Business Strategy

An introduction, third edition

by David Campbell, David Edgar and George Stonehouse

Audio case studies

These audio case studies have been recorded by Chris McKenna, Lecturer in Strategy at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Through them we offer new case studies in established fields, or a fresh take on an established case study. All case studies feature web links, should you wish to explore further, and references to relevant passages in Business Strategy: an introduction by David Campbell, David Edgar and George Stonehouse, and also in Strategic Management by Colin White.

These cases were recorded in 2004 so in some instances, circumstances have changed (e.g. Grand Metropolitan and Guinness have merged to become Diageo). Text which updates the cases in these instances will follow shortly.

You can listen to the case studies through your PC or by downloading them to another device. To listen to the audio files through your PC use your mouse to left-click on the MP3 or WMA links below. To download the files, right-click and specify the destination to which you would like to save the file. mp3 files can be downloaded to your mp3 player or your iPod. Listening to these files through your computer may be easier with the wma files.
  • General Electric
    Leveraging scale as core competence in the diverse operations of the world's largest corporation.
  • Grand Metropolitan & Virgin
    The apparently disparate elements of large conglomerates are linked by strategic practise.
  • Disney
    The example of Disney proves that, when it involves complementary industries, diversification can work - even if born of necessity.
  • Hewlett Packard
    The relative experiences of HP and Xerox illustrate the importance of long term strategic planning.  
  • DuPont
    The case of DuPont supports Alfred Chandler's assertion that structure follows strategy.
  • Otis
    Good strategic decision making often has a firm basis in simple logic.
  • WNYT
    Good strategy can sometimes appear counter-intuitive; it is not necessarily rooted in economic efficiency.
  • Honda
    The success of Honda motorcycles was not a result of brilliant strategy, but a chance discovery of a market niche.
  • Rope-a-dope
    Mohammad Ali: an exponent of emergent or planned strategy?
  • More.com
    Certain Internet start-ups collapsed because they believed they could turn good strategy on its head.

General Electric

5.48 mins

General Electric Audio Files (mp3 and wma formats)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • The General Electric matrix is discussed on pages 44-46
  • Core competencies are discussed in chapter 4 on Business competences, processes and activities. See especially pages 49-53.
White, Strategic Management
  • General Electric's company strategy is thoroughly explained in Chapter 16, Formulating Strategy. See Case Study Scenario, p. 569 and Case Study 1, pp. 599-605.
  • Core competencies are discussed in Chapter 7, Analysing resources, capabilities and core competencies. See pp. 243-65.
Useful Web Links: 

General Electric: www.ge.com/en/
GE Capital: www.gecapital.com
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines: www.geae.com
GE Energy: www.gepower.com/home
GE Industrial Systems: www.geindustrial.com

Grand Metropolitan & Virgin

5.05 mins

Grand Metropolitan and Virgin audio files (mp3 and wma)


Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Virgin and ‘The Branson test’ are discussed in a case study on p.17 in chapter 2, Perspectives on strategy.
  • Grand Metropolitan is discussed in chapter 15, Strategic development: directions and mechanisms, in relation to its merger with Guinness to become Diageo.
White, Strategic Management
  • The Virgin brand is explored in an in-depth case study in Part V. See pp. 773-7.
  • Richard Branson and Virgin are covered in Chapter 10, Differentiating the product. See Strategy in Action, pp. 359-60 and Focus on Practice, pp. 362-3
Useful Web Links 

Grand Metropolitan's merger with Diageo: www.ukbusinesspark.co.uk/grn88548.htm
Diageo: www.diageo.com
Hanson: www.hansonplc.com
Virgin: www.virgin.com

Disney

4.15mins

Disney audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Diversification in covered in chapter 14, Strategic options, evaluation and selection of strategies, as is Ansoff’s matrix, strategic risk, and product and market development.
White, Strategic Management
  • Diversification is explored in Chapter 11, Determining the size of an enterprise. See p. 391. Diversification and risk is covered in Chapter 14, Managing Risk. See pp. 516-7.
  • The establishment of Disneyland, Disney World and Euro Disney is covered in Chapter 15, Participating in the global economy. See pp. 545-7. This subject is also treated in an expanded Case Study in Part V. See pp. 743-7.

