Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 1,3, University of Applied Sciences Berlin (Master of Business Administration), course: Strategic Management, language: English, abstract: If you take the words of a former General Electrics (GE) employee to define strategy, William E. Rothschild said, “What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this you can call strategy.” This statement not only highlights the need for strategy but also the need to bring strategy to fruition. Companies should not only devise strategy but also successfully clarify and execute their strategies. This means that a company has to be able to measure its strategic success. Unfortunately, company strategy is not always transparent or understood in the same way by a company’s key players. Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist who wrote the military treatise The Art of War, praised this aspect for strategies in war as follows: “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved”. The Strategy Map created by Kaplan and Norton is to facilitate corporate strategy development and execution providing a missing link between strategy formulation and strategy implementation by identifying the key internal processes that drive strategic success and by aligning investment in people, technology and organizational capital for the greatest impact. The first part of the assignment describes in detail the theoretical framework of Strategy Maps. The second part uses the theory to describe and visualize the Strategy Map of General Electric Medical Systems (GEMS) – the world’s leading manufacturer of diagnostic imaging equipment. This practical approach is based on the publication of Tarun Khanna about GEMS in the Harvard Business School Press in February 2003. In conclusion, there is a brief up-to-date situation on GEMS after 2002 and some statements to the authors’ experience in creating the GEMS Strategy Map.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 1,3, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Strategic Management, language: English, abstract: In the increasingly competitive and changing fashion retail market the two European fashion retailers Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and ZARA have explored the market possibilities in different ways: Both companies have chosen unique and very opposite business models and growth strategies which had enabled them to expand quickly and successfully beyond its own borders. Whereas H&M focuses on outsourcing production, ZARA relies on controlling every step of the value chain. Whereas H&M follows an aggressive marketing and PR strategy, ZARA does virtually no advertising. But both companies known for their “fast fashion” dress fashionable people around the globe and compete for the title of the largest clothing retailer in Europe in a league of their own. Thus, two main questions arise: What makes both companies so successful and what are the fundamental differences and similarities in their business models? The following assignments starts with presenting the background and development of both companies and giving a short overview about the clothing retail industry. Chapter two explores the business models of H&M and ZARA in terms of the whole value chain. Based chapter two, the assignment ends with summarizing both business strategies to provide a reasonable answer to the key question: If you would have 100 euro to invest, in which company would you invest in: H&M or ZARA?
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Operations Research, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: International Entrepreneurship, language: English, abstract: 1971, when the ‘Starbucks experience’ begun, Starbucks was just a small coffee shop in Seattle, USA. Today, Starbucks, named after the first mate in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, is the world’s leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee with millions of customer visits per week at stores in North America, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Thus,within not more than three decades, Starbucks’ offering of distinctive blend of quality coffee, neighbourly camaraderie and a unique coffeehouse culture combined with an aggressive growth strategy helped it to become the most famous specialty coffee shop chain in the world and a global company: In 2007, it run more than 15,000 stores worldwide by employing more than 172,000 people. But in the same year 2007 - despite revenues of USD 9.4 billion - Starbucks had to report a first-ever decline in same-store sales. As early as the mid-1990s, analysts had been predicting that Starbucks could not sustain such strong growth, especially in same-store sales. For more than 10 years, Starbucks had consistently beaten these expectations. By 2007, however, Starbucks unprecedented size, combined with the uncertainty of the economy,had placed the company in a new competitive game. As a result, in early 2008, Starbucks announced a series of initiatives to cope with the new challenges and to prepare for a successful future – all of them based on renewing the focus on customer experience and slowing down expansion. But what constitutes the Starbucks strategy that has been that successful in the past? What were the main drives of the considerably growth of the Starbucks business? And is the Starbucks strategy flexible enough to adapt to the current challenging market conditions? After the introduction of the Starbucks business in terms of vision, mission and history, this assignment focuses on answering these questions by analysing Starbucks’ strategy and its key drivers of success in chapter 2. This analysis is done with the model of the ‘strategic diamond’ that is introduced in the beginning of chapter 2 as working basis. The assignment ends a comprehensive analysis of the challenges Starbucks is facing today and how it prepares to successful handle them.