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USA TODAY Pursuing the Network Strategy (A) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1139 1319 Words (5 Pages) Michael L. Tushman, Michael J. Roberts, David Kiron Harvard Business School : 402010
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The case talks in detail about the evolution of USA Today, a newspaper company that wants to integrate the electronic version and print version of the news. For this, it has to incorporate USA TODAY ONLINE into its newspaper version organizational structure. In trying to do so, on one hand, management has developed issues and pressures with the Online Division; on the other hand, it has generated a lot of negative criticism from newsroom staff. Despite of all this, CEO Tom Curley agrees with the need for integration for future growth. Now, the task for him is to identify the extent to which integration is required, how it can be achieved, and what will be the consequences of it.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What context do Curley and his team face in February 2000?

  2. What is the network strategy, what assumptions is it based upon, what hurdles does Curley face in pursuing it, and what will be required in order for it to succeed?

  3. Why have Dave Mazzarella and Lorainne Cichowski been so far apart? Why is there such superficiality on TRom’s team regarding his network strategy?

  4. What should Tom Curley do? Why is he talking about a revolution?

Case Analysis for USA TODAY Pursuing the Network Strategy (A)

1. What context do Curley and his team face in February 2000?

Curley, the CEO of USA TODAY is facing an important challenge that he must address in case he wants future outlook of USA TODAY to be bright. USA TODAY was initially established as a newspaper with access available only through print media. Now, the world is turning into the global village and because of technology and the internet, access of people to news across the globe is increasing. Therefore, many people are using e-newspaper rather the print version. Seeing the new dimension of growth of the industry, Curley and his team must decide about the future growth strategy of the USA TODAY. During the initial years, the company restricted itself to the printed version of the newspaper and limited web presence. In the late nineties, this strategy started falling and as a result, sales started decreasing. By 1999, sales drop started resulting in low profits and decreased market share. In order to get back their profit and share, in 2000 management was facing an important decision of deciding whether they wanted to restrict themselves to the print version or would they integrate print version with TV and web i.e. integrating printed paper, e-paper and television media. The company had tried implementing this strategy before, but it had resulted in the fragmentation of the company. The web presence of the company was functioning as an independent unit, called USA TODAY ONLINE, and was not ready to be merged with the parent company. Establishing a TV channel had already failed to lead to a loss on the part of the company. News subsidiary consisted of many small asylums. Because of these problems, management was facing a complex challenge of deciding whether they want to function in the same way or are they willing to make changes in organizational structure in order for a bright future.

2. What is the network strategy, what assumptions is it based upon, what hurdles does Curley face in pursuing it, and what will be required in order for it to succeed?

As per the case study, network strategy is defined as integrating a print version of the paper with television and digital version i.e. integrating three different business units. Generally for this management has to make a few changes in their organizational structure and their business model. The network strategy model is based on numerous assumptions. Because of convenience, people are moving from the print version to e-version. The model believes that through this strategy companies can increase its outreach. It can provide both domestic and international news to everyone across the globe. Many news companies are adopting this strategy; therefore, it is the need of the hour for Curley and his company to pursue this strategy too. However, there are numerous hurdles that the company is facing, and it must overcome them before proceeding forward. Firstly, the company already had tried establishing a TV channel under the banner of USA TODAY, but the attempt failed to result in major losses for the company. Secondly, the teams of the web version and printed version were functioning independently of each other. Both had their separate set of people and integrating the two means introducing several changes in the organizational structure of the company. Thirdly, almost everyone in the top management was resisting this change. If Curley wants to successfully implement a network strategy, he must first take some steps to overcome these hurdles. Firstly, the company should start working on its TV channel again. It should try to learn from its previous experience and should utilize all resources. Secondly, even though both units are functioning independently, the company should try to integrate them to the extent possible. Even if certain changes are to be made in organizational structure, the company should try to convince its employees to be flexible. Lastly, he must try to convince the top management by telling them the advantages of integrating and the profit figures that can be reached. Through this, Curley can remove the hurdles present in implementing the network strategy

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