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Las Vegas has long been known for its extravagant, glitzy hotels and casinos. In the early part of this decade, Las Vegas was booming, gambling revenues were high, as were occupancy rates at hotels across the city. Developers rushed in to meet the demand for more rooms. Now, many of those projects have been scaled back or failed completely. One such project, the Fontainebleau, stands uncompleted and in bankruptcy. Penn National may be interested in an acquisition, but costs to complete the project may be higher than the estimated value of the luxury hotel.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How would you describe the decision conditions that existed when the project began four years ago and now? Is there any difference and, if so, why?
  2. A decision to continue with the Fontainebleau project might be consistent with what type(s) of decision error or trap?
  3. How should Penn National go about evaluating the decision whether or not to purchase the Fontainebleau?

SOURCE: A. Berzon, “Doubts Are Cast on Value of Las Vegas’ Fontainebleau,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704882404574465874047672190.html)

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Snowville Creamery is a small dairy located in Southeastern Ohio. The creamery began when John Taylor, a life-long dairyman, grew frustrated with industry practices and the taste of commercial milk. Taylor partnered with Bill Dix and Stacy Hall to develop a sustainable dairy to serve local markets.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What elements of the story suggest that John Taylor and, to a lesser degree, Bill Dix and Stacy Hall are entrepreneurs?
  2. Although the article does not indicate, what form of ownership is Snowville Creamery? What other forms are possible and why might they be considered?
  3. Taylor used a typical method for financing the business. What method did he choose? Double check the amount acquired to start this business. Do you have any concerns? What does this suggest about the nature of entrepreneurship?

SOURCE: E. Christensen, “Udder-ly Fresh,” Columbus Dispatch (Retrievable online at http://www.dispatchkitchen.com/live/content/food/stories/2009/10/14/main.html?sid=101)

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Since the outbreak of Swine Flu (H1N1 virus) last year, there has been much concern about a global pandemic. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services along with the Centers for Disease Control worked feverishly to develop a vaccine for the virus and get it into production. The cycle times for this year’s vaccines are about a month faster than normal, but there are concerns that this is not fast enough should there be a serious viral outbreak. In addition, many consumers express concerns about shortages and the safety of vaccines because viruses are grown in egg cultures.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What measures of productivity are being used to evaluate flu vaccine production?
  2. What type of manufacturing technology is utilized to produce flu vaccines? What are the characteristics of the flu vaccine (once developed) that lend itself to this type of production?
  3. While the government is investing in alternative methods for developing vaccines, it appears that using egg cultures is the only viable option at present. What work process technique could be used to improve performance and delivery of flu vaccines?

SOURCE: J. Schmit, “Flu Vaccine Rush Puts Focus on Calls for Faster Delivery,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-08-flu-vaccines_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip)

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In a surprise announcement, the Nobel Committee awarded U.S. President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to create global cooperation. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to receive the award and the third to receive it while in office. In a press conference following the announcement, the President acknowledged that the award was the culmination of the efforts of many leaders that inspired him.

QUESTIONS:

  1. In his press conference, President Obama acknowledged the role of “transformative figures.” Examine the characteristics of transformational leadership. In what ways might transformational leadership advance the peace process globally?
  2. The President outlined a number of global issues (e.g., Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) that he considers very important in terms of global peace. What aspect of transformational leadership does this represent?
  3. Using any one of the three main contingency approaches to leadership (i.e., Fiedler, Hersey & Blanchard, House), how would you describe President Obama’s leadership style?

SOURCE: S. Wilson, “Nobel for Obama Brings Praise, Ire,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914.html?hpid=topnews)

Related video clip:

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In an attempt to boost sagging sales, General Motors partnered with online seller eBay to offer a limited set of new vehicles for sale in California. The program (called an “experiment” by GM) ended September 30, with the auto maker reporting limited interest and unrealistically low offers. Dealers, however, indicated that the program ended too soon. The response from eBay was mixed. Vice President Rob Chesney said the company had “no expectations” and would use the experience to learn how to improve new car sales online.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What type of business innovation does the General Motors program represent? Can you make a case for more than one type?
  2. Would you categorize this approach as sustainable innovation? Why or why not?
  3. Referring back to Chapter 8, what kind of e-business strategy is this? If it were successful, what is the likelihood that it would produce a competitive advantage?

SOURCE: G. A. Fowler, S. Morrison, & S. Terlep, “GM, eBay End Online Sales Effort,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125423429407549391.html)

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In July 2009, illegally obtained video footage of nationally-recognized sports reporter Erin Andrews surfaced on the internet. Andrews’ employer (ESPN) contacted the owners of the website and demanded removal of the video. The story became national press and reporters for the New York Post were banned from appearing on ESPN following publication of photographs taken from the video. ESPN encouraged Andrews to take time off from reporting. Prior to her return on September 3, Andrews taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey describing her ordeal.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How would you describe Erin Andrews’ reaction to this event? What is the role of emotions and moods in this situation and what factors influenced this reaction? How might mood contagion come into play if Andrews continued working without taking a break?
  2. While all individuals experience stress to some degree, high-profile jobs can lead to additional stressors. What are the pros and cons of stress? How would you characterize the stress experienced by Andrews?
  3. What steps could ESPN (and other employers with high-profile positions) take to ensure the personal wellness of its employees?