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Economic Policy, grade: 1,7, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: International Business Strategy, language: English, abstract: Over the past 30 years, there were two main vehicles through which companies have globalised: international strategic alliances and cross-border Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As). Both vehicles are instruments used by companies to increase their global reach and competitiveness. In the new economy, alliances and M&As seem to be the normal way of doing business. Although strategic alliances and M&As are not a recent phenomena, their pace of growth and the variety of their forms has been increasing. When dealing with strategic alliances and M&As, four main questions arise: What are the drivers of strategic alliances and M&As? Which sources of success and failure offer these two growth vehicles? Are there specific determinants that are decisive in the process of establishing a strategic alliance or doing a merger or acquisition? And why do so many M&A fail? To answer these questions chapter 1 deals with the rationale for strategic alliances and M&As by outlining key points of the past development. Chapter two clarifies the different types of international alliances and their advantages and disadvantages. It also describes success criteria being important for forming strategic alliances by clarifying the major steps in analysing strategic alliances. To combine theory and praxis, chapter three ends with a short case study about the Renault-Nissan Alliance stating the key success factors. The chapter three is about cross-border M&As by focussing on their the two phases – the pre-acquisition phase and the post-acquisition phase. It describes how companies should decide, give value and negotiate the deal and underlines important managerial processes involved in the integration of the merged company. By analysing the reasons for M&A failures, this chapter underlines the importance of integration for the M&A deal. A short case study of an important acquisition in the banking sector completes chapter 3. Finally chapter 4 summarises the main results.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 1,3, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Marketing, language: English, abstract: Due to strong competition and a continuous market change, most companies engage in strategic planning today to become or stay competitive in the long run. Strategy is all-embracing. Strategy has to capture internal and external aspects, that means to comprise competencies and market opportunities. Strategy has to keep in view the own company, the customers and the competitors. The challenge is to create customer values and competitive advantages to assure benefits and growth. As a result, the starting point of every strategic decision demonstrates the recognition and the analysis of the company’s current situation containing a high variety of parameters. These parameters are generally defined by the company’s influence into internal and external parameters. However, the understanding of the company’s situation is only defined in absolute by analysing parameters and its bilateral dependencies. Therefore, the combination of the company’s internal factors and the external environmental circumstances presents the basis for the strategy development and the resulting organisational marketing goals and application of the marketing instruments. The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a company. It provides information that is helpful in matching the company’s resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which it operates. The resulting SWOT matrix contrasts the results of the internal analysis (strengths and weakness) and the external analysis (opportunities and threats) to define strategic fields of action. That application of a SWOT analysis is therefore instrumental in strategy formulation and selection.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Personnel and Organisation, grade: 1,3, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Human Resource Management, language: English, abstract: To meet business challenges today and tomorrow, companies must maximise the potential of their workforce while increasing efficiency. In a highly competitive business environment, companies can differentiate themselves through their employees. Employees understanding the business carry out operations, mitigate risk, and build strong brands. Today, there is much more concentration and focus on the strategic outcomes of human resource activity than ever before. The area of compensation is no exception. Compensation can be used to recruit and retain qualified employees, to increase or maintain morale / satisfaction, reward and encourage peak performance, achieve internal and external equity, reduce turnover and encourage company loyalty. As a result, pay-for-performance systems using variable pay components are becoming more and more popular to reward for exceptional job performance. There is far more interest in more closely linking the reward mechanisms to the achievement of corporate objectives. Performance pay as one component in the total employee compensation can be assessed based on individual or team contribution, on business unit results or a corporate profit or share price. It can be rewarded through traditional salary adjustments but also through variable pay techniques such as lump-sum bonuses or stock options. There are no standard schemes or rules on how and to what volume a company should integrate variable pay into its total compensation systems. It not only depends on what the company focuses on but also on the company’s employees, their attitude to work and to the company as a whole. But employers should have in mind that a compensation plan that fails to motivate employees can stagnate a company as fast as any other factor.