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Critical Analysis of Three Case Studies

AOL AND TIME WARNER: FRAGILE PROMISES
. Why did the media refer to the merger as the deal of the century?
. Why was Time Warner eager to merge with AOL?
. What challenges did AOL and Time Warner face as a merged company?
. How is the company doing financially? How much turnover has occurred among high-level executives? If any parts of the business have been sold off, what has the acquiring company said about future prospects?

THE AX FAILS ON SUNBEAM'S CHAINSAW AI.
. Why were Dunlap's goals unrealistic for Sunbeam?
. Was Dunlap's slice-and-dice plan a long-term or short-term strategy. PLEASE EXPLAIN.
. Why did Dunlap's turnaround strategy backfire?

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL TO CROSS-FUNCTIONAL.
. During Teerlink's tenure as Harley's Chief Financial Officer, was the organization structure flat or tall? Centralized or decentralized? EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER
. As Chief Executive Officer, how did Teerlink change the organizational structure?
. Why does Harley-Davidson include outside suppliers on its cross-functional teams?

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RESPONSE:

It is important for you to also read articles on these three cases, as critical thinking is about reading something thoroughly and then drawing conclusions. You can only do this, AND my answers may not be what you think at all. It is my critical thinking skills that are being applied, not yours. That what makes critical thinking and analyzing material so interesting mainly, that no two answers are exactly the same and some are at exactly the opposite end of the poles. I will make suggestions and give my ideas, but ultimately it your decision as to what the material means to you.

AOL AND TIME WARNER: FRAGILE PROMISES

. Why did the media refer to the merger as the deal of the century? : Because the scale of the deal is enormous. But despite all the talk of impressive synergies between AOL, the Netscape browser, and Time Warner's movies, TV and cable networks, the reality is a little less magnificent. The agreed deal, the world's largest ever takeover worth $160bn in shares, brought waves of analyst euphoria and predictable hype. (see http://www.accountancyage.com/analysis/it/105209).

. Why was Time Warner eager to merge with AOL? : Yes

. What challenges did AOL and Time Warner face as a merged company? See article attached with the highlighted yellow portions for this question.

. How is the company doing financially? Excellent. See pink highlight in article attached.

The details of the AOL-Time Warner merger unfolded with a view to producing a media and comms company valued at about $350bn (£230bn). Vodafone courted Mannesmann with its ecommerce strategy, and others plan to launch ebusiness divisions and services which they may look to spin off in the future. (http://www.accountancyage.com/analysis/it/1107143).

. How much turnover has occurred among high-level executives? Low (see http://www.ce.org/publications/vision/2001/mayjun/p24.asp?bc=dept&department_id=3 for details on why this is the case).

. If any parts of the business have been sold off, what has the acquiring company said about future prospects? I could not find too much information on this topic, so you may have to do some more research. Sorry. I did find additions, such as AOL purchased Netscape and FTC, which negotiated a five-year open access pact with AOL and Time Warner, the new company must let at least three other Internet service providers use Time Warner cable modem ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides information and assistance in analyzing three case studies e.g. AOL and Time Warner, Sunbeam's Chainsaw Al and Harley-Davidson in terms of several specific questions. Supplemented with two informative articles.

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