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    Harrison-Keyes: Strengths and Opportunities

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    What are some of the strengths and opportunities for improvement identified in your analysis of Harrison-Keyes?

    What were the key lessons learned by completing the assigned scenario?

    How might you apply this learning to a specific opportunity outside the classroom?

    Distinguish strategic control from operating control. Give an example of each.

    In a general sense, explain the differences among implementation controls, strategic surveillance, and special alert controls. Give an example of each.

    What are some measures that you can use to evaluate the success or failure of the strategy and its implementation?

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    Please refer to the attached document for a more comprehensive solution and for tables to illustrate this case.

    Situation Analysis and Problem Statement: Harrison-Keyes, Inc.
    In a competitive business world, organizations must never fall into complacency over the organizations' success, operations, and strategies. To continue being competitive in the market, organizations must become innovators by initiating organizational change. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2004), organizational change is crucial for survival and success. In addition to self-initiated changes, organizations must be able to adapt and respond to unanticipated changes and challenges. While businesses take on organizational change, its leaders must bear in mind the importance of creating, changing, or realigning its strategic plans; and adapting with, or ahead of, continuously changing markets and business conditions. Organizations that fall complacent and do not execute any organizational changes can miss out on important opportunities. "Organizational cultures without enough change can lock decision makers into mental models that blind them to new opportunities and unique solutions" (McShane and Von Glinow, 2004).

    When creating strategic plans for addressing problems and implementing organizational change, business owners, management, shareholders, and employees must adopt and apply problem-solving models in their decision-making process. Problem-solving models server as a systematic process to solve a multitude of problems in every facet of people's lives. By using problem-solving models such as University of Phoenix's Nine-Step Problem-Solving model, individuals and/or organizations are able to take a more systematic approach in problem-solving.

    This paper will attempt to educate readers how organizations have the need to adapt to the ever-changing business climate, work with internal and external forces affecting the business, and the need for strong leadership in order to succeed. Using Harrison-Keyes (Harrison) as the subject of the case study, this paper will identify the issues, opportunities, and influential forces which will be considered in selecting the most appropriate alternative solution for the situation. In the pursuit of developing an effective strategy to resolve Harrison-Keyes' problems, the University of Phoenix's Nine-Step Problem Solving Model will be used. This paper will show how Harrison has arrived at the most optimal solution or solutions that would address the organizational problems affecting the company and at the same time, achieve the end-state goals. This paper encourages readers to carefully evaluate Harrison's background and team dynamics to gain a better understanding of the company's position, which would provide a clear picture of the problem areas that needs to be addressed.

    Situation Background (Step 1)
    For over a century, Harrison-Keyes (Harrison) has been a successful publication institution. The publicly-traded company has been able to sustain growth and maintain its position as a reputable publication company by making organizational changes in order to adapt to the changes within the publication industry and in the overall business world. Harrison started out publishing the works of well-known literary authors but when the needs of the market changed to technical, scientific, and business information, Harrison had to adapt by putting emphasis on what the market (their clients) needed. Harrison had to make an organizational change and created a niche for the company as the leader in publishing business, technical, and scientific information. Harrison currently holds over 22,000 titles with an additional 2000 new titles published per annum.

    Harrison-Keyes is once again faced with an opportunity to grow, adapt to new environments, elements, and challenges. With the recent advances in technology, particularly with portable devices, combined with industry-wide poor or minimal revenue, the board of directors for Harrison-Keyes has decided that the company needs to take some drastic organizational changes. To meet the changes in technology and customer demand, members of the board of directors agreed to change the company's vision, objective, and product. Instead of publishing traditional print books, the company will convert existing and future publications into electronic books (e-books) or into digital format. The conversion is not an easy task and in order for the company to successfully facilitate change within the organization, the leadership team at Harrison-Keyes must evaluate all internal and external forces present and create a strategic plan that considers all those factors. Harrison must recognize the present issues, identify the crucial problems, craft plausible alternatives, assess the risks and benefits of each alternative, and select the most viable or optimal solution. Harrison has already identified declining sales and profitability as issues and challenges that exist. Further evaluation is needed to identify additional organizational issues and challenges which must be addressed.

    Issue Identification
    Harrison-Keyes is presented with several issues and challenges, which must all be addressed appropriately and in a timely manner. Primarily, Harrison's problem seems to be the company's struggling financial health, which have led the company's board of directors plan to venture into electronic book publishing. Harrison is not the only one to suffer; other organizations within the industry have reported the same problems plaguing Harrison-Keyes. The problem with the loss of revenue can be attributed to increased competition from low cost retailers.

    Besides the decline in Harrison-Keyes' financial health as a result of competition from low cost retailers, Asia Digital represents another external factor negatively impacting the Harrison organization. Even before Meg P. McGill was hired on to be Harrison's Chief Executive Officer, Asia Digital has missed critical deadlines. As a result, Harrison has been forced to postpone e-books release dates. Despite India's reputation for being the leading choice for outsourcing, there are some significant concerns Harrison should have considered prior to choosing Asia Digital. According to DMReview.com (2003), "India, the preferred offshore outsourcing country, is also the country with the highest turnover rate." The article further adds that Canada has the lowest turnover rate. Therefore, Harrison should have considered outsourcing to Canada or another country with a similarly low turnover rate, proximity to Harrison's United States offices, and access to cheap and skilled labor. In addition to this, new and more complex problems have emerged for Harrison-Keyes to deal with. Asia Digital, along with other business entities and residents of India's Tamil Nadu region, has been severely impacted by the massive coastal floods that affected the region in September 2004. With huge financial, infrastructural, and perhaps human capital losses, it is predicted that Asia Digital would be unable to recover. Furthermore, Harrison-Keyes does not have a contingency plan in place to deal with such situation. Harrison's Production Manager, Pete Ross, has indicated that a contingency plan was briefly discussed but the company has failed in getting the plan developed. As a result, Harrison would have to spend an enormous amount of resources (time, monetary, human resources) researching on a new organization to replace Asia Digital. Since Harrison is already behind schedule, Harrison cannot afford to spend months researching for a replacement. Harrison currently does not have the resources to do the tasks Asia Digital was doing in-house. Doing the tasks in-house would require tools, equipment, and more important trained individuals to perform such duties. Harrison's leaders should have put a greater emphasis on designing a contingency plan as part of the company's strategic plan. The company should have considered the political, religious, economic, and environmental factors that affect the country or countries where Harrison planned to outsource the company's projects to. According to the Software Developers Knowledge ...

    Solution Summary

    This response discusses strategic control and operating control at Harrison-Keyes.