CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
Analyze Amazon’s strategic position, and use this analysis to evaluate the suitability of Amazon’s corporate strategy.
There are many, equally valid ways to fulfill the assignment tasks. You will therefore have to make many own choices. You can, for example, choose whether to analyse the strategic position first and then evaluate Amazon’s strategy, or whether to do this in reverse order.
You should not draw only on the printed case study, but you also need to conduct more research into the company, its strategy, and its environment. Internet search, in particular the company website, news articles, and MINTEL reports will be useful. You should also draw on knowledge from other readings, including journal articles.
You have to choose a time frame to focus on. The case study printout gives you some of the information you need to complete the tasks with regard to the time up from 2007 to early 2009, and provides some historical background, but you can get additional information on its earlier and its more recent developments, etc.
You should focus on the corporate level strategy. However, you can mention business level strategy if this serves your argument.
In order to evaluate the strategy, you first have to describe what the strategy is. To describe the strategy, you should use the information that you get on their particular activities, but you should also analyse their activities in more depth by using strategy concepts, such as the Ansoff matrix, the strategy clock, or Porters generic strategy options. Please note that you do not have to use all of these concepts and you can use other strategy concepts instead.
The evaluation with regard to suitability is particularly demanding, as it requires you to come to your own judgement. You should use only the criterion of ‘suitability’ for your evaluation, not other criteria such as feasibility. Please provide a definition of suitability in your text. To examine suitability, you will have to analyse the strategic position, i.e. Amazon’s environment, capabilities, and stakeholder expectations. For this purpose, you have to use theoretical concepts and analytical tools (e.g. SWOT or PESTEL or value chain analysis). You should briefly define the concepts and tools you use, and then apply them to the case. You are
expected to demonstrate that you have understood the concepts and tools in theory,and that you are able to use them to analyse the case. You have to make a choice of which concepts or tools to apply, there is no set range of tools and concepts that you should use. Please note that you cannot use all concepts and tools discussed in the lectures, but only as many as you need for providing a thorough analysis. Do not use too many tools, i.e. do not use a tool if it does not provide relevant additional information. When choosing analytical tools, please make sure you have access to the data you need for applying them.
Also, please make sure that your analysis is well integrated. Insights from analyses through different tools should be linked with each other, to provide a clear overall picture. Please do not, for example, conduct a PEST analysis and a five forces analysis and a SWOT analysis without demonstrating how they relate to each other. Moreover, please do not provide an extensive analysis of the environment, capabilities, or stakeholder expectations without linking it to your strategy evaluation.
In other words, focus on those factors in the environment and those capabilities and stakeholder expectations that are relevant for evaluating whether a strategy is suitable or not.