeks to continue to leverage and enjoy all the benefits of international business.


(a) What is the nature of Whirlpool's domestic and international business environments? What types of risk does the firm face ?

(b) How can Whirlpool benefit from going international? What types of advantages can the firm obtain ? What advantages acquired abroad can help management improve Whirlpool's performance in its home market ?

(c) What actions has Whirlpool management taken to ensure that the firm succeeds in local markets throughout the world? To what extent is the appliance business local/regional rather than global ?

(d) How can Whirlpool effectively compete with new rivals originating from low-cost countries, such as Haier from China? Should Whirlpool's response differ in its home and foreign markets? If so, how ?

MS-11   June, 2007


l. Why do firms need to have specific set of objectives ? Do objectives form an integral part of Strategic Management ? Critically evaluate the importance of objectives taking into consideration any organisation of your choice. .

2. Briefly discuss McKinsey's 7-S framework. Explain as to how PESTEL grid can be used to understand the role of McKinsey's 7-S framework.

3. Explain the concept of l;ocus as a business level strategy. What are the variants of focus strategy ? discuss the advantages and risks involved. Explain using an example from the automobile sector.

4. What are the factors, which conlribute to successful strategic alliances ? Explain each of them briefly. Give some examples of successful strategic alliances.

5. Do you think that functional strategies are important for a business organization ? Bring out these strategies for all the functional areas of a business organization .

6. Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end


The time is 8.55 in the morning. Mr. Mehta of Vishala Printers, a division of ABC, has called a meeting of his senior managers at 10.00 . a.m. to discuss a situation. tsy 2.00 p.m. the firm has to submit its bid to its major customer CIMC in a sealed envelope. All the quotations received till the deadline will be opened in front of those present at 3.00 p.m. As he sits in his car, Mr. Mehta is not panicky, but is in a reflective mood


The Firm

Associated Business Corporation (ABC) is a diversified, ffiulti-divisional company having business presence in capital-industrial products, consumer durables, and services industries. Through use of strategic planning tools, the company has successfully evolved a strategy of high-specialization and differentiation for its products.

Combined with the company's philosophy of high-ethic practices, the firm has established for itself a reputation for high quality products in each of its three businesses.

Customers perceive the firm and its products as extremely reliable and which give full value for money. As such they readily pay higher prices charged by the company. All the three businesses have an equal prominence in the firm's business portfolio in terms of contribution to sales and net profits and each business unit has a healthy rivalry with the other units for superior results each year.


The Printing Division

Vishala Printers is a division of Associated Business Corporalion, which specializes in publishing of scientific journals, annual reports and business catalogues. the firm

has a most modern laser printing and computer type-setting unit . It takes pride in the amount it invests (approx. 10 percent of ils annual sales) in maintaining its technological leadership through continuous development of employee skills and purchase of latest computer hardware and soflware. the Chief Executive of this division, Vipul Mehta,: 38 years of age, is a cofounder of ABC, He  is a professionally qualified engineer and MBA from one of the premier management institutes of the country. He takes personal care that each and every product that comes out from the Printing Division is impeccable in quality. He started the venture in partnership with lwo other people, after having worked for 3 years in a multinational company in India. Over the past few years, lhe firm has shown consistent pattern in rate of growth and profitability. The market-to-book ratio has usually been above 5 for the previous three years.


Central India Manufacturing Corporation (CIMC) One of Vishala Printers' major customers is Central India Manufacturing Corporation. CIMC is a high-profile public sector unit manufacturing strategic goods for the country. It is one of the few PSUs making consistent profits. The yearly volume of business that CIMC

provides to Vishala Printers is roughly 20 percent of.the latter's annual turnover. CIMC's top management regularly publishes performance reports, catalogues, brochures, periodicals, field survey reports, etc., some of which are sent at the highest levels of Government of India including the Prime Minister and concerned Cabinet minister. Of late, some competitors of Vishala Printers who were doing printing jobs in which quality requirements are not stringent, have beeq pressing the

Finance and Accounts (F/A) people in CIMC to do something' so that they could also get a share in the seemingly high-margin quality jobs. These are the jobs which presently Vishala Printers undertakes for CIMC. These printers had also developed personal contacts with some influential persons in the organization. Some

officers and staff from the f / A and stores offices had earlier visited Mr. Mehta and tried to negotiate with him an understanding so that the obligation could become 'mutual'. they had also dropped suitable arm-twisting hints that 'although

we could have done so, we have never delayed your payments or made any adverse comments on the bills presented for payment'. Mr. Mehta had clearly instructed his staff not to encourage such

activities or dealings, and hence the F/A people were politecly refused.

