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MBA Strategic Management (Full-time) April Multiple Choice Examination: Sample Questions 2010

Here is a sample question designed to help you understand both the format and content of the Strategic Management April Exam. It contains sample questions from past Exams, and instructions you should familiarise yourself with. If you download further copies from Blackboard, the answer sheet is a separate pdf file. They are of a similar format and level of difficulty to the real Exam and are drawn from three sources: lecture materials, syndicates and essential reading (the key articles (e.g. How competitive Forces Shape Strategy by Porter) and preliminaries to each torment in the text book. The final section are scenario questions. This exam is specially designed to examine your breadth of knowledge and engagement in the module. It is worth 70% of your total module marks. This contrasts with the integrative case study, which will test the depth of your knowledge through applied questions and contributes the remaining 30% of marks for this module. Why not attempt to answer these questions under exam conditions towards the end of your revision? It helps to have a dress rehearsal before the real event. Use a HB pencil in the real exam to make sure the computer marking system can read your answers. Also make sure you write your names and student number correctly in the appropriate boxes and then shade in the relevant boxes underneath the student number. To answer the questions, fill in boxes 1-40 on the answer sheet. Then look at the answers at the end of this paper to see how you have done. You will get 3 marks for a right answer and 0 marks for a wrong answer. So, theres a maximum 120 marks, communicated to you after marking as a percentage score (i.e. out of 100). If you're not sure, mark the 'Don't Know' box (letter E) for that question and score 0. Theres no negative marking, but experience shows you won't do well by simply guessing. Good luck!

Lecture Based Questions! 1 Which of the following does NOT appear in the McKinsey 7-S model? a. b. c. d. e. Strategy Knowledge Superordinate goals Style Don't know

(Hey thats the seven S model.!!!!!! And no they are not ALL going to be QUITE that easy!!!....................) Answer .. b) Knowledge 2. What is a distinctive competence? a. b. c. d. e An internal capability that a company performs better than other internal capabilities An internal capability central to a companys strategy, competitiveness and profitability A competitively valuable capability that a company performs better than its rivals A bundle of resources Don't know

Answer c distinctive competence means they are the very best at it .. answer a defines just a competence and b is a core competence 3. The realised strategy of a successful firm is: a. b. c. d. e. The intended strategy as long as managers have a unified purpose Always the deliberate strategy of a strong executive body A blending of deliberate and emergent elements of a strategy A failure if parts of the intended strategy are unrealised Don't know

Answer is C .. 4. "Logical incrementalism" is based on which of the following principles? a. b. Managers have a vision of the future organisation but must move towards this new position in a direct and timely manner Managers generally tend to have power to enforce organisational adherence to plans as they were originally conceived but sometimes lack the foresight to accurately predict the future

c. d. e.

A strong but flexible core business is built whilst continually experimenting with "side bet" ventures "Side bet" ventures are generally not acceptable because they can dilute the organisation's resource base. Don't know

The answer is C . Logical incrementalism is about adaptive changes and learning to obtain the final objective b and c are pretty much the opposite. 5. Those few activities in which it is extremely important for an organisation to achieve good results in order to ensure successful competitive performance in a given industry are known as: a. b. c. d. e. Industry norms Strategic groups Activity-based cost accounting Critical success factors Don't know

Answer d. Critical success factors 6. Strategic management is different from other types of management because it: a. b. c. d. e. Involves only senior management in the organisation Co-ordinates and integrates various functions Entails making decisions only over five years or more A, b and c Don't know

Answer is B often people think that a and c are also the difference so answer with d, but in fact the statement a and c are too restrictive. It doesnt just involve long term decision or senior management. 7. In the Resource Based View of the firm, competitive advantage is achieved through: a. b. c. d. e. Developing combinations of unique resources and core competencies Viewing resources as ubiquitous Securing a niche that nobody else occupies Cheating to cross the finish line first Don't know

Answer is a . B and d are pretty obviously wrong. Securing a niche is more positional .

8.

