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Research in Motion: Managing Explosive Growth Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
903 1161 Words (4 Pages) Paul W. Beamish, Roderick E. White, Daina Mazutis Ivey Publishing : 908M46
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David Yach is experiencing exponential growth at Research in Motion (RIM); however, growth of a company requires a growth in its department of research and development alike. Telecommunications industry is based upon innovation, and creative solutions to compete in the increasingly intense competition. RIM has to increase the number of its software developers in order to make the company stronger in the area of research and development. Success of Blackberry has forced Yach to consider modification in the recruitment process to maintain the growth level of the company in the long run.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. Why is it important for RIM to grow its pool of software developers?

  2. What are the different options for growing the pool of software developers?

  3. Which option(s) should RIM pursue?

  4. How would you advise David Yach begin to implement the option you recommend? Please devise an action plan. Be specific (e.g., one month, six months, by the end of 2008).

Research in Motion Managing Explosive Growth Case Analysis

1. Why is it important for RIM to grow its pool of software developers?

Research and development are not only used for the invention and production of new products. It is necessary to make the new products according to the taste and likeliness of the consumers. A successful product is preferred by the customers over the products produced by competitors of the particular industry. R & D team at Research in Motion (RIM) expands its horizon of activities by applying a dual strategy for creating/discovering a new form of innovation leading to growth, and improvisation of the present technology used in the products of the company.

RIM has been able to increase the subscriber number of Blackberry from 0.5 million in 2003 to 14 million in 2008. An increase of 13.5 million subscribers within the time period of 5 years resulted in the sales of $6,009.4 million in 2008. The mobile communication industry is continuously evolving into a huge market of innovation and development. Blackberry competed in the market through the competitive advantages such as corporate security feature, push e mail, and confidential customer information guarantee. However, research and development is necessary in order to survive in the lucrative telecommunication market. RIM already has 2100 employees dedicated for R & D, with a ratio of 2:1 in software to hardware developers. Increasing rate of the growth makes the increase in R&D force mandatory. Company success in the telecommunication industry is a two-edged sword, setting a higher standard of innovation and creative usability with every new product launch. Software developers need to be increased relative to the growth rate of the company. Competitive forces like the launch of Apple, and the changing trend of consumers from simple mobile phones to mobile phones with comprehensive operating systems has pushed the need for increasing the pool of software developers. It is important for RIM to grow its pool of software developers to maintain the growth rate at an increasing rate, and penetrate into the consumer market with a strong competitive edge.

2. What are the different options for growing the pool of software developers?

Improvisation of Existing Strategy

RIM has been successful in the implementation of local and national recruitment drives in order to attract the talented pool of new graduates from different universities at a time. Recruitment of international graduates has also resulted in a successful strategy for talent hunt. Internet is utilized for the purpose of job posting, and potential candidates can directly apply through the internet making the process fast and efficient.

Geographical Expansion

In order to increase the number of software developers, RIM has to increase the number of its R&D operation centers according the different localities and geographical areas. It already has five operating areas for the same purpose over five years. The number should be increased, but it should be clear that there is ample availability of skilled software developers in that particular area. The transfer of corporate culture to those areas is also an issue to be considered before strategy implementation.

Acquisition Strategy

Acquisition is a useful strategy to find the talented pool of employees required for a particular company. RIM can execute this strategy and acquire research and development companies in order to make use of their existing expertise in software development. Acquisition of a set up based in Israel, Slangsoft, enabled RIM to capture the emerging market of China by introducing the Chinese language interface in Blackberry.


It is important for a company to find a mature and skilled set of employees throughout the global network. RIM can find skilled software developers as well as bright students of technology universities through the process of globalized recruitment drive. However, copyright and legal issues should be kept in consideration.

3. Which option(s) should RIM pursue?

RIM has various options for the selection of a talented pool of software developers for R&D department. Improvising existing strategy, geographical expansion, acquisition strategy and globalization are some of the optimum and effective strategies to deal with company’s recruitment process. However, optimization of existing strategies is the best option for RIM at the present point in time. As the company has shown a positive response in local and nationwide selection of technological university graduates, it can extend the process by offering more coops programs like that of Microsoft. It could also learn from the global scouting technique of Microsoft and attract young talented developers from emerging markets like Canadian technology market.

RIM has two main issues to be considered in the process of optimizing present situation.

  1. Develop a sophisticated system of employee selection and training.

  2. Restructure the online process of job posting and application.

It can formalize the hiring process by accepting resumes only one time in a year; then select the best suitable candidate from the resumes pool. However, RIM should focus on the selection of skilled software developers and avoid burdening the company with a large number of new graduates requiring extensive training for corporate culture adaptation.

4. How would you advise David Yach begin to implement the option you recommend? Please devise an action plan. Be specific (e.g., one month, six months, by the end of 2008).

Being the top decision maker of the company, Yach is faced with the challenge to increase the number of software developers to match with the revenue growth of 98 percent. He has to review the system of recruitment and make modifications keeping in view the next two years. Growth of the 1st quarter i.e. $2.2 billion needs to be considered in the planning of an optimum recruitment system. The revenue projection of RIM shows the optimum amount of software developers i.e. an increase of $2.2 billion in revenues during the current fiscal year has to be partnered with a similar form of increase in the workforce. Determination of resource level is the next step which is essential for maintaining the existing structure of the company. Yach has to determine how much of the resources will be needed for the next two years in order to reach the predefined targets of growth and expansion.

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