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How can organizations engage young workers, keep them engaged, and reduce turnover to manageable levels? This chapter addresses three tactics for coping with the problem of churn.
Saturn was General Motors' (GM) response to Japanese companies' dominance of the small car market during the mid-1980s. In the three-and-a-half years since its first sedan rolled off the assembly line, the Saturn Corp. had accumulated an impressive list of achievements. In April, 1994 Saturn's top management team met with GM's leadership to discuss the subsidiary's business plan. As Saturn's president reflected on the company's future and on his experience at GM, he felt confident that the executive committee would approve expansion if the Saturn team showed that it had achieved a sustainable position. Illustrates strategic analysis of sustainable competitive advantage.
In the Spring of 1994, Saturn Corp. was setting sales records by attracting more than 25,000 buyers per month. Saturn officials believed there was a long-term opportunity to sell 400,000 to 500,000 cars per year in the United States and selected international markets. Saturn managers had been reviewing options for a second assembly plant (known as "Module II") with General Motors (GM) since the beginning of the year. One possibility was to expand capacity at Saturn's existing production facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. A second set of options involved refitting one of several plants that had been mothballed or was scheduled to close shortly.
Provides an overview of the retail sector within the United States as online shopping captures an increased percentage of consumer spending. The role of enabling technologies and applications, including comparison shopping sites and recommendation systems, are covered. Additionally, the strategies, specifically the evolution of multi-channeling retail, are discussed.
Escalating conflict has erupted within the Satera product development team, resulting from the conflicting cognitive styles of the two senior mechanical engineers. The conflict has taken a toll on both project progress and team morale, endangering one of the most important initiatives at Imatron Systems, Inc. After discussing the situation with VP of R&D Rick Levinger, team leader Gary Pinto realizes he must take decisive action. This case presents a profile of the company, the team, the Satera project, and the team members, focusing on Pinto and the dueling engineers. Through a detailed description of their vastly different problem-solving preferences, and the interactions in which those differences become most apparent, the conflict presents a common problem that managers must face when working with creative people on creative projects.
Technology has been perhaps the single most important intervention in knowledge worker performance over the past couple of decades. The advent of personal computers, personal productivity software, personal digital assistants, mobile technologies, and other applications for the support of knowledge work has transformed it considerably. But it is not always safe to assume that these technologies have enhanced knowledge worker productivity. This chapter describes how technologies at the organizational level have impacted different types of knowledge work. This chapter is excerpted from "Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers."
This technical note explains in detail the investment evaluation techniques introduced in "Bonnie Road", HBS case no. 813-186.
Addresses the controversy that surrounds highly promotional retail pricing referred to as "high-low pricing" by the trade. High-low pricing involves setting prices at an initially high level for a brief period of time, then discounting off the so-called "regular" or "original" prices for the bulk of the selling season. Discusses recent accusations by state and local authorities that such pricing policies are deceptive and covers, in detail, a recent court case involving May D&F, a subsidiary of the May Companies in Colorado. Introduces the complexity of the retail promotional environment, and the problems associated with highly promotional pricing. Understanding consumer response to promotions is critical to the case analysis.
In early 2002, XM and Sirius were fighting for control of the emerging U.S. market for satellite radio. Each company targeted consumers in automobiles, providing 100 channels of CD-quality audio for a monthly subscription fee of $10-$13. Wall Street analysts predicted that these companies would be profitable by 2005-2006, but investors were increasingly skeptical of ventures that required huge, irrevocable bets on customer acquisition and infrastructure. This case describes the business models of the satellite radio companies, the technology they employed, and their target markets. Poses questions about their pricing strategies, strategic partnerships with auto manufacturers, and whether they should develop interoperable radios that receive either company's signals.
Provides an overview of the current restructuring that is taking place in the retail financial services industry. Provides a brief overview of the structural changes in banking, brokerage, insurance, and mutual funds. Used as background for examining the strategies of several firms competing in this space.
Company strategy describes how an enterprise aims to differentiate itself in the marketplace. It's up to company leaders to articulate both a strategy and the areas within which they will support innovative ideas and projects. Like a share of corporate stock, every project has a unique risk-return profile. Decision makers need a method for measuring and managing the risk and return characteristics of innovative initiatives. This chapter discusses portfolio and risk management. This chapter was originally published as chapter 10 of "Harvard Business Essentials: The Innovator's Toolkit."
This chapter suggests that instead of relying so heavily on budget targets in decision-making and performance assessment processes, organizations would benefit from using budgets as rough guidelines for planning and forecasting, giving more weight to indicators that more fully capture relative competitive performance.
This chapter addresses the problem of relying on resumes to find, screen, and hire leadership talent when they are all too often inaccurate guides.
Marcelo Alecrim, the owner of SAT, a gas distribution company in Brazil, envisioned many growth opportunities but lacked financial resources to pursue them. He was approaching an American private equity fund to raise money. Describes Alecrim's challenge in creating SAT and the way he leveraged his vision and a sound business model.
