The purpose of this exam is twofold. First, I want you to articulate what you have learned on the topics that we have covered in the first few chapters of our text. Second, and more importantly, I want you to gain a little more in-depth knowledge on some of these topics—especially the ones that you consider most relevant to you and your professional career. Therefore, while I expect that this exam should take you quit a bit of time, it should not only assess your knowledge but also contribute to it.
For the topic presented in the questions below, I want you to research the topic from the academic literature (i.e., the library data bases), summarize some of the latest (last 2-3 years) findings, and explain how the current literature resonates with how things are and should be done at your current organization. Each question will have a weight of 25% of the exam grade. I will grade your answers using the following criteria: 1) the extent to which you define all relevant terminology, 2) the extensiveness of your literature review, and 3) how you relate the findings in the literature with your organization. You can think of this exam as four literature reviews and insights as to how this literature resonates with the way things are done at your firm.
Please make sure that you write this in your own words (no not extensively use direct citations). Hint: You might want to search for the most current review articles or meta-analysis studies on a particular topic as these tend to offer a broad and deep analysis on past research and findings (both theoretical and empirical).
1) The first chapter sets the stage as to the importance of strategic planning for organizational success. Please search the extant academic literature (only peer reviewed academic/scientific articles) and perform a literature review on the current state of our knowledge about the impact of strategic planning on organizational performance. In other words, where does the current (last three years) scientific body of knowledge stand concerning the relationship between strategic planning and organizational performance? For example, through what mechanisms does strategic planning influence performance, to what extent does it impact performance….?
2) During the class discussion on social responsibility and ethics, we will debate at length two broad perspectives regarding the relative importance of stakeholders for firms in general. To gain a more pragmatic and current appreciation of the state of our knowledge concerning the impact of social responsible organizational endeavors, please search the extant academic literature (only peer reviewed academic/scientific articles) and perform a literature review on the current state of our knowledge about the impact of social responsibility on organizational performance. In other words, where does the current (last three years) scientific body of knowledge stand concerning the relationship between social responsibility efforts and organizational performance? For example, through what mechanisms does social responsibility influence performance, to what extent does it impact performance….?
3) Chapter 4 discusses the importance of environmental scanning and industry analysis as an important initial step in developing a strategic plan. Please select a specific industry and perform a literature review on how three external environmental variables (i.e., economy, demographics, culture) and three industry specific variables (think of Porters five forces) influence organizational performance within that industry. For example, you may select the high tech, hospitality or pharmaceutical industry and explain how performance is influenced by environmental and industry factors. The purpose of this question is for you to become aware of the exogenous factors and the extent that those factors impact firms within an industry.
4) Chapter 5 shifts our attention from the external environment to the internal environment. Corporate culture has been cited in the popular press and in academic literature as being an important element in achieving a competitive advantage. Please select 3 orientations (i.e., marketing, entrepreneurial, customer) and explain how and to what extent these orientations influence organizational performance. Also don’t forget to tie-in how your findings from this literature review resonate with your experience.
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