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Each question should be 150 words.

Question 1.

Before answering this discussion question you will need to conduct a review of the Walmart Stores, Inc. Case on pages 487-501 of the course textbook and any additional resources necessary to conduct an industry analysis on retail sales industry.



Before writing your response, using the textbook and knowledge you have about the Walmart, complete their industry analysis.

  • Identifying the principal resources and capabilities
  • Assessing their strategic importance in terms of the two major determinants of imitability: transferability and replicability
  • Assessing the strength of the company in these resources and capabilities relative to competitors
  • Linking the resource analysis to the strategy being pursued
  • Assessing the sustainability of the firm’s competitive advantage



Once you have conducted your analysis provide your research and also answer the following questions:

  • Which should be the primary basis for formulating strategy: the external market (customer requirements in particular) or the firm’s resources and capabilities. Please explain.
  • In which market segments, are Walmart’s capabilities and strengths likely to be most effective? What are the implications for how the firm should compete?

Question 2

This week we will discuss competitive advantages, both differentiation and cost advantage. Please be sure to review the following three cases in order to support this discussion:

  1. AirAsia: The World’s Lowest Cost Airline pp. 532-542 Course Text: R. M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases, 9th edn., Wiley, 2016
  2. Starbucks Corporation, May 2015 pp. 442-459 Course Text: R. M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases, 9th edn., Wiley, 2016
  3. Harley-Davidson Inc., May 2015 pp. 502-514 Course Text: R. M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases, 9th edn., Wiley, 2016



Once you have reviewed the cases answer the following questions:

  • Which corporations exhibited a Differentiation Advantage? Which corporations exhibited a Cost Advantage? Be sure to provide examples for each corporation illustrating the type of competitive advantage.
  • In relation to "cost drivers" What are some of the factors which cause one firm’s unit costs to differ from those of its competitors? Please provide examples.
  • Which competitive advantage is more sustainable Cost Advantage or Differentiation Advantage? Please explain.


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