The scientific and commercial promise of biotechnology has been impeded by the way the business is structured and operated. What are the key strategic issues facing younger and more established biotechnology firms, specifically on questions of vertical integration and organizational boundaries? This chapter focuses on the strategies and business models biotech and established pharmaceutical companies might deploy to improve their performance and realize the industry potential to transform health care. This chapter is excerpted from "Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech."
Contains President Reagan's address to Congress in February of 1981 in which he proposes $49 billion in budget cuts and tax reductions. Also contains David Stockman's "economic Dunkirk" memorandum of November 1980. Exhibits contain economic data. Purpose is to provide an opportunity to analyze and evaluate Reagan's assumptions.
Focuses on the competitive decline of the integrated steel producers in the United States from 1970 to 2002. Issues include: Should the U.S. government impose tariffs to try to protect the industry? What should labor unions do, if anything, to protect jobs and wage rates of employees in failing companies?
Sasol, the world's largest producer of synthetic oil from coal and gas, has announced plans to build a huge Catalytic cracker and gas-to-liquids plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This $21 billion venture will be the single largest foreign direct investment in US manufacturing history. The plants, on 1,600 acres adjacent to the company's existing cracker, will liquefy 98,000 barrels daily, converting ethane to ethylene and then into various specialty chemicals. The entire project depends on low gas prices engendered by the shale revolution and relatively high oil prices. The risks are copious, as is the promise.
This Reading examines what it takes to build a successful managerial career. The Essential Reading section contends that a managerial role, by its nature, imposes learning needs that cannot be fully taught in the classroom but must be mastered throughout one's career. It then presents the Developmental Strategies Framework, which focuses on three recurring career challenges: (1) choosing the right position; (2) developing managerial skills by learning from stretch assignments and through periodic reflection; and (3) getting help by building a developmental network. The Reading includes two Supplemental Reading sections: one discusses an approach to honing ethical judgment; the other presents a way to think about integrating work and life goals. The Reading features five videos: "A Great Job Fit," which deals with how to choose new positions; "Seek Challenges," which advocates finding assignments that expand one's knowledge and skill set; "Forging a New Global Comfort Zone," covering the advantages of taking on international opportunities; "Seek Mentors Who Expand Your Comfort Zone," offering advice on how to use mentors; and "Ethical Ambiguity," which provides guidance on the ethical dimensions of managerial decision making. The Reading also includes an Interactive Illustration, "Work Values and Job Selection," in which readers rate five job opportunities, separately rate the importance of nine work values to them, and then analyze whether their job ratings are consistent with their work values.
Describes a simplified economic model that serves as a vehicle for understanding the strategic and possibly anticompetitive aspects of product proliferation.
Pizza Hut, Inc. is a franchisor of eat-in pizza restaurants. It has decided to enter the home delivery market and is in the process of implementing that strategy. The case traces the development of the home delivery concept at Pizza Hut and the interaction between the franchisor and its powerful franchisees as it attempts to achieve system-wide rollout. Focuses on the management of significant change in a franchise system and on the strategy decision regarding home delivery.
Updates the (A) case.
Description: Bettina Hein, founder-CEO of Pixability, is meeting with her board of directors to discuss her startup's fundraising prospects and the recent strategic pivot. Though Bettina loves the entrepreneurial exhilaration of "riding a rollercoaster every day," the company's current cash position gives them only a four-month runway. For Bettina, though they can at times be tense, board meetings and their preparation have become an exercise in reflection that gives her encouragement. In her prior startup, SVOX, Bettina learned a lot about managing a board of directors. While she can apply many of those lessons to her experience at Pixability, she's had to continue to develop new practices for portraying the company's progress, and for soliciting advice from her directors while projecting confidence. While preparing for the upcoming meeting, Bettina wonders: How should she structure and lead the meeting? How might her board react to her team's updates? What difficult questions might the board members pose and how should she answer them?
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal has historically been a stable and highly profitable industry, dominated by the Big Three of Kellogg, General Mills, and Kraft General Foods (Post). In 1994, private label cereals are making significant market share gains, and promotional competition among the manufacturers of branded cereals is heating up. What steps should one of the Big Three take to prevent these trends from undermining industry profitability, especially in light of likely competitor reactions?
How should creditors pursue their claims in a multi-jurisdiction bankruptcy? David Butters, Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, negotiates a restructuring of Navigator Gas Transport, a shipping company that is headquartered in Switzerland, incorporated in the Isle of Man, and operates ships that travel around the world. In analyzing the choices he faces, students must consider how the initial capitalization of Navigator contributed to its financial distress, evaluate several restructuring plans from a variety of perspectives, and assess how Butters might resolve the legal inconsistencies that arise in a multi-jurisdiction bankruptcy. In addition, they must determine if Butters has sufficient information about, and control over, operations at Navigator to be confident engaging in a lengthy set of legal proceedings.
Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the Help Center.
Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.
- Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
- DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
- BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
- MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
- DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivonas Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.