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INSTITUTE OF

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS


OF SINGAPORE

PROFESSIONAL
EXAMINATION

Module
CORPORATE AND
BUSINESS STRATEGY
(CBS)
9 November 2010

Official Study Guide


CONTENT PAGE

1 Detailed Syllabus 3

2 Course Assessment 5

3 Group Project 6

4 Reading References 10

5 Weekly Study Plan 12

6 Cases for Discussion 16

Annex

1 Important Dates and Information Annex 1

2 PE Transaction Form Annex 2

3 Project Submission Form Annex 3

4 Trainer Profile Annex 4

5 Past Year Paper – May 10 Annex 5

6 Past Year Suggested Solutions – May 10 Annex 6

7 Past Year Examiner’s Report – May 10 Annex 7


 

DETAILED SYLLABUS
ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Detailed Syllabus

AIM

The strategic management course will equip you with the frameworks, tools, and concepts
you will need to understand strategy formulation and implementation. This course will help
you learn how to manage the firm’s competitive position and development, in order to ensure
its long-term survival.

It is designed to enhance your capacity to do the job of a general manager responsible for
strategic decisions. Participants are placed in the position of key decision makers (or their
advisors) and are asked to solve problems specific to each case.

The topics and concepts are outlined below, and details on your assignments are provided in
the following pages. Part of the grade will be the application of what you have learned
throughout the program in an independent final project on a firm of your choice.

OBJECTIVES

On completion of this course, students should be able to:


• understand the fundamental aspects of business and corporate strategy;
• identify the important opportunities and challenges facing a business and setting out a
course of action for dealing with them;
• generate strategy options for an company, evaluate alternative options, and select the most
appropriate strategy;
• acquire familiarity with frameworks and techniques of strategic management, and
effectively use these to guide management decision;
• effectively position a firm or a business unit within a globalized competitive environment;
• formulate a strategic plan while considering the organization’s capabilities and
environment; and
• build the necessary capabilities to develop a successful business.

COURSE CONTENT

This course is taught primarily through readings and the case method, but also includes
workshops, and videos, if applicable. The learning experience results from the readings and
the workshops, and from the preparation of cases, assignments and projects.

The materials used in the course encompass a wide range of industries, businesses and issues
in order to provide the greatest depth and breadth of experience.

The cases and concepts will put you in a role of a key decision-maker, most often as a
general manager. The case method requires you to use analytical tools taught in the course
and to apply your personal judgment to a specific situation. There is no single correct
solution to any of the case problems. There are, however, many wrong solutions.

During the workshops, the instructor will cover the theory aspect of strategy, split the class
in groups for discussion and answer your query regarding the readings and the cases. The
instructor’s role in the class discussion is to help you, through intensive questioning, to
develop your ideas.

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Detailed Syllabus

COURSE LESSON PLAN

The general course lesson plan is as follows, subject to adjustments as the term progresses.
References in brackets are to the Strategic Management and Business Policy, 12/E. Thomas
L. Wheelen. David L. Hunger (WH), Pearson International Edition, and to cases that will be
covered in class. Please refer to Cases for Discussion section for more details.

Session 1: Basic Concepts of Strategic Management (WH Chapter 1 & Case 2: The
Wallace Group)

Session 2: Corporate Governance (WH Chapter 2 & Case 1: The Recalcitrant Director
at Byte Products, Inc.)

Session 3: Social Responsibility & Ethics in Strategic Management (WH Chapter 3 &
Case 5: Everyone Does it)

Session 4: The External Environment (WH Chapter 4 & Case 16: Harley Davidson INC,
2008: Thriving Through a Recession)

Session 5: Internal Scanning: Organizational Analysis (WH Chapter 5 & Case 24: The
Haier Group: US Expansion)

Session 6: Strategy Formulation: Situation Analysis and Business Strategy (WH Chapter
6 & Case 18: Carnival Corporation & Plc (2006): Twelve Distinct Brands Serving Seven
Continents)

Session 7: Strategy Formulation: Corporate Strategy (WH chapter 7 & Case 20: The
Home Depot (2006): Executive Leadership)

Session 8: Strategy Formulation: Functional Strategy and Strategic Choice (WH chapter
8 & Case 30: Church & Dwight Builds a Corporate Portfolio)

Session 9: Strategy Implementation: Organizing for Action (WH Chapter 9 & Case 17:
JetBlue Airways)

Session 10: Strategy Implementation: Staffing and Directing (WH Chapter 10 & Case 13:
Google: An Internet Search Engine Company)

Session 11: Evaluation and Control (WH Chapter 11 & Mini Case 32: Six Flags, Inc: The
2006 Business Turnaround)

4
 

COURSE
ASSESSMENT
ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Course Assessment

COURSE ASSESSMENT

The assessment components are listed below:

Group Project report (20%)

You are to form a group (minimum of 1 student to maximum of 4 students) and perform an
industry, company and strategy analysis of a company in any of the following sectors:

1. Agriculture and Fishing


2. Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Management
3. Mining and Quarrying
4. Education
5. Transport and Storage
6. Electricity and Gas Supply
7. Financial and Insurance

Details of the group project are listed in the following Group Project section.

Final examination (80%):


The final, open-book examination is of 3 (three) hours duration and covers the entire course.
The case will be given to you about 5 days prior to the exam. Further information will be
provided as the term progresses.

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GROUP
PROJECT
ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Group Project

RESTRICTION ON COMPANY & SECTOR SELECTION

1. Each sector may be selected by a maximum of 3 groups.


2. None of the groups are to select the same company.
3. The company selected must not be any of the companies covered in the Course Lesson
Plan found on page 4 of this study guide.
4. The company selected must have a significant role and market power.

DEADLINES FOR COMPANY SELECTION & PROJECT SUBMISSION

1. You are required to submit your selection details (as indicated in the format below) no later
than one week after the first workshop, i.e. by 6 August 2010 (Friday), 5pm via email to
profexam@icpas.org.sg:

Group Members (1 to 4 candidates per group)


Name Candidate ID
1. Group Leader (to indicate)
2. Group Member 1
3. Group Member 2
4. Group Member 3

Project Selection
Company Name Sector
1st Choice
(in order of
preference)
2nd Choice
3rd Choice

The final company selection will be allocated by the Institute on a first-come-first-served


basis. In the event that your first choice has been selected earlier by another group, you
will be allocated your second or third choice accordingly.

