Posted by & filed under Print Report.

Since the outbreak of Swine Flu (H1N1 virus) last year, there has been much concern about a global pandemic. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services along with the Centers for Disease Control worked feverishly to develop a vaccine for the virus and get it into production. The cycle times for this year’s vaccines are about a month faster than normal, but there are concerns that this is not fast enough should there be a serious viral outbreak. In addition, many consumers express concerns about shortages and the safety of vaccines because viruses are grown in egg cultures.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What measures of productivity are being used to evaluate flu vaccine production?
  2. What type of manufacturing technology is utilized to produce flu vaccines? What are the characteristics of the flu vaccine (once developed) that lend itself to this type of production?
  3. While the government is investing in alternative methods for developing vaccines, it appears that using egg cultures is the only viable option at present. What work process technique could be used to improve performance and delivery of flu vaccines?

SOURCE: J. Schmit, “Flu Vaccine Rush Puts Focus on Calls for Faster Delivery,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-08-flu-vaccines_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip)

Posted by & filed under Print Report, Video Report.

In a surprise announcement, the Nobel Committee awarded U.S. President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to create global cooperation. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to receive the award and the third to receive it while in office. In a press conference following the announcement, the President acknowledged that the award was the culmination of the efforts of many leaders that inspired him.

QUESTIONS:

  1. In his press conference, President Obama acknowledged the role of “transformative figures.” Examine the characteristics of transformational leadership. In what ways might transformational leadership advance the peace process globally?
  2. The President outlined a number of global issues (e.g., Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) that he considers very important in terms of global peace. What aspect of transformational leadership does this represent?
  3. Using any one of the three main contingency approaches to leadership (i.e., Fiedler, Hersey & Blanchard, House), how would you describe President Obama’s leadership style?

SOURCE: S. Wilson, “Nobel for Obama Brings Praise, Ire,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914.html?hpid=topnews)

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Posted by & filed under Print Report.

In an attempt to boost sagging sales, General Motors partnered with online seller eBay to offer a limited set of new vehicles for sale in California. The program (called an “experiment” by GM) ended September 30, with the auto maker reporting limited interest and unrealistically low offers. Dealers, however, indicated that the program ended too soon. The response from eBay was mixed. Vice President Rob Chesney said the company had “no expectations” and would use the experience to learn how to improve new car sales online.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What type of business innovation does the General Motors program represent? Can you make a case for more than one type?
  2. Would you categorize this approach as sustainable innovation? Why or why not?
  3. Referring back to Chapter 8, what kind of e-business strategy is this? If it were successful, what is the likelihood that it would produce a competitive advantage?

SOURCE: G. A. Fowler, S. Morrison, & S. Terlep, “GM, eBay End Online Sales Effort,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125423429407549391.html)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

In July 2009, illegally obtained video footage of nationally-recognized sports reporter Erin Andrews surfaced on the internet. Andrews’ employer (ESPN) contacted the owners of the website and demanded removal of the video. The story became national press and reporters for the New York Post were banned from appearing on ESPN following publication of photographs taken from the video. ESPN encouraged Andrews to take time off from reporting. Prior to her return on September 3, Andrews taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey describing her ordeal.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How would you describe Erin Andrews’ reaction to this event? What is the role of emotions and moods in this situation and what factors influenced this reaction? How might mood contagion come into play if Andrews continued working without taking a break?
  2. While all individuals experience stress to some degree, high-profile jobs can lead to additional stressors. What are the pros and cons of stress? How would you characterize the stress experienced by Andrews?
  3. What steps could ESPN (and other employers with high-profile positions) take to ensure the personal wellness of its employees?

