In order to find some answers, this paper should look at the following issues:
1. Leadership: What role does leadership play in long-term financial performance? What is the G.E. leadership style? What is Berkshire Hathaway’s (Warren Buffet’s) leadership style? How would you describe the differences in leadership style of the two companies during the twenty-year period? Are there differences that would affect long-term financial performance? Explain how and why.
2. Culture: Are their differences in the culture of each of the organizations that might explain performance differences? What is the G.E. culture? What is the Berkshire Hathaway culture? What are each company’s values? Do these differences explain performance differences? Explain how and why.
3. Compensation: What are differences in compensation for the CEO’s and other executives of the two companies and how might that contribute to differences in performance? Explain how and why.
4. Management Oversight: Are there differences in the way each company manages and overseas each of the operating businesses? Do the differences contribute to differences in performance? Explain how and why.
5. Approach to Acquisitions: Both G.E. and Berkshire Hathaway have made a number of acquisition over the twenty-year period. Is there a difference in how each company approaches acquiring other companies? Do they have the same criteria? How may the differences in approaches affect long-term financial performance? Explain how and why.