5 BUS4098 Discussion Questions

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The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

Simulations and Multifunctional Teams

Simulations are used as learning tools for replicating competitive environments. The course simulation requires you to perform as a member of a multifunctional team.

Discuss the following topics about performing in a multifunctional team:

  • What is the purpose of multifunctional teams in business decision making?
  • How should decisions be made to obtain the benefits of multifunctional teams?
  • What can simulations do that case studies cannot?
  • Why are simulations used so widely in so many professions?

Week 2 Discussion

Contains unread posts

The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

Accrual Accounting System

The accrual accounting system is a standard system used by most businesses and is also the system used in the simulation. In relation to the rules of accrual accounting, consider the following questions:

  • How does the accrual accounting system impact the financial statements and the standing positions of firms in the simulation such that these may not reflect the true, long-term sustainability of the firms’ strategies?
  • What is being “unaccounted” for?
  • What contrasts are there between what is shown in cash flow statements and the need for firms to borrow at high rates and firms’ income statements?

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Week 3 Discussion

The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

Address one of the following bullet points and its sub points:

  • Although strategic groups tend to be rigid, they are by no means fixed. One of the things managers have to be aware of is which firms may change group membership. With the results from Year 13 of the simulation, consider the following:
    • Why do firms tend to cluster into strategic groups?
    • Would it not make sense for firms to spread out across strategic spaces? Why or why not? Explain your rationale.
    • How likely is it that firms competing in other strategic groups will adapt their strategy to compete directly against you? Explain your rationale.
    • Which firms currently not in your strategic group would be most likely to try and enter your group? Why?
  • Firms also sell in the Internet markets and have to coordinate the Internet marketing strategy with the branded marketing strategy.
    • How do firms that are successful in the Internet market balance their sales there with those in retail markets?
    • Is there any evidence showing firms that emphasize the Internet channel are being hurt in the retail channel and vice versa? Support your answer with examples.
    • A firm has to market an athletic shoe product line that it orders from its factories. Which decisions on the Production and Labor screens are critical to coordinate with the firm’s marketing strategy? Why?

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Week 4 Discussion

The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

Complete the following discussions:

  • Inventory management is critical to success in the simulation. With respect to your team, discuss how you decide to balance the risk of stockouts against the costs of maintaining excess inventory.
  • Every week, you have to consider the cash flow of your firm. This short-term financial consideration often creates serious difficulties for firms in the footwear industry. Looking at your industry to date, consider the following questions:
    • Why do firms have trouble managing their cash flow? What events cause a cash flow crisis in the simulation?
    • How does a short-term cash flow crisis impact a firm’s competitive strategy?
    • How does a short-term cash flow crisis spiral into bankruptcy for some firms?

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Week 5 Discussion

The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

During this simulation, you have been making tactical and strategic decisions. Keeping these in mind, address the following questions:

  • What are the differences and similarities between the tactical and strategic decisions you have made?
  • How often did you need to change your strategic decisions? How often did you change your tactical decisions?
  • What dangers does a company face if it focuses only on tactical decisions?

Also, review the overall process by which your team worked together over the course of the simulation and answer the following questions:

  • How did your decision-making process evolve over the sequence of decisions?
  • Why did you make the changes that you did in the decision-making process, or why did you not change?
  • Did your decision-making process result in better decisions as the simulation progressed, and why do you think it did or did not?

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Week 5 Discussion: Team Presentation

From the due date assigned through the end of the week complete the team presentation as described below under team expectations and post by the end of the week.

By the due date assigned post individual investments.

Individual Investment Expectations

Each of the investors has $1,000,000 to invest. They will spend all, part, or none of their stake in your company based on your presentation—not necessarily on how you performed in the past, but on your potential to earn them money in the future. You cannot invest in your own company.

As an investor, you must post your “purchases” by the due date assigned along with the reasons why you are investing in the firm or firms you have chosen. You do not have to spend all your money but you must post an explanation as to why in this Discussion Area. Your instructor will add up the investments for each team and post them on the end of the week.

Team Expectations

Company Presentation to Potential Shareholders

By the due date assigned your company is to prepare a presentation for potential shareholders (the shareholders are the individual students in the class who are not managers in your company) and post the presentation to the Discussion Area.

Note: Presentations are best done using Microsoft PowerPoint but can also be done using Microsoft Word. Twenty percent will be deducted if your post is not a formal Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word presentation.

The company presentation is a brief review of the financial performance of your company during the time your team ran the company plus projections for the performance of your company for three years in the future (just like your three-year plans).

Start with the following charts:

  • Trends in the company’s total annual revenues
  • Trends in the company’s annual earnings per share (EPS)
  • Trends in the company’s annual return on equity (ROE) investment
  • Trends in the company’s annual credit rating
  • Trends in the company’s year-end stock price
  • Trends in the company’s annual image rating

As you know, when you launch the Decisions and Reports program, there is a performance summary containing bar graphs showing your company’s performance on each of the above six performance indicators. To create charts showing your company’s trends for these six indicators, simply click the Copy to Clipboard button under each of the bar graphs for the final year of the simulation and paste the graph on a Microsoft PowerPoint slide (or you can paste the six bar graphs in a Microsoft Word document).

Additionally, include the following slides:

  • A slide describing the strategic vision of the company.
  • One or more slides providing a discussion of a comparison of the firm’s stock price, EPS, ROE, price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to a real-world sneaker company (Nike, Adidas, and so on).
  • A set of slides detailing the lessons learned about crafting a winning strategy and what the managers of a company should or should not do for the company to be financially and competitively successful in a head-to-head battle against shrewdly managed rival companies. Include the following information in this set of slides:
    • What was your team’s initial strategy, and how did it evolve over the course of the simulation?
    • What major change in the strategic approach would you make if you were able to replay the simulation? Why?
    • What information did you not have that you thought was the biggest limitation on your ability to make better decisions? Why?
    • What are the three biggest takeaways for your firm from this simulation? Why are they important?
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