SOURCE: Associated Press, “Andrews on Oprah: She Thought Her Career Was Over,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2009-09-11-erin-andrews-oprah_N.htm; for additional reference, see http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2009-10-03-espn-erin-andrews_N.htm and http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2009-07-24-post-espn-erin-andrews_N.htm?obref=obnetwork)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

TOPIC: Control
ARTICLE SUMMARY: When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over Georgian Bank, it became the 95th bank to fail in 2009. Banks are failing largely because of bad real estate loans. The FDIC’s insurance fund is rapidly dwindling, reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades, while industry analysts are predicting many more failures.
QUESTIONS:
1. Consider recent events in the banking industry. What do numerous bank failures teach us about the importance of controlling?
2. When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation steps in and takes over a bank, what type of control does this represent?
3. Georgian bank will immediately reopen as First Citizens Bank (its new owner). What type of controls will be needed to ensure improvement and prevent additional problems?
SOURCE: M. Gordon, “Regulators Close Georgia Bank in 95th Failure for the Year,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-09-25-bank-failure_N.htm)

When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over Georgian Bank, it became the 95th bank to fail in 2009. Banks are failing largely because of bad real estate loans. The FDIC’s insurance fund is rapidly dwindling, reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades, while industry analysts are predicting many more failures.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Consider recent events in the banking industry. What do numerous bank failures teach us about the importance of controlling?
  2. When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation steps in and takes over a bank, what type of control does this represent?
  3. Georgian bank will immediately reopen as First Citizens Bank (its new owner). What type of controls will be needed to ensure improvement and prevent additional problems?

SOURCE: M. Gordon, “Regulators Close Georgia Bank in 95th Failure for the Year,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-09-25-bank-failure_N.htm)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: With the economy in a recession, unemployment is high. Despite efforts to stimulate the economy, unemployment numbers continue to rise. This leaves many unemployed for long periods. Congress has had to reauthorize unemployment benefits and extend eligibility for some that used up their benefits. This article describes the plight of the chronically unemployed and profiles three individuals and their struggles to restart careers slowed by the economy.
Note: this article provides an excellent case study on individual behavior and motivation, as well as human resource management.
QUESTIONS:
1. The odds for getting hired favor the newly-unemployed over long-term unemployed. In terms of recruiting and selection, why is this the case?
2. Consider the case of Paul Harrison. Do you believe his inability to get a job is related to discrimination? Why or why not?
3. Revisit the Shamrock Organization in Chapter 1. With the decline of manufacturing in the United States, how should companies and employees reposition themselves for success?
SOURCE: C. Dougherty, “The Long Slog: Out of Work, Out of Hope,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383516043639305.html)

With the economy in a recession, unemployment is high. Despite efforts to stimulate the economy, unemployment numbers continue to rise. This leaves many unemployed for long periods. Congress has had to reauthorize unemployment benefits and extend eligibility for some that used up their benefits. This article describes the plight of the chronically unemployed and profiles three individuals and their struggles to restart careers slowed by the economy.

Note: this article provides an excellent case study on individual behavior and motivation, as well as human resource management.

QUESTIONS:

  1. The odds for getting hired favor the newly-unemployed over long-term unemployed. In terms of recruiting and selection, why is this the case?
  2. Consider the case of Paul Harrison. Do you believe his inability to get a job is related to discrimination? Why or why not?
  3. Revisit the Shamrock Organization in Chapter 1. With the decline of manufacturing in the United States, how should companies and employees reposition themselves for success?

SOURCE: C. Dougherty, “The Long Slog: Out of Work, Out of Hope,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383516043639305.html)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, the maker of a variety of well-known household products, has been losing market share to competitors and experiencing declining sales growth. As a result, new CEO Robert McDonald introduced plans to cut prices, increase promotional spending, and position new versions of traditional products as low-priced value brands.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What benefit is realized by the plans Robert McDonald announced?
  2. Would you characterize the Proctor & Gamble’s plans as long- or short-range? Strategic or tactical? Why?
  3. What planning tool would most likely lead to the plans Proctor & Gamble announced?

SOURCE: E. Byron, “P&G Plots Course to Turn Lackluster Tide,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125258933720499429.html)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: After 16 years, boxer Juan Manuel Marquez finally gets his shot at greatness. The Mexican fighter will face formerly retired champion Floyd Mayweather in a pay-per-view event. Mayweather has never lost a professional fight, but has been out of action for two years. Although the fight is a non-title bout, there is a lot at stake for Marquez. A win would place him in the company of other great Mexican boxers, including his hero Julio Cesar Chavez.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Where would Marquez’ fight with Mayweather fall (for Marquez) on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
  2. Which of McClelland’s acquired needs best describes Juan Marquez’ motivation in this fight?
  3. What would Expectancy Theory predict about the motivation levels of each fighter?

