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 B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation TMA - SPRING 2015-2016 I- INSCTRUCTIONS II- CASE TO STUDY III- QUESTIONS IV- GRADES DEDUCTION V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM VI- PT3 FORM I- INSCTRUCTIONS: • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than

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مُساهمةموضوع: B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation TMA - SPRING 2015-2016 I- INSCTRUCTIONS II- CASE TO STUDY III- QUESTIONS IV- GRADES DEDUCTION V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM VI- PT3 FORM I- INSCTRUCTIONS: • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than    الأحد أبريل 03, 2016 5:03 am

B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation
TMA - SPRING 2015-2016

I- INSCTRUCTIONS
II- CASE TO STUDY
III- QUESTIONS
IV- GRADES DEDUCTION
V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM
VI- PT3 FORM

I- INSCTRUCTIONS:

• Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than May 3, 2016. All late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions.
• Learning outcomes: The purpose of this assignment is to support students’ understanding and application of different concepts learned in B222A, mainly: internal acquisition, open innovation, types of external collaboration, company’s core competencies and focus areas.
• Word count: you should discuss the questions in no more or less than the number of words mentioned for each question (plus or minus 10%).
• Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end). Use E-library: to get journal articles on the topic (Emerald, EBSCO, Proquest…). Use at least 2 articles.
• Plagiarism: Remember that you should work the information from references into your own original thoughts and INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism will lead to a significant loss of marks. Extensive plagiarism could mean that you failed your TMA. (Refer to AOU definitions of cheating and plagiarism at the end of this document)
• Essay guidance: Your response to each question should take the form of a full essay format. Avoid using subheadings and bullet points. Use B222A textbook and slides, the case, and E-Library. Plan what you will write, and have a well-organized outline.
• Using PT3 form: When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3) posted on your moodle account, taking care to fill all information correctly.
• Turnit-in upload: A soft copy of your TMA and PT3 form should be uploaded to Turnit-in via the link posted on your moodle account, within the cut-off date.
• This TMA is 20% of B222A Grade.

II- CASE TO STUDY
Acer Group: A family of brands
This case examines how firms develop technology through internal innovation processes and obtain innovative capability and new technology externally through strategic processes such as alliances, joint ventures and mergers/acquisitions. These processes have the benefit of being much quicker than internal development, but the drawbacks include issues such as integration of the different businesses in M & A or managing the relationship between firms in an alliance. Thus, just as with the internal innovation strategy, a firm must evaluate the pros and cons of the different strategic choices involved in obtaining technology externally and then decide what is best for the business in its given context and environment.
Acer group is a relatively young company, established in 1976. The Acer Group is a family of four brands – Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines. The multi-brand strategy of Acer allows each brand to target different customer needs in the worldwide personal computer market. Acer has grown to be the third-largest maker of personal computers (second largest in notebooks) and in 2008 had revenues exceeding $16 billion. This Taiwanese firm has established itself as a global player in the PC market. How it got there is through innovative use of alliances and acquisitions.
Acer Group: The Firm’s History
Acer was founded in 1976 as Multitech. The focus of Multitech was on trade and product design. Just three years later, Multitech designed Taiwan’s first mass-produced computer product. The focus from the start was on a product for export – Taiwan is such a small market the firm knew it needed to make a global footprint in the computer market. Multitech, which became Acer in 1987, has a long-term mission “to allow anyone to use and benefit from technology.” They have built their reputation on development and manufacturing of sophisticated, intuitive, easy-to-use products.
Early innovations
When Multitech first started it relied on internal new-product development. The PC market was young and the founders saw many opportunities. Acer hold more patents than any other Taiwanese-based corporation and Taiwan firms account for 70% of global computer hardware manufacturing. When Acer beat IBM to the market with 32-bit PC in 1986, it signaled the beginning of the end of IBM’s PC business. In 1990, Acer changed its strategic orientation. It became more externally focused in its innovation activities.
External Technology Development
Acer started with acquiring acquired Altos Peripherals. This marked the beginning of two decades in which Acer pursued its goal of becoming a major global competitor through numerous alliances and acquisitions. Below is a list of several of its external innovation efforts:

