The following Assignments should be completed and submitted to the course faculty via the learning platform for evaluation and grading. Submit your responses to these questions in one WORD document. List the question first, and then your response.
For each question below, try to find at least one related outside scholarly reference using the universityâ€™s online library resources available to you from the main online learning platform home page. Be sure to properly cite your sources, both in-text and with a reference list at the conclusion. If you use an online source to support your answers, you must provide a properly formatted link to the source. You may use MLA, APA, or Chicago citation formats, but be consistent and make sure your sources are credible.
In most cases, your responses should not exceed 500 words.
(Case Study: Starbucks: Early 2008)
Starbucks was started in 1971 and grew to become a leader in the specialty coffee industry. Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Corporation, attributes the companyâ€™s success to the experience created within the stores and the unsurpassed quality of its coffee. Schultz also attributes the success to the 172,000 employees working worldwide. The Starbucks employee training program churns out â€œbaristasâ€ by educating 300 to 400 hires per month in courses such as â€œBrewing the Perfect Cup at Homeâ€ and â€œCoffee Knowledge.â€
The purpose of this case is to expand understanding of the positioning of a â€œproductâ€ defined as the sum of the benefits the buyer derives from purchase, ownership and consumption. Starbucks coffee isnâ€™t necessarily much different than that sold at other coffeehouses and its success depends on providing a quality coffee-drinking experience. If you have the DVD that accompanies the text you can also watch the 11-minute video.
1. What is Starbucksâ€™ product?
2. What advantages does McDonaldâ€™s have in competing with Starbucks for coffee sales?
3. What changes in society have helped Starbucks be successful?
4. What strategic factors account for Starbucksâ€™ long-term success in developing brand equity?
5. What opportunities and threats face Starbucks?
6. What recommendations do you have to improve Starbucksâ€™ competitive position?
(Case Study: Dell Inc. in 2008)
In 1984, at the age of 19, Michael Dell invested $1,000 of his own money and founded Dell Computer with a simple vision and business conceptâ€”that personal computers (PCs) could be built to order and sold directly to customers.
During 2004-2005, Dell overtook Hewlett-Packard (HP) to become the global market leader in PCs. But Dellâ€™s global leadership proved short-lived; Hewlett-Packard, energized by a new CEO who engineered a revitalized strategy, dramatically closed the gap on Dell in 2006 and regained the global market share lead by a fairly wide margin in 2007â€”winning an 18.8 percent global share versus Dellâ€™s 14.9 percent.
In 2008, it was unclear whether Dellâ€™s strategy, while powerful enough to make Dell a major player in the global IT market, would be up to the task of overtaking Hewlett-Packard.
The case contains two big lessons. One is â€œhow to do it rightâ€, how to build competencies and capabilities that translate into sustainable competitive advantage, and how to conduct a battle for global market leadership. The second is that even a very successful company with a very successful strategy doesnâ€™t always have smooth sailingâ€”Dell has suffered some setbacks, has lost its cost advantage in laptop PCs (now the most popular type of PC), and is all of a sudden facing an energized and well-known competitor which has gotten its act together under a new CEO.
Recent developments in HP strategy provide an interesting twist:
1. What is your evaluation of Michael Dellâ€™s performance in his roles as Dellâ€™s CEO and Chairman? How well has he performed the tasks of crafting and executing strategy?
2. What are the elements of Dellâ€™s strategy? Which one of the generic competitive strategies is Dell employing?How well do the different pieces of Dellâ€™s strategy fit together? In what ways is Dellâ€™s strategy evolving?
3. Does Dellâ€™s expansion into other IT products and services make good strategic sense? Why or why not?