Answer & Explanation:The following questions are to be addressed in the case analysis:1. Describe Cirque de Soleil’s business model? What is their strategy and what are their key success factors? 2. How would you rate Guy Laliberte’s leadership of the company? What are the pros and cons of this leadrship? 3. Describe the various types of strategic alliances that Cirque entered into through the years. Which was the most successful? 4. Make recommendations for Cirque’s future growth strategy both domestically and internationally. How should they continue to grow?
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Concepts and Cases
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About the Authors
JEFF DYER (Ph.D., UCLA, 1993) is the
Horace Beesley Professor of Strategy
at the Marriott School, BYU where he
serves as Chair of the Department of Organizational Leadership and Strategy.
Before joining BYU, Dr. Dyer was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s
Wharton School where he maintains an
adjunct professor position and continues to teach Executive MBAs. Dr. Dyer has considerable consulting experience, having spent 5 years working as a strategy
consultant and manager at Bain & Company, where he consulted with such clients as Baxter International, Kraft, Maryland
National Bank, and First National Stores. Since then he has
been a consultant, speaker, or trainer for a variety of companies, including Adobe, AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, General
Mills, Gilead Sciences, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and Sony. Dyer is the only strategy
scholar in the world to have published at least six times in the
Harvard Business Review and six times in Strategic Management Journal, the top academic journal in the strategy field.
In 2012, he was ranked the world’s #1 “most influential” management scholar among scholars who completed their Ph.D.s
after 1990. This ranking, published in Academy of Management
Perspectives, was based upon an equal weighting of academic
citations (academic influence) and non-“.edu” Google searches (business influence). His book, The Innovator’s DNA, is a
business best seller and has been published in 13 languages,
and his new book, The Innovator’s Method, has already hit top
10 business bestseller lists.
PAUL C. GODFREY (Ph.D., Washington,
1994) currently serves as the William and
Roceil Low Professor of Business Strategy in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Paul
teaches classes to BYU undergraduates,
as well as MBA and Executive MBA students. He was honored in 2013 with the
Marriott School’s Teaching Award, and in
2017 with the school’s research award. His research has appeared in the Academy of Management Review, the Strategic
Management Journal, the Journal of Business Ethics, and the
Journal of Management Inquiry. He has recently published a
book on eliminating poverty with Stanford University Press.
He has also co-edited two other books and served as a special
issue editor for two academic journals. He currently serves as
Associate Academic Director of the Economic Self-Reliance
Center at the Marriott School. He currently consults with a
variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Paul received
his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Washington
and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the
University of Utah.
ROBERT J. JENSEN (Ph.D., Wharton,
2006) is an associate professor of Strategy and International Business and is
a Whitman Faculty and Peery Research
Fellow at the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University. He received his Ph.D. from the Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania. He has published in many of the top management
journals including Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, and the Journal of International Business Studies. His professional awards include the
McKinsey & Company/SMS Best Conference Paper prize, honorable m
ention, a finalist for the Blackwell Best Dissertation Prize
from the Academy of Management, as well as the William H.
Newman Best P
aper from a Dissertation award, and runner up
for the Booz Allen Hamilton/SMS Ph.D. fellowship. His work was
honored as the best paper published in Competitiveness Review
in 2009 and his papers have been selected seven times for the
best paper proceedings of the Academy of Management. His research interests include leveraging knowledge assets through
transfer and replication including the problems of overcoming
the stickiness, or difficulty, of such transfers. He also researches the boundaries of the firm in extreme locations such as the
Bottom of the Pyramid including the rise of hybrid organizations in such locations. He is also currently working on a study
of the factors, both student, faculty, and course content factors,
that impact student success in management classes, particularly in online settings, and which professor characteristics and
routines can best be replicated in that medium.
DAVID J. BRYCE (Ph.D., Wharton, 2003)
is Associate Professor of Organizational
Leadership and Strategy at the Marriott
School of Management and has been an
adjunct Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School where he
has taught strategy in the MBA program
for executives. David earned a Ph.D. in
strategy and applied economics from the
Wharton School and is author on a number of thought-leading
articles for senior executives, including articles in the Harvard
Business Review. He conducts research in the area of corporate
strategy and has published in top academic journals such as
abo u t the au tho rs
Management Science and Organization Science. For more than
20 years, he has served as consultant on important strategic
challenges to executives of start-ups, mid-market companies, and major corporations, including Eli Lilly, Prudential,
Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, and the
LG Group. He has worked with clients on enterprise strategy,
new market entry, branding, pricing, positioning, and growth.
