- Why must managers be aware of a firm’s external
- What is gathering and analyzing competitive
intelligence, and why is it important for firms to
engage in it?
- Discuss and describe the six elements of the external
- Select one of these elements and describe some
changes relating to it in an industry that interests you.
- Describe how the five forces can be used to determine
the average expected profitability in an industry.
- What are some of the limitations (or caveats) in using
- Explain how the general environment and industry
environment are highly related. How can such
interrelationships affect the profitability of a firm or
- Explain the concept of strategic groups. What are the
APPLICATION QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
- Imagine yourself as the CEO of a large firm in an
industry in which you are interested. Please (1)
identify major trends in the general environment, (2)
analyze their impact on the firm, and (3) identify
major sources of information to monitor these trends.
(Use Internet and library resources.)
- Analyze movements across the strategic groups in the
U.S. retail industry. How do these movements within
this industry change the nature of competition?
- What are the major trends in the general environment
that have impacted the U.S. pharmaceutical industry?
- Go to the Internet and look up www.kroger.com. What
are some of the five forces driving industry competition
that are affecting the profitability of this firm?
- What are some of the legal and ethical issues involved
in collecting competitor intelligence in the following
a. Hotel A sends an employee posing as a potential
client to Hotel B to find out who Hotel B’s major
corporate customers are.
b. A firm hires an MBA student to collect
information directly from a competitor while
claiming the information is for a course project.
c. A firm advertises a nonexistent position and
interviews a rival’s employees with the intention
of obtaining competitor information.
- What are some of the ethical implications that arise
when a firm tries to exploit its power over a supplier?