SOURCE: Associated Press, “Andrews on Oprah: She Thought Her Career Was Over,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2009-09-11-erin-andrews-oprah_N.htm; for additional reference, see http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2009-10-03-espn-erin-andrews_N.htm and http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2009-07-24-post-espn-erin-andrews_N.htm?obref=obnetwork)

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TOPIC: Control
ARTICLE SUMMARY: When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over Georgian Bank, it became the 95th bank to fail in 2009. Banks are failing largely because of bad real estate loans. The FDIC’s insurance fund is rapidly dwindling, reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades, while industry analysts are predicting many more failures.
QUESTIONS:
1. Consider recent events in the banking industry. What do numerous bank failures teach us about the importance of controlling?
2. When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation steps in and takes over a bank, what type of control does this represent?
3. Georgian bank will immediately reopen as First Citizens Bank (its new owner). What type of controls will be needed to ensure improvement and prevent additional problems?
SOURCE: M. Gordon, “Regulators Close Georgia Bank in 95th Failure for the Year,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-09-25-bank-failure_N.htm)

When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over Georgian Bank, it became the 95th bank to fail in 2009. Banks are failing largely because of bad real estate loans. The FDIC’s insurance fund is rapidly dwindling, reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades, while industry analysts are predicting many more failures.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Consider recent events in the banking industry. What do numerous bank failures teach us about the importance of controlling?
  2. When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation steps in and takes over a bank, what type of control does this represent?
  3. Georgian bank will immediately reopen as First Citizens Bank (its new owner). What type of controls will be needed to ensure improvement and prevent additional problems?

SOURCE: M. Gordon, “Regulators Close Georgia Bank in 95th Failure for the Year,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2009-09-25-bank-failure_N.htm)

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ARTICLE SUMMARY: With the economy in a recession, unemployment is high. Despite efforts to stimulate the economy, unemployment numbers continue to rise. This leaves many unemployed for long periods. Congress has had to reauthorize unemployment benefits and extend eligibility for some that used up their benefits. This article describes the plight of the chronically unemployed and profiles three individuals and their struggles to restart careers slowed by the economy.
Note: this article provides an excellent case study on individual behavior and motivation, as well as human resource management.
QUESTIONS:
1. The odds for getting hired favor the newly-unemployed over long-term unemployed. In terms of recruiting and selection, why is this the case?
2. Consider the case of Paul Harrison. Do you believe his inability to get a job is related to discrimination? Why or why not?
3. Revisit the Shamrock Organization in Chapter 1. With the decline of manufacturing in the United States, how should companies and employees reposition themselves for success?
SOURCE: C. Dougherty, “The Long Slog: Out of Work, Out of Hope,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383516043639305.html)

With the economy in a recession, unemployment is high. Despite efforts to stimulate the economy, unemployment numbers continue to rise. This leaves many unemployed for long periods. Congress has had to reauthorize unemployment benefits and extend eligibility for some that used up their benefits. This article describes the plight of the chronically unemployed and profiles three individuals and their struggles to restart careers slowed by the economy.

Note: this article provides an excellent case study on individual behavior and motivation, as well as human resource management.

QUESTIONS:

  1. The odds for getting hired favor the newly-unemployed over long-term unemployed. In terms of recruiting and selection, why is this the case?
  2. Consider the case of Paul Harrison. Do you believe his inability to get a job is related to discrimination? Why or why not?
  3. Revisit the Shamrock Organization in Chapter 1. With the decline of manufacturing in the United States, how should companies and employees reposition themselves for success?

SOURCE: C. Dougherty, “The Long Slog: Out of Work, Out of Hope,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383516043639305.html)

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ARTICLE SUMMARY: Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, the maker of a variety of well-known household products, has been losing market share to competitors and experiencing declining sales growth. As a result, new CEO Robert McDonald introduced plans to cut prices, increase promotional spending, and position new versions of traditional products as low-priced value brands.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What benefit is realized by the plans Robert McDonald announced?
  2. Would you characterize the Proctor & Gamble’s plans as long- or short-range? Strategic or tactical? Why?
  3. What planning tool would most likely lead to the plans Proctor & Gamble announced?

SOURCE: E. Byron, “P&G Plots Course to Turn Lackluster Tide,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125258933720499429.html)

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ARTICLE SUMMARY: After 16 years, boxer Juan Manuel Marquez finally gets his shot at greatness. The Mexican fighter will face formerly retired champion Floyd Mayweather in a pay-per-view event. Mayweather has never lost a professional fight, but has been out of action for two years. Although the fight is a non-title bout, there is a lot at stake for Marquez. A win would place him in the company of other great Mexican boxers, including his hero Julio Cesar Chavez.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Where would Marquez’ fight with Mayweather fall (for Marquez) on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
  2. Which of McClelland’s acquired needs best describes Juan Marquez’ motivation in this fight?
  3. What would Expectancy Theory predict about the motivation levels of each fighter?

SOURCE: J. M. Falgoust, “Against Mayweather, Underdog Marquez Swings at Greatness,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/boxing/2009-09-17-marquez-mayweather-adv_N.htm)