Business Strategy & Analysis

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MPM703 Business Strategy & Analysis
T1 2022 Study Guide
Outlined below are the broad topics that will help you in your review and preparation for the
final exam. These are
broad topics only and the questions in the final exam may drill deeper
into the more nuanced aspects/elements/facets/dimensions, etc. under each of these topics.
In effect, the topics below will pinpoint areas where you need to focus on and make use of
the
textbook, class and seminar materials, and relevant readings that are available in your
CloudDeakin to study the depth of the contents under each topic.
The unit and teaching team can assure you that we have covered all of the topics listed in this
study guide either in our classes and/or seminars.
Broad Topics:
(Already covered in the earlier week 10 and 11 revisions ppts)
Review of/revisit your assignment 1 and 2
Managing Industry Competition
I/O (industrial organisation) economics paradigm
Five forces model
Competitive Analysis
Three Generic Strategies
Resources and Capabilities
The RBV
VRIO
Value Chain Analysis
Intellectual Capital
Strategic Ambidexterity
Dynamic Capabilities
Managing Differences – Ghemawat’s AAA framework
Institutions and Culture
What are institutions?
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Formal and informal institutions
An Institutional view of Strategy
Interplay between institutions and firm strategies
The role of culture
The CAGE Distance
Business Risks
Balanced Scorecard
The SAFe Criteria of Strategy and Performance Evaluation
Ansoff’s Product-Market Expansion Grid
Liability of Foreignness
Strategic alliance and networks and its performance implications
Joint venture
3L Framework of entrepreneurial strategies
Diversification and its value and performance implications
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Triple bottom line
Stakeholder view of the firm
Who are stakeholders?

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Frequently asked questions by students to the teaching team about the exam:
Q. Is it likely that we will be asked about our assignment case (Rex Airlines in Assignment 1
and 2) as the context for one of the questions in the final exam. If asked, do I need to
memorise the company profile and the industry reports?
A. No. Even if you have a photographic memory! Your understanding or your current stock of
knowledge about the firm and the salient features of the industry should be sufficient. If you
have done your work well in Assessment 1 – what you should have learned about the firm
and its industry after completing the first assessment should be more than enough to deal
with final exam questions relevant to Rex. After all, Rex is just a context.
Q. Do I need to review my assessment 1 as part of my exam revision?
A. That’s cool. That will surely serve you well in the final exam. That is the reason that the
teaching team takes assessments feedback (what with all the sessions the teaching team has
set every after release of assessment marks?) very seriously – to give you the opportunity to
learn from every assessment and then build on that learning as you move forward.
Q. Are you then going to provide a copy of the case and industry reports in the final exam?
A. No. There is no need for these data. Refer to our answer to the previous question.
Q. Why are we using Rex again in the final exam? You must be too lazy to find another case?
A. The focus of the final exam is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of
the relevant topics. Rex simply provides the context of your analysis or discussion. We think
this is logical in order to let you
focus more on the application of topics rather than
demonstrating your knowledge of the context
(because at this stage, you should already be
very familiar of the firm and its industry). This is more beneficial to you than using another
case for exam purposes. There is no need to memorise or ‘over-study’ Rex and its related
resources. Your current understanding of the case/context that made you successful in
Assessment 1 is more than enough to get the context of one of the exam questions.
Q. Can you tell me where to find the topics in our resources in CloudDeakin?

