Today, the primary means of information collection is through the Internet. Try the following exercise.
1. Form into teams of around three to five people. Select a well-known publicly-owned company to research. Inform the instructor of your choice.
2. Assign each person a separate task. One task might be to find the latest financial statements. Another would be to learn as much as possible about its top management and board of directors. Yet another might be to identify its business model, or its key competitors. Conduct research on the company using the Internet only.
a. Apply the resource-based view of the firm to determine core and distinctive competencies of your selected company.
b. Use the VRIO framework and the value chain to assess the company’s competitive advantage, and how it can be sustained.
c. Understand the company’s business model, and how it could be imitated.
d. Assess the company’s corporate culture, and how it might affect a proposed strategy.
e. Scan functional resources to determine their fit with the company strategy.
f. What is your prediction about the future of this firm if it continues on its current path?
3. Would you buy a stock in this company? Assume that your team has U.S. $25,000 to invest. Allocate the money among the four or five primary competitors in this industry. List the companies, the number of shares purchased of each, the cost of each share as of a given date, and the total cost for each purchase assuming a typical commission used by an Internet broker, such as E-Trade or Scottrade.