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Review the Case Study Introduction for Wayfair. Then, research Wayfair’s current business situation and take a deep dive into the nature of competition within its industry at the domestic and global levels. As you prepare your analysis of Wayfair’s present situation and future strategic opportunities, consider these basic topics: What is the strategic fit between Wayfair’s strategic policies and its industry, given factors within the pillars of the strategy tripod? Can Wayfair enhance its strategy and competencies to finally become profitable, or is its business model flawed?


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INT 700 Case Study Guidelines and Rubric
Prompt: Case studies are integral to this course and the business world. Careful analysis of each case study is required. When an analysis is completed, it should
read a narrative, summarizing and explaining your findings and your recommendations for solving the given problem. Refer to the Business Case Study Analysis
and Writing Guide and Common Mistakes Resource documents for tips on how to structure your case studies and ensure that you are addressing the critical
Guidelines for Submission: Your case study should be a 5- to 7-page Microsoft Word document, double spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch
margins, and APA citations and a reference page.
Critical Elements
Exemplary (100%)
Proficient (90%)
Needs Improvement (70%)
Not Evident (0%)
Synopsis / Executive
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
summary is clear and succinct,
does not repeat the detail of the
case or analysis, and has
consistent flow throughout.
Summary of the business case
includes the purpose, main
argument, assumptions, problem
diagnosis, and recommended
course of action without
unnecessary case details
Summary inadequately defines
the situation, problem(s),
recommended alternative(s),
and/or major assumptions of
the analysis
Summary fails to define the
situation, problem(s),
recommended alternative(s),
and major assumptions of the
Current Situation and
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
diagnosis addresses identified
problems at a root level,
insightfully dissecting the major
relationships between primary
and secondary problems and
their symptoms
There is a clear diagnosis of the
scale and scope of at least two
actionable strategic problems
that demonstrate a clear
understanding of the suitability
of the MNE’s competencies to
the institutional and industry
factors, and diagnosis utilizes at
least one strategic analysis tool
and some financial analysis
Diagnosis of scale and scope is
made regarding problems to
demonstrate clear
understanding of MNE’s
competencies and the
institutional and industry
factors, but there are some
omissions in detail or logical
support, or there is lack
of/misuse of appropriate
strategic concept
Discusses but does not diagnose
the problems impacting the
MNE’s competitiveness, or does
not use strategic analysis tools /
financial analysis techniques
Analysis and
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
alternatives to all diagnosed
problems are offered, and/or
comparative analysis
demonstrates superior
managerial insight in its
selection of comparison factors
Identifies distinct alternatives
addressing at least one of the
diagnosed problems, and
alternatives are evaluated for
attractiveness and feasibility
using appropriate strategic and
financial analysis tools
Only one alternative is given, or
alternatives are only partially
described, not feasible, or
inconsistent with strategic
analysis; there are some
omissions in detail or logical
support, or there is lack
of/misuse of appropriate
strategic concept
Does not identify alternatives to
address diagnosed problems, or
strategic or financial analysis
tools are not used
Critical Elements
Exemplary (100%)
Proficient (90%)
Needs Improvement (70%)
Not Evident (0%)
Meets “Proficient” criteria, and
response offers persuasive,
strategic rationale for how the
recommended alternatives solve
all diagnosed problems and lead
to above-average industry
returns, while not introducing
other significant risks to the
MNE; rationale leverages the
strategy tripod framework
Provides a recommended course
of action with substantiated
feasibility that is likely to solve at
least one of the identified
problems and lead to aboveaverage industry returns;
demonstrates ability to explicitly
integrate sophisticated use of
pillars of the strategy tripod
Provides a recommended course
of action, but recommendation’s
ability to solve identified
problem(s) is questionable due
to omissions in detail or logical
support, or there is lack
of/misuse of appropriate
strategic concept; strategy
tripod framework is only
generally referenced
Recommendation is not feasible
or mostly incongruent with
strategic analysis due to major
lack in detail and support;
strategy tripod is not referenced
