Vanguard case study based on Frank Roatharmel’s Strategic Management 5e

BCOR 4970, s. 9: Strategic Management

Spring 2022

Instructor: Beth C. Hynes, J.D., MBA




  • Total Points: 100
  • This Final exam will be worth 20% of your final grade in this Course.
  • Responses are due April 28 by 5:00 p.m. posted into Brightspace. If the Exam is not completed by this date and time, then your individual grade on the assignment will be reduced by 5 marks. For example, if the grade was 78%, then your reduced mark would be 78 – 5 = 73%.
  • Carefully read the Vanguard Case Study, available on McGraw Hill Connect (Case #04, “the 12 most popular cases”) and respond to the questions below.
  • Remember, quality of response is key, not quantity. Please spell and grammar check your responses prior to submission.
  • This is an individual effort, please do not consult others regarding your responses.
  • Each Response should draw on, cite, and utilize: (i) the evidence from the Case Study, (ii) what you have learned throughout this semester in this Course as well as (iii) information gleaned from the Textbook and (iv) case studies.




YOUR FULL NAME:   _______________________


  1. Define strategic leadership as you have come to understand it during this Course; drawing on information from this Case Study and what you have learned in Class, evaluate founder Jack Bogle’s leadership using the 5 level Pyramid (Ch. 2). Support your response with specific examples or references from the case. (10 points)


Strategic leadership is a method in which executives use different practices to create a vision and mission for the organization that helps it adapt to economic and technological changes. Strategic leaders use this vision to motivate employees and departments, fostering among them a feeling of unity in order to apply change within their business. The main goals of strategic leadership are to enhance strategic productivity, promote innovation and develop an environment that motivates employees to be productive, and independent and to push forward their own ideas.

I would state that John “Jack” Bogle can be placed on either of the 5 levels of the pyramid as a strategic leader, however, I would put him on level 5 “executive”. In the case it is mentioned how persistent he was in his professionalism and how he implemented the idea of mutual fund investment and made the stock market accessible to the average American. He made Vanguard one of the most competitive companies in the industry and made sure it is going to stay at the top. That applies to building enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of professional will and personal humility.

  1. Drawing on information from this Case Study, identify the top 2 corporate-level strategies used by Evaluate the appropriateness of these strategies for Vanguard’s business. (10 points)




  1. What is Vanguard’s mission? Using information from the Case Study, evaluate whether Vanguard is a mission driven company and whether or not that serves the firm’s drive for competitive advantage.  (10 points)


Vanguard’s mission is to support clients in reaching their financial goals by being their highest-value contributor to investment products and services. Therefore, Vanguard is a mission-driven company as it emphasizes on low-cost investing, which supports its mission “helping our clients reach their financial goals”. It also focuses on providing quality service which also aligns with its mission of being the highest-value source of investment products and services.



  1. Drawing on what you have learned in class and Core vs Dynamic concepts (Ch. 4), what 2-3 strategic recommendations do you have for CEO Tim Buckley to support future revenue growth while maintaining and improving Vanguard’s market share? (10 points)



  1. Using the “Four I’s” (Ch. 7), explain how this applies to Vanguard and its competitors. (10 points)



  1. Explain the Shared Value Creation framework & apply that to Vanguard and the Financial Services Industry detailed in the Case Study. (10 points)



  1. Using the Strategic Group model (Ch. 3), evaluate the competitive landscape in which Vanguard operates. (10 points)



  1. Thinking about the Value Innovation we studied and discussed (Ch. 6), what is Vanguard’s central dilemma as of the end of the Case Study; how do you apply Value Innovation and other concepts learned in Class to evaluate Vanguard’s strategic position at the end of the Case? (10 points)


  1. Define the Economic Value Creation framework (Ch. 5) & apply that to Vanguard’s competitive challenges. (10 points)





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