2. The deadline for project submission is 5 November 2010 (Friday), 5pm. No marks will
be awarded for reports submitted after the deadline. The report must be submitted in soft
copy format (MS Word or PDF) via email to profexam@icpas.org.sg. No hardcopy is
required for submission.

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Group Project

REPORT GUIDELINES

1. The number of words must not exceed 2500. These words refer to those in the main report
(not Appendices) and not inclusive of words in Figures and Tables.

2. Both in-text and a Reference list are compulsory. Format required for the referencing is
Harvard Referencing Format or also known as the Author-Date Format.

3. The final report should be typed, double-spaced on A4-sized document, with equal left
and right margins of 3 cm. Times New Roman (font size 12) is required.

Your report should contain 2 parts: Industry Analysis and Company Strategy Analysis.

Part 1 – Industry Analysis

Your group industry analysis should focus on industry trends and on the firm competitive
environment. Feel free to adjust the outline below in the most meaningful way for the
industry you selected. The important point is to cover all essential areas in a clear and
concise manner, and to highlight the main external strategic issues the firm is confronted to.
The last part will ask you to focus on the firm strengths and weaknesses to elaborate a
company strategy. To do so, you must have a clear understanding of the environment in
which the firm operates.

Suggested outline

A. Title Page (but no table of contents)

B. Executive Summary (key findings; maximum 1 page)


• The content shall not include any company history.
• The purpose of the executive summary is to inform the reader of the key elements
contained in the paper.

C. Industry Analysis
• Relevant industry trends (e.g. segmentation, costs / technology aspects, competitors,
and main government/trade regulations) with implications for the firm performance
and strategy
• What are the most noticeable changes in the industry environment?
• Strategic Group Map
• Attractiveness of the industry using the Porter 5 Forces model (i.e. analysis of forces’
strengths, changes in forces’ strength, etc.)
o Remember Porter’s analysis is an industry-level (not firm-level) analysis
o Who are the firm’s present/future customers? ...competitors?
• Key success factors in the industry

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Group Project

D. Environmental Scan (external forces/stakeholders)


• Most important Opportunities
• Most important Threats

E. Internal Scan (company)


• Key Strengths
• Key Weaknesses
What would be your strategic recommendations to the firm based on your SWOT analysis?

Part 2 – Company Strategy Analysis

The purpose of this analysis is to recommend a strategic course of action for the company
you selected. You should use analytical techniques and frameworks covered in class to
examine the firm's strategic intent, its strategic position, and viable alternatives/strategic
options.

Suggested outline

A. Mission Statement/Strategic intent/Vision.


• Why is this company in this business, and what does it do?
• You can reproduce the company's published mission statement/vision. You must also
include a very brief critique of that mission/vision.

B. Assessment of the firm’s strategy


• What is the firm’s generic strategy, if any?
a. Cost strategy (e.g. value chain analysis, experience curve)
b. Differentiation strategy (e.g. sources of differentiation along the value chain,
customer segmentation)
• What resources and/or capabilities does the firm have (or require) to implement its
strategy?
o Consider the firm’s key resources that could lead to long term competitive
advantages – those that are rare, valuable, non-substitutable and inimitable.
• What is the firm's competitive position in the industry (e.g. analysis of market share,
cost position, resources/capabilities to meet key customer needs relative to key
competitors)
• Address the most important challenges of the firm? What is the significance of each?
• Has the firm been successful? Why? Very broadly, where is the firm heading for?
Consider a 3-5 years time frame

C. Identify growth options.


• Shall the company grow organically, or through cooperative strategy (e.g. horizontal
or vertical alliances) or acquisition?

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Group Project

D. What change or changes in strategy do you recommend?


• In your recommendations, have you taken into consideration any possible competitor
responses (i.e. strategic interactions)? What would it be? How would it affect the
competitive dynamics ?
• Have you demonstrated the feasibility of your recommendations? What would be the
implementation pathway?

E. Endnotes (references)

9
 

READING REFERENCES
ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Reading Reference

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK

Strategic Management and Business Policy, 12/E. Thomas L. Wheelen. David L. Hunger.
Pearson International Edition.

ALTERNATIVE BOOKS

1. Hitt, Michael A., R.D. Ireland & R.E. Hoskisson. 2003. Strategic Management:
Competitiveness and Globalization, 5th Edition, (Cincinnati: ITP Southwestern
Publishing Co).
2. De Kluyver, Cornelius A. 2000. Strategic Thinking: An Executive Perspective. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
3. Pearce-Robinson. Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control .
10th Edition. Mc Graw Hill International edition
4. Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., Lampel, J. (1998), Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour
Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, Free Press, New York, NY,
5. Robert A. Pitts & David Lei. Strategic Management: Building and Sustaining
Competitive Advantage. 4th edition. Thomson Higher Education, 2006
6. Thompson-Strickland. Strategic Management, Concepts and Cases, 12th Edition. Mc
Graw Hill International Edition.
7. Bob de Wit. Ron Meyer. Strategy - Process, Content, Context, an International
Perspective. 2nd Edition, International Thomson, 1998
8. Thompson, A. A., Strickland, A. J., & Gamble, J. E. (2007). Crafting & Executing
Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases (15th ed.).
Boston: McGraw Hill, Irwin.

