1. Your answer is expected to be in essay format and reflecting critical and analytical discussion (No bullet points).
2. This exam consists of Three (3) questions. You are required to answer all THREE (3) questions.
3. All answers must be supported by examples, even if the question does not explicitly ask for that.
The Caterpillar corporation manufactures big tractors and heavy equipment used in construction and mining. Caterpillar put a great emphasis on technology and data analytics. They added high-tech tools to its products such as GPS and laser technology. More recently, Caterpillar in an alliance with a data analytics firm, are now building systems to transmit data from machines to the cloud. This allows the company to see how its machines are used, performing and when customers are likely to need to replace them. Collected data is helping the company to develop next generation machines, to assess the most common uses for its machines and to predict customer needs.
Critically discuss the strategy adopted by Caterpillar. Explain how this strategy helps a company in improving firm competitive position vis-à-vis the five forces and the potential pitfalls for this strategy. Support your answer with examples. (400 words)
Cisco launched Integrated Workforce Experience(IWE)in 2010. It is a social business platform designed to facilitate internal and external collaboration and decentralize decision making. Critically discuss the key role of technology on leveraging knowledge and human capital. Explain how technology can enable sophisticated forms of communication to be used for knowledge sharing within an organization. (300 words)
Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, has strong views on why successful companies often fail. He goes on to comment that “enduring companies we see are not really companies that have lasted for 100 years. They’ve changes 25 times or 4 times over the 100 years.” His prescription for this for strong leaders to inoculate their firms against complacency and continuously push their firms forward. He adds that leadership that really counts is the leadership that keeps a company changing in an incremental, continuous fashion. You are requested to think of an organization leader that you know (or read about).
Critically discuss whether or not this leader was effective and was able to bring about a significant organization change. Explain reasons behind this leader success (or failure).(400 words)
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