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Economic Policy, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: General Economics, language: English, abstract: Oil prices are an important determinant of global economic performance. Crude Oil prices ranged between $2.50/bbl and $3.00/bbl from 1948 through the end of the 1960s. As of this day, the price for crude oil is $89.82/bbl. In general, spikes in oil prices are not unusual and are, to some extent, symptomatic of a gradual upward trend in daily oil price volatility. Volatile prices arise from supply and demand that are both highly inelastic in the short run, with the result that even small shocks can have large effects on price. But especially within the last few years, the oil price has continuously increased sharply – and to some extent unexpected. This recent sharp increase in the oil price prompts several questions: Why have oil prices risen? What is the impact on the global economy and on individual countries? How do oil importing countries cope with the higher prices? What are appropriate policy responses to stabilise the economy in face of high oil prices? And last but not least, what role does the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries really play? To begin with, there is no doubt that the recent increase in oil price is mainly demand driven, combined with historically low excess capacity and heightened concerns about supply disruptions. And even without macroeconomic knowledge, everyone is aware that higher oil prices affect the economy as a whole and all its market participants. In the following, this paper analyses in detail the current main oil price drivers, their economic consequences and the possible policy responses - always framed by the volatility and uncertainty that characterise the oil market.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Economic Policy, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Research Methods, language: English, abstract: On the 1st of January 2008, the latest anti-smoking law was introduced in eight German states – and Berlin was one of them. Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg and Hessen have introduced this law already in 2007 whereas the remaining five states will follow over this year. By restricting indoor smoking in public buildings, workplaces and in all restaurants and bars, the German government aims not only to protect non-smokers against the harmful effects of passive smoking but also to help smokers to give up. But from the economic point of view, especially the German restaurant industry complains that many businesses now witness lower profits and especially restaurants that are not in a position to have a separate smokers section are particularly hard hit. As a result, the latest smoking ban is still a heavily discussed topic, not only among German smokers but also among the whole German population. To get an impression whether this smoking ban really affects the restaurant behaviour, the authors of this assignment conducted a telephone survey among Berlin citizens. And the results are someway surprising. Chapter two clarifies the theoretical framework of developing and conducting telephone surveys by stating guidelines that have to be followed, describing the telephone survey process and mentioning general advantages and disadvantages of this primary research method. The main part of this assignment – chapter three – spotlights the whole research process on the basis of a practical example. Here, the telephone survey about the impact of the German anti-smoking law on the restaurant behaviour of the Berlin people is developed, conducted and evaluated. Finally, based on the own experiences of the authors, chapter four includes some errors that may occur within a telephone survey and adds experiences the researchers have made with the telephone survey method.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Investment and Finance, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Financial Management, language: English, abstract: In everything you do, or don’t do, there is a chance that something will happen that you didn’t count on. Risk is the potential for unexpected things to happen. Risk aversion is a common thing among almost all investors. Investors generally dislike uncertainty or risk and agree that a safe dollar is worth more than a risky one. Therefore, investors will have to be persuaded to take higher risk by the offer of higher returns. In this investment context, the additional compensation for taking on higher risk is a higher rate of return.Every investment has a risk element: The investor will always not be certainwhether the investment will be able to generate the required income. The degree of risk defers from industry to industry but also from company to company. It is not possible to eliminate the investment risk altogether but to reduce is. Nevertheless, often there remains a risky part. According to the degree of risk, the investor demands a corresponding rate of return that is, of course, higher than the rate of return of risk-free investments. Taking on a risk should be paid off. The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) is an economic model for valuing stocks, securities, derivatives and/or assets by relating risk and expected rate of return. CAPM is based on the idea that investors demand additional expected return if they are asked to accept additional risk.