Useful Web Links 

Disney: www.disney.co.uk
Disney online: www.disneyinternational.com
Disneyland: http://disneyland.disney.go.com 
Walt Disney World: www.disneyworld.disney.go.com
Disneyland Paris: www.disneylandparis.com
Disney Store Online: http://www.disneystore.co.uk/

Hewlett Packard

4.01 mins

Hewlett Packard audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Xerox is discussed in relation to benchmarking in chapter 19 on Quality.
  • Strategic planning is defined on p.6, deliberate strategies are discussed on pages 3, 5, 16 and 23, and chapter 14 on Strategic options, evaluation and selection of strategies is useful here.
White, Strategic Management
  • The Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger is detailed in an in-depth case study in Part V. See pp. 722-8.
Useful Web Links 

Hewlett-Packard: www.hp.com
HP Labs - advanced research at Hewlett-Packard: www.hpl.hp.com
Xerox: www.xerox.com
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center: www.parc.com

DuPont

4.23 mins

DuPont audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Alfred Chandler’s thoughts on strategy are covered in chapter 1, where his work is also summarised in a Guru Guide feature.
White, Strategic Management
  • The assertion that strategy determines organizational structure is discussed in Chapter 12, Integrating the strategists. See Strategy and organizational design, pp. 431-41.

Useful Web Links 

DuPont: www.dupont.com
General Motors: www.gm.com
Alfred Chandler: www.caslon.com.au/biographies/chandler.htm

Otis

6.28 mins

Otis audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Porter’s Five Forces framework is discussed in chapter 10, The microenvironment: markets and analysis of the competitive environment.
  • Michael Porter’s work is summarised in a Guru Guide feature in chapter 2, Perspectives on Strategy (see p.19).
White, Strategic Management
  • Rational decision making is outlined in Chapter 4, Reading an uncertain future. See pp. 116-9.
  • Barriers to entry are explained in Chapter 6, Reading the competitive environment. See pp. 207-9.
Useful Web Links 
Otis: www.otis.com

WNYT

Good strategy can sometimes appear counter-intuitive; it is not necessarily rooted in economic efficiency.
3:58 mins

WNYT audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Michael Porter's Five Forces are outlined in chapter 10, The microenvironment: markets and analysis of the competitive environment (see pp.149-155). His generic strategies are discussed in chapter 13, Competitive advantage and strategy (see pp.195-208)
  • Organizational structure is discussed on pages 253-4.
White, Strategic Management
  • The multi-divisional model is discussed in Chapter 12, Integrating the strategists. See Strategy and organizational design, pp. 431-41.
  • Michael Porter's role in applying the academic framework of economics to strategic thinking is introduced in Chapter 1, Introducing strategy and strategy making. See pp. 11-12. His Five Forces are outlined in Chapter 6, Reading the competitive environment. See pp. 203-7.
Useful Web Links 

WNYT: www.wnyt.com

Honda

6.48 mins

Honda audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Differentiation strategy is discussed in chapter 13, Competitive advantage and strategy (see especially pp.198-9).
White, Strategic Management
  • Product differentiation in the motorcycle industry is discussed in Chapter 10, Differentiating the product. See Strategy in Action, pp. 353-4 and Focus on Practice, pp. 354-5.

Useful Web Links 

More on the Honda Motorcycle case:www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/dick.rumelt/Docs/Papers/HONDA.pdf
Honda: www.honda.com
Honda Motorcycles: www.powersports.honda.com
Harvard Business School: www.hbs.edu
The Boston Consulting Group: www.bcg.com

Rope-a-dope

6.10 mins

Rope-a-dope audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • Henry Mintzberg’s Five P’s are discussed chapter 1, strategy and strategic management, where his work is also summarised in a Guru Guide feature. Deliberate strategy is covered on pages 3, 5, 16 and 23, while emergent strategy is defined on page 18.
White, Strategic Management
  • Henry Mintzberg's strategic programming is covered in Chapter 2, Thinking and acting strategically. See pp. 56-7.
Useful Web Links 

Henry Mintzberg: www.henrymintzberg.com

More.com

4.17 mins

More.com audio files (mp3 and wma)

Tie-ins to Palgrave Textbooks
Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse, Business Strategy
  • The effect of the Internet on strategy is discussed in chapter 18, The web, new technology and new organizational forms.
Useful Web Links 

More.com - now a magazine homepage: www.more.com
Gillette - still going strong: www.gillette.com