Effectively uses an engaging,
fluent style appropriate for a
business professional, and has
no errors related to
organization, grammar, or use of
APA citation formatting
Uses a fluent style appropriate
for a business professional, and
has minimal errors related to
organization, grammar, or use of
APA citation formatting
Uses an informal style
inappropriate for a business
professional, and has errors
related to organization,
grammar, or use of APA citation
Uses an informal or incoherent
style inappropriate for a
business professional, and there
are major errors related to
organization, grammar, or use of
APA citation formatting
Case Study Introductions
Module One: Crocs Case Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
Module Three: Wayfair Case Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Module Five: Alibaba Case Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Module Seven: Uber Case Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Module Eight: General Electric Case Introduction …………………………………………………………………………… 4
Resources for Case Study Introductions …………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Module One: Crocs Case Introduction
Since its inception in 2002, Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX) has sold more than 300 million pairs of shoes in more
than 90 countries around the world. The company considers itself a world leader in innovative casual. By
2012, the trendy shoe brand was at the height of popularity (Max, 2013). The company was pursuing an
aggressive retailing strategy, offering over 300 different designs at nearly 600 retail stores worldwide,
with 315 normal stores, 157 outlet stores, and 122 kiosks. From this perspective, things looked bright for
this quirky, proprietary footwear manufacturer.
Then in 2013, the company’s performance began to publicly unravel. Although the company saw a rise
of 11.2% in sales revenue, it had also grown its store count by almost 20%. A closer look at the
company’s financials revealed that annual comparable store sales actually fell in the Americas by 8.3%
and in Japan by 16.3%. Internet sales were also lackluster, falling 4.8% year-over-year (Green, 2013). By
the summer of 2018, Crocs had just 398 locations. Moreover, fans were stunned to hear Crocs announce
that the company was closing its last manufacturing facility. According to (2017),
“Crocs challenges undoubtedly come at a time when retail, in general, is under tremendous pressures
and store closures, layoffs and even bankruptcy have become par for the course.”
It hasn’t been all bad news for Crocs management: Its efforts over the past several years to turn around
consumer interest in its quirky lightweight clogs may finally be working. After three years of declining
sales revenue and net losses to cash flows, the company saw its first profitable quarter in 2018
(Manarriz, 2018). It remains unclear if management can continue to improve Crocs’s performance given
the challenging retailing environment the footwear industry faces. Your case analysis will look to suggest
important considerations of Crocs’s situation and recommend at least one course of action to improve
the company’s global competitiveness.
As you approach this first strategic case analysis of this course, keep these basic questions in mind as
you research Crocs’s situation:

Why has Crocs’s performance always been inconsistent?
How important are global markets to the firm?
How well has Crocs managed its product line?
What is changing about the global footwear industry?
What is the sustainability of Crocs’s capabilities in the industry?
Module Three: Wayfair Case Introduction
Founded in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts, Wayfair Inc. (NYSE:W) engages in e-commerce business in
the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company leverages over 10,000 suppliers to offer
approximately 10 million products for the home sector under various brands, including,
Joss & Main, AllModern, DwellStudio, and Birchlane. The company operates in Ireland, the British Virgin
Islands, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany, which represents about 13% of
gross revenues.
Wayfair had a highly successful IPO in 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange and its market
capitalization continues to rise, as investors have driven share values from $36 to $149 from 2016 to Q3
2018. Wayfair has aggressively focused its corporate strategic policy on growing its customer base and
product line breadth, increasing revenue nearly 40 percent between 2017 and 2016 (Forbes, 2018).
However, to achieve that growth the company has incurred protracted losses and negative cash flow.
Presently, Wayfair is experiencing intensifying competitive attention from online and offline rivals with
equally unique business models and distinctive competencies along the global industry value chain, such
as Ikea, Amazon, Walmart,, Ethan Allen, and others.