He has also conducted many strategy-oriented leadership
training sessions over the past 10 years within the Fortune
50, including extensively at Microsoft. Prior to his academic
career, he held partner, vice president, and other senior positions at several global management consulting firms.
Why does the world need another strategy textbook? The answer is that we simply have not
been able to find a textbook that we felt fully met the needs of our students. What are those
needs? First, we wanted to write a textbook that would engage students’ interest using numerous practical examples and tools that would help them actually DO analysis to answer key
For example, leading firms and strategy consulting firms have tools to teach strategists
how to actually conduct a “5 Forces” analysis, calculate a scale or experience curve, or conduct
a net promoter score analysis. We wanted to provide those tools. We also wanted to create
interactive learning tools that would connect with a new generation of learners. This meant we
needed to provide interactive digital learning experiences such as the “white board” animated
videos that we have created to support our textbook. When students are more engaged, they
learn more—and they enjoy it more! Not surprisingly, this increases student satisfaction with
the course and the professor.
As we looked at how we could create an enjoyable and engaging strategy course learning
experience, we realized as an author group that we were somewhat uniquely qualified to
create that type of experience. Why? Because we collectively have over 13 years of full-time
management consulting experience at top consulting firms.
Why does this matter? Because we have practical experience applying strategy concepts
and tools to real companies—practical experience that we have embedded in this textbook.
Perhaps just as important, we know how to write to a management audience, having published
three books targeting a practitioner audience, seven articles in Harvard Business Review, and
another four articles in Sloan Management Review. Perhaps most important is the fact that
we’ve tested the text, cases, video animations, and strategy tools with large groups of business
students at BYU and Wharton over the past 10 years—with remarkable results. Average student
satisfaction ratings have been 6.6/7.0 across multiple instructors for strategy courses using our
materials. The bottom line is that we see better student satisfaction and higher teaching ratings
because of using this material. In just the past year, we have class tested Strategic Management
at over 40 institutions with over 900 students. In exit surveys, 76% of students rated the experience as positive or very positive. A few of their quotes are in the margin below.
Key Book Differentiators
Because this is a strategy book, we should tell you that our strategy in writing this book is to
offer unique value. The key differentiators of this book can be summarized with the acronym
TACT—Text, Animated Executive Summary Videos, Cases, and Tools.
Text. Each of our chapters is written in an accessible Harvard Business Review style
with lots of practical examples, and each chapter is roughly 20 percent shorter than
the chapters of the average strategy textbook. You can assign the whole chapter (not
just a few pages) and feel confident that your students will not perceive it as a waste of
time. This is not to say that we haven’t included core strategy concepts, frameworks,
and theories. They are all there.
Animated Executive Summary Videos. Each chapter is accompanied by at least one
8–10 minute animated video that brings the content to life. Today’s students love to
learn through interactive technology, and student response to our animated videos
has been positively off-the-charts. Research shows that student recall increases by
more than 15 percent when material is presented with a white board animation versus
a typical talking head lecture.1 These animated videos allow you to flip the classroom.
Study by Richard Wiseman. Available at http://www.sparkol.com/blog/how-scribe-videos-increase-your-studentslearning-by-15/
MY FAVORITE ASPECT WAS THE
EXAMPLES USED TO EXPLAIN THE
CONCEPTS. IT REALLY HELPED ME
UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL.
–BILL BOCHICCHIO, STUDENT,
THE WHITEBOARD ANIMATIONS WERE
VERY ENTERTAINING AND HELPED
EXPLAIN SOME OF THE CONCEPTS IN
REAL LIFE SITUATIONS.
–CAMERON LANDRY, STUDENT,
MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY
viii pr eface
When students view the videos before class, they get the core concepts in a memorable
way. Then you have more time to discuss questions and help them deeply understand
and synthesize the concepts and tools.
THE CASES WERE MY FAVORITE
PART—UNDERSTANDING REAL WORLD
EXAMPLES HELPED PUT THINGS INTO
– PHILIP SIEKMANN, STUDENT,
PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF
I LIKED THE EXAMPLES AND THEIR
OVERALL RELEVANCE. I ALSO LIKED
THE STRATEGIC TOOLS AND THE
–DAVID GRANTHAM, STUDENT,
KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY
I FOUND IT TO BE A VERY EASY READ.
IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW BUSINESS
TEXTBOOKS THAT I ENJOYED READING
WHICH MADE LEARNING EASIER
AND MORE FUN.
