Business policy and strategy

1. When is a company’s competitive advantage most likely to endure over time?

2. Under what environmental conditions are price wars most likely to occur in an industry? What are the implications of price wars for a company? How should a company try to deal with the threat of a price war?

3. Which is more important in explaining the success and failure of companies: strategizing or luck?

4. What role can top management play in helping a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and responsiveness to customers?

5. From what perspective might innovation be called the single most important building block of competitive advantage?

6. What are the strengths of formal strategic planning? What are its weaknesses?

7. Is it possible for a company to be the lowest cost producer in its industry and simultaneously have an output that is most valued by customers?

8. What do you think are the sources of sustained superior profitability?

9. Evaluate the accuracy of the following statement: Formal strategic planning systems are irrelevant for firms competing in high-technology industries where the pace of change is so rapid that plans are routinely made obsolete by unforeseen events.

10. Why is it important to understand the drivers of profitability, as measured by the return on invested capital?

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