Business 79 Assignments

Revised on 03/24/06


Due Date
Assignments  Due on this Date
Week 1: 4/10
  •  Nothing is due in the first class, but please get the book so you can move ahead on the reading for next class.
Wk 1: 4/12
  • Read Chapter 1 (pp. 3-29).
Wk 2: 4/17
  • Read Chapter 2 (pp. 32-70).
Wk 2: 4/19
  • Practice financial calculations on Anheuser-Busch handout. (Please note this is a MS Word document.)
  • Bring a calculator to class for exercises.
Wk 3: 4/24
  • Skim the guide to Case Analysis' (pp. 'C2-C13).
  • Prepare Case #8: Peapod (pp.C-174-C195) for class discussion. Study Questions for Peapod Case:
    • How would you rate management's goals and objectives for Peapod? 
    • What is your analysis of Peapod's financial condition?  (Analyze the percent change in revenues, prepare a common size income statement, and try to calculate some profitability and liquidity ratios.  You can refer to the Guide to Case Analysis for help on formulas.) 
Wk3: 4/26
  • Study Chapters 1, 2, and financial analysis for a quiz at the beginning of this class.
  • Read Chapter 3 (pp. 73-112).  (Take your time; this is the most important chapter in the course.)
Wk 4: 5/1
  • Continued analysis of Peapod Case for class discussion.  Please refer to Chapter 3 to figure out the answers to these questions.
    • Study Question: What is competition like in the online grocery business?  To answer this question you should do the following analyses:
      • Identify some economic traits for the online grocery industry.
      • What does a five forces analysis reveal about which competitive forces are strongest or weakest?
      • What is changing this industry?
      • Take a stab at creating a strategic group map for the online grocery industry.
      • What are the 3-4 key success factors for firms in this industry?
      • Is the industry attractive?  Why or why not?
Wk 4: 5/3
  • Read Chapter 4 (pp. 115-133, 137-147).
  • Your instructor will begin accepting the extra credit 5-forces reports. Details are in the course syllabus/greensheet.
Wk 5: 5/8
  • Prepare Case #14: Dr. Koop (pp. C349-C368).  Study Questions for class discussion for this case
    •  What does a five forces analysis reveal about competitive forces in the online health information industry?  Is the industry attractive or not? (Remember that 5 forces analysis is a tool for INDUSTRY analysis not company analysis!)
    • How well is Dr. Koop's strategy working? (Be prepared to substantiate your answer.) 
    • Prepare a SWOT analysis on drkoop.com. 
    • What does the value chain for this industry look like?
Wk 5: 5/10
  • Teams will be assigned in this class.  You should begin working on your Project Schedule and Team Assignments which must be handed in on 5/17.  Don't forget that you will also have to submit minutes of each meeting held (whether in person or virtual) when you turn in your presentation slides.
  • Read Chapter 5 (pp. 149-185,194-197).
Wk 6: 5/15
  • Prepare the Case #11: eBay (pp. C263-C294). Study Questions for this case:
    • What does a five forces analysis reveal about competition in the online auction business? 
    • What are key success factors in this industry?
    • Try to prepare a competitive strength assessment on eBay, Yahoo, and Amazon for the online auction business.
    • What would you say is eBay's generic strategy? 
 Wk 6: 5/17
  • Project Schedule and Team Assignments are due (typed) today.
    • Your schedule should list milestones/goals prior to the presentation date.  The team assignments must list the primary and backup persons responsible (in case the primary person drops the class)for each part of the project.
  • Read Chapter 8 (pp. 249-278).
  • Wrap up on eBay Case.
    • What recommendations would you make to the CEO of eBay to ensure it's continued success?
Wk 7:  5/22
  • Study chapters 3, 4, and 5 for a quiz at the beginning of class.
Wk 7: 5/24
  • Read Chapter 11 (pp. 345-376).
Wk 8: 5/29
  • No class - Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
Wk 8: 5/31
  • Prepare Case #22: Kimpton Hotels (pps. C518-C533) for class discussion.  Study questions to consider as you read the case:
    • Try to identify Kimpton's generic strategy.
    • If Steve Marx decides to pursue expansion, what specific actions or changes may be required?
    • Let's look at 2 elements of the 7-S model in this case: staffing and structure. How do Kimpton's staffing policies and organizational structure support the strategy?
Wk 9: 6/5
  • Presentations and peer reviews are due in this class for Guiseppe teams.
  • Prepare Case #4: Giuseppe's Original Sausage Company (pp. C74-C89).  Non-presenters should prepare the Guiseppe's Original Sausage Company case(#4) for class discussion following the presentations.(Note that extra participation credit will be given to well prepared students who are not on the presenting teams.)
    • Study Questions for presenters: 
      • Prepare an industry analysis of the specialty sausage industry in the Memphis area.  Is the industry attractive or not?
      • Prepare a company analysis for Guiseppe's.  Is the firm in an attractive position?  Why or why not?
      • What is Guiseppe's strategy and how well is it working? 
    • Study Questions for class discussion (not presenters):  What recommendations would you make to Guiseppe's top management to improve the company's competitive position and performance?
Wk 9: 6/7
  • Presentations and peer reviews are due in this class for Cannondale teams.
  • Prepare Case #9: Cannondale Corporation (pp. C196-C224) . Class discussion will follow the presentations. (Note that extra participation credit will be given to well prepared students who are not among the presenting teams.) 
    • Study Questions for presenters:
      • Prepare an industry analysis of the mountain bike industry.  Is the industry attractive or not?
      • Prepare a company analysis for Cannondale.  Is the firm in an attractive position?  Why or why not?
      • What is Cannondale's strategy and how well is it working? 
    • Study Questions for class discussion (not presenters):
      • What strategy recommendations would you make to improve the firm's performance and competitive position over the next 3-5 years?
      • Does it make good strategic sense to enter to offroad motorcycle segment? 
      • How would you make this decision? What information or thought process would you use?
Wk 10: 6/12
  • Read Chapter 12  (pp. 380-383, 390-405).  Read Chapter 13 (pps. 410-440).
  • Kimpton Hotels Case, continued.  Study questions:
    • Let's look at 2 more elements of the 7-S model in this case: skills and systems.  What are Kimpton's distinctive competencies?  How do systems in place (policies, information systems, reward systems, budget systems) support the strategy?
  • This is the last day to turn in the extra credit 5-forces report. Details are in the course syllabus/greensheet.
Wk 10:
6/14
  • Study Chapters 8, 11-13, and notes for a quiz at the start of class.
  • Kimpton Hotels, continued.  Study Questions:
    • Let's look at 2 more elements of the 7-S model in this case: style and shared values.  How does the style of the top manager(s) support the strategy?  What are the shared values (culture) of this firm and do they support the strategy?
Wk 11: 6/19
  • Read the Case #7: Dell Computer (pp. C132  - C173). 
    • Study question: Let's kick off this case by applying the entire 7-S model to review how Dell has implemented it's strategy.
    Wk 11: 6/21
    • Dell Computer, Continued.  Study questions:
      • Take a look at the company's mission, objectives, and financial performance (common size P&L).  Apply the techniques you have learned in this class to analyze the industry, Dell's competitive situation, their strategy, and the implementation of that strategy.  What would you do (at the time of the case) if you were the new CEO of Dell?
         .
    • No Final Exam in this class.  I hope you enjoyed the class and learned a lot!  Enjoy your break!