SOURCE: J. M. Falgoust, “Against Mayweather, Underdog Marquez Swings at Greatness,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/boxing/2009-09-17-marquez-mayweather-adv_N.htm)

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

TOPIC: Organization Culture, Leadership
ARTICLE SUMMARY: Technology events often create quite a buzz as consumers and investors anticipate the release of new and improved products. However, the stir at a recent Apple public event was due more to the appearance of CEO Steve Jobs than announcements related to the company’s popular iPod and iPhone products. Jobs made his first public appearance since October 2008 and since a liver transplant.
QUESTIONS:
1. What aspects of observable culture does Steve Jobs represent and why is this important both for Apple, the company’s investors, and for customers?
2. Apple stock prices varied widely leading up to and following the event. Industry analysts suggest that Apple’s stock price, which closed slightly lower following the meeting, would have gone much lower had Jobs not made his public appearance. If true, what does this say about Jobs’ role as symbolic leader at Apple?
3. How is Jobs’ appearance consistent with visionary and charismatic leadership?
SOURCE: Y. I. Kane & J. Hodgson, “Jobs Takes Stage at Apple Event,” The Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125250736905495705.html; for additional reference, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/09/AR2009090902297.html)
Related video clip available at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125250736905495705.html#

ARTICLE SUMMARY: Technology events often create quite a buzz as consumers and investors anticipate the release of new and improved products. However, the stir at a recent Apple public event was due more to the appearance of CEO Steve Jobs than announcements related to the company’s popular iPod and iPhone products. Jobs made his first public appearance since October 2008 and since a liver transplant.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What aspects of observable culture does Steve Jobs represent and why is this important both for Apple, the company’s investors, and for customers?
  2. Apple stock prices varied widely leading up to and following the event. Industry analysts suggest that Apple’s stock price, which closed slightly lower following the meeting, would have gone much lower had Jobs not made his public appearance. If true, what does this say about Jobs’ role as symbolic leader at Apple?
  3. How is Jobs’ appearance consistent with visionary and charismatic leadership?

SOURCE: Y. I. Kane & J. Hodgson, “Jobs Takes Stage at Apple Event,” The Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125250736905495705.html; for additional reference, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/09/AR2009090902297.html)

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Posted by & filed under Strategy.

TOPIC: Strategy
ARTICLE SUMMARY: Kraft Foods initiated a buy offer for British candy maker Cadbury. The offer, valued at $17 billion, would give Cadbury shareholders cash and Kraft stock. The offer was rejected on the grounds that it undervalued Cadbury and that Kraft’s strategy was too conservative to capitalize on the full potential Cadbury offers.
QUESTIONS:
1. Defend Kraft’s offer for Cadbury from the standpoint of its mission and core values.
2. What are the different strategies represented by Kraft and Cadbury and on what basis (related to strategy differences) did Cadbury reject Kraft’s offer?
3. Considering strategic portfolio planning (and thinking about Cadbury’s reason for rejecting the bid), why would Kraft want to acquire Cadbury?
SOURCE: M. Carolan, “Cadbury Defends Rejection of Kraft Bid,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125277260126106081.html)

ARTICLE SUMMARY: Kraft Foods initiated a buy offer for British candy maker Cadbury. The offer, valued at $17 billion, would give Cadbury shareholders cash and Kraft stock. The offer was rejected on the grounds that it undervalued Cadbury and that Kraft’s strategy was too conservative to capitalize on the full potential Cadbury offers.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Defend Kraft’s offer for Cadbury from the standpoint of its mission and core values.
  2. What are the different strategies represented by Kraft and Cadbury and on what basis (related to strategy differences) did Cadbury reject Kraft’s offer?
  3. Considering strategic portfolio planning (and thinking about Cadbury’s reason for rejecting the bid), why would Kraft want to acquire Cadbury?

SOURCE: M. Carolan, “Cadbury Defends Rejection of Kraft Bid,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125277260126106081.html)