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A. It is every student’s responsibility to follow through all the weekly activities in order to be
on top of the topics covered in this unit. If you have been following the weekly learning
activities (class/seminar/workshops/CloudDeakin resources), you will know exactly where
and what these topics are all about. We did have a review of topics in the relevant week. So
go and check it out.
Q. Can you discuss or explain to me one of the topics above because I don’t really know
anything about it?
A. You have the weekly Lecture and seminar recordings and respurces to use for your study.
We have already given/done all the explanations or discussions or illustrations of the relevant
topics since Week 1 (in-class, seminars, and consultation sessions). If a topic was not clear to
you – you should have asked these questions in the relevant week where we had plenty of
opportunities to discuss, illustrate and exemplify the topics/sub-topics for learning purposes.
For example, we had discussion boards which have been designed to provide the venue to
clarify topics or parts thereof on a weekly basis. However, you are welcome to come and see
the unit team or give the unit chair or Lecturer a ring during the remaining consultation
sessions OR take advantage of the remaining classes/seminars (both on-campus and online)
in weeks 10 and 11 to seek clarifications on topics that YOU HAVE STUDIED and yet you
require further help with.
Q. Can you tell me whether I should read the textbook or listen to class or read the ppt slides
to prepare well for the final exam?
A. I think the resources that you have mentioned are all very useful. There is a reason that we
upload files in CloudDeakin, deliver classes, hold seminars, and allocate time for consultation
sessions: to help you in learning the topics progressively underpinned by the ULOs and GLOs.
I have also uploaded a free e-textbook on strategy that is accessible to all.
Hence, all resources are relevant to exam preparation. If you have troubles preparing for an
exam, please seek help from the study skills support service of Deakin University
http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/academic-skills/exampreparation
Q. You have provided us a link to a free e-textbook (creative commons license), can you tell
me which chapters to study?
A. All you need to do is to follow the weekly topics and then check the e-book on which
chapters are relevant. It’s that easy.
Q. Am I required to cite the references in my written answers to the final exam questions?
A. Yes. In-text citations and references are required if you borrow substantive information
from others.

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Q. Am I required to provide a structure, like intro, discussion, and conclusion in my written
answers to the final exam Qs?
A. A
well-structured answer that hit all the requirements in a question will always get higher
points/marks than those that have been written hastily (hoping that one has put in everything
and leave it to the marker to decipher what’s in the answer). Hence, presenting your
discussion in a systematic way such as that you introduce the main argument, organise and
present your arguments, and sum your arguments up via a conclusion will really create a
positive impression and assist the marker in following your arguments – leading to higher
marks. After all, developing written communication skills – is one of the GLOs that are linked
to the unit’s learning objectives.
Q. Am I allowed to use bullet points in my answers?
A. It depends on how you use these bullet points. Our advice is use them sparingly and
strategically – to make sure the reader/marker understands your answer. For example, if you
are asked to
identify and describe briefly the 3 main elements of a concept – you may present
these in 3 bullet points along with their brief descriptions but you must provide sufficient
detail for the reader/marker to understand your answer.
Q. We might have many resources like ppt slides, readings, external links, including research
on Rex Airline docs. Which ones do you recommend to take with me to bed every night –
three weeks before the exam day – so I can master them and on the very day of the exam I’ll
feel like I’m a guru of strategy?
A. They are all important – I mean all the resources – not the becoming a guru of strategy
part. However, if you follow our weekly ppt slides (and then follow up with the relevant
readings, book chapters, etc. and class discussion recordings if some topics in the slides are
not clear enough) you should be confident to perform your best in the exam. Not sure about
becoming a guru of strategy – I don’t think your friends will find it cool when you tell them
that.
Q. Do you expect me to write or develop matrices and tables like what we learned in class
such as EFE Matrix? They are boring and I don’t like them!
A. Lucky you
– the answer is no. There is no requirement to develop an EFE matrix or CPM.
But you may be asked to explain or discuss the relevance of these tools – so make sure you
know what these tools are, their uses and strategic benefits, regardless of how boring you’ve
them.