REFERENCE TEXTS & READINGS

1. Veronique Ambrosini ; Gerry Johnson ; Kevan Scholes, Exploring Techniques of


Analysis and Evaluation in Strategic Management, Pearson Higher Education (UK)
1998. ISBN 0-135-70680-7
2. Michael E Porter, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analysing Industries and
Competitors, The Free Press, New York 1998 (revised print) ISBN 0-684-84148-7
3. Richard A D’Aveni, Hypercompetitive Rivalries: Competing in Highly Dynamic
Environments, The Free Press, New York 1995 (revised print) ISBN 0-02-874112-9
4. Gary Hamel and C K Pralahad, Competing for the Future, Harvard Business School Press
1996 ISBN 0-87584-716-1
5. Jim Collins, Good to Great, HarperCollins 2001 ISBN 06-662099-6
6. Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done,
Crown Business New York 2002. ISBN 0-609-61057-0

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Reading Reference

REFERENCE ARTICLES

1. Michael E Porter, What is Strategy? Harvard Business Review November-December


1996
2. Michael E Porter, Strategy and the Internet, Harvard Business Review March 2001
3. Michael E Porter, How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy, Harvard Business Review
March-April 1979
4. Warnock Davies, Understanding Strategy, Strategy & Leadership May 2000
5. Campbell and Yeung, Creating a Sense of Mission, Long Range Planning Vol 24 No 4,
1991
6. Langeler, The Vision Trap, Harvard Business Review, Mar/Apr 1992
7. Campbell and Alexander, What’s Wrong with Strategy? Harvard Business Review
Nov-Dec 1997
8. Mintzberg and Lampel, Reflecting on the Strategy Process, Sloan Management Review
Spring 1999
9. Fuller, Strategic Planning in an era of Total Competition, Strategy & Leadership May-Jun
96
10. Lorange, Strategic Planning for Rapid Profitable Growth, Strategy & Leadership May –
Jun 96
11. Magretta, Why Business Models Matter, Harvard Business Review, May 2002
12. Derek Abell, Competing Today While Preparing for Tomorrow, Sloan Management
Review, Spring 1999.

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WEEKLY STUDY PLAN


ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Weekly Study Plan

I. SUGGESTED STUDY / REVISION SCHEDULE

Week Week
Text
No. beginning Topic
Readings
Monday

FOUNDATION OF STRATEGY

01 2 Aug 2010 Basic Concepts of Strategic Management WH


• What is Strategic Management? Chap 1
• Strategy Formulation and
Implementation

Case 2: The Wallace Group

Tue
3 Aug 2010 CBS Preparatory Course: Session 1 7.30pm to
10.30pm

02 10 Aug 2010 Corporate Governance WH


• The Role of the Board of Directors Chap 2
• The Role of Top Management

Case 1: The Recalcitrant Director at Byte


Products, Inc.

ANALYSIS

03 16 Aug 2010 Social Responsibility & Ethics in Strategic WH


Management Chap 3
• Social Responsibility of strategic
Decision Makers
• What is Social Responsibility?
• Ethical Decision Making

Case 5: Everyone Does it

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Weekly Study Plan

The External Environment


04 23 Aug 2010 • Environmental Scanning WH
• Industry Analysis Chap 4
o Porter Model
o Strategic Groups
• Competitive Intelligence

Case 16: Harley Davidson INC, 2008:


Thriving Through a Recession

STRATEGY FORMULATION

05 30 Aug 2010 Internal Scanning: Organizational Analysis WH


• Using Resources to Gain competitive Chaps 5
Advantages
• Industry & Corporate Value-Chain
Analysis

Case 24: The Haier Group: US Expansion

Tue
31 Aug 2010 CBS Preparatory Course: Session 2 7.30pm to
10.30pm

06 6 Sep 2010 Strategy Formulation: Situation Analysis and WH


Business Strategy Chap 6
• SWOT Analysis
• Business Strategies
o Competitive Strategies
o Cooperative Strategies

Case 18: Carnival Corporation & Plc (2006):


Twelve Distinct Brands Serving Seven
Continents

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Weekly Study Plan

07 13 Sep 2010 Strategy Formulation: Corporate Strategy WH


• Directional Strategy Chap 7
• Portfolio Analysis: BCG and GE matrix
• Corporate Parenting

Case 20: The Home Depot (2006): Executive


Leadership

08 20 Sep 2010 Strategy Formulation: Functional Strategy WH


and Strategic Choice Chaps 8
• The Sourcing Decision: Location of
Functions
• Strategies to Avoid
• Strategic Choice: Selecting the Best
Strategy

Case 30: Church & Dwight Builds a


Corporate Portfolio
Tue
21 Sep 2010 CBS Preparatory Course: Session 3 7.30pm to
10.30pm

09 27 Sep 2010 Revision Week

STRATEGY EXECUTION

10 4 Oct 2010 Strategy Implementation: Organizing for WH


Action Chap 9
• How is Strategy to Be Implemented?
• Corporate Development &
Organizational Life-cycle
• International Alliances
• Centralization vs. Decentralization

Case 17: JetBlue Airways

Tue
4 Oct 2010 CBS Preparatory Course: Session 4 7.30pm to
10.30pm

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Weekly Study Plan

##Strategy Implementation: Staffing and


11 11 Oct 2010 Directing WH
• Selection and Management Chap 10
Development
• Leading
• Management by Objectives
• TQM

Case 13: Google: An Internet Search Engine


Company
Tue
19 Oct 2010 CBS Preparatory Course: Session 5 7.30pm to
10.30pm

12 18 Oct 2010 Evaluation and Control WH


• Measuring Performance Chap 11
• Strategic Information Systems
• Problems in Measuring Performance
• Strategic Incentive Management

Mini Case 32: Six Flags, Inc: The 2006


Business Turnaround
25 Oct & 4
13-14 Revision Week
Nov 2010

15 11 May 2010 Exam Date: 9 November 2010, 10am to 1pm

15
 

CASES FOR
DISCUSSION
ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Cases for Discussion

CASES: PREPARE FOR DISCUSSION

Case 2: The Wallace Group

1. What do you think the Wallace Group has a clear Mission and Vision? Please support
your answer.
2. Identify the issues facing the Wallace Group? Please elaborate.
3. Identify what basic strategic concepts can the Wallace Group use to improve their
current situation?
4. Discuss how the strategic concepts identified in Question 3 will help the Wallace Group
address their issues identified in Question 2.

Case 1: The Recalcitrant Director at Byte Products, Inc.

1. Discuss the Board of Directors’ duties.


2. Did the board perform their duties as directors?
3. Was management responsible in their actions?

Case 5: Everyone Does it

1. What are the factors Jim should consider when deciding which launch date to use?
2. Are ISI and its competitors (e.g. Lockart, Global Science) ethical in their business
practices?
3. Does a practice become ethical just because “Everyone does it”?
4. What can be done to ensure that the industry develops and use higher standards of
ethics?

