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Organizational Strategy: Competitive Sustainability

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Conduct an analysis of AirAsia (Case 9), Harley-Davidson (Case 10), and Google, Inc. (Case 21). Your analysis should cover the following points:
• Compare and contrast the companies' respective approaches to developing competitive advantage.
• How are the respective companies and industries unique and how has this driven their strategic choices?
• What is your assessment of each firm's future competitive sustainability based on this analysis? Provide a rationale for your thinking.

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• Compare and contrast the companies' respective approaches to developing competitive advantage.


AirAsia is the lowest cost Malaysian-based airline and has the lowest cost fare, no frills, and is considered to be a pioneer of low cost travel in Asia (Wong, Cen, & Kelta, 2013). Its main differentiator and competitive advantage is that the company has the philosophy of "Now everyone can fly". By making the cost lower than its competitors, this allows AirAsia to open up the option of travel to more individuals. AirAsia has little to no debt, has been able to break even financially for several years, and has been able to outperform other Malaysian carriers in terms of size, revenue, profit and popularity (Wong, et al., 2013). The company also puts a strong emphasis on its employees in terms of training and education as well as a strong emphasis on "safety first" for its passengers. All of these factors assist AirAsia with developing and continuing to foster a strong competitive advantage.

Harley-Davidson -

Harley-Davidson leads the sales in heavyweight motorcycles in North America (U.S. and Canada) and emphasizes good quality products and after sales service which makes it a leader with brand loyalty as well (Murphy, 2008). The company also offers the largest range and selection of heavyweight motorcycles in the industry. Globally, Harley-Davidson has worked to develop a competitive advantage by offering products that are needed in the specific countries they are expanding to such as China and Korea. The company also has a non-hierarchical, team-based approach to its employees and customers that fosters motivation and learning (Murphy, 2008). They have also provided extensive training for their dealers to ensure excellent customer service and knowledge for the product. Harley-Davidson also keeps to its traditional product structure by manufacturing their design features that are known to consumer to be uniquely Harley-Davidson.

Google, Inc. -

"Google upholds the position as ...

Solution Summary

A discussion regarding an analysis for AirAsia, Harley-Davidson and Google, Inc. including comparing and contrasting their approaches to competitive advantage, how their industries are driven by strategic choice, and the assessment of future competitive sustainability. 1157 words, 3 references.

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Sustaining Competitive Advantage

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Prepare a white paper exploring the topic in further detail or from a different perspective than the paragraph provided below. Provide possible solutions for the issue you are discussing, and include specifics as to why a certain solution would be most effective.

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Laudon, K. C. & Laudon, J. P.(2012). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital
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The competitive advantages that strategic systems confer do not necessarily last long enough to ensure long-term profitability. Because competitors can retaliate and copy strategic systems, competitive advantage is not always sustainable. Markets, customer expectations, and technology change; globalization has made these changes even more rapid and unpredictable. The Internet can make competitive advantage disappear very quickly because virtually all companies can use this technology. Classic strategic systems, such as American Airline's SABRE computerized reservation system, Citibank's ATM system, and FedEx's package tracking system, benefited by being the first in their industries. Then rival systems emerged. Amazon.com was an e-commerce leader but now faces competition from eBay, Yahoo, and Google. Information systems alone cannot provide an enduring business advantage. Systems originally intended to be strategic frequently become tools for survival, required by every firm to stay in business, or they may inhibit organizations from making the strategic changes essential for future success.

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