i have an assignment and its about 4 questions about China’s Airlines

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mini_cases_and_questions_2018__1_.doc

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MGMT 495
SUMMER 2018
QUESTIONS FOR MINI-CASES
1)
Title:
SpaceX Aims to Launch At Fast Pace
Reporter:Andy PasztorDate:10/06/2017Print Page:B3Link:http://www.wsj.com/articles/spacex-seeksambitious-launch-tempo-surpassing-current-rivals-1507209179Discipline:EntrepreneurshipReviewed
By:Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State UniversityTopics:Competitive AdvantageKeywords:Competitive
Advantage
Summary:SpaceX is preparing to launch rockets every two weeks on average through the end of 2018.
This is a faster launch schedule than achieved by any other space company or government around the
globe. The quick schedule underscores Elon Musk’s strategy of relying on reusability and other
efficiencies to cut costs and ultimately dominate the space-transportation market. If SpaceX reaches its
goal, the company will account for approximately half of all orbital launches to occur on earth during
that time period. SpaceX started 15 years ago with a handful of employees, and now has about 5,000
people. Despite SpaceX’s accelerated launches, the latest projections fall short of targets prepared
about two years ago. Mr. Musk is renowned for setting highly ambitious goals as a way to spur on
employees.
Classroom Application:Ask your students what they think of SpaceX and Elon Musk. Discuss whether
setting highly ambitious goals is a good thing, and in general whether it is effective in spurring
employees to deliver high performance. Urge your students to go to YouTube, type SpaceX into the
search bar, and watch several SpaceX videos (most are of successful launches). The videos often show
SpaceX employees positively responding to successful liftoffs and recoveries.
Question 1:What are your general impressions of SpaceX and Elon Musk?
Question 2:In general, do you think it’s a good thing for a CEO to set highly ambitious goals for his/her
company? What are the potential downsides of setting highly ambitious goals?
Question 3:Go to YouTube and watch 2-3 SpaceX videos. Explain what you saw in the videos and what
you learned about the company by watching them.
1
2) Title:
‘Better Food, Better Service’: China’s Airlines Fly Past U.S. Rivals on Pacific
Routes
Reporter:
Trefor Moss
Date: 12/10/2016
Print Page:
B2
Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/better-food-better-service-chinas-airlines-fly-past-u-s-rivals-onpacific-routes-1481194946
Discipline:
Strategic Management
Reviewed By: Mark Lehrer, Suffolk University
Topics: Chinese Market, Competitive Tactics
Keywords:
Airline Industry, trans-Pacific flights, Sichuan Airlines
Summary:
Last year, Chinese airlines overtook their US counterparts in number of trans-Pacific
flights on offer. Now, they are piling on new routes at a much faster pace than ever before. While low
fuel prices and new fleets of fuel-efficient jets make it cheaper to fly long-haul, turning a profit on these
unproven routes might still take years. For example, Sichuan Airlines started flying between Vancouver
and Zhengzhou, a city 400 miles south of Beijing. The route might take 10 years to become profitable, a
spokesperson acknowledged.
Classroom Application: Here is a great example of a preemptive strategy to take market share away
from rivals. One industry expert characterizes the situation as a “land grab,” with China’s airlines
scrambling to secure new routes, even commercially shaky ones, in the hope they will become viable in
the future. This strategy is common in the airline industry, contributing to its low profitability.
Question 1:
Which competitive tactics are Chinese carriers using on trans-Pacific routes? How would
you label the basic strategy?
Question 2:
This strategy has pros and cons. What are the advantages of such long-term thinking?
Question 3:
What are the risks of the strategy? What kinds of things might cause this strategy to fail
miserably? What kinds of random events, for example, could cause a deep dip in the number of
passengers who fly across the Pacific?
Question 4:
Finally, does Donald Trump himself represents a certain risk to the strategy? Could his
presidency have an adverse effect on short-term and long-term flying patterns and passenger numbers?
2
3) Title:
Airbnb, Uber, Snap Aim to Show They’re More Than One Hot Product
Reporter:
Greg Bensinger
Date: 12/12/2016
Print Page:
B1
Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/airbnb-uber-snap-aim-to-show-theyre-more-than-one-hotproduct-1481457601
Discipline:
Strategic Management
Reviewed By: Mark Lehrer, Suffolk University
Topics: Diversification, Growth Strategies
Keywords:
Airbnb, Uber, Growth
Summary:
Tech startups with sky-high valuations are creating side businesses to demonstrate
growth potential. The key is to establish a long-term growth story that shows the company can move
beyond its central business. For example, Airbnb claims it is no longer just a home-sharing site, but a
“holistic travel” agency, a one-stop shop offering excursions, restaurant reservations and eventually
flights and car rentals.
Classroom Application: Even booming high-tech companies engage in significant diversification for the
sake of long-term growth. They face stakeholder pressures, namely investors concerned about the
prospect of stagnant sales growth.
Question 1:
How many of you have used Airbnb? What makes Airbnb a successful company? What
are its core capabilities?
Question 2:
How could these capabilities be leveraged in new business areas? What are the natural
areas for Airbnb to expand into?
Question 3:
At the end of the day, does it honestly make sense for Airbnb to diversify? Is Airbnb the
kind of firm that will perform better if it remains focused on its original segment? Or is this a firm that
should indeed expand into adjacent business areas?
Question 4:
What pressures are there on companies like Airbnb to diversify? Do you think these are
constructive pressures or do you think these are pressures that are fundamentally unhealthy for the
development of a firm?
3
4) Title: How GM Helped Power the Fastest-Growing Auto Maker in China
Reporter:Trefor MossDate:12/04/2017Print Page:B1Link:http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-gmssales-rise-in-china-so-do-its-risks-1512302403Discipline:Strategic ManagementReviewed
By:Mark Lehrer, Suffolk UniversityTopics:Strategic AlliancesKeywords:General Motors, China,
Baojun brand, SAIC Motor
Summary:As Chinese cars improve in quality and challenge foreign auto makers’ dominance in
China, the strategy of General Motors has been to build a local car of its own. Its Baojun brand,
built through a joint venture in Liuzhou with local partner SAIC Motor, has been the fastestgrowing auto line in China over the last five years. However, GM owns a non-controlling 44% of
the joint venture, an arrangement some see as risky as the US company shares American
technology with its Chinese partner. Other foreign auto makers reportedly “are consistently
taken aback by GM’s apparently generous technology sharing.”
Classroom Application:The article raises the issue of how much technology it is wise to share
with foreign partners. Technological catch-up by China arguably strengthens the GM case. Once
derided as cheap and shoddy, Chinese cars have improved dramatically over the past few years.
Thus, GM China President Matt Tsien says that devoting technology and expertise to build a
Chinese brand was the only way to make Baojun a first-rate car maker.
Question 1:General Motors is taking an unusual approach to its strategic alliance in China. What
is that approach and what is unusual about it?
Question 2:General Motors is selling more and more cars in China, so why is this approach
being criticized? Why does this approach make other Western car makers somewhat uneasy?
Question 3:How does General Motors counter this criticism? Which other arguments could you
make in favor of General Motors’ decision beyond those mentioned in the article?
Question 4:Overall, has General Motors made the right strategic choice? Or has General Motors
sacrificed the long term to the short term? Justify your answer!
4

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