The Decision Problem

Recently, the stores department of CIMC has taken a policy decision that all printing jobs will be awarded to one firm on a yearly contract basis. The acceptance of the tender and final award will be based purely on lowest rates offered. the rates, once accepted, will be valid for a period of one year and remain frozen till the end of the period. Mr. Mehta feels lhis is a trick devised by some

vested interests in the F / A and stores sections in connivance with other printers to eliminate his organization from future contracts with CIMC. It is universally known that the rates charged by Vishala Printers are as much as 40 -50 percent higher than the other'local' printers. Mr. Mehta justifies the difference saying, 'despite the apparently high differential in rates, the net margins for us are only about 15 - 18 percent on the quoted price. Our competitors in their ignorance do not realize the additional fixed and variable costs that we incur and also the extent' of expertise involved.' Mr. Mehta feels that his rates are extremely reasonable and fair and any downward price revision will not justify the amount of his personal and organizational expertise and investments made in executing high-quality printing work.

With the consolidation of all printing work on a yearly basis, even the director of CIMC would not be able to use his discretionary powers to award orders to Vishala Printers as the value of one single contract will far exceed his authority. Till the new policy, the director was using his discretionary authority, for ,!u prestigious and time-bound jobs. Another usual practice had been to form purchase-committees for 'important jobs. The purchase-committee chairman could place orders directly on the firm on the basis of recommendations of the job-committee.

The committee took decisions taking into consideration several other factors such as the nature of job, its purpose, timeliness of delivery, quality of workmanship required, which, in turn, depended upon the skills and resources that the printcr had, past experience of the printer in undertaking similar jobs, etc.

The committee members even visited the printer premises to make an on-the-spot assessrnent. Now this would also not be possible as under the new rules all printing orders were to be given only on the lowest quotation basis. According to Mr. Mehta, 'the work involves lot of value-addition particularly in respect of intangibles, and these additions cannot be neatly quantified for the purpose of calculating and evaluating the rates offered by different competitors. the top management and scientists of CIMC know that nobody else can provide the kind of service required, yet they cannot put this down on paper.'

The Case for Vishala Printers

One senior executive of CIMC made this comment on the quality provided by Vishala Printers : "Previously, we had to run around the printers and chase them for

getting the job done. the proofs usually got delayed and once they were received, carried many mistakes. The superscript and subscript notations and mathematical equations used in our scientific papers particularly were never done properly even after we corrected the proofs. the aesthetic appeal of the catalogue or report would

,always give impressions of shoddiness and corner cutting. I cannot say exactly why the final product was never up to the mark, but causes probably lay in a combination of factors such as the quality of inks used, the layout perspective of the designers employed by the presses, the quality of skills of the machine-men operating the offsets, or God knows what  Now since Vishala Printers started doing our prestigious jclbs, all our problems seem to have been taken care of. It is they who chase us for expediting the proof reading and return.

   Their usual practice is to sit with us and understand every detail of the job before commencing work. As customers, we were first uncomfortable with this attitude from a supplier but then understood that ultimately we are the beneficiaries in terms of a superior product, , timely delivery, and sustained commitment. This keeps everybody on the toes. You know what, once they even refused to go ahead with our job because our man failed to deliver the proofs for two days, and were ready to bear as losses, all the costs that they had incurred till then on the work. They often improve upon the grammar of the sentences. I am not a technical man but the scientists admit that errors of scientific and technical notations (otherwise hard to detect) which inadvertently ueep in the original typed manuscript get corrected at Vishala. Probably, Mr. Mehta's engineering and rnanagement background' is the reason behind this. We even got the appreciation for improved quality and presentation of our reports from our top boss the Secretary in the ministry. With this new rule about annual rate contract being introduced, I do not know how we will tackle a new printer. "

Questions :

(a) What is the basic problem of CIMC ? How can it be overcome ?

(b) Do you think that the rationale behind opening a printing division was good ? Justify your answer, using the knowledge of Strategic Management.

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