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PREPARATORY EXAM

ABE PAST QUESTIONS

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MORNING DECEMBER 5  2005

Answer any FOUR questions

Q1 Write notes to explain the meaning and importance of each of the following

terms in the context of Corporate strategic planning:

(i) Mission

(ii) Vision/Strategic Intent

(iii) Core Competences

(iv) Strategic Architecture (each part carries equal marks)

(Total 25 marks)

Q2 ‘Scenarios comprise detailed and plausible views of how the business environment of an organisation might develop in the future, expressed in a way in which the corporate planner is able to develop a range of objectives and strategies to best deal with the envisaged future.’

Discuss. (25 marks)

Q3 The development of strategies involves decisions about three major elements of strategic choice, namely:

(i) What is to be the basis of the strategy?

(ii) Which direction is it going to take?

(iii) How will it be carried out?

Using examples discuss each of these key elements of strategic choice. (each part carries equal marks)

(Total 25 marks)

Q4 In evaluating strategic alternatives, it can be important to assess the degree of risk associated with each strategy. Write notes on each of the following approaches to analysing risk:

(i) Financial ratio projections

(ii) Sensitivity analysis

(iii) Simulation modelling. (each part carries equal marks)

(Total 25 marks)

Q5 Discuss each of the following and, using examples, indicate their importance and relevance to the process of strategic management and planning:

(i) Strategic Business Units (SBUs)

(ii) Strategic Competitor Groups (each part carries equal marks)

(Total 25 marks)

Q6 Some have suggested that the most relevant way of assessing and evaluating alternative strategies is in terms of Shareholder Value Analysis (SVA).

(a) What is Shareholder Value Analysis, and why is it suggested as being the most relevant way of assessing and evaluating alternative strategies? (12 marks)

(b) Briefly outline the different ways in which shareholder value may be measured and evaluated. (8 marks)

(c) Briefly outline the dangers and limitations of only using shareholder value analysis to evaluate strategic options. (5 marks

(Total 25 marks)

Q7 You have just been appointed as a consultant by the headquarters of a large diversified organisation with several operating subsidiaries and divisions. Like many organisations in recent years, this company has moved to gradually decentralise much of its decision making from the central group headquarters to subsidiaries and divisions further down the hierarchy. It is now considering closing down group headquarters and devolving the remaining activities and decisions of group central headquarters to each of the operating subsidiaries and divisions. The company has asked you to prepare a report outlining any advantages of having a group central headquarters and, specifically, any ways in which having a group central headquarters can add value to the organisation as a whole.

Prepare the report. (25 marks)

Q8 Outline and discuss each of the following driving forces in the context of an increasingly global approach to strategic planning.

(i) Convergence of markets and global customers

(ii) Cost advantages

(iii) Governmental and trade policies

(iv) Global competition (each part carries equal marks)

(Total 25 marks

 

JUNE 6 2005

Answer any FOUR questions

Q1 Discuss each of the following key steps in the strategic planning process:

(a) Strategic Analysis

(b) Strategic Choice

(c) Strategy Implementation (equal marks for each)

(Total 25 marks)

Q2 Distinguish between:

(a) The simple/static environment.

(b) The dynamic environment.

(c) The complex environment.

Using examples, you should indicate the key implications of the nature of each environment for strategic planning.

(equal marks for each)

(Total 25 marks)

Q3 ‘The primary purpose of a business organisation should be to maximise long-run profitability in the interest of the shareholders.’ Discuss the above statement in the context of ‘Stakeholder’ theories of business, indicating the extent to which profit maximising for shareholders conflicts with other stakeholder interests. (25 marks)

Q4 Using examples, discuss the use of ‘Value Chain Analysis’ in the development of competitive strategies. (25 marks)

Q5 A number of strategies have been suggested through which market leaders can attempt to defend their market share. Write notes on each of the following alternative defence strategies, indicating the meaning and nature of each and examples of their application:

(a) Position defence

(b) Flank-positioning defence

(c) Pre-emptive defence

(d) Mobile defence

(e) Strategic withdrawal (equal marks for each)

(Total 25 marks)

Q6 The concept of Strategic Business Units (SBUs) has made a significant contribution to easing the problems of strategic management in the large diversified contemporary business organisation.

(a) Outline the distinguishing characteristics of a Strategic Business Unit. (7 marks)

(b) Discuss the benefits and problems of organising and planning around SBUs in a company. (18 marks)

(Total 25 marks)

Q7 It is likely that an increasing number of organisations will move towards the ‘Balanced Scorecard’ approach to measuring and controlling organisational performance.Discuss. (25 marks)

Q8 Select any one contemporary management issue of your choice and discuss its relevance and importance to the corporate strategic management process. (25 marks)

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