o Social Obstruction - At this level, managers deliberately perform, or request employees to perform, unethical or illegal business practices. For example, Bruce Pearl, head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, was fired in March of 2011 for recruiting violations. Pearl admitted lying to NCAA investigators when they were looking into possible recruiting violations committed by the Tennessee coaching staff.
o Social Obligation - At this level managers meet only the minimum legal requirements. Although this level is ethical, most firms today operate at a higher level.
o Social Reaction - Here, managers respond to appropriate societal requests. For example, each year SportsStuff and other retailers give merchandise to the Holy Cross Athletic Association to raffle off to raise money for its sport teams.
o Social Involvement - At this level, managers voluntarily initiate socially responsible acts. For example, England's Liverpool Football Club (the world's most famous soccer team, which was acquired by the Boston Red Sox), worked closely with UNICEF in China to help teach children the real facts about HIV/AIDS.
o Introduction - When a new product (a question mark in the business portfolio) is introduced, a prospector company endeavors to clearly differentiate the product but also uses a focus strategy.
o Growth - During the growth stage, sales expand rapidly. When analyzer companies see that a prospector company is doing well, they may endeavor to bring out their own version of the product. Analyzer companies may use differentiation, focus, or cost leadership to gain market share during their product's growth stage. They focus on quality and systems process improvements to achieve economies of scale. They may lower prices, even though this reduces profit per unit, to gain market share.
o Maturity - When a product is mature, sales may grow slowly, level off, and even begin to decline. In a saturated market, the company's strategy changes to one of stability (a defensive strategy). Cost becomes an issue, and cost-cutting efforts are emphasized.
o Decline - As the product nears the end of its life cycle, sales decrease. The company's strategy changes from that of stabilizer-defender to turnaround and retrenchment and possibly back to prospector and analyzer as the company begins to look for a replacement product.