As you frame your 500 word response (maximum, avoid questions about ‘can it be more or fewer words’ and follow the instructions).
Date of submission is noted on the syllabus. Get it to me before that date.
Use ABI-INFORM (available at Fisher Library Online; call or make appointment with librarians to learn how to do this if necessary) for research into context. How many citations? 0 – 3 is not acceptable. 4-6 is normal. 7-10 are fine. More than 10 might be much.
Write your answers in a WORD file (do not get exotic with other formats that make it laborious for me to access; I will not read anything not submitted in this format). Do not send a pdf, do not send multiple files as a zip file. Email them one by one if you must.
Attach your case study in an email (use Fisher issued email so that it does not go into my spam folder).
Use the subject line: ‘GMGT 680 Case (name of case).’ For instance ‘GMGT 680 Case Nike.’
AVOID: google docs, use of cloud based facilities as drop box. If it requires some effort on my part other than a click on a word doc; I am likely to avoid doing it entirely.
See the rubric (see next) to gain an understanding of how you are evaluated.
The 500 word analysis does not include citations (just body of the text). Bulleted points are highly encouraged.
Citation guide (kindly do not deviate):
Doe, Jane, and Dore, Jack (2021). Why Adidas aims to win the next skirmish with Nike. Journal of Shoe Studies. Volume 67, No 5, pp. 11-23.
Available at: http:www.nameofwebsite.com
Callum, S. and Genta, A. (2021). Why Nike takes Adidas seriously? Wall Street Journal. (September 2, 2021). Available at: www.wsj.com/wntas
Note: just because you retrieved it online does not mean you are excused from providing the full citation shown above in the Jane Doe and Jack Dore article.
AN EXAMPLE OF A CASE ANALYSIS
Read the case study on Microsoft (page 93 of the text).
The questions at the end of the case are suggestions; they will help you think, and frame your answers. You may or may not answer the questions directly.
Note, ALL cases are dated by the time they are published. You must respond to the information in the case study and with the latest information (kindly do not try to negotiate this requirement).
See below for a 500 word response:
Key learning I derive: Fearfulness and protectiveness at Microsoft made for core incompetence, and brought out the worst in the firm prior to Mr. Nadella’s tenure as CEO, i.e., pre-2014). The case provides evidence of strategic missteps (bundling, pricing) that suggest the company did not possess the confidence; it preferred to hold customers captive.
INFERENCE: The actions designed to get rid of competitors (like Netscape) produced an unintended effect of preventing innovation in the firm (i.e., why bother to innovate radically when competitors are being pushed out of the market as a result of our marketing strategy).
INFERENCE: The ‘defensive’ approach likely led to a dilution and/or corruption of the core competency; it focused the firm on hurting competitors more than helping customers. I learn from this case that these are not the same things.
INFERENCE: The marketing strategy reported in the case leads me to draw an inference of fundamental incompatibility. Microsoft’s appeal: ‘where do you want to go today” and “Windows, Life without Walls” and “I am PC.” The customer hears: ‘become a PC, and we will take you where we want with a captive relationship we have designed with ‘free’ and bundling.’ It is not freeing up the customer, it is imposing your vision on the customer. It gave a lot of ammunition to your competitor (Apple Inc.).
INFERENCE: MS strategy gave Apple Inc., the opportunity to ridicule MS. It did that by showing Microsoft as a khaki wearing, nerdish throwback (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eEG5LVXdKo). Apple said it focused on lifestyles.
EVIDENCE: This marketing strategy (free, bundling) is a net negative for the firm because it attracted too much attention of the wrong kind from regulators (see Economides and Lianos, 2009; Currie, 2017)
INFERENCE: The core competencies therefore allowed only incremental technology improvements – not ground breaking, market-creating technology (Anonymous, 2010), and failed consumer products such as Zune (Rosoff, 2012).
After Mr. Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, in his initial days, he prioritized innovation (see Economides and Lianos, 2018; Ibarra, Rattan, and Johnston, 2018). Recent evidence about investment in AI (Microsoft Azure platform), gaming (Xbox), and cloud services – without the effort to preserve its turf has clearly helped triple the revenues of the firm between 2014 when Mr. Nadella took office, and 2021.
I learn: lack of confidence is a key source of core incompetence. The evidence of gaining confidence is found in new Microsoft ads that ridicule Apple’s Touch Bar (Warren, 2021).
I learn: solving customer problems (cloud, AI, big data solutions, gaming) is fine, the lifestyle dimension of customer needs is ignored at the peril of growth. The new Microsoft websites promoting AI, gaming, big data, cloud – are all designed to speak to the lifestyles of buyers – even though each service is rooted in strong, innovative technical competence (based on Mancha, Gordon and Stoddard, 2021).
Anonymous (2010). Building repeatable innovations at Microsoft. Strategic Direction. Volume 26, No 2, pp. 1-12.
Currie, R.J. (2017). Cross-Border Evidence Gathering in Transnational Criminal Investigation: Is the Microsoft Ireland Case the “Next Frontier”? The Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Volume 54, (October), pp. 63-97.
Economides, N., Lianos, I (2009). The elusive antitrust standard on bundling in Europe and I the United Sates in the aftermath of the Microsoft case. Antitrust Law Journal. Volume 76, No 2, pp. 483-567.
Ibarra, H., Rattan, A., and Johnston, A. (2018). Microsoft: instilling a growth mindset. London Business School Review, Volume 29 No 3, pp. 50-53.
Mancha, R., Gordon, S., and Stoddard, D. (2021). Seven mistakes to avoid in launching and scaling digital platforms. Journal of Business Strategy. Volume 42, No 2, pp. 126-136.
Rosoff, M. (2012). Former Microsoft Zune boss explains why it flopped. Business Insider. (May 11). Available at:
Warren, T. (2021). Microsoft mocks Apple’s doomed Touch Bar in new Surface ad. The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/25/22248238/microsoft-apple-macbook-touch-bar-surface-ad-nfl
FOLLOW THIS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM COMPLETELY FOR WRITING CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
The facts are still disconnected from inferences. The learning and inferences sound same. The anchor in facts is not clear yet. Keep up the good work.
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