–TAYLOR LEE, STUDENT, SAN JOSE
Cases. We will admit that differentiating cases isn’t easy, but we think we’ve done a
few things to make using our cases easier. Our cases offer new, shortened, and updated “classic” cases on familiar companies (e.g., Walmart, Coke and Pepsi, Intel,
Southwest, Nike, etc.). If you build your course around these cases, you’ll experience
very low switching costs moving to our book. We’ve also written cases on companies
and topics that millennials gravitate to such as Tesla, Uber, ESPN, Amazon, skype,
Netflix/Redbox/Hulu, Samsung, and the AT&T-Apple alliance.
We also provide brief Case Notes and PowerPoint presentations to summarize key
take-aways for each case.
Tools. Almost every chapter will offer a “Strategy Tool” to teach students how to apply
a theory, framework, or concept. Students will feel like they have learned how to DO
something—actually conduct analysis that will help with strategic decisions. Some of
these tools are used in Fortune 500 companies and in strategy consulting firms such
as Bain, BCG, and McKinsey when they do strategy analysis for clients. For example,
the book shows the student how to assess the attractiveness of an industry, how
to calculate and use scale or experience curve, how to create a net promoter score to
assess whether a differentiation strategy is working, and how to decide whether
to “make” versus “buy.” Many of the end-of-chapter cases integrate the strategy tool
into the case so you can easily have students apply the tool as they analyze the case.
Our students tell us that these tools help them feel that they are acquiring useful
analytical skills to help them in making strategic decisions.
We think the combination of well-conceived and executed Text, Animated Executive Summary
Videos, Cases, and Tools can dramatically improve student satisfaction with your strategy
course. Indeed, a random sample of strategy professors who reviewed our text book preferred
it over their current textbooks by almost 4:1. That’s a pretty powerful endorsement.
So, does the world need another strategy text? We answer “yes,” and we offer one that provides students with a well-designed, engaging, and learning-rich combination of TACT: Text,
Animated Executive Summary Videos, Cases, and Tools. We’ve also found that, when our students enjoy their courses, we enjoy teaching much more.
What’s New in Edition 2?
When you open the book, you’ll see much that’s new, from new color schemes to layouts.
There’s more that’s new, however, than just cosmetics; we’ve taken time to respond to feedback from users of the first edition, sharpened our ties to the overarching framework of our
book, and provided new updates and cases. Let’s look at each of these in turn:
User Feedback. While we got rave reviews for the first edition, we also received
some very insightful critique. One new thing we’ve added is a feature in most chapters called, Strategy and Your Career. These sidebars will help students see a stronger
link between what they study in the classroom and the things they care about most:
landing great jobs and leading fulfilling lives. We also are upgrading the quality of the
Teaching Notes and PowerPoint Presentations that you can use to teach concepts in
Sharper Focus. We approach strategy—the search for competitive advantage—as
the answer to four critical questions: Where should we compete? Why do we win
with customers? How do we deliver unique value to win with customers? How will we
win over time, or sustain our competitive advantage? Several chapters now include
a specific section that details new thinking about the answers to these four questions. For example, we explore the idea that “where you compete” is less at the industry level and more at the “job-to-be-done” level. We also discuss new thinking that
suggests unique value is less about cost versus differentiation and more about cost
and differentiation—meaning that companies are increasingly offering differentiated
products at a lower price.
New Content and Cases. We’ve updated a number of chapter-opening vignettes.
Chapter 12, for example, featured the demise of Enron, which occurred when today’s
college seniors were preschoolers; this edition now uses the failures of Wells Fargo
in 2016 to highlight the role of corporate governance. For Chapter 6, on corporate
strategy, we’ve added new content: two more S’s to the ways firms can add value
through diversification. Finally, the Second Edition has new cases on ESPN, CVS
Pharmacy, Tesla, Uber, Columbia Helicopters, and Valient Pharmaceuticals, among
others. Our case library continues to grow as we add new cases each year to keep
strategy teaching fresh and current. We also continue to create additional strategy
animations to further teach your students how to use the strategy tools found in the
text. For example, how to calculate a scale or experience curve, or how to calculate
a net promoter score. Similar to our case library, our animation library will continue
to grow. You’ll soon see new “tool” animations on how to analyze a case and how to
create a strategy canvas.
Practical Application Guide. This brief manual, authored by Sheri B. Schulte, University of Akron, provides an introduction to a “flipped classroom” approach of teaching
Strategic Management. It contains practical exercises linking to key topics throughout
the text. Each exercise is accompanied by facilitator’s instructions, questions for classroom discussion and follow up, and suggested answers.
If you are a current user of our book, let us say “Thank You!” for your support and your
wonderful feedback. If you are thinking about adopting our text, we’d encou …
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