Case Study #1 slp 4

Apple and Samsung are often mentioned together, as they are both world leading producers of smartphones.  However, they are much different companies in a variety of ways.  Carefully review the background readings concerning diversification and vertical integration.  Then do some extensive research on Samsung and Apple concerning their diversification and vertical integration strategies.

Case Assignment

When you have finished your research, write a four- to five-page paper answering the following two questions. Make sure to cite both the required background readings as well as articles on Samsung and Apple:

    1. To what extent does Apple engage in related diversification?  To what extent do they engage in unrelated diversification?
    2. To what extent does Samsung engage in related diversification?  To what extent do they engage in unrelated diversification?
    3. To what extent does Apple engage in backward (upstream) vertical integration?  To what extent do they engage in forward (downstream) vertical integration?
    4. To what extent does Samsung engage in backward (upstream) vertical integration?  To what extent do they engage in forward (downstream) vertical integration?
    5. Overall what major differences or similarities do you find between Samsung and Apple’s diversification and vertical integration strategies?
SLP #4

For this final SLP, imagine that your business has become successful and you are now considering expanding the scope of your company.  Carefully review all of the required background materials, and then write a three-page paper answering the following questions.  Make sure to cite at least one of the required readings for each of your answers:

  1. If you were to engage in horizontal integration, which of your direct competitors would you decide to acquire?  Overall, do you think horizontal integration is the best long-run plan for your business if it is successful?
  2. Do you think your business should vertically integrate over time?  Should you engage in backwards vertical integration, forward vertical integration, both, neither?  Explain your reasoning.
  3. How about diversification/conglomerate strategy?  Any advantage to diversifying your business?  Discuss unrelated diversification and related diversification and whether or not these strategies might be good for your business.  Explain your reasoning.

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the Internet, make sure they are from a credible source.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 11- 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.
Short Assignments (One Pagers)

One of the hottest topics in the business press are rumors of major corporations merging together.  Just like the entertainment press likes to report on rumors of celebrities who are dating, the business press likes to speculate about “corporate match-making”.  Recent rumors of mergers (which may or may not have already occurred by the time you get to this module) include AT&T merging with Time Warner, Kroger merging with Whole Foods, and Disney merging with Netflix.  Of course there are probably more recent rumors.

Go to Google news or other news search engines and see what the latest merger rumors are.  Pick one of the merger rumors that seems the most unusual to you – one that makes you wonder why these two companies think they are a good match for each other.  Share the link to the article with your classmates, and discuss the following issues:

  1. Is this merger horizontal?  Vertical?  Related diversification?  Unrelated diversification?
  2. Why do you think these companies would or would not make a good match?

Do you think this merger will actually go through?  Or won’t get beyond the gossip stage?


Identify one substantive topic in the course that you will use in your job in the future. Specify the topic, your job, and how you will use this knowledge to make better decisions.

  • Looking back at the analytical tools you used throughout the course, name one specific instance when you could use one of these tools to better understand your organization, the market, or the environment in which your employer operates

    Required Reading

    To start off this module, take a look at the following video for a relatively comprehensive overview of several concepts from this module.  This video is a little longer than previous videos you’ve watched for this class, but covers very useful information such as vertical and horizontal integration strategies as well as conglomerate (diversification) strategy:

    Holden, P. (2011). Business integration – vertical, horizontal and conglomerate. St. Lawrence College. //

    Now delve a little deeper into this subject with the following chapter that will reinforce what you’ve learned in the video plus some important additional concepts such as transaction costs:

    Image result for Managerial Economics Principles stengelStengel, D. (2012).  Economics of OrganizationManagerial Economics Principles.  Flat World Education //


    Now read the following chapter for more detail on the concepts of vertical integration and horizontal integration.  Also covered in this chapter is diversification strategy, also known as conglomerate strategy.  Pay attention to the discussion of related versus unrelated diversification:

    Image result for "Strategic Management: Evaluation and Execution"

    Ketchon, D. & Short, J. (2012). Chapter 8: Selecting corporate-level strategies.  Strategic Management: Evaluation and Execution. Flat World Education. //

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