- 1996 – Acer signs a reciprocal patent licensing agreement with IBM, Intel and Texas Instruments allowing use of each other’s patented technology.
- 1997 – Acer acquires Texas Instruments’ mobile computing unit.
- 1999 - Acer group and IBM form a 7-year procurement and technology alliance.
- 2000 - Acer spins off its manufacturing operation to focus on developing technologically advanced, user-friendly solutions.
- 2007 – Acer merges with Gateway Inc.
- 2008 – Acer merges with Packard Bell Inc.
Becoming a global competitor
While Acer was changing its business model from internal innovations as well as evolving from a manufacturing company to a development and marketing firm, it continued to spread its global footprint. It did this through various partnerships and by developing innovative products with its partners and within its own R&D areas. For example, in 2003, Acer launched the Empowering Technology Platform to meld hardware, software, and service to provide end-to-end technologies to customers. In 2008, the Aspire One was launched as the company’s first mobile Internet device. In addition, Acer made a strong move into the high-end gaming market with the Aspire Predator series.
These steps were designed to enhance and strengthen Acer’s global position. Acer’s product range includes PC notebooks and netbooks, desktop computers, storage systems peripheral devices, LCD television, e-business solutions. The firm is number one in a number of markets with various products. For example, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market is a stronghold for Acer’s mobile-computing solutions. Acer is the largest supplier of LCD televisions in Western Europe. Acer is the first in the netbook market in Italy, Spain, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovakian Republic.
In the United States and Canada, Acer is making its mark through its Channel Business Model (CBM). It developed this model as it expanded beyond Taiwan and continued to improve it after separating from its manufacturing facilities. This model allows Acer to be flexible in adapting to global IT market trends. CBM involves collaboration with partners and suppliers to develop and market top-tier products and services. In 2003, they used this model to even co-brand a notebook computer with Ferrari, the Italian car maker.
In 2009 Acer unveiled the Acer and M900 smartphones at the Mobile World Congress. These products are known for their vivid 3D animation. They began by shipping to channel partners in EMEA and Asia. The acquisition of Packard Bell was a key to Acer’s entrance into this market with this advanced product. Today Acer continues to use external methods to obtain technology to grow its influence in the global computer hardware and software markets.
Source: Adapted from Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, by Bruton G. and White M.


III- QUESTIONS:
Answers to these questions should be based on: the case study, material learned from the textbook and online sources (i.e. companies’ webpages, AOU e-library databases…)

1. Evaluate Acer’s process for technology acquisition and development; what types of external collaboration Acer was adopting during this process? (22 marks) What are the strengths of their process and what might be missing? (16 marks).
(450 words – 38 marks)

2. Do you think that having a large family of products and investing in vast products range is more beneficial for a company than being specialized in a limited number of products? Justify your answer.
(350 words – 30 marks)

3. Find on the Internet an example of an alliance that was not successful. Explain the attributes and the reasons given for the failure (16 marks). What does this tell you about the keys to success in planning an alliance? (16 marks)
(350 words – 32 marks)


IV- GRADES DEDUCTION:
TMA Presentation: (up to 5 marks)
Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor presentation or poor organization of the TMA outline and discussion or TMA presented without PT3.
Proper referencing: (up to 5 marks)
Referencing should be both in-text referencing, plus a list of references at the end using Harvard style. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for poor referencing.

Use of E-Library: (up to 5 marks)
A minimum use of 2 articles from AOU e-library is required to support the discussions. Up to 5 marks should be deducted for no use or poor use of e-library.

Word count: (up to 5 marks)
The answers should be within the specified word count. A deviation of 10% is acceptable; if more, a deduction up to 5 marks will be applied.



V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM:
Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism:
Plagiarism means copying from internet, from unreferenced sources, from other students’ TMAs or any other source. Penalties for plagiarism range from failure in the TMA or the course, to expulsion from the university.
According to the Arab Open University By-laws, the following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:
• Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
• Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.
• Copying other students’ notes or reports.
• Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
• Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.

Penalty on plagiarism: The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws was revisited and modified to be more explicit with regard to plagiarism on TMAs. Penalties include the following:
1) Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
2) Documentation of warning in student record.
3) Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.

VI- PT3 FORM
Use of PT3 form is mandatory as a cover page for your TMA. This form is provided to you by your tutor or posted on LMS. TMA presented without PT3 form is subject to grades deduction. This PT3 form will be used by your tutor to add comments and marks and will be returned to you with the annotated work.


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B222A – Managing Technologies and Innovation TMA - SPRING 2015-2016 I- INSCTRUCTIONS II- CASE TO STUDY III- QUESTIONS IV- GRADES DEDUCTION V- AOU POLICY ON PLAGIARISM VI- PT3 FORM I- INSCTRUCTIONS: • Cut-off date: Submit this assignment no later than
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