The role of finance in a company



To complete the course without attendance, you need to write two home exams. The first exam covers three (3) of topics 1-7, and the second one three (3) of topics 8-14. You are free to choose them. Under each topic you can find references to literature; however, if you want to use other sources, you are not limited to use exactly or only the references listed here. Also note, that in the books, there can be individual chapters that address the topic. In addition, you need to search additional material to present the company cases required. At the end of each question, you need to list the references that you have used.Here are the questions to be answered under the respective topics. Your answer should be 2-3 pages per question, which makes 6-9 pages per exam, which means 12-18 pages altogether.
1. Business strategy
Pick a business-to-business manufacturing company or a technology services company and present what you know about its strategy. Compare the strategy to theory and explain, what kind of business strategy does the company represent.
Aurik, Fabel&Jonk (2014): The History of Strategy and Its Future Prospects, ATKerney InsightsCampbell & Faulkner (2015): The Oxford Handbook of StrategyGeissler&Krys (2013): The challenges of strategic managament in the twenty-first centuryMintzberg, Ahlstrand&Lampel (2011): Strategy Safari2. Corporate strategy
Choose an international corporation and describe its business portfolio. What are the theoretical foundations of that particular corporate strategy
Campbell & Faulkner (2015): The Oxford Handbook of StrategyColley, Doyle &Hardie (2002): Corporate Strategy.3. Management system and strategy execution Explain, what is a management system. Describe, how is it linked to the strategy of a company. Describe, what makes a management system work well, and what defects can there be. Kaplan & Norton (2008): The execution premium : linking strategy to operations for competitive advantageCokins (2009): Performance Management : Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics4. Quality assurance Explain the role of quality assurance in a business-to-business company who produces intermediate goods. Describe methods of quality assurance.Bhat (2009): Total Quality ManagementGoetsch (2016): Quality management for organizational excellence: introduction to total qualityRose (2005): Project Quality Management: Why, what and how5. Human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD)Describe HRM and HRD. Elaborate on the role of them for the success of a company. Pantaleo & Pal (2008): From Strategy to Execution. Turning Accelerated Global Change into Opportunity. 6. Productivity
Explain, what is meant by productivity. By using company examples, compare  sources of productivity improvement in a manufacturing company and in a company selling technological services.
Colley, Doyle &Hardie (2002): Corporate Strategy.Johnson, Scholes & Whittington (2006): Exploring Corporate Strategy7. Finance
What is the role of finance in a company? Describe special features of finance in an international manufacturing company.
Berk&DeMarzo (2017): Corporate FinanceMcLaney (2017): Business Finance: Theory and practiceSmart, Jehnk&Gittman (2017): Fundamentals of investing
8. Project vs. operations management
Explain, what is project management and what is operations management. Compare key success factors and risks of project vs. operations management.
Grant (2012): Logistics managementHill (2004): Operations managementRose (2005): Project Quality Management: Why, what and how9. Supply chain management: purchasing, production
Describe the concept of supply chain management, elaborating on purchasing and production. Present a company that excels in supply chain management, and explain why.
Hill (2004): Operations managementLu & De Bock (2016): Sustaniable Logistics and Supply ChainsMurphy & Wood (2011): Contemporary logistics10. Logistics and the impact of logistics on company performance
Describe the main elements of logistics and explain, how logistics is linked to company performance. Present a company that excels in logistics, and explain, why.
Gleissner (2013): LogisticsGrant (2012): Logistics managementLu & De Bock (2016): Sustaniable Logistics and Supply ChainsMurphy & Wood (2011): Contemporary logistics11. Technical solutions as services
By using two different examples, describe how you can construct a technical solution to service. If you think of the business environment, what kind of factors do you see promoting technological solutions business? Elaborate, why.

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12. Digitalization and the business environment
Explain, how and why digitalization affects the business environment of companies in industrial business your home country.
Linz (2017): Radical business model transformation: gaining the competitive edge in a disruptive worldParviainen, Kääriäinen, Tihinen&Teppola (2017): Tackling the digitalization challenge: how to benefit from digitalization in practice
13. Starting a company, business plan for a technology innovation
Present a business plan. Take a successful start-up as an example and describe, why it has succeeded.
Masterson (2012): The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into ProfitsMorris (2008): Starting a successful business: start up and grow your own companyRichards (2009): Spin-Outs: Creating Businesses from University Intellectual Property