Case 16: Harley Davidson INC, 2006

1. Is the motorbike business an attractive business to be in?


2. What opportunities and threats exist in this market?
3. What would be a PEST model application to the motorbike business?
4. What are the keys success factors in this industry?

Case 24: The Haier Group: US Expansion

1. Discuss Haier’s business strategy. Does Haier have a sustainable competitive advantage
over its competitors?
2. Compare Haier`s position in major home appliances and in consumer electronics in the
US:
3. Which growth alternative is better?

Case 18: Carnival Corporation & Plc (2006): Twelve Distinct Brands Serving Seven
Continents

1. What is the company corporate strategy?


2. How sustainable are Carnival’s sources of competitive advantages?

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ICPAS Professional Examination - Corporate & Business Strategy (CBS) 2010 Term 2

Cases for Discussion

3. Examine the role placed by acquisitions in Carnival’s globalization strategy


4. Study Carnival’s organizational structure and examine how such a structure enables
efficient and effective knowledge management at the company

Case 20: The Home Depot (2006): Executive Leadership

1. What is the importance of corporate culture to Home Depot? Is it being lost or just
changed to adjust to a new environment?
2. How can differentiation and low-cost competitive strategies be used simultaneously?
3. What core competencies does Home Depot possess that can be transferred to the
professional contractor market? To going international? Are any distinctive?
4. What should Home Depot do next to ensure continued growth?

Case 30: Church & Dwight Builds a Corporate Portfolio

1. Do an internal analysis of Church & Dwight


2. Analyze Church & Dwight’s Internationalization strategy
3. Are there synergies between Church & Dwight’s two divisions (chemical and consumer
products)? Should there be?
4. What future strategy would you recommend to Church & Dwight? What should Church
& Dwight pay attention too?

Case 17: JetBlue Airways

1. Identify JetBlue’s strategy for success.


2. How did JetBlue implement their organizational routines to support their strategy?
3. Did JetBlue have centralized or decentralized systems and routines in place?
4. How did JetBlue’s centralize or de-centralized systems and routines influenced their
ability to cope with “The Customer Service Fiasco – pg 704”?

Case 13: Google: An Internet Search Engine Company

1. What does Google do to remain competitive?


2. Are programs such as MBO and TQM appropriate for Google? Please elaborate.
3. What does Google do to meet with its staffing requirements?
4. How does Google’s staffing decisions impact its overall organizational strategy?

Mini Case 32: Six Flags, Inc: The 2006 Business Turnaround

1. Recommend relevant performance measures can be used to help six flags in its quest
towards profitability?
2. Recommend strategic information systems can be developed to facilitate Six Flag’s
turnaround strategy?
3. What are the key issues which Six Flags might face when using your recommendations
in Questions 1 and 2?

17
 

ANNEX
ICPAS PE - IMPORTANT DATES AND INFORMATION
ICPAS
EMAIL: profexam@icpas.org.sg | URL: www.icpas.org.sg/pe.asp
1. For First Time Assessment Application Term 1 / Yr 10 Term 2 / Yr 10
(Not Applicable to Existing Candidates)
a) Assessment Application Closing Date 01 Oct 09 01 Apr 10
b) Confirmation Date for Application Status 14 Dec 09 14 Jun 10
2. Module Examination Term 1 / Yr 10 Term 2 / Yr 10
(Only applicable for ICPAS PE Candidates)
a) Module Examination Registration Commencement Date 14 Dec 09 14 Jun 10
b) Module Examination Registration Closing Date 13 Jan 10 14 Jul 10
c) Academic Term Commencement Date 05 Feb 10 01 Aug 10
d) Examination Results Release Date 25 Jun 10 24 Dec 10
Module Examination Dates Term 1 / Yr 10 Term 2 / Yr 10
FRD - Financial Reporting & Disclosure 10 May 10 08 Nov 10
CBS - Corporate & Business Strategy 11 May 10 09 Nov 10
AUD - Audit & Assurance 12 May 10 10 Nov 10
LCG - Company Law & Corporate Governance 13 May 10 11 Nov 10
ATX - Advanced Taxation 14 May 10 12 Nov 10

SAA-GE
EMAIL: paq_tuition@saa.org.sg | URL: www.saa.org.sg/pe.html
3. Preparatory Course for ICPAS PE (Optional) Term 1 / Yr 10 Term 2 / Yr 10
a) Preparatory Course Enrolment Commencement Date 14 Dec 09 14 Jun 10
b) Preparatory Course Early Enrolment Closing Date 05 Feb 10 23 Jul 10

Detailed Information
pp
1. Assessment Application
- Upon confirmation of application status (i.e. the applicant is eligible for entry to PE), payment of first year
Candidate Fee is required. Payment due date is within a month from the approval date.
- Subsequent Annual Candidate Fee will be billed in December (due on 2nd January).
- Active candidates is not required to submit Assessment Application Form during the period of valid candidature
(5 years).

2. Module Examination Registration


- Examinations are available twice a year, in the months of May and November.
- Candidates may enrol for a maximum of 3 modules per term by the Module Examination Registration Closing
Date.
- Modules need not be attempted in a particular sequence and are not compulsory every term. Candidates can
attempt modules at their own pace, provided that examinations for all modules are successfully attempted within
the candidature period of 5 years.
- Candidates can only enrol for modules after payment of candidate fee.

3. Preparatory Course for ICPAS PE


- Enrolments received by the Early Enrolment Closing Date will be entitled to discounted rate.
- Candidates MUST come down personally to SAA-GE’s Raffles Quay Campus within 2 working days from the
date of online enrolment, to sign the student contract & pay the FPS insurance, in order for the enrolment to be
confirmed.
- Please refer to the Enrolment Procedure at www.saa.org.sg/pe.html for details.

4. Written Examination
- Module examination dates corresponding to enrolled modules are listed in the table above.
- All examinations will commence at 10am and end at 1pm on each of the given dates, unless otherwise stated.
- Results will be released on the stated dates. Candidates are required to log in to their individual account to view
their published results.

