Memorandum. Memorandum. Assignment Instructions


No outside sources are allowed.


Assignment 1


Read these 3 articles:

  1. Michaels, “Airbus and Boeing Duke It Out to Win Lucrative Iberia Deal,” Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2003
  2. “A Hulking Beast Joins the Dogfight,” the Economist, January 18, 2005.
  3. Mutzabaugh, “United Airlines Unviels its First 787 Dreamliner,” USA Today, August 3, 2012


Prepare a 1-page memorandum (550 words) that answers question #2. In order to answer this question, you will have to incorporate your conclusions about the Porter Five Forces Analysis in the industry (question #1). Choose and discuss (at least) one issue that the 787 analysis addresses and (at least) one that it does not.


Question #1 – Will we use the Five Forces framework to understand the threats to (and sources of) profit in the Very Large Aircraft industry. Note that the Wall Street Journal article on the Iberia purchase focuses on the issue of price competition. Remember to look for the fundamental economic issues that lead to price competition, not just descriptions of the price competition itself.


Question #2 – With the results of your Five Forces analysis in mind, consider Boeing’s decision to introduce the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. What issues raised by your Five Forces analysis do you think the 787 will address? What will it not address?


Assignment 2


Read the Enterprise Case in the uploaded additional file.


Prepare a 1-page memorandum (550 words) that answers question #3. In order to answer this question, you will have to identify the important components of Enterprise’s strategy that Question #2 asked you to think about. Choose and discuss (at least) one characteristic of Enterprise’s target hires and describe how it is complementary with some other aspect of Enterprise’s successful strategy.


Question #1 – All car rental companies provide customers with the temporary use of a car. How do Enterprise’s original target customers in the local or “home-city” market—and their needs—differ from the target customers of their major competitors such as Hertz and Avis? How does Enterprise match (or not) the needs of their local market customers?

Question #2 – What choices of resources, capabilities and activities has Enterprise made in order to provide car rentals with the attributes you described in Question #1? In other words, what makes their particular car rental “product” possible and profitable?

Question #3 – Enterprise’s HR strategy contributes significantly to the firm’s success and consistent profitability. Why are people so important to Enterprise? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this HR strategy? Are you troubled by Enterprise’s high employee turnover rate, given their substantial upfront investment in employee recruiting and training?


Assignment 3


Read the Disney Case in the uploaded additional file.


Prepare a 1-page memorandum (550 Words) that answers question #3. You will need to draw on your answers to questions #1 and 2 in order to answer this.


Question #1 – What were the sources of competitive advantage for the original Disney company (meaning, the company as created by Walt Disney)? In what ways did the company during this time period create (and capture the value of) synergies among different business lines?


Question #2 – Evaluate Eisner’s strategic decisions during the early part of his tenure (1984-1993). What do you think were the most important decisions he made for the profitability of Disney, both immediately and long-term? (Hint: Pay attention to the information in Exhibits 1, 2, and 4-8 in answering this question.)


Question #3 – Do you think the aim of Eisner’s early decisions was more to reinforce Disney’s original competitive advantage or to restore the company’s profitability by grounding it in a new basis for competitive advantage?


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