Management Glossary

  Terms beginning with s
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sunk cost
A cost that cannot be recovered. This may be money that has already been paid for a product that has no resale value or a service that has already been delivered. It may also be money that has been irrevocably contractually committed but not yet paid.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

superordinate goals

The fundamental principles and guiding values upon which an organization is built and driven. "Superordinate" means "higher order". Thus superordinate goals are goals against which all subordinate goals of the organization should be considered and measured.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

supply chain
The full chain of companies, including manufacturers, distributors, transporters and so on, involved in taking a product from the raw material stage through to final delivery to a customer.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

supply curve
The relationship between the market price for a product and the total quantity of that product that all suppliers will be willing to produce at that price. Assuming that there are no constraints on the total volume that can be produced, in a competitive market, the higher the price that the market will bear, the more of that product that suppliers, in total, will be willing to produce. This cause-and-effect relationship may break down in a monopoly or oligopoly, in which suppliers may be willing to reduce supply in order to drive the price up.
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff
See: oligopoly, monopoly

sweat equity

The business ownership value that a founder or other principal earns by working to build the business without receiving a salary for that work.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

switching cost
The cost that a customer will incur to change from one supplier to another. If, for example, a manufacturer would have to completely retool its factory to use parts from a different supplier, that manufacturer has high switching costs for those parts.

Customers who face high swithcing costs tend to be very loyal. Thus, raising switching costs may be a very profitably business strategy. An example might be a company that develops and gives away a sophisticated ordering system that greatly reduce its customers' administrative costs, but which can only be used to order from the company that developed the software.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis (an analysis of the strenghths and weaknesses of a firm, along with the oppotunities available to it and the threats that it might face) is often used to help determine an appropriate corporate strategy.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

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