Note:
1) ICPAS reserves the rights to amend any of the published date or time in this document without prior notice.
2) Events occuring on dates published in this document that coincide with a weekend / public holiday will be postponed to the
next working day.
3) The latest available information will published on the ICPAS PE website and will supercede all previous disseminated
information. Candidates are strongly encouraged to visit the ICPAS PE website for the latest available information.
4) Important announcements will be published on the ICPAS PE website and / or disseminated via email.
Candidates are required to provide a valid email address and to check the provided email account regularly.
In the event of changes of existing email address, candidates are required to log in to their individual candidate account in the
ICPAS PE website to perform an update
update.

ANNEX 1
Updated May 10
ICPAS PE - IMPORTANT DATES AND INFORMATION
ICPAS
EMAIL: profexam@icpas.org.sg | URL: www.icpas.org.sg/pe.asp
1. For First Time Assessment Application Term 1 / Yr 11 Term 2 / Yr 11
(Not Applicable to Existing Candidates)
a) Assessment Application Closing Date 01 Oct 10 01 Apr 11
b) Confirmation Date for Application Status 15 Dec 10 15 Jun 11
2. Module Examination Term 1 / Yr 11 Term 2 / Yr 11
(Only applicable for ICPAS PE Candidates)
a) Module Examination Registration Commencement Date 15 Dec 10 15 Jun 11
b) Module Examination Registration Closing Date 14 Jan 11 14 Jul 11
c) Academic Term Commencement Date 01 Feb 11 01 Aug 11
d) Examination Results Release Date 24 Jun 11 23 Dec 11
Module Examination Dates Term 1 / Yr 11 Term 2 / Yr 11
FRD - Financial Reporting & Disclosure 09 May 11 07 Nov 11
CBS - Corporate & Business Strategy 10 May 11 08 Nov 11
AUD - Audit & Assurance 11 May 11 09 Nov 11
LCG - Company Law & Corporate Governance 12 May 11 10 Nov 11
ATX - Advanced Taxation 13 May 11 11 Nov 11

SAA-GE
EMAIL: paq_tuition@saa.org.sg | URL: www.saa.org.sg/pe.html
3. Preparatory Course for ICPAS PE (Optional) Term 1 / Yr 11 Term 2 / Yr 11
a) Preparatory Course Enrolment Commencement Date 15 Dec 10 15 Jun 11
b) Preparatory Course Early Enrolment Closing Date 21 Jan 11 22 Jul 11

Detailed Information
1. Assessment Application
pp
- Upon confirmation of application status (i.e. the applicant is eligible for entry to PE), payment of first year
Candidate Fee is required. Payment due date is within a month from the approval date.
- Subsequent Annual Candidate Fee will be billed in December (due on 2nd January).
- Active candidates is not required to submit Assessment Application Form during the period of valid candidature
(5 years).

2. Module Examination Registration


- Examinations are available twice a year, in the months of May and November.
- Candidates may enrol for a maximum of 3 modules per term by the Module Examination Registration Closing
Date.
- Modules need not be attempted in a particular sequence and are not compulsory every term. Candidates can
attempt modules at their own pace, provided that examinations for all modules are successfully attempted within
the candidature period of 5 years.
- Candidates can only enrol for modules after payment of candidate fee.

3. Preparatory Course for ICPAS PE


- Enrolments received by the Early Enrolment Closing Date will be entitled to discounted rate.
- Candidates MUST come down personally to SAA-GE’s Raffles Quay Campus within 2 working days from the
date of online enrolment, to sign the student contract & pay the FPS insurance, in order for the enrolment to be
confirmed.
- Please refer to the Enrolment Procedure at www.saa.org.sg/pe.html for details.

4. Written Examination
- Module examination dates corresponding to enrolled modules are listed in the table above.
- All examinations will commence at 10am and end at 1pm on each of the given dates, unless otherwise stated.
- Results will be released on the stated dates. Candidates are required to log in to their individual account to view
their published results.

Note:
1) ICPAS reserves the rights to amend any of the published date or time in this document without prior notice.
2) Events occuring on dates published in this document that coincide with a weekend / public holiday will be postponed to the
next working day.
3) The latest available information will published on the ICPAS PE website and will supercede all previous disseminated
information. Candidates are strongly encouraged to visit the ICPAS PE website for the latest available information.
4) Important announcements will be published on the ICPAS PE website and / or disseminated via email.
Candidates are required to provide a valid email address and to check the provided email account regularly.
In the event of changes of existing email address, candidates are required to log in to their individual candidate account in the
ICPAS PE website to perform an update
update.

ANNEX 1
Updated May 10
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
                             Tel 65 6597 5720 | Fax 65 67498879| Email profexam@icpas.org.sg | Webpage http://www.icpas.org.sg/pe.asp
12 Aljunied Road, #03-01, KH Plaza @ Aljunied, Singapore 389801 

  PE Transaction Form
Please read the “Terms and Conditions” carefully before you proceed to fill up the form.

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To update your particulars, please fill up the below.

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Contact Number: (Home) (Mobile) (Office) (Fax)

Email Address: ______________________________________________________________________________

<PART B> Transaction to perform


Please select the following transactions by ticking the box and proceed to the respective sections.

TYPES OF MODULES

FRD - Financial Reporting and Disclosure


CBS - Corporate and Business Strategy LCG - Company Law and Corporate Governance
AUD - Audit and Assurance ATX - Advanced Taxation

FOR OFFICIAL
Candidate Fee AMOUNT
Candidate fee is applicable for all candidates to maintain the candidature. USE

First year - for the term commencing in January - S$315


S$315
First year - for the term commencing in July - S$168
S$168
Annual Renewal (subsequent year) - S$315

Module Examination Registration* FOR OFFICIAL


Candidates are required to register for the respective module to qualify for its AMOUNT
USE
examination.
(i) Deferred Module(s) (ii) New Enrolment
Module Examination Registration fee is not required.

