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The case of “Dow Corning’s Xiameter Brand

Q1.)1) Examine how theories of motivation can be implemented in an organisation. Develop a plan aiming at increasing employee motivation in an organisation.
Please refer to one from each
school of motivation – content (Maslow) and process (Vroom Expectancy Theory).
2) How do you plan to help supervisors understand group roles and identify group development in order to better manage stress?
Situation : You received reports from various supervisors about increase stress within certain team members, mainly due
to COVID-19 realities.
The case “Dow Corning’s Xiameter Brand: Product Commoditization and Business Model Innovation” talks about the efforts taken by Dow Corning Corp (Dow) to reinvent its business to cater to the price conscious buyer of silicone products better. The case starts out by mentioning the history of Dow and its evolution as a pioneer in developing silicone products.
It goes on to describe the trials faced by the company due to the commoditization of certain silicone products and the resultant rise in competition. Later, the case details the new Xiameter business model adopted by the company, along with the B2B online sales channel Xiameter.com.
The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
· To understand the need to bring in new business models
· To realize the importance of right customer segmentation
· To determine appropriate pricing structures
· To recognize the need for competitive advantage in commodity products
This case is about Newseum- a unique and interactive news-based museum that promoted free expression through exhibition galleries. With a $307 million debt on its building, $61 million annual operating budget, and about eight successive years of deficit in the books, there was a question mark hanging over the sustainability of the crusader of the First Amendment. The latest available financial statements, which were as of 2015 showed revenue of $59.3 million and expenses of $61.9 million, leaving the Newseum with a deficit of $ 2.6 million. Most of the financial requirements of the Newseum were funded by a single donor – its promoter firm, the Freedom Forum. As of 2017, Freedom Forum had infused more than $500 million into Newseum. By 2017, the Newseum had gone through four rounds of lay-offs, which painted a bleak picture of its very survival. The one-of-its-kind of museum that had an annual reach to over 8 million students and millions of other groups globally, found a dearth of generous donors who could help it avert the crisis. The Freedom Forum also found it challenging to supply any further funds to the Newseum, pushing the museum slowly toward a possible closure.
While there were several reasons behind the debacle, the Newseum’s business model was widely regarded as the primary reason for its crash. At the end of August 2017, the Freedom Forum initiated a strategic review program to take stock of the situation and arrive at an appropriate decision that would be in the best interests of the sinking museum.
· The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:Appraise the business model of the Newseum
· Understand the nature of the Newseum’s business, its stakeholders, its revenue sources, and the nature of its expenses
· Evaluate the factors that pushed the Newseum into financial distress
· Examine whether there is a survival/ turnaround strategy that could save the Newseum
This case discusses the innovative strategies adopted by one of the leading fast casual restaurants in US, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Chipotle adopted an innovative strategy called ‘Food with Integrity’ where the ingredients are sourced naturally from local farmers and meat is sourced from animals which are naturally grown in open fields. Chipotle leveraged the sustainability in food as its unique selling factor to replace the homemade food for the busy professionals and promoted the importance of healthy food through unconventional advertising practices like short films and web series.
However Chipotle was in trouble and was reeling from lost sales after a food safety crisis that sickened 60 people with E. coli across 14 states in the US in 2015. Moreover the data hacking scandal further dented the image of the company. Thereafter, Steve Ells took full control of the restaurant chain and implemented a multi-pronged turnaround plan aimed at luring customers back to its restaurants. The case highlights the importance of innovation to survive in the high competition of an industry and achieving customer loyalty by maintaining consistent quality of production through commitment to the company’s core policy like Chipotle adhered to its core policy of ‘Food with integrity’ even in tough times. The challenge before Steve Ells, CEO of Chipotle is to construct a fair food system, regain the trust of American customers and increase sales.
· The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:Identify the challenges faced by Chipotle and explore strategies that the company might adopt to overcome them.
· Evaluate Chipotle’s business model, and understand the reasons behind the fast food chain’s success. Understand the issues and challenges related to Chipotle’s business model.
· Study how innovative business models help companies grow and gain competitive advantage.
· Study how innovation drives competitiveness in achieving low cost.
· Understand various concepts like disruptive innovation, sharing economy, and business model innovation.
· Identify the role of entrepreneurs in any industry and the challenges they face while conducting a sustainable business like Chipotle.
Starbucks is considered a success story of a global brand turning around its business by returning to its roots and reconnecting with its customers through business model innovation. Founded in 1971 with the objective of selling coffee beans and coffee making equipment, Starbucks grew to become one of the fastest growing coffee chains in the US. Despite being a coffee chain giant, Starbucks experienced soaring growth with many innovations around its core food offerings, firmly establishing it a top player. The case shows how Starbucks has brewed success through its business model innovation. The company had taken many decisions to develop its business model that radically deviated from industry dogmas and locked out the competitors in the coffee industry. After a gloomy period of a slowdown in Starbucks’ business, Howard Schultz brought in changes to its business model that drove innovation with sustainable value creation strategy. The presence of its visionary CEO at the helm, along with the company’s track record of innovation, has been Starbucks’ driving force for growth over the years.
However, the new CEO Kevin Johnson had his task cut out for him in turning the coffee giant’s fortunes around at home as Starbucks struggled with some new challenges, particularly with respect to the congestion in its stores caused by the coffee chain’s mobile platform. Will the new CEO be able to maintain Starbucks’ growth trend and address those challenges going forward?
· The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:Understand the growth strategy of Starbucks under Howard Schultz.
· Evaluate the business model innovation of Starbucks and understand the factors leading to its success.
· Examine the competitive advantage of Starbucks by following the business model innovation.
· Understand the challenges faced by Starbucks with its mobile ordering technology.
· Explore future strategies that the company may follow to continue with the digital drive and ensure increasing customer footfalls to its stores.
The case “General Motors’ Exit from India – A Wise Move?” talks about the circumstances that forced GM to exit the Indian auto market that was considered the fastest growing market in the world. The case starts out by providing a glimpse into GM’s early days in the 1990s, when it was the first multinational auto maker to enter India after the country’s liberalization. The case then documents how the company failed to maintain a space for itself in the highly competitive Indian auto market and the reasons for its market failure. It mentions the various motives of the company in exiting an auto market with high growth potential. The reactions of the company’s dealers, vendors, employees, and customers to the market exit are also provided in detail. The case ends with a look into GM’s future areas of focus from which it expected to make profits.
· The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:Devise the right market entry strategy for an emerging market .
· Apply the BCG framework in devising a strategy to manage a business portfolio.
· Develop an appropriate market exit strategy.

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