Example Answers to Questions on Strategies and Discrimination

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Read as many textbooks, articles and websites as possible. This will make it easier for you to act in the management environment and will enrich your experience with Management Practice I!

1.1) Compile a list of at least five (5) sources (excluding your prescribed textbook and the study guide) that you have obtained and read regarding management. (5)

Hurwitz, J., Bloor, R., Kaufman, M. & Halper, F. 2009. Service Management for Dummies. New Jersey: Wiley Publishing.

Drucker, P.F. 1986. Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. New York: Truman Talley Books.

Kemp, K. 2009. Talent Mapping: A way to identify talent. Management Today, 25(10): 38-39

McNeilly, M. 1996. Sun Tzu and the Art of Business. New York: Oxford University Press

Zeller, D. 2009. Successful Time management for Dummies. New Jersey: Wiley Publishing

1.2) Explain how each source contributed to your understanding of management. (10)


1) Management for Dummies points out that due to improvements in technology, and the new 'Digital Age' in which we live, all business now involve an element of Service Management, not just the tradition service industries of the past (Hurwitz, J. et al. 2009)

2) Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices by Peter Drucker shows that, although guided by economic forces, it is the management of an organisation that decides what the organisation does, not the economy.

3) The article written by Kim Kemp highlighted that Talent Mapping of existing employee's might be more beneficial than employing outside talent. I have never considered this management strategy.

4) Sun Tzu and the Art of Business takes the world renowned Sun Tzu: Art of War principles are translates them into use by business leaders. It highlights that managers should consider business competition as a battle, and should approach competition with a war like approach.

5) Successful time management for dummies points out that we all get the same amount of time during each day, from the owner of a small corner cafe to Donald Trump himself. The difference between the two is the way they manage their time for the good of their business. Time is the one and only thing that makes ALL MEN EQUAL.

Question 2:

Hellrigel et al. (2004) refers to an organisation as…"a group of people that has a structure and strives to achieve goals that the individuals acting alone cannot reach".

Find one definition from a textbook on management or from the worldwide web (WWW). Is this definition similar to the definition above? List the similarities and/or differences. Remember to reference your text correctly. (10)


"An organisation is an organized body of people with a particular purpose" (Oxford Online Dictionary 2010)

This definition provided by the Oxford online dictionary is similar to the definition from Hellriegel et al (2004) in that the following list of similarities are noted:

Both definitions refer to a group or body of people,

Both definitions refer to a structured or organised body of people,

Both definitions indicate that all the people involved are working towards a common goal or purpose.

Question 3:

Reproduce and complete the table below in your assignment. Your answer must

be based on facts - do not make assumptions. (10)

Diversity and the scope of strategic planning



Dominant-Business Firm

Unrelated-Business Firm

Example (Existing Firm)

Reasons why this firm fall into the category (why is it, for example, a single-business firm).


Diversity and the scope of strategic planning

Single-Business Firm

Dominant-Business Firm

Unrelated-Business Firm

Example (Existing Firm)

McDonalds Fast Food

Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA)

Daewoo International

Reasons why this firm fall into the category (why is it, for example, a single-business Firm).

They provide a set number of products, according to a set menu, to one specific market which is customers wanting fast food.

ADA deals only with aviation, but deals in ALL aspects of aviation, such as aviation maintenance, helicopter operations, fixed wing operation, etc.

Daewoo produces a diverse range of products from motor vehicles to kitchen appliances and electronics. Their target markets for the different products are unrelated to each other.

Question 4:

The Generic Strategies Model (also known as Porter's Generic Strategies Model) comprises a framework of three basic business-level strategies. It is called generic strategies because it is not firm or industry dependent - it can be applied to a variety of organisations in diverse industries. Four (4) strategies can be distinguished in this regard. Use your own examples to describe the four (4) strategies that form part of the Generic Strategies Model. [20]


The generic (Porters) strategies Model is a graphical look at the relationship between a company's strategic targets, and how a company plans to gain an advantage over the competition. We will briefly look at each of the four strategies and look at examples of companies that use each of these strategies.

The first strategy that we will look at will be the Differentiation Strategy. This is achieved by offering products and service that appeal to customers, and that customers see as being unique to the company's specific brand of product (Hellriegel, D. et al. 2010). These 'special' differences are aimed at no particular market, but at customers as a whole. A good example of a company making use of this strategy is Sony Ericson. Since there merger on 1st October 2001 (Telford, C. 2008), Sony Ericson has used their mobile phone camera technology as a unique sales point aimed at their general sales.

The second strategy that we will look at is the Focused Differentiation strategy. Although similar in approach to the Differentiation strategy, it is aimed at a more specific target market, whilst paying little or no attention to other customers (Hellriegel, D. et al. 2010) that do not meet the required criteria. An example of this type of strategy is with many over the very high-end sports car dealers like Ferrari or Lamborghini. In order for a sales representative to assist you, proof of income and financial statements need to be provided as proof that you are a serious customer, and not just somebody that want a joyride (test-drive) in a sports car.

The third of the four strategies that we encounter is the Cost Leadership strategy. It is this strategy that sees companies attempting to gain customers by offering costs that are as low as, or lower than, the competition (Hellriegel, D. et al. 2010). They do however only lower their prices if needed to gain an edge in the market. As can be expected, the No-Frills budget airline Kulula.com is a good example of this type of business strategy.

