CMAT – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Notes – Part 1

Hi! In this series of posts, I will share with you a compilation of concepts, theories, models, books, and anything that’s related to Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The compilation will be useful to CMAT aspirants and MBA aspirants in general. Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a new section that’s been introduced in CMAT this year. I hope this series saves some crucial time and helps in last minute push-ups! 🙂


1. Product Life Cycle (PLC) – Four stages. Introduction > Growth > Maturity > Decline

2. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was developed by Motorola in 1986. Jack Welch made it central to his business strategy at General Electric in 1995. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects (3.4 defective parts/million).

3. Competitive Advantage: Creating and sustaining superior performance – A book by Michael Porter

4. Quality circle – A quality circle or quality control circle is a group of workers who do the same or similar work, who meet regularly to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems. Quality Circle concept was first introduced in India by S. R. Udpa.

5. Fiedler contingency model – The contingency model by business and management psychologist Fred Fiedler is a contingency theory concerned with the effectiveness of a leader in an organisation.

6. Predatory pricing – Predatory pricing is a pricing strategy, using the method of undercutting on a larger scale, where a dominant firm in an industry will deliberately reduce its prices of a product or service to loss-making levels in the short-term.

7. Oligopoly – An oligopoly is a market form wherein a market or industry is dominated by a small group of large sellers.

8. Monopoly – A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.

9. Monopsony – In economics, a monopsony is a market structure in which a single buyer substantially controls the market as the major purchaser of goods and services offered by many would-be sellers.

10. Good to Great – A management book by James C. Collins that aims to describe how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition.

11. Appreciative inquiry – A model for analysis, decision-making and the creation of strategic change, particularly within companies and other organizations. It was developed at Case Western Reserve University’s department of Organizational behavior, starting with a 1987 article by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva.

12. Akio Morita – A Japanese businessman and co-founder of Sony along with Masaru Ibuka. In 1986, Morita wrote an autobiography titled Made in Japan.

13. Lateral thinking – A term coined by Edward de Bono which refers to solving problems through an indirect and creative approach. Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

14. Open Space Technology (OST) – An approach to purpose based leadership, including a way for hosting meetings, conferences, corporate-style retreats, symposiums, and community summit events, focused on a specific and important purpose or task—but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme.

15. 360-degree feedback – A feedback that comes from members of an employee’s immediate work circle. The German military first began gathering feedback from multiple sources in order to evaluate performance during World War II.

16. Blue Ocean Strategy – A book published in 2005 and written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, Kim & Mauborgne argue that companies can succeed not by battling competitors, but rather by creating “blue oceans” of uncontested market space.

17. James C. “Jim” Collins – An American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth. His books include: Built to Last, Beyond Entrepreneurship, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall, Great By Choice.

18. Economic Value Added (EVA) – An estimate of a firm’s economic profit – being the value created in excess of the required return of the company’s investors (being shareholders and debt holders). Quite simply, EVA is the profit earned by the firm less the cost of financing the firm’s capital.

19. Competitive Advantage – When a firm sustains profits that exceed the average for its industry, the firm is said to possess a competitive advantage over its rivals. The goal of much of business strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Michael Porter identified two basic types of competitive advantage: Cost advantage, Differentiation advantage.

20. The McKinsey 7S Framework – A management model developed by well-known business consultants Robert H. Waterman, Jr. and Tom Peters (who also developed the MBWA – “Management by Walking Around” motif, and authored In Search of Excellence) in the 1980s. This was a strategic vision for groups, to include businesses, business units, and teams. The 7S are structure, strategy, systems, skills, style, staff and shared values.

21. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is a strategy performance management tool that can be used by managers to keep track of the execution of activities by the staff within their control and to monitor the consequences arising from these actions. The original four “perspectives” are Financial, Customer, Internal business processes, Learning and growth. The tool was created by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton.

22. The situational leadership theory – A leadership theory developed by Paul Hersey, professor and author of the book Situational Leader, and Ken Blanchard, leadership guru and author of The One Minute Manager, while working on the first edition of Management of Organizational Behaviour. The theory was first introduced as “Life Cycle Theory of Leadership”.

23. Approaches to Global Staffing:
– Ethnocentric staffing: Primarily hiring expatriates for higher-level foreign positions.
– Polycentric staffing: More host-country nationals are used throughout the organization, from top to bottom
– Regiocentric staffing: Regional groups of subsidiaries reflect organization’s strategy and structure work as a unit
– Geocentric staffing: Using worldwide integrated business strategy to hire the best person for the job

24. The managerial grid model (1964) – A situational leadership model developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton. This model originally identified five different leadership styles based on the concern for people and the concern for production.

25. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – A theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.

To read the next part, click here: CMAT – Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Part 2


Hope this helps! Please give your feedback in the comments section. Do share with your friends and co-aspirants. Happy prepping! 🙂

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