Some analysts are beginning to wonder how long any business model or firm should be allowed to
operate without being profitable. “Wayfair’s rise to prominence is indicative of the newer crop of tech
companies—it still loses money every year, yet it has achieved its massive valuation largely because
investors currently value growth over profitability” (, 2018)
In your case analysis preparation, determine just how competitive Wayfair’s strategic policy and
competencies are within the industry at the domestic and global levels. Where should their resources
and competencies be further developed along the industry value chain to achieve profitability? Can
Wayfair get out of its own way to become profitable? How?
Module Five: Alibaba Case Introduction
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group Hldg Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), has always been cautious about
competing head-to-head with the world’s largest corporations. Speaking of eBay, he said
“eBay is a shark in the ocean. We are a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean,
we will lose. But if we fight in the river, we will win.” This cautious attitude now seems to have
given way to a realization that if Ma sustains the near-continuous 40% growth rate of his $300
billion empire, which centers on a marketplace connecting brands with buyers, globalization is
unavoidable (Forbes, 2018).
Alibaba has up-and-down performance around its governance and executive leadership.
Broad-scale supplier integrity issues and negative publicity surrounding the accuracy of its
financial statements forced Ma to take the company private and return as Alibaba’s CEO in
2012, a position he still holds today. Although Alibaba continues to see revenue growth, its
reach is certainly less-than-global in scope and demonstrates only cyclical operational
performance success.
Facing new Chinese competition within several of its main business units, and increasing
global pressures from retail giants like Walmart and Amazon (Forbes, 2018), Ma spent 2017
jetting to dozens of countries, meeting with government and industry leaders to spread his
latest vision for Alibaba, which involves global small businesses trading freely and securely on
Alibaba’s platform. Ma’s strategic plan shared during these meetings included the formation
of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), Ma’s version of the World Trade Organization
and a web-based approach to lowering trade barriers for small businesses in the region, but it
has not gained the widespread enthusiasm he had hoped for.
In the meantime, Alibaba has attempted to execute an aggressive internationalization
strategic policy using mergers and acquisitions, acquiring foreign companies in cloud
computing, digital advertising, artificial intelligence, and mobile payment technologies. One of
its most ambitious moves, a proposed $1.2 million acquisition of global payment service
MoneyGram, was blocked by the U.S. government in early 2018. Moreover, recent tariffs
imposed by the United States and China on one another have cast further uncertainty about
Ma’s visions for the eWTP (Business Insider, 2018).
In the fall of 2018, Ma made a surprise announcement that he would be leaving Alibaba
entirely by 2020, and the CEO’s chair by September 2019, marking Alibaba’s 20th anniversary.
Some analysts reviewing the company after Ma’s announcement note that while Ma may
have picked a great time to leave personally, the company itself offers no real future strategy.
Others assert that Ma’s retirement is just a formality. Is Alibaba ready to go global or not,
without Mr. Ma?
Module Seven: Uber Case Introduction
The rise of the sharing economy challenges every industry where there are underutilized assets and the
need for cost sharing. Although sharing economies have been around for thousands of years, advances
in communication and information sharing technologies have enabled new business models based on
asset sharing to spread easily and rapidly. However, the sharing economy introduces a dynamic friction
between the traditional understanding of profitability along an industry’s value chain and the new
valuation placed on its products and services by newly empowered consumers.
At inception, Uber first introduced a patented technology platform to allow consumers to easily share
access to a wide variety of vehicles and other mobility devices, while simultaneously giving asset owners
an additional source of income. Originally, Uber consumers paid a premium for the service, but over
time business units also targeted low-price alternatives, which allowed the company to lead the US ridesharing markets at all price points. The company responded by opening its strategic policy to pursue
becoming a leader in other areas of the sharing economy as well, such as health care (UberHealth) and
elder care (UberAssist).
