Building resource strengths and organizational capabilities- ch 11

Building Resource Strengths and Organizational Capabilities
Your Results:
The  answer for each question is indicated by a  .

 

1    
Implementing and executing strategy
    A)
can be considered successful if the organization achieves its strategic and financial objectives and makes good progress toward realizing its long-term strategic vision.
    B)
is something that pretty much has to be done by the chief executive officer and the heads of major organizational units (business divisions, functional departments, and key operating units).
    C)
is widely considered to be harder and more managerially demanding than crafting strategy because it takes longer, involves more people, and utilizes more organizational resources.
    D)
is a job for the whole management team, not a few senior managers, because every manager needs to be concerned with what has to be done in his/her area of authority to implement the company’s strategy successfully.
    E)
Both A and D.
    
Feedback:

 
2    
Early steps that management needs to take in implementing and executing the chosen strategy include
    A)
deciding what types of core competencies to build and which value chain activities to outsource.
    B)
deciding how much authority to centralize at the top and how much to delegate down the line to middle and lower-level managers and key personnel.
    C)
communicating the case for organizational change so clearly and persuasively to organizational members that a determined commitment takes hold throughout the organization to put the strategy into place, make it work, and meet performance targets.
    D)
having every manager think through the answer to “What does my area have to do to implement its part of the strategic plan and what should I do to get these things accomplished?”
    E)
Both C and D should come early in the process of implementing and executing the chosen strategy.
    
Feedback:

 
3    
Which of the following is not one of the principal managerial components associated with implementing and executing strategy?
    A)
Building an organization with the competencies, capabilities, and resource strengths needed to carry out the strategy successfully.
    B)
Ensuring that policies and procedures facilitate rather than impede strategy execution
    C)
Reducing the layers of management to a bare minimum and making sure employees are empowered
    D)
Adopting best practices and pushing for continuous improvement in how value chain activities are performed
    E)
Shaping the work environment and corporate culture in ways that support good strategy execution
    
Feedback:

 
4    
The three organization-building actions most relevant to competent strategy execution are
    A)
delegating authority to down-the-line managers and doing a good job of empowering employees, deciding which value chain activities to outsource, and choosing an organization chart that is suited to the strategy.
    B)
persuasively communicating the case for organizational change to managers and employees, using organization structures based on empowered teams, and selecting the right people to staff the organization.
    C)
staffing the organization, building core competitive and competitive capabilities, and structuring the organization and work effort.
    D)
de-layering management hierarchies, deciding which competencies and capabilities to build, and deciding which value chain activities to outsource.
    E)
avoiding business process fragmentation, deciding which value chain activities to outsource, and allocating sufficient time and resources to employee training.
    
Feedback:

 
5    
Building core competencies and strong organizational capabilities in performing one or more strategy-critical activities in the value chain
    A)
is an ongoing exercise because of the imperatives of keeping competencies and capabilities in step with ongoing strategy and market changes; as a consequence, it is appropriate to view a company as a bundle of evolving competencies and capabilities.
    B)
is best and most cost-effectively accomplished by hiring a cadre of people with the right talent and expertise, putting them together in a single work group, and then teaming the work group with key strategic allies/partners to mesh the skills, expertise, and competencies needed to perform the desired capabilities with some proficiency.
    C)
requires spending more money on developing competence-related capabilities than competitors.
    D)
is primarily the responsibility of the employee training department and first-line supervisors as opposed to being the organization-building responsibility of senior managers.
    E)
is basically a team-building exercise and should be the first thing managers do in establishing an organizational structure.
    
Feedback:

 
6    
Core competencies and competitive capabilities
    A)
usually emerge from the specialized skills or work efforts of a single department.
    B)
tend to be bundles of skills and know-how growing out of the combined efforts of different work groups and departments performing complementary activities at different value chain locations.
    C)
can be leveraged into competitive advantage by concentrating enough talent, resources, and management attention on deepening and strengthening them to outmatch the capabilities that rivals have.
    D)
are hard to translate into sustainable competitive advantage because they can usually be copied or matched by rivals within less than a year, provided they exert concerted effort.
    E)
Both B and C.
    
