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The National Geographic Society Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
970 614 Words (2 Pages) David A. Garvin, Carin-Isabel Knoop Harvard Business School : 311002
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The main strategic issue that the company is facing is regarding rapidly changing macro environment. There are two main aspects of the macro environment that have combined and are causing the company some problems. Dwindling economy along with rapid technological advancement has forced the company to devise an e-commerce strategy. In this way, the company can centralize the whole operational system. The main problem that the company is facing regarding this strategic issue is that it has to hire an executive who would be responsible for overlooking the operations of e-commerce, which will centralize company’s operations and reach members in a convenient and cost efficient manner. Fahey, company’s chief executive officer is worried about whom the new executive would report to. It is very necessary to make this decision in a prudent manner because the new position should strike a balance between autonomy and company’s newly revised strategy

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Strategic Issues and Problems

  2. Alternatives

  3. Evaluation and Analysis

  4. Plan of Action

Case Analysis for The National Geographic Society


There are a number of options that are available to Fahey, but he has to choose only one as he cannot appoint three bosses over one single person. Currently, it is one the most important positions in the company as the implementation of the new strategy solely depends on him/her.

The first alternative can be that the company can choose to place new executive directly under the CEO, Fahey. He/she will directly report to him in pursuit of showing performance measures and assistance in decision making.

The second alternative is that the company should place him directly under the CEO of Global Media. It is one of company’s main divisions that head a whole array of programs that range from National Geographic Magazine to National Geographic TV channels.  

The third alternative is that the company should place him/her under the CEO of Enterprise Group. This division of the company deals in retailing, franchising, merchandising, and a whole array of activities that are related to brand extension.

Evaluation and Analysis

In case the new executive directly reports to the CEO of Global Media Group, he/she will have full control over 90% of company’s revenue as this group brings in the majority of the revenue. However, this would decrease the new executive’s ability to influence the Enterprise Group.

In case the new executive is placed under the executive of the Enterprise Group, then he/she would have full access to a team of highly skilled photographers, researchers, academics, filmmakers, and other professionals. Moreover, this group directly acts upon company’s mission statement regarding society. Most importantly, this group has the most updated knowledge about current market trends, media groups, and product groups.

In case the new person is placed directly under Fahey, it would ensure neutrality in the position as he/she would have equal rights of access over both groups. However, Fahey had his reservation regarding increasing his span of control.

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