U.S. firms looking to bring sharing-economy business models, like Uber, have encountered intermittent
large-scale success, especially on foreign soil. It seems that sharing economies work well at smaller
scales, but introducing them to regional or global markets introduced institutional and industry barriers
unique to each market. Uber’s success also attracted competitors both in the United States and in major
foreign markets such as the EU, China, and India. As Uber grew, so did industry resistance to its unique
advantages over foreign companies who felt unfairly constrained by industry regulations, unionized
labor, and other structural challenges limiting their pricing and flexibility. Moreover, Uber found that
many foreign-market consumers were less open to the premise of the sharing economy. While Uber
may have been very clear on its business model, competencies, and strategic approach in the United
States, it struggles to understand the benefits and challenges of extending the sharing economy
internationally. Can you help them?
Module Eight: General Electric Case Introduction
General Electric (GE), an industrial conglomerate founded by Thomas Edison 125 years ago, is in trouble
(The Economist, 2017). In 2017, GE unexpectedly replaced Jeffrey Immelt, its chairman and CEO of 16
years, with John Flannery. Flannery’s only priority was to determine what went wrong at one of
America’s best-known and oldest companies.
After the announcement of Jeffery Immelt’s departure, GE market capitalization rose briefly. However, it
continued to spiral downward, losing half its value in 2017 and another 25% through Q3 of 2018 as
details of the gravity of GE’s situation continued to emerge. On June 26, 2017, General Electric (NYSE:
GE) was formally removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, severing its 110-year membership in
the elite index.
In assessing the company’s situation in 2017, Flannery noted “The review of the company has been, and
continues to be, exhaustive . . . We are evaluating our businesses, processes, [the] corporate [function],
our culture, how decisions are made, how we think about goals and accountability, how we incentivize
people, how we prioritize investments in the segments . . . global research, digital, and additive
[manufacturing]. We have also reviewed our operating processes, our team, capital allocation, and how
we communicate to investors. Everything is on the table . . . Things will not stay the same at GE . . .”
Flannery has even voiced the unthinkable, that GE might be more valuable in pieces, meaning that
upper management didn’t contribute additional value, something GE prided itself on.
While Flannery kept digging into GE situation, most analysts thought he had a good shot at becoming
famous within the lore of strategic management textbooks, as the man who saved GE or the man who
broke it up. In late 2017, Flannery began to propose fundamental changes in GE’s strategic policy and
began divesting subsidiaries that didn’t meet GE’s self-definition as a digitally driven industrial company.
During Q3 of 2018, GE shares fell after the company said it would take an $11 billion charge in the fourth
quarter for tax changes and losses within its remaining insurance portfolio. The firm also announced
that its GE Power business would take a $23 billion noncash charge, and that GE Power would fall short
of its previous guidance for 2018 free cash flow and EPS.
Shortly after these revelations, General Electric unexpectedly announced other change in leadership,
naming Lawrence Culp, former head of tech firm Danaher Corp. to replace CEO John Flannery. GE’s
share price jumped 15% on the announcement, indicating Wall Street’s view that Flannery’s leadership
was not providing enough value, and that the market expects Culp, a company outsider, to be better
suited for the top position (Snider, 2018). What can Culp do to turn GE around that isn’t already being
Resources for Case Study Introductions
Crocs Resources
Green, T. (2013). The problem with Crocs. The Motley Fool. Retrieved from
Max, S. (2013). Crocs: From footwear fad to billion-dollar company. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from
Munarriz, R. (2018). Can Crocs stock keep hitting new highs? The Motley Fool. Retrieved from
Wayfair Resources
Danziger, P. N. (2018, May 16). How did Wayfair fare on way day? Fair enough, which actually means it
added to losses. Retrieved from
O’Brien, K. J. (2018, September 12). Wayfair overtakes Akamai as the most valuable internet company in
Mass. Retrieved from
Alibaba Resources
Bryan, B. (2018, September 19). Jack Ma said Trump’s trade war with China will wreck Alibaba’s plans to
help create 1 million US jobs. Retrieved from
Gensler, …
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