Feedback:

 
7    
Employee training and retraining
    A)
tend to be strategically important in organizational efforts to create organizational capabilities but are less useful in trying to help teach employees skills-based competencies.
    B)
are often a valuable and necessary strategy-implementing and strategy-executing element but cannot be relied upon to help teach empowered employees how to do their jobs better.
    C)
come into play primarily when core business processes are fragmented across several functional areas and departments and training is needed to teach employees how to overcome the fragmentation through better cross-department collaboration and cooperation.
    D)
merit high-priority on management’s strategy-implementing agenda when a firm revises its strategy in ways that call for new skills or different know-how, operating methods, and competitive capabilities and also become a key activity in businesses where technical know-how is changing so rapidly that a company loses its ability to compete unless its skilled people have cutting-edge knowledge and expertise.
    E)
becomes particularly significant in a company’s organization-building effort if it opts to decentralize decision-making and empower its employees-empowered employees have to be trained to make the  decisions.
    
Feedback:

 
8 UNANSWERED   
Which one the following is not among the practices that companies often use to develop their knowledge base and build intellectual capital?
    A)
Spending considerable time counseling employees on the new things they need to learn and giving them lots of feedback on how well they are doing in their present assignment
    B)
Giving employees challenging, interesting, and skills-stretching assignments
    C)
Rotating employees through jobs that not only have great content but that also span functional and geographic boundaries
    D)
Screening and evaluating job applicants carefully and hiring only those deemed to have suitable skill sets, energy, initiative, aptitudes and judgment
    E)
Fostering a stimulating and engaging work environment and encouraging employees to be creative and innovative
    

 
9    
Which one of the following is not part of structuring the work effort in ways that promote successful strategy execution?
    A)
Deciding which value chain activities ought to be outsourced, if any
    B)
Providing for both internal cross-unit coordination and needed collaboration with suppliers and strategic allies
    C)
Determining how much authority to centralize at the top and how much to delegate to down-the-line managers and employees
    D)
Forming a special department or work unit to lead the company’s effort to capture strategic and resource fits
    E)
Making internally performed strategy-critical value chain activities the main building blocks of the organization structure
    
Feedback:

 
10    
Organizational arrangements that lead to pieces of strategically-relevant activities or processes being scattered across many departments
    A)
typically signal the need to empower employees so as to enforce stronger cooperation and collaboration across departments.
    B)
can lengthen completion time, are problematic because no one person or department oversees the whole activity/process and is accountable for good results, and frequently drive up overhead costs (because coordinating the fragmented pieces can soak up hours of effort on the parts of many people).
    C)
are usually best ed by combining all the various departments into a single operation that handles all the fragmented pieces.
    D)
occurs most frequently in decentralized organizations with many different kinds of core competencies, a big assortment of competitive capabilities, and empowered employees.
    E)
generally signal that management has strayed too far from strict adherence to a centralized, hierarchical organization structure.
    
Feedback:

 
11    
In determining the degrees of authority and independence to give each organizational unit,
    A)
it is better to rely more on the principle of centralized authority than to risk pushing decision-making authority down to lower-level managers and employees (who may be ill-equipped or unwilling to take on added responsibility).
    B)
experience proves that a centralized vertical structure is superior to a decentralized horizontal structure.
    C)
the recent trend is for companies to shift away from authoritarian, multilayered hierarchical structures to flatter, more decentralized structures that stress employee empowerment.
    D)
centralizing authority in a few senior executives is the most reliable way to shorten decision times and respond most quickly and decisively to events as they unfold (the greater the strategic need for short decision response times, the more that authority needs to be centralized).
    E)
it is increasingly clear that new ideas, creative thinking, and innovation thrive in a centralized organizational structure where employees are empowered as compared to a decentralized command-and-control organizational structure.
    
Feedback:

 
12    
Business process reengineering is a tool for
    A)
rapidly building core competencies and competitive capabilities.
    B)
figuring out how best to downsize an organization when it is overstaffed.
    C)
deciding which value chain activities to outsource and which ones to perform in-house.
    D)
reducing the fragmentation of strategy-critical business processes across traditional functional departments.
    E)
reorganizing the company and implementing a more strategy-supportive organizational chart.
    