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Q. Can the teaching team provide more sample questions like the ones found in the sample
exam question slides? I have finished answering all of them and I feel like a guru of strategy
now!
A. The teaching team can only do so much to provide you with the help you need to prepare
for the final exam. The sample exam questions and the discussion/workshops in Weeks 10
and 11 should be sufficient for preparation purposes. Why don’t you craft sample final exam
questions out of your revision and work these out with your study group? In the past, students
who had study groups did this exam preparation strategy and it worked for them really well.
Q. If I need to skip the final exam because I got sick, etc.is this allowed?
A. Students may apply for special consideration formally to the faculty. Details can be found
here:
http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/assessment-and-results/specialconsideration
This is a very stringent university/faculty process and documentation is normally required to
support the application. Contact the faculty as soon as possible if you are applying for SC. Do
not apply to the unit chair/teaching team direclty – there is a university committee that
administers and approves/rejects SC applications. If your SC application is approved, you will
take the exam in the next round of exams which is in T2.
Q. I am really stressed in my exam prep. I need help? How?
A. We understand that revisions can be very stressful. Your welfare and well-being are at the
heart of what we do at Deakin University. Please take advantage of the services of the
university to assist you in dealing with stress and other health issues impacting on your
studies.
https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/health-and-wellbeing
Q. I understand that I have 48 hours to submit my take home final exam. When or what day
time will the exam dropbox in CloudDeakin close?
A. The dropbox will close exactly 48 hours after the release of the questionnaire. For example,
if the exam is released on a Thursday at 9 AM, make sure you upload before Friday 9AM.
Check the final timetable of your exam through StudentConnect to make sure you know the
correct day/time of the exam.
Q. On the day of the exam in this unit as per timetable, where can I find the exam
questionnaire?
A. Easy. Remember the assessment folders where you’ve accessed the details of your first
assessment? There will be another folder in there called T1 2022 MPM703 Exam. You will see
this folder on the day of the exam.

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Q. And how do I complete the exam once I get the exam questions?
A. In this unit, you must follow the instructions of the exam paper, present your answers in a
word document and type in your answers to the questions. Make sure you indicate which
question number your answer refers to.
Q. Is there a need for a cover page?
A. Yes – plese write MPM703 Final Exam, your name and student ID number.
Q. How I do name my world document file?
A. Last name, ID number and unit code, for example: SMITH2598758MPM703.
Q. How do I upload my word document file?
A. Similar to the process of uploading your assignment, there will be a submission
folder/dropbox to upload your file. And you are done!
Q. What if I miss the closing time of (48 hours from the exam day) -but I was there around 1
minute past the deadline, ready to upload my file? Will you allow me to upload?
A. No. Once the folder is closed at exactly the 48
th hour, we cannot open it. You are deemed
to have missed the final exam. So make sure you complete and upload the exam long before
the closing time to give yourself allowance for any hiccup such as computer glitch, internet
issues, emergency visit to the toilet, spilling coffee on your laptop, etc.
Q. But it was not my fault, my internet was cut off an hour before the closing time.
A. The answer is still NO. You will have to apply for special consideration to take the exam in
the next round in T2. The 48 hour window is designed exactly for the purpose of taking into
account issues such as computer and internet glitches – so to be very safe – when the exam
is open – get it done right away. You will thank yourself and feel better once you are done
before lunchtime (i.e. assuming exam opens at 9 AM that day).
Q. Why is that?

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A. The final exam is designed as a two hour exam. Realistically, you can complete the take
home exam in that time frame. However, because of the current situation, the university is
giving you 48 hours to complete and upload your answers to the final exam. Hence, you have
plenty of time – so do not wait until the last couple of hours because you face the risks that I
have mentioned above.
Q. I am currently in a different timezone, am I disadvantaged?
A. No. You are not. While the exam day/time is AEST/Melbourn Australia Time (that includes
the opening and closing of the exam folder/box), the 48 hour window period to complete the
exam gives you ample opportunity to complete this assessment whereever you are in this
planet.
Q. I have a LAP, can I get an extension of say, a few hours or a day?
A. Not in this current set up. The 48 hour window period to complete the exam has already
taken your LAP into consideration. The university has sent you an email about this matter. In
short, given the nature of the final exam – all students must complete the exam within 4848
hours.
Q. Am I allowed to re-submit within the 48 hour window period, I mean if I need to revise or
improve the work I already uploaded and re-submit (for as along as the folder is still open –
within the 48 hour window period)?
A. Yes. You are allowed to do so for as long as the folder has not closed. The most current
submission will be marked.
Q. What if I don’t study at all and just like a great guru of strategy, I’ll just wait for the exam
questions to come out and get it done, after all it’s an open-book, take-home exam?
A. Good luck

Q. Wait, one last question for the unit Team – are the exam questions easy or difficult?
Our Answer:
You’’ll make it,
if you try.