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strategy Nov 30, 2019

Value chain analysis is a tool that helps businesses understand the activities that go into creating a product or service, and how these activities can be managed to create the greatest value. This analysis is typically divided into two main categories: primary activities, which are directly related to the creation, production, and distribution of a product or service, and support activities, which provide the infrastructure and support needed to enable primary activities.

In the case of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, value chain analysis can be used to understand the various activities and processes involved in its business model. Some examples of primary activities for Alibaba might include:

  1.  Inbound logistics: Alibaba sources products from a variety of suppliers around the world, and manages the logistics of importing and storing these products in its warehouses.
  2.  Operations: Alibaba operates an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, and provides...
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strategy Oct 31, 2019

The resource-based view (RBV) is a perspective that suggests that the resources and capabilities of a firm are the primary drivers of its success. This view emphasises the importance of managing and leveraging a firm's internal resources, such as its human capital, intellectual property, and physical assets, to create a competitive advantage.


In the lithium mining industry, the RBV suggests that firms that are able to effectively manage and leverage their resources and capabilities will be better positioned to succeed in a competitive market. Some examples of resources and capabilities that might be important for a lithium mining firm could include:

  1.  Access to high-quality lithium deposits: Lithium is a key ingredient in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, portable electronics, and other high-tech applications. Firms that have access to high-quality lithium deposits, or that are able to extract lithium at a lower cost, may have a competitive advantage in...
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strategy Sep 30, 2019

Apple is a well-known technology company that has been able to consistently maintain a competitive advantage over other tech companies in a number of ways. Some examples of strategic and tactical actions that Apple has taken to retain this advantage include:

  1.  Innovation: Apple has a strong track record of introducing new, innovative products and services that are well-received by consumers. This includes the introduction of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and various other devices that have helped to define new product categories and set new standards in the tech industry.
  2.  Marketing: Apple has a strong brand and is known for its effective marketing campaigns, which help to create a strong emotional connection with consumers and differentiate its products from competitors.
  3.  Ecosystem: Apple has created an ecosystem of products and services that work together seamlessly, which can create a sense of lock-in for consumers. This includes its hardware products, such as iPhones...
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strategy Aug 31, 2019

Nucor is a steel and steel products manufacturer that has consistently been recognised as one of the most successful and innovative companies in its industry. To operate more strategically and effectively, Nucor could apply a balanced scorecard approach, which involves tracking and assessing progress against a set of strategic objectives using a range of financial and non-financial measures. The balanced scorecard typically focuses on four main areas: financial performance, customer perspective, internal processes, and learning and growth.

To illustrate how Nucor could apply a balanced scorecard approach to its business, we can consider the following business unit examples:

  1.  Financial performance: Nucor's steel mills business unit could track metrics such as revenue, profit margin, and return on investment to understand the financial performance of the unit and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, the business unit might set a target to increase profit margin...
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strategy Jul 31, 2019

The five horizons model is a framework for analysing the different goals and priorities of a country's foreign policy.

It was developed by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and consists of five horizons, or levels of engagement:

horizon one is the "near abroad," which includes countries that are close neighbours or have a direct impact on the country's security and prosperity;

horizon two is the "extended neighbourhood," which includes countries that are further away but still play a significant role in the country's foreign policy;

horizon three is the "regional architecture," which includes regional organisations and alliances;

horizon four is the "global commons," which refers to global issues that affect all countries, such as climate change and international trade; and

horizon five is the "global governance," which refers to the rules and institutions that shape international relations.

Examples of each horizon in Chinese foreign policy could include:


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strategy Jun 30, 2019

The Lean Start-up model is a methodology for developing and launching new products or services that emphasises rapid iteration and customer feedback. To apply this model to Uber, the company could start by identifying a problem or opportunity in the transportation market, such as a lack of convenient and affordable options for getting around in urban areas.

Next, they would create a minimum viable product (MVP) that addresses this problem or opportunity, such as a simple app that connects riders with drivers in their area.

The Lean Startup does not evolve by having a fixed end in mind. It starts small.

Uber's MVP would be tested with a small group of customers, who would provide feedback on its usability, features, and overall value.

Based on this feedback, Uber would iterate on the MVP, adding new features and making improvements based on customer feedback, until they had a fully-featured product that meets the needs of their target market. As they continue to grow and get...

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