Which of the following is NOT a disadvantage of SWOT analysis? a. b. c. d. e. It is often used descriptively rather than analytically It can reflect an organisational mindset It can be considered reductionist because of having only four categories There is a tendency to concentrate on Weaknesses and Threats and ignore/downgrade Strengths and Opportunities Don't know

Answer is d . A question based more on last years session focusing on SWOTbut hopefully made you think a bit. But ignoring S and O really cant be correct?!?!? 9. Conglomerates can be best categorised as: a. b. c. d. e. Vertically integrated businesses Joint ventures Horizontally diversified businesses Focused corporations Don't know

Answer C you can dismiss b and d here without much difficulty as they are CLEARLY wrong .. Conglomerate could be vertically integrated so that might make you question your answer..when faced with two correct possibilities READ THE QUESTION . can be best categorised its the word best that should make you pick C .. generally conglomerates have diverse and somewhat unrelated business units.

10.

Which is considered a force in Porter's 'Five Forces Model'? a. b. c. d. e. Increased deregulation in an industry The threat of government intervention Rivalry among competing firms Recent technological innovation Don't know

Answer c 11. The threat of new entrants is high when there are: a. b. Low economies of scale High capital requirements

c. d. e.

High switching costs High product differentiation Don't know

Answer A .. threat of new entrants is high therefore entry barriers are low ..economies of scale is an entry barrier. 12. The bargaining power of suppliers is enhanced under the following market condition: a. b. c. d. e. No threat of forward integration Low differentiation of the suppliers' products Greater availability of substitute products The number of suppliers is decreasing Don't know

Answer D if you didnt see this read the possible answers carefully .. 13. The correct order for the hierarchy of mission and objectives pyramid, from the top downwards is: a. b. c. d. e. Mission, objectives, tactics, strategies Strategies, mission, tactics, objectives Mission, objectives, tactics, action plans Action plans, tactics, strategies, mission Dont know

Answer ..C . D is the wrong way around, b has strategies above mission.. the nearest wrong answer is a where tactic come above strategies 14. Which of the following statements best describes a strategic vision? a.

Visions should be expressed through actions, but never through words b. A vision becomes more tangible when it is expressed in the form of a mission statement c. Visions narrowly define the desired future position of an organisation d. Since visions are from the top of the organisation, they should never be sold to organisational members e. Dont know Answer b . You should be able to dismiss c and d as being al most the opposite of missions. It should take too much thought to also see that a is flawed as well.

15.

Which of the following characteristics does NOT describe Gunner Hedlunds N-Form of organisational structure? a. b. c. d. e. Combination of knowledge, rather than its division Temporary constellations of people Lower level personnel important Hierarchical communication Don't know

Answer .. d what out here the NOT is critical. 16. According to Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, there are three conceptual layers in organisational cultures. If most people in a firm say that the company should not trade with countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea because they do not honour human rights, which layer is this most likely to represent? a. b. c. d. e. Values Beliefs Taken-for-granted assumptions Internalisations Don't know

Answer b .. you can dismiss d and e fairly easily. You might think a but values are generally rather Vague.. in fact if you read the J&S article youll see trading with specific countries is mentioned as an example of beliefs

Syndicate Based You DIDNT do the European Brewing Case, instead you had PetTrak but here are some examples of the types of questions you might have got you can find the European Brewing Case on page 113 of the text .16 In the European Brewing Industry syndicate case study, what is the most likely reason for Bass selling their brewing interests to Interbrew? a. b. c. d. e. Answer is C 17 In the European Brewing Industry syndicate case study, it was found that: a. b. c. d. e Answer B You have done the Virgin Case so here are a couple of examples from that case 18. According to your Virgin Group Syndicate case, which of the following common characteristics best describe Virgin companies? a. b. c. d. e. Entities dependent on a Group parent company for finance and strategic planning Financially independent operating companies ring fenced from other parts of the group Legal partnerships with equity wholly owned by partners State-owned and managed Don't know European beer consumption has expanded in most European countries during the 1990s European beer consumption has stabilised or contracted in most European countries during the 1990s European beer consumption has increased in the larger countries of Northern Europe, but declined in Southern Europe during the 1990s All lecturers are alcoholics Don't know Because the UK has a beer production deficit Intensifying competition means that an expanded portfolio of brands is necessary A and b Organic growth is accelerating in the European beer market Don't know