FRD FRD S$630 (1 module)


CBS CBS S$1,260 (2 modules)
AUD AUD S$1,890 (3 modules)
LCG LCG
ATX ATX

Module Script Review FOR OFFICIAL


The Module Script Review allows the candidates to gain a better understanding of AMOUNT
USE
their performance relative to the examination through a detailed report.
FRD
CBS S$63 (1 module)
AUD S$126 (2 modules)
LCG S$189 (3 modules)
ATX

# Please tick where appropriate.


* Please refer to the Important Dates and Information available on PE website for enrolment closing and examination dates. 
ANNEX 2
FOR OFFICIAL
Module Examination Deferment AMOUNT
Candidates may defer the same module to a later Module Examination date*. USE

FRD
CBS S$200 (1 module)
AUD S$400 (2 modules)
LCG S$600 (3 modules)
ATX

FOR OFFICIAL
Other Fees
USE

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submit the registration form via PE website at www.icpas.org.sg/pe.asp.

DECLARATION

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may vary or reverse any decision regarding registration made on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information
provided by me.

Signature: ___________________________________ Date: ___________________________

Please send the completed form and cheque payment to:

ICPAS Professional Examination, 12 Aljunied Road, #03-01, KH Plaza @ Aljunied, Singapore 389801

# Please tick where appropriate.


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ANNEX 2
ANNEX A

ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
                             Tel 65 6597 5720 | Fax 65 67498879| Email profexam@icpas.org.sg | Webpage http://www.icpas.org.sg/pe.asp
12 Aljunied Road, #03-01, KH Plaza @ Aljunied, Singapore 389801 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

(A) Candidate Fee


(i) The Annual candidate fee is applicable for all candidates to maintain their candidature.
nd
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(iii) Please kindly make payment for any outstanding candidate fees before proceeding with module and workshop enrolment.
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(B) Module Examination Registration


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(iv) The deferment fee paid is non-refundable and non-transferrable. This is also applicable if the candidate did not re-enroll for the
deferred module by the candidature expiry date.
(v) Candidate will not be able to cancel the module deferment request once it is processed. Request for change in deferred modules
(e.g. defer FRD module examination instead of CBS module examination) will not be considered. Hence, candidates are advised to
consider carefully before registering for the modules examination.
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(vii) Candidates are subject to the prevailing Module Examination Registration Terms & Conditions at point of re-registration for Module
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(iv) Important announcements will be published on the ICPAS PE website and / or disseminated via email. Candidates are required to
provide a valid email address and to check the provided email account regularly. In the event of changes of existing email address,
candidates are required to log in to their individual candidate account in the ICPAS PE website to perform an update.

(F) Fee
(i) All fees quoted are inclusive of GST. Our Institute GST registration number is M4-0001553-8.
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fees without prior notice.

# Please tick where appropriate.


* Please refer to the Important Dates and Information available on PE website for enrolment closing and examination dates. 
ANNEX 2
ICPAS Professional Examination

PROJECT SUBMISSION FORM

Kindly attached this form with the CBS project (word doc or PDF) and
email to profexam@icpas.org.sg by the due date and time.

CANDIDATE NO(S):

MODULE CODE: CBS

MODULE TITLE: CORPORATE AND BUSINESS STRATEGY

ASSIGNMENT TITLE:

DATE DUE: 5 NOVEMBER 2010 Friday 5:00pm

CANDIDATE(S) SIGNATURE:

ANNEX 3
 
 
 
 
  Module: Corporate & Business
 
 
 
Strategy (CBS)
 
 
 
 
Trainer: Mr Clive Choo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Clive has more than 20 years of working experience in Business Development, Sales &
 
  Marketing, and Corporate Training. He previously held senior managerial positions for
  large Japanese and European MNCs, with extensive experiences in the Asian Pacific
  business environment. Clive has successfully managed large businesses in this region,
 
  working closely with direct sales force as well as distribution channels.
 
  His areas of expertise include business strategies, managing direct sales force,
 
 
distribution channels and establishing dealers’ network. Clive has been consulted by
  both for-profit and non-profit organizations in the areas of business planning and
  strategies. Besides providing consultancy work, Clive conducts Corporate Training for
 
 
various listed companies. He has delivered seminars and courses for many working
  professionals and established organizations.
 
 
 
Clive is a Lecturer with Nanyang Business School (NBS), Nanyang Technological
  University (NTU) in the Strategy, Management and Organization Division where he
  teaches Strategic Management in the final-year of the Business and Accounting degree
 
 
programme. Also, he is pursuing PhD in Management.
 
  Other than his passion in academic and business consulting work, Clive serves in
 
 
various capacities in Sports and societal work. He is currently serving as a Council
  Member for NTU Sports Council. He is active in promoting community sports as a
  Grassroot leader. Clive is also a workshop facilitator volunteer in REACH Family
 
 
Services Centre, an organization under the Ministry of Community Development,
  Youth and Sports.
   

ANNEX 4
 
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION

MAY 2010

CORPORATE AND BUSINESS STRATEGY (CBS)

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES

1. The time allowed for this examination paper is 3 hours.

2. This examination paper has a total of FOURTEEN (14) pages (including this
instruction sheet) comprising the following:
i. Structured Questions - FOUR (4) questions (1 page).
ii. Case – “Caffeine Satisfaction: Rivalry Among the Coffee Shops” (12 pages)
– this has been distributed to candidates prior to examination.

3. Answer ALL FOUR (4) questions.

4. The number of marks allocated is shown at the end of each question.

5. All answers must be written in the answer booklet.

6. Begin your answer to each question on a separate page of the answer book.

7. Answers will be graded for content and appropriate presentation.

8. All answers must be handwritten.

9. Write legibly in ink.

ANNEX 5
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
______________________________________________________________________
All questions are based on the case “Caffeine Satisfaction: Rivalry Among the Coffee
Shops”.

Question 1

How attractive is the Coffee Retailing Industry?


(30 marks)

Question 2

(i) How does the strategy of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts differ?
(20 marks)

(ii) Does Krispy Kreme pose a threat to either?


