The Risky Business of Fairy Tales

1.Nike’s Core Competency: The Risky Business of Fairy Tales
The MiniCase indicates that Nike’s core competency is to create heroes. How did Nike build its
core competency? Does it obey the VRIO attributes (valuable, rare, inimitable, and organized
to capture value based on the resource-based view of the firm)?
2.Walmart and the Effects of Globalization
How have changes in the industry and the effects of globalization impacted Walmart?s ability to
successfully compete? List and describe two factors that are negatively impacting Walmart.
3.The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Apple vs. Microsoft
How much longer do you think Apple can sustain its competitive advantage (not just over
Microsoft, but in general)? Explain.
4.Does Twitter Have a Strategy?
Why is a good strategy so IMPORTANT, especially at high-tech startups like Twitter? Why is
crafting a good strategy at Twitter so difficult? What are some of the pitfalls that a CEO of a
company such as Twitter needs to watch out for when crafting and implementing a strategy?
5.Mitigating Risk and Uncertainty
Consider the six techniques Robinson (2007) describes that are used to mitigate risk and
uncertainty. Using an organization with which you are familiar, discuss examples from that
organization in which at least two techniques either were followed or should have been
followed. Explain how the handling of risk mitigation or uncertainty could have been improved.
6.Organic Growth Machine
Favaro, Meer, and Sharma (2012) discuss four rules for turning an organization into an organic
growth machine. Explain what behaviors in an organization with which you are familiar could be
changed to more successfully apply these rules.
Strategic Alliances
Under what circumstances should an organization seek a strategic alliance? How have the
motivations for strategic acquisitions changed over time and how do those changes affect
(potential) M&Adecisions made by an organization with which you are familiar?
Ambidextrous Behavior
Define the term “ambidextrous organization.” Provide a real life example of an organization that
displays ambidextrous behavior. Explain your rationale.
Shareholders, Employees, or Customers First?
One of Simons’ (2010) questions asks you to determine whether the organization’s
shareholders, employees, or customers come first. Consider which comes first in an
organization with which you’re familiar. Discuss the specific behaviors exhibited by the
organization as a result of that choice, and consider how that choice might affect strategic
performance and employee retention.

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