Mgt 527 Comprehensive Exam
The purpose of this exam is twofold. First, I want you to articulate what you have learned on the topics that we have covered in the first few chapters of our text. Second, and more importantly, I want you to gain a little more in-depth knowledge on some of these topics—especially the ones that you consider most relevant to you and your professional career. Therefore, while I expect that this exam should take you quit a bit of time, it should not only assess your knowledge but also contribute to it.
For the topic presented in the questions below, I want you to research the topic from the academic literature (i.e., the library data bases), summarize some of the latest (last 2-3 years) findings, and explain how the current literature resonates with how things are and should be done at your current organization. Each question will have a weight of 20% of the exam grade. I will grade your answers using the following criteria: 1) the extent to which you define all relevant terminology, 2) the extensiveness of your literature review, and 3) how you relate the findings in the literature with your organization. You can think of this exam as five literature reviews and insights as to how this literature resonates with the way things are done at your firm.
Please make sure that you write this in your own words (no not extensively use direct citations). Hint: You might want to search for the most current review articles or meta-analysis studies on a particular topic as these tend to offer a broad and deep analysis on past research and findings (both theoretical and empirical).
1) Managers and academics have emphasized the importance of strategic management for organizational success. Please search the extant academic literature (only peer reviewed academic/scientific articles) and perform a literature review on the current state of our knowledge about the impact of strategic planning on organizational performance. In other words, where does the current (last three years) scientific body of knowledge stand concerning the relationship between strategic planning and organizational performance? For example, through what mechanisms does strategic planning influence performance, to what extent does it impact performance….? Furthermore, please relate the scientific findings to your professional experience.
2) Organizations are increasingly seeking to grow by increasing their international presence. Please identify three important considerations/issues that firms face when expanding abroad along with the strategies suggested in the literature that these firms might use to reduce their exposure.
3) Corporate culture has been cited in the popular press and in academic literature as being an important internal environmental element in achieving a competitive advantage. Please select 3 orientations (i.e., marketing, entrepreneurial, customer) and explain how and to what extent these orientations influence organizational performance. Also don’t forget to tie-in how your findings from this literature review resonate with your experience.
4) Four corporate-level growth strategies include vertical, horizontal, concentric (related) and conglomerate (diversified). Please explain each strategy, offer a brief literature review of each including the context under which each strategy is appropriate, and offer an example of a firm that you consider best follows (or has followed) each of these strategies.
5) Explain what it means by ‘structure follows strategy’ (words from the great management historian, Chandler). Also provide a literature review of the impact of corporate structure on organizational performance and relate these findings to your experience.
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