(5 marks)

Question 3

Identify Starbuck's Strengths and Capabilities. How sustainable are Starbucks'


competitive advantages? Please elaborate.
(30 marks)

Question 4

What recommendations would you have for Allied Domecq (The parent company of
Dunkin Donuts) if they wanted to compete with the major coffee chains (e.g. Starbucks,
Seattle’s Best) head on in the specialty coffee business?
(15 marks)

- END OF PAPER -

- 2-
ANNEX 5
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION

CORPORATE AND BUSINESS STRATEGY (CBS)

MAY 2010 EXAM PAPER SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Question 1

Defining the relevant market as one for specialty coffee beverages is too narrow. Defining it as a
market for beverages may be too broad. Starting with a definition of the industry as “Retailing
coffee beverages (coffee shops),” then we can proceed to analyze the industry using the five + 1
forces model:

a) Barriers to entry: Low to medium


ƒ While setting up chains require heavy investment in stores or building a franchising
system, individual coffee shops require much less investment, and are frequently seen
in many towns. Location in high traffic areas is important.
(5 marks)

b) Intensity of rivalry: High


ƒ Product differentiation is strong for consumers with specific product knowledge, but
most consumers lack that kind of specific knowledge. Exit costs are low to medium,
and scale economies are limited. Competitors offer a range of products along with
coffee and also differentiate on that basis. There are also many competitors. There is
an increased focus on price competition. It is easy for competitors to watch each
other’s moves.
(5 marks)

c) Power of substitutes: High


ƒ In regard to consumer products, there is substitution on the demand side. It is safe to
assume that customers do no easily substitute between coffees and carbonated and/or
fruit beverages. However, they may be more willing to substitute between specialty
coffee and generic coffee that is available in other fast food chains such as
McDonalds. Substitutes include convenience stores (standalone or attached to gas
stations), restaurant, department stores, and vending machines. The other issue is
whether the market is national, or is composed of smaller regional markets. The
yardstick of substitutability can again be used here. It is not very likely that a
consumer seeking a quality cup of coffee is willing to travel ten miles to get to one,
but may settle for what he or she can purchase at a neighboring store.
(5 marks)

d) Bargaining power of buyers: low-Medium


ƒ Low switching costs, multiple options available (and the number of options is on the
increase), falling consumption in the United States increase buyers’ bargaining
power. Demand is not concentrated, and it is a small value item. However, buyers do
not bargain on price and do not buy in bulk.
(5 marks)

e) Bargaining power of suppliers: low


ƒ Coffee production has been outstripping consumption. Production is owned by
distributors (e.g. Starbucks), thereby eliminating supplier’s bargaining power, or
major buyers approach producers directly eliminating middlemen. There is an

-2-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

oversupply on the market. Product differentiation is low. Coffee chains are large
(much larger than the farms they buy from) and buy in large quantities.
(5 marks)

f) At this stage, we can introduce two other forces:


ƒ The first is the power of stakeholders, which is weak in this industry (e.g. local
governments /or agencies are to enforce health standards).

ƒ The second is the power of complementors. While there may not be a complementor
industry to coffee shops, we may consider the complementary products to coffee
beverages (e.g. whole beans in packets, coffee-related equipment, merchandised
items) as an influence on strategies followed in the industry. The complementors also
influence substitutability and thus their power or influence can be rated a high.

There will be max 5 points for mentioning stakeholder or complementors.


(5 marks)

On the basis of the above, the overall conclusion would be that the industry is moderately
attractive.

Question 2(i)

The contrast of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts is revealing. Although both Starbucks and Dunkin’
Donuts sell coffee beverages, their focus, segmentation and basis for differentiation are different.
Differentiation often extends beyond the products and covers everything that influences the way
a consumer derives value. Thus a knowledgeable staff, who can talk about the product, and the
design of the store (which encourage people to linger or provide them with product quickly) are
all part of the differentiation strategy.

Starbucks sees itself as primarily a coffee shop, selling high quality coffee beverages (regular,
latter, espresso, and the) to discerning consumers. Thus, it offers a wide range of flavors, and
types of coffee beverages, with some supplementary products such as pastries, cookies and
biscuits, books and CDS. They wish to create an image of a professional and upscale lifestyle.

Dunkin’ Donuts is designed for the “average Joe”. Coffee accounts for only about 50% of sales
of Dunkin’ Donuts. Although it supplies good quality coffee which has its own following, it is
also in the business of selling bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries like doughnuts, and so on in
addition to coffee. The firm is also innovative in coming up with new products and variations on
existing products. While it does not innovate, it adapts quite well.

-3-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1 point should be awarded for each relevant difference.


Additional points should be awarded for elaboration (up to a maximum of 2 points per
category discussed – listed below)

Category Starbucks Dunkin’ Donuts


Store philosophy Leisure, lifestyle, specialty Convenience, everyday
drinks routines
Product focus Coffee beverages, beans Coffee beverages, beans,
doughnuts, and bagels
Store ownership Mostly company-owned Mostly franchised
Store ambience Upscale design, Internet Basic furniture, easy access
Connection
Service orientation Store staff knowledgeable Speed of service, designed to
about coffee, customers spend handle high traffic volume
time on the premise
Store location Clustering of stores to saturate Location aims coverage and
the market locally avoids cannibalization
Rivals Tully’s Coffee, Seattle best, Krispy Kreme
Caribou Coffee, ect.

While the above suggests several differences in products and differentiation strategies between
the two, there is a significant segment of the public that would consider them as comparable
options when thinking of a cup of coffee. Hence, in their actions, the two firms also reveal a keen
awareness that they also compete for the same type of customer. Starbucks has introduced a
prepaid card so customers in a hurry can use the card and save the time involved in paying for
their purchase. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand, recognize that some discerning customers
want variations on the delivery of their favorite beverages – hence, it has introduced latte and
espresso, but has automated part of the preparation so that its stores can keep lines moving fast.
These areas of convergence are where its rivalries are the sharpest.
(20 marks)

Question 2(ii)

The expansion of Kripsy Kreme offers a greater challenge to Dunkin Donuts rather than
Starbucks because of the similarity of their formats. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are not direct
rivals.
(5 marks)

Question 3

Marks to be given – 1 mark per point identified (up to 2 marks if the point is elaborated
further) – maximum marks for this section: 18 marks

Strengths & Capabilities (12 Identified)


ƒ Large scale of operations to gain economies of scale and scope.
-4-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

ƒ Strong brand recognition for the quality of its coffee.

ƒ Strong partnerships with well known brand names such as United Airlines, Barnes &
Noble.