Feedback:

 
13    
Outsourcing activities not critical to effective strategy execution
    A)
can result in a flatter organizational structure, downsized internal bureaucracies, and increased competitive responsiveness, plus it makes strategic sense whenever outsiders can perform them at lower cost and/or with higher value-added than the buyer company can perform them internally.
    B)
works best where minimal interdepartmental cooperation is needed
    C)
is sometimes useful but can have the disadvantage of “hollowing out” a company, leaving it without some of the skills and capabilities needed to be a master of its own destiny.
    D)
makes it easier to structure the organization into efficiently-sized departments and work groups but has the disadvantage of hindering the development of managers with cross-functional experience.
    E)
Both C and D
    
Feedback:

 
14    
In a highly centralized organizational structure,
    A)
top executives retain authority over most strategic and operating decisions and wield tight control over the amount of discretionary decision-making authority they delegate to business-unit heads, department heads, and the managers of key operating units.
    B)
top management operates on the belief that detailed procedures and tight controls over the leeway given to subordinate managers and employees is the most reliable way to keep the daily execution of strategy on track.
    C)
tight control from the top makes it easy to fix accountability when things do not go well.
    D)
there is an assumption that most company personnel have neither the time nor the inclination to direct and properly control they work they are performing and that they lack the knowledge and judgment to make wise decisions about how best to do their work.
    E)
All of these.
    
Feedback:

 
15    
The basic tenets of a decentralized organizational structure include the thesis that
    A)
lower-level managers and personnel seldom have the expertise and wisdom to decide what is the wisest and best course of action; hence, tight management control from the top makes the most sense.
    B)
a company that draws on the combined intellectual capital of all its people can outperform a command-and-control company.
    C)
decision-making authority should be put in the hands of the people closest to and most familiar with the situation, and these people should be trained to exercise good judgment.
    D)
most company personnel have neither the time nor the inclination to direct and properly control they work they are performing.
    E)
Both B and C.
    
Feedback:

 
16    
The challenge of organizing and managing a work environment where employees are empowered to make decisions in their area of responsibility is
    A)
how to keep from fragmenting authority and responsibility for strategy-critical activities.
    B)
how to avoid high levels of stress and anxiety among empowered employees (since they are held accountable for their decisions). those individuals that are given greater levels of authority and responsibility motivate and challenge those senior managers who no longer have a heavy decision-making load.
    C)
how to exercise control over the actions and decisions of empowered employees so that the business is not put at risk while trying to capture the benefits of empowerment.
    D)
how to identify and weed out those empowered employees who prove to be poor decision-makers.
    E)
keeping lower-level managers and employees properly trained in how to make good decisions.
    
Feedback:

 
17    
Which of the following is not a means of flattening organizational hierarchies and removing middle management layers?
    A)
Greater use of strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships
    B)
Outsourcing value chain activities
    C)
Decentralizing decision-making
    D)
Centralizing decision-making
    E)
Both A and D.
    
Feedback:

 
18    
Which one of the following is not part of the task of matching organization structure to strategy?
    A)
Performing all strategy-critical value-chain activities internally so that they can be tightly controlled
    B)
Deciding how much authority to centralize at the top and how much to delegate to down-the-line managers and employees
    C)
Identifying strategy-critical activities
    D)
Making internally-performed strategy-critical activities value chain activities the main building blocks in the organization structure
    E)
Providing for cross-unit coordination and collaboration to build/strengthen internal competencies and capabilities
    
Feedback:

 
19    
Forming alliances or strategic partnerships with outsiders to develop or gain access to competitively valuable capabilities
    A)
entails high risk in the case of strategy-critical value chain activities and should be avoided if at all possible.
    B)
can lower a company’s costs, reduce its managerial bureaucracy, speed decision-making, and heighten a company’s strategic focus-in general, partnering makes strategic sense when outsiders can add to a company’s arsenal of capabilities and contribute materially to better strategy execution.
    C)
is best accomplished using a decentralized organization structure organized around functional departments.
    D)
is typically more costly and time-consuming than building the capability internally.
    E)
is okay for remedying resource deficiencies but not for building resource strengths.
    
Feedback:

 
20    
Which of the following inaccurately characterizes efforts to organize a company’s work effort in a manner that facilitates good strategy execution?
    A)
There is no perfect or ideal organizational structure.
    B)
Organizational capabilities emerge from a process of consciously knitting together the efforts of different work groups, departments, and external allies, not from how the boxes on a company’s organizational chart are arranged.
    C)
Strategy implementers should pick a basic design for the company’s organization chart and then modify and supplement it as needed to fit the company’s particular circumstances.
    D)
The organizational structures of the future are likely to feature (1) a gradual shift away from decentralized structures and empowerment back to functional specialization and tight centralized control, (2) greater use of outsourcing, (3) fewer strategic partnerships with external allies, and (4) less scattering of geographic units.
    E)
Building organizational bridges with external allies can be accomplished by appointing “relationship managers” and giving them responsibility for making particular strategic partnerships or alliances generate the intended benefits.
    
Feedback:

 

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