Engineering & Entrepreneurial Skills Deadline 3 May 2016, 11pm
This is an individual assignment and this means that you cannot share your solutions with others. Prepare a report with your answers and submit it no later than Tuesday 3 May 2016, 11pm. This assignment constitutes 100% of your total mark. IMPORTANT INFORMATION Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own, and the penalties for plagiarising by the College can be severe. Uploading work to KEATS is regarded by the Department as a statement by the student concerned, confirming that the work has not been plagiarised. PART A [10 marks] Improve your existing LinkedIn or open a new LinkedIn profile if there isn’t any. Make sure that the profile is sufficiently complete and professionally attractive. Provide the link to your LinkedIn profile in the final document you submit to KEATS. Furthermore, please, connect to the LinkedIn group “Engineering & Entrepreneurial Skills 4CCS1EES 2015-2016” which can be found under https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8494695, and requires my approval. Finally, please, connect with everybody of your class fellow students who is member of that group. PART B [75 marks] Question 1 – Team Leadership/Management Q1.A Reflect on the different situational management/leadership styles: (a) Describe in some details the situational leadership/management style and activities if your team is not skilled and not motivated. (5 marks) (b) Similarly, describe in some details the situational leadership/ management style and activities for the case that your team is very skilled and very motivated. (5 marks) [10 marks] Q1.B Reflect on situations where your team is in a different physical location, versus being in the same location. (a) Briefly describe one disadvantage of managing a team which is physically distributed rather than in the same place. (2 marks) (b) Discuss the trade-offs between managing/leading a team which is off-shore versus a nearshored team. (6 marks) (c) Assume you develop highly customised and complex software. You are keen to develop some add-ons which later you plan to expand into a fully-fledged business line. Would you develop this in-house or off-shore or near-shore, or maybe outsource? Why? (2 marks) [10 marks] Q1.C Imagine you are the Dean of a Faculty of a university in the United States. Your staff is really skilled in their field but not motivated at all. Describe in detail which management/leadership style is most appropriate in this situation, and what it requires from your end. Be as specific as possible. [5 marks] Question 2 – Company Strategies A flower shop in Oxford Street has been making impressive profits, until Marks & Spencer next door also started to sell very similar flowers. In addition, the supply of flowers at a costcompetitive price was becoming more difficult since large corporations would buy off all available flowers. The Managing Director (MD) thus decides to temporarily drop the prices on all flowers in the hope that customers would come back and make it a habit to shop with her rather than the competition. Q2.A Which of the three Porter’s Generic Strategies did the MD choose, and was it the right choice given the circumstances? [5 marks] Q2.B Perform a detailed Porter’s Five Forces Analysis on the state of that flower industry. Elaborate in particular details the Buyer Power. [10 marks] Q2.C Given the above reflections on the Generic Strategies as well as the Five Force Analysis, has the MD taken the right decision(s)? If not, what would you have done differently and why? Elaborate in some details. [10 marks] Question 3 – Cash Flow & Protection A company in Central London has been selling innovative sports clothes for the past years. Q3.A Below is the table on the company’s operating report for the past years: 2012 2013 2014 2015 in £m in £m in £m in £m Sales 2.4 4.8 3.6 3.8 Cost of Sales 2.8 1.6 1.2 1.2 Admin Expenses 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 Other Expenses 1.2 0.4 0.2 0.0 Tax 0.0 0.66 0.48 0.6 (a) Determine the Profit & Loss Account for the four years 2012-2015. (8 marks) (b) Elaborate on the trend you observe, and why it may occur. (4 marks) (c) Suggest strategies which could improve the Net Income. (3 marks) [15 marks] Q3.B The Managing Director (MD) considers that competition should be kept at bay by providing a stronger competition to their innovative sportswear solutions. (a) In this context, discuss the trade-offs between applying for a Patent or a Registered Design. (6 marks) (b) Elaborate on why copyrighting the sportswear would not be suitable in this context. (4 marks) [10 marks] PART C [15 marks] Read very carefully the IEEE Code of Ethics; available under http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/p7-8.html. Now consider the following fictional case: A recent graduate of Engineering Tech at KCL, you have been employed in the R & D Chemical Engineering Division of Larom, Inc. for the past several months. You were hired because of the promising research you did with catalysts as a student at Engineering Tech. A meeting of your division is called by your supervisor, Alex Smith. He announces that your unit must make a recommendation within the next two days on what catalyst should be used by Larom in processing a major product. The overwhelming consensus of the engineers in your unit, based on many years of experience, is that catalyst A is best for the job. But the research you have been conducting at Larom provides preliminary evidence that catalyst B might be more reliable, more efficient, and considerably less costly. So, you ask if the recommendation can be delayed another month to see if firmer evidence can be found. Alex replies, “We don’t have a month. We have two days.” He then asks you to write up the report, leaving out the preliminary data you have gathered about catalyst B. He says, “It might be nice to do some more research on B, but we’ve already taken too much time on this project. This is one of those times we have to be decisive, and we have to look decisive and quit beating around the bush. Management is really getting impatient with us on this one. Besides, we’ve had a lot of experience in this area.” You like working for Larom, and you feel fortunate to have landed such a good job right out of Engineering Tech. You have no desire to challenge your colleagues. Besides you don’t necessarily disagree with them about which catalyst is best. Still, you wish you had been given more time to work on catalyst B, and you feel uncomfortable about leaving the preliminary data out of the report. In the light of the IEEE Code of Ethics, what should you do, and why? 1. Write up and sign the report as instructed. 2. Write up the report as instructed, but refuse to sign it. 3. Refuse to write up the report, threatening to go around Alex to the next level of management if a fully accurate report is not made. 4. Other.