ƒ Strong related diversification and partnerships with Dreyers (selling Starbuck’s ice
Cream), Pepsico (bottled Frappacinno) and Kraft (Distribute grounded and whole
Starbucks coffee beans)

ƒ Human resources (believes in hiring smart people– experts in various content areas and
experienced middle management from related organizations such as Taco Bell, Wendy’s
and Blockbuster).

ƒ Effective and extensive use of technology (– experts in various content areas and
experienced middle management from related organizations such as Taco Bell, Wendy’s
and Blockbuster) .

ƒ Efforts made to build other systems to facilitate growth

ƒ Funding sources (Venture Capitalist provision of funds for growth)

ƒ Strong policies to treat employee well, even going back to purchasing coffee ethically
(under a fair trade program)

ƒ In-house team of architects, real estate personnel and construction managers to find the
right locations and create the right structure.

ƒ A systematic process of structured sequential of expansion (setting up a logistical and


managerial base/hub coupled with store clustering) was used to reduce location
competition and facilitate further expansion within an area.

ƒ Geographic diversity leading to a global brand name

Marks given for showing the sustainability of Starbuck’s competitive advantage:


ƒ 2 marks if they use a relevant framework such as VRINE, or base it on the 5 traits
mentioned in the text (to determine sustainability) – The 5 traits being: Durability,
Imitability, Transparency, Transferability, Replicability.

ƒ 2 marks given if they elaborate on a specific logic that will impact / influence
sustainability (e.g. tacit knowledge, the logic behind VRINE or the 5 traits
mentioned in Wheelen and Hunger)

ƒ 1 more mark if they integrate the logic behind sustainability with the framework.

ƒ For each core strength identified, and elaborated upon, a maximum of 5 marks per

-5-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

strength deemed as sustainable can be given. The maximum marks for this section
would be 20 marks (i.e. up to 3 strengths well elaborated upon to show sustainability
or a combination of marks given for the use of a framework and the logic, together
with elaboration of strengths)

*Note that the total marks for the question will still be capped at 30.
Example of a sustainable competitive advantage using the framework by Wheelen and Hunger:

Strong partnerships with known players such as United Airlines, Barnes & Noble, Pepsico,
Kraft, etc.
a) Durability - The resources required to develop and maintain meaningful relationships
with key partners is something that takes time to be developed and maintained. The fact
that Starbucks have managed to secure and maintain good working relationships with key
players shows durability.

b) Imitability – These processes are difficult replicate by competitors. It requires tacit


knowledge, a wide range of contacts, and processes which most coffee places will not
have. As such, it is difficult to imitate.

c) Transparency – The processes that govern this strength/capability is very opaque and
competitors are not able to observe how Starbucks formed these partnerships. As such, it
is difficult for them to understand how to go about and erode this advantage.

d) Transferability – Competitors might be able to replicate this somewhat by forming their


own partnerships with other relevant players. However, each partnership will be
inherently different and so there can never be total transferability. This helps ensure some
degree of sustainability. A credible challange is possible, albeit very difficult.

e) Replicability – Since the routines which govern a successful partnership is difficult to


ascertain and the resources which Starbucks use are tact in nature, it is difficult to attempt
direct replication by using similar resources and capabilities.

All 5 points support the notion that the strength of strong partnerships has a decent degree of
sustainability.

Other points which can be argued as sustainable to an extent include:


ƒ Branding and globalization combined (i.e. a strong global brand)

ƒ Human resources and processes supporting employee functions

ƒ Scale and the use of technologies and systems to support growth and scale
(30 marks)

Question 4

The idea here is for candidates to leverage off their knowledge of corporate strategy, while

-6-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION
Corporate and Business Strategy – May 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

making use of the case information.

Potential recommendations include:


ƒ Leveraging off their ownership of Dunkin Donut as a means to secure better contracts for
coffee, develop training programs for employees, etc (elaboration on this possible up to a
maximum of 5 marks)
ƒ Setting up another company (Dunkin Donut has too much connotation to Donuts and
does not bring out the focus on coffee) while leveraging off their ownership on Dunkin
Donuts (max 2 more marks in addition to the max of 5 marks for the previous point) –
elaboration on the setting up of a new company possible (e.g. details on the set up, etc –
another 3 more marks max)

ƒ Rebranding Dunkin Donut (or have a spin-off) to focus on coffee – details of the
rebranding can include aspects regarding employee training on coffee and the brewing
process, setting up specific elements of the supply chain, etc (2 marks for the
recommendation, up to 3 more marks for elaboration to a maximum of 5 marks total)

ƒ Introduction of a new specialty range of coffee within Dunkin Donut and this can be
pushed towards its other businesses (e.g. under the quick service restaurants) where it is
seen as being of premium quality (2 marks for the suggestion)

Basically, there are many possibility of making meaningful recommendations. The base
guideline for grading is 1 mark for a possible recommendation, 2 marks for a meaningful
recommendation, additional marks for elaboration, up to a maximum of 5 marks for the
recommendation and elaboration, subjected to the question total limit of 15 marks.
(15 marks)

-7-

ANNEX 6
ICPAS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION

CORPORATE & BUSINESS STRATEGY (CBS)

MAY 2010 EXAMINER’S REPORT

ANNEX 7
Question 1
Students generally did not seem to have a problem identifying a relevant
framework (e.g. Porter’s forces model) to use in order to determine the
attractiveness of the coffee retailing industry. However, a number did not do an in-
depth analysis, and their rationalization lacked a holistic assessment of the
attractiveness of the coffee retailing industry. A few students also did not use any
framework and this further reduced the comprehensiveness of their analysis.

Question 2
Most students did a comparison and were able to tease out differences between the
strategy used by Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. However, a lot of them failed to
elaborate on they key characteristics of the differences. In addition, most students
had problems determining the rationale to explain if Krispy Kreme would be a
threat to either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.

Question 3
Students were generally able to identify the strengths and capabilities of
Starbucks. However, elaboration of how and why these were strengths and
capabilities were lacking at times. In addition, only the minority used a framework
such as VRIN to determine the sustainability of Starbuck's competitive
advantages.

Question 4
Some students were able to formulate an approach and fundamental logic towards
their recommendations. However, the bulk of students had problems in developing
a basis for their recommendations.

2|Page

ANNEX 7