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Personnel and Organisation, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, course: Human Resource Management , language: English, abstract: ‘Trust permits risk, which permits change, which permits growth.’ You know when you have trust; you know when you don’t have trust. Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time. In the business environment, trust is also warned, over time, through day-to-day actions making the right choices even in difficult situations. There is a human need to trust and respect the leaders into whose hands we deliver ourselves. Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, and employee motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work. When trust exists in a company or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve. A manager will not get top performance out of any employee who does not trust him. Without the employees' trust managers will not get that spark of creativity from them that is so important. Employees will not innovate that one little idea that could have kept a company ahead of its competitor. Yet, even in a company in which trust is a priority, things happen daily that can injure trust. Trust is the crucial ingredient of organisational effectiveness. Building it, maintaining it, and restoring it when it is damaged must be at the top of every manager’s agenda. Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; managers are trusted because of their way of being, not because of their polished exteriors or their expertly crafted communications. Gaining employees trust is about telling the truth, even when it is difficult, and being truthful, authentic. Of course, there are no fixed rules of how to gain trust from your employees. But there are some easy but important guidelines that help managers creating a business environment where trust has the chance to build and maintain.
Diplomarbeit aus dem Jahr 2005 im Fachbereich BWL - Allgemeines, Note: 1,0, Verwaltungs- und Wirtschaftsakademie, Berlin, 44 Quellen im Literaturverzeichnis, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Zahlreiche Studien machen deutlich, dass unsere Gesellschaft in absehbarer Zeit nicht nur zahlenmäßig kleiner wird, sondern auch insgesamt stark altert. Trotz des Wissens um diese demographische Entwicklung wird die Einstellung zu älteren Menschen weder von der Gesellschaft und insbesondere von den Unternehmen hinterfragt noch den sich vollziehenden Veränderungen angepasst. Obwohl viele Unternehmen mittlerweile vor dem Hintergrund gesättigter Märkte mit austauschbaren Produkten und Dienstleistungen erkannt haben, dass qualifizierte und motivierte Mitarbeiter das wichtigste Kapital in der betrieblichen Leistungserstellung darstellen, passen sie ihre jugendliche Personalpolitik nicht den sich verändernden demographischen Rahmenbedingungen an. Die Gründe hierfür sind verschieden, jedoch beruhen sie hauptsächlich auf dem vorherrschenden negativen Altersbild einer Gesellschaft, die alles daran setzt, die Zeichen des Alters zu verdecken oder aufzuhalten. Altersbedingte Veränderungen werden mit körperlichem und geistigem Abbau gleichgesetzt und grenzen ältere Menschen aus dem gesellschaftlichen und beruflichen Leben aus. Diese Sichtweise trägt nicht der Tatsache Rechnung, dass die älteren Menschen von heute, dank des medizinischen Fortschritts und der verringerten starken körperlichen Belastung, weitaus länger vitaler und leistungsfähiger sind als jede Generation vor ihr. Durch die zunehmende Ausgrenzung älterer Arbeitnehmer auf dem Arbeitsmarkt bleiben viele Potenziale älterer Mitarbeiter ungenutzt und deren über Jahre angesammelte wertvolle Wissen und Erfahrung geht den Unternehmen verloren. Das gesellschaftliche Verhalten gegenüber älteren Menschen ist nicht nur unter ethischen Gesichtspunkten äußerst fragwürdig, sondern führt auch unter betriebswirtschaftlichen Aspekten zu der Frage, ob die Unternehmen es sich auch zukünftig leisten können, auf ältere Arbeitnehmer zu verzichten oder ob es sinnvoller ist, in Zusammenarbeit mit den älteren Mitarbeitern den künftigen demographischen Herausforderungen zu begegnen.