The final strategy in the generic (Porters) strategies model is the Focused Cost Leadership strategy. As with the Focused Differentiation strategy, it is similar to the Cost Leadership strategy, but aimed at a more specific (focused) target market. A fine example of this strategy would be Vodacom and their prepaid starter pack. Vodacom were the first mobile phone

company to offer their starter pack at a ridiculously low price aim at gaining new customers. The low cost of the starter pack has no effect on existing customers.

In conclusion we see that the four generic strategies that are highlighted in the generic (Porters) strategies model can be implemented by a various number of business types, aimed at various target markets, which means it is a very versatile and useful tool for any business.

Question 5:

AIDS is an important consideration in any organisation. Gather relevant statistical data on the extent of the problem in South Africa. With reference to specific organisations, describe what South African organisations are doing regarding AIDS in the workplace. [15]


While the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections has declined, there is still an estimated 22.4 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV/AIDS as of 2008 (AIDS epidemic update. 2009). It has been predicted that the number will exceed 6 million people by the year 2015 ("The Demographic Impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa - 2006).

Many large organizations within South Africa have been impacted heavily by the HIV/AIDS situation, and as such have needed to play a more active role in the education, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Anglo American Mining Company for example has started handing out free retroviral drugs to infected employees. The result is a ¾ improvement in staff absenteeism (Beresford, B. 2001). Anglo Coal, a division of Anglo American, won the 2009 Global Business Coalitions (GBC) award for their comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa (SAGoodNews, 2009). Telkom SA won this same award in 2008, for their integrated Voluntary Counseling Testing and Treatment Programme called the 'Thuso HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme' (Telkom SA Website). Eskom too have won the GBC award in 2007 for their managed care system, which concentrates on care for infected employees, focusing on funding support and psychosocial support of all employees (Global Business Coalition, 2007.)

In conclusion, we see that South Africa business has been very negatively impacted by the spread of HIV/AIDS, large South African organisations are taking this threat to the labour force seriously, and are taking an active role in education and treatment of their employees.

Question 6:

6.1) Tabulate your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to your managerial competencies.


Below is a table of my strengths and weakness in the managerial competencies. The answers are self-evaluated…





Very Diplomatic in my wording of my messages

Do not enjoy delivering bad news

Planning and Administration

Good at advanced planning

Often OVER-Plan simple tasks and don't like paperwork


Very Capable due to Emergency Medical Background

Do not enjoy being a follower

Strategic Action

Find it fairly easy to see the 'Big' picture

Get a little tense when planned actions don't work

Global Awareness

Very accepting of cultural diversity

Not an avid follower of global events


High Self Disciple when motivated

Need to work on my personal time management and motivation

6.2) Choose a relative or friend whom you can trust to be honest with you. Describe the six (6) managerial competencies and ask that person to comment on your strengths and weaknesses of each competency. Compare the results with your answer in 6.1.


Below are opinions of a trusted friend, Mr. Alex Nader (Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and Masters Degree in Education), with regard to the managerial competencies tabulated above…

Communication: Agrees completely that diplomatic wording of written and spoken messages are one of my strengths, but cannot comment on my weakness as he has never experience me delivering bad news.

Planning & Administration: Mr. Nader agrees that I am able to plan events well in advance, but does NOT agree that I over plan events. From experience, he is happy with my planning abilities.

Teamwork: Mr. Nader has never seen me in an environment that requires teamwork. Fellow work colleagues however do agree with my teamwork competency as stated in question 6.1. They do however disagree with me not liking to be a follower, as I never seem to question instructions.

Strategic Action: Mr. Nader agrees that my weakness is when things do not go according to plan. He does not entirely agree that seeing the 'Big Picture' is one of my strengths, but cannot think of any others.

Global Awareness: Mr. Nader agrees that my time living and working in a multicultural society in the Middle East has definitely helped me develop my acceptance of other cultures into a strength. Also agrees that I always seem to be behind on global affairs.

Self-Management: Mr. Nader tends to agree that I always seem motivated when completing tasks. However, does not agree with time management as a weakness.

6.3) Write down three (3) interventions that you can utilise to improve one or more of your managerial competencies. [20]


Thee interventions that can be used to improve your managerial competencies could include the following:

Completing exercises and case studies in the prescribed textbook

Researching prominent business leaders and paying attention to their competencies

Learning from your own mistakes, so as not to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Question 7:

The management environment is usually divided into three sections, namely the microenvironment, the market environment and the macro environment. Discuss the three (3) environments and include in your answer relevant examples. [10]


We shall discuss the three management environments, starting from the smallest environments, through to the biggest environment. In other words, we will first look at the Microenvironment, followed by the Market Environment and then we will look at the Macroenvironment.

The Microenvironment is probably to easiest one to explain. Each organisation will operate in its own microenvironment, surrounded by factors that affect the organisation. Examples of these factors include factors such as supply of finance, actions of direct competitors and production. These factors can represent either opportunities, or threats (Hellriegel, D. et al. 2010). An important factor regarding the microenvironment is that it can be controlled or manipulated.

The Market environment can almost be considered an extension of the microenvironment in that it includes factors that affect the organisation on a personal level, however the factors involved in the market environment will have the same effect on the competition companies, and other companies involved with these factors, in the market as a whole. Examples of factors in the market environment would be issues like availabilities of raw materials and the establishment of trade unions. The market environment cannot be controlled by the organisation, but may be influenced or manipulated under the right circumstances.

The final of the three management environments is the Macroenvironment, which involves the economy as a whole, and how it affects the organisation. Examples of things in the Macroenvironment that could influence an organisation would be improvements in technology, changes in legislation and major political events. This environment is completely uncontrollable by the organisation, and the ability to foresee such events, and plan for them by the management might mean the difference between success or failure of an organisation.