Answer b hopefully not too difficult that one 19. The business domain of Virgin Atlantic could be best characterised as: a. b. c. d. e. Long-haul Short-haul Medium-haul Domestic Don't know

Answer a .. Readings Based Questions 19. According to Porter (1979) entry barriers are a b c d e Economies of Scale Capital requirements Access to distribution channels a,b and c Don't know

Answer d . All of those are entry barriers 20 Which of these is NOT one of Mintzbergs ten schools of strategy a b c d e Artistic Design Culture Cognitive Dont know

Answer a .. 21 Which one of these is not a grouping in Mintzbergs article generic strategies a b c d e Elaborating the core business Expanding the core business Extending the core business Locating the core business Dont know

Answer ..b ..check the article. 22 An organisation characterised by strong strategic apex, direct supervision and both horizontal and vertical centralisation is referred to as

a b c d e

A machine organisation A professional organisation A innovative adhocracy An entrepreneurial organisation Dont know

Answer d . Strong strategic apex immediately points to entrepreneurial add the others and its the only option. 23 In the Knowledge Creating Company, Nonaka considers a powerful tool for converting tacit to explicit knowledge is a b c d e Rich pictures Metaphors Instructions Isshikawa fishbone diagrams Dont know

Answer b ..metaphors . Scenario Based Questions. 24. If Cardiff Business School suddenly decided that it was in the fulfilling personal dreams industry rather than in the management education market, this could be viewed as an example of: a. b. c. d. e. Product-based business domain Market-based business domain Technology-based business domain Business-based market domain Don't know

Answer b . 25. No Leak is a Hong-Kong company manufacturing waterproof linen for hospital beds. The General Manager, Mrs. Hi Lee Stressed is overburdened with routine matters such as allocating holiday leave, ordering stock and dealing with expenses. She has tried to divide managerial workload, but finds coordinating departments difficult. Which of the following organisational structures is this an example of? a b c Conglomerate Divisionalisation Functional specialisation

d e

Entrepreneurial Don't know

Answer .c cant really see a or b being possible. Dividing managerial workload and department coordination point to answer c not d 26. Big Boy Limited is a company that manufactures condoms. Using mission analysis, which of the following businesses could Big Boy NOT be said to be in? a b c d e The family planning industry The leisure industry The energy industry The escort agency industry Don't know

Answer ..c .. watch out for the NOT . Lot of people answer a here because it is so obviously is the business, but the other ones are too. 27. A large fabricator of building components purchased a steel company to provide raw materials for its production process. This is an example of: a. b. c. d. e. Backward integration Economies of scale Forward integration Product differentiation Don't know

Answer a . Very straight forward. Only mistake is to get backward and forward mixed up 28. When an independent group of suppliers, such as farmers, gather to form a co-operative to sell their products to buyers directly, replacing their former distributor, this is an example of: a. b. c. d. e. Threat of entry Backward integration Forward integration Threat of substitute products Don't know

Answer c . Similar to above. 29. Monica Lewinsky PLC is a company manufacturing kneeling pads, whitewash and dry-cleaning detergent in three separate divisions. Recently, there has been a massive increase in demand for trouser-

cleaning detergent and the relevant division has to decide whether to invest in a major new production plant. What level of strategy making would such a decision occur at? a. b. c. d. e. Enterprise level Functional level Business level Corporate level Don't know

Answer b .. this is many a capacity increase decision. Its not about new markets or products or something higher level etc 30. If yesterday you intended to be on time for this exam, but today fell down a really big hole on the way to the exam hall and spent the time in hospital instead, in strategic terms what could your hospital stay be best described as? a. b. c. d. e. An unfortunate accident An incremental strategy A realised strategy An intended strategy Don't know

Answer C a realised strategy