Business Thought & Action—Module 3: Sources of Business Stress

by: Robert J. Dolan, Robert E. Kennedy, Scott Moore

Publication Date: August 19, 2011
Product ID#: 1-429-189

Core Disciplines: Ethics, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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The third module of the Business Thought & Action™ course is especially innovative, focusing entirely on business failure. The module analyzes real-life businesses that have experienced turmoil, such as Kodak and Snapple, and examines how they have responded to the stress. The module examines several types of stress–imposed by external economic changes, specific competitive challenges, technological changes, and, finally, those imposed from internal, ethical failures. Students gain insights into recognizing early signs of failure and the challenges of leadership in difficult times.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Recognize the different types of business stress and ways to respond to stress.
  • Accept that previous market advantages do not lead to industry dominance.
  • Realize that the customer value proposition must drive all business decisions.
  • Realize that previously successful products can be rendered obsolete by changes in technology.
  • Accept that apparently successful companies are not invincible to business stress and failure.This module is one of six total modules included in the case-based, introductory business course entitled “Business Thought & Action™”, created by former Dean Robert Dolan and Professors Robert Kennedy and Scott Moore of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. While modules can be adopted individually or in groups, it should be noted they were originally designed to be taught sequentially and as part of the entire course.