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The Australian Ore Industry: The Strategy of Organization (Case Study Sample)


the task was to read a provided course book and answer subsequent questions. successful completion demanded a thorough reading of the provided texts as answers were to be found in the provided texts alone.


Case studies
Case 1 The Ore Wars: The Australian ore industry
1 What is the strategy of the organization?
BHP Billiton’s strategy is to own and operate large, long-life, low-cost, expandable, upstream assets that are diversified by commodity, geography and market. Its low-cost tier one asset base enhances the resilience of the company’s cash flow. It achieves this by reducing exposure to any one commodity or currency, providing for more robust performance. It allows the company to invest and grow its business throughout economic cycles, delivering superior long-term value to shareholders. The company’s strategy has remained largely unchanged over a decade and has enabled it to deliver superior margins throughout economic cycles throughout economic and commodity cycles for years. (Rice, 2015).
2 What are some of the strategic issues the organization may encounter? (What problems do you envisage in the future?)
Scrap metal has emerged as a viable alternative to iron ore in the production of steel. One third of the US’ steel production is from recycled steel. With time, scrap steel will become a more viable substitute for iron ore in developing countries. This is because scrap steel will be more readily available compared to iron ore, which has to be mined. China is the largest car market in the world and as its fleet of cars ages, more scrap steel will be available for recycling. Its success or failure will be determined by how it handles the impending change.
3. What theories/concepts could you apply to analyze or solve strategic issues in the organization?
China has emerged as the world’s largest importer of iron ore, most of which comes from Australia. BHP would do well to cement their relations with the Chinese government to ensure repeat purchases. Although producers prefer the spot market, BHP should gradually move into settling for long term contracts. BHP will feel the pressure of losing control of pricing but in the long run, business will be guaranteed by the signed contract.
BHP could also concentrate its mining activities on its other minerals such as coal, nickel and potash. This will galvanize it against losses from the iron ore business.
4. Provide a recommendation to management as if you were a consultant (What would you do if this was your company?)
Since vertical integration is already a common organization practice, BHP can look at the possibilities of integrating its business with companies in Russia, which is seen to have vast mineral resources. The communist nature of Russia may be a major impediment but is easier to navigate through compared to the political instability in western Africa. BHP could test the idea of producing both steel and iron ore, much like what has been done by Arrium. The major advantage here would be that the company joins the steel making industry rather than focusing on selling iron ore alone. BHP can also navigate the greatest threat to its business- the use of cheap scrap steel by buying scrap steel from China. It can then refine this steel and re-sell it to other countries. The company can specialize in making steel products, particularly construction steel materials and exploit these to developing countries.
Case 2 Coursera and MOOCs: What is the business model?
1. What is the strategy of the organization?
Coursera was a company that offers online courses from various universities. It also provides peer grading, intuitive instructor interface, a mobile platform and learning analytics solutions. It had a variety of strategies which it thought would generate profit. These strategies according to Delyth (2015) are charging tuition fees for students to access the course material and for performance assessment. Another strategy was to allow third party sponsorships of courses. It could provide prospective employers with the opportunity to assess prospective employees for a given level of expertise in courses provided by having the prospective employees take a set of assessments.
2. What are some of the strategic issues the organization may encounter? (What problems do you envisage in the future?)
Coursera had partnered with 10 universities while EdX, a competitor partnered with 28 universities. Udacity joined the market, and focused on delivering content to the learner in an approach that is more student oriented, it minimized passive listening.
Coursera could find itself with fewer or no learners as its competitors have managed to secure business deals with major industry players. It may not be able to make profit through its employment placement program because Udacity, its competitor has partnered with companies such as Yahoo and Google to place learners in jobs in these companies, for free.
3. What theories/concepts could you apply to analyze or solve strategic issues in the organization?
The MOOC industry is facing opposition from both students and established traditional universities. Coursera should engage the public and help them understand the benefits of online learning. The public should be made to understand that the chief goal of MOOCs is to make education more accessible for everyone, and that it is not motivated by monetary gains.
The company should regularly monitor courses provided by the third parties it has partnered with to ensure quality is not compromised. Additionally, it should incorporate the use of real life examples to help learners better grasp what is being taught.
4. Provide a recommendation to management as if you were a consultant (What would you do if this was your company?)
Coursera should adopt a learner focused strategy. It should, if need be, increase the number of teaching staff who will be available to help individual learners over the web. Learners can ask questions and get assistance from tutors. The company can contract these tutors so that they can attend to learners only when required. This would lower salary costs as teachers are only paid for each time they render their service.
Coursera should work to provide courses that impart skills that are in high demand in the job market. It should effectively guide prospective learners on the course suitable to them. In addition to the current job placement program, Coursera should start an internship program where learners get the option of interning at a company for a short period. After completion of course work, learners will therefore be able to transition faster into jobs, making Coursera the number one MOOC.
Case 3 Taylors Wines: from good to great?
1 What is the strategy of the organization?
The Taylors Wine company revised its strategy in 2012 which among other things reduced expected future growth and profit rates to reflect changes in the market conditions which occurred following the GFC. The company depended heavily on its two key customers and two key products. The new strategy targeted a lower number of countries and diversified its customer base while reducing product portfolio. It worked to change its business from being a production-oriented winemaker to a marketing-oriented wine supplier as observed by Hubbard (2015). The local sales force operating in Australia would be reorganized to increase sales productivity.
2. What are some of the strategic issues the organization may encounter? (What problems do you envisage in the future?)
Taylors Wines reduced its product portfolio, going against diversification. In essence, Taylors Wines would be going back to its initial woes where it depended on two key products. Wine in Europe is becoming popular by the day and it would make sense for any wine producing company to have as many of its wine brands out there. By choosing to limit its portfolio to two products, Taylors Wines will lose business to competitors. In the future, Taylors Wines will have more competitors who will maximize on Taylors’ inability to properly package the product, and this will give them leverage.
3. What theories/concepts could you apply to analyze or solve strategic issues in the organization?
Taylor wines also decided to reduce its target countries. It is effectively locking itself out to opportunities that exist in countries which are not primarily wine consumers. The company should have instead ventured to new territories and introduced its line of wines. As more business enter the wine making industry, the market will continue to grow small. The businesses which will survive this daunting reality are those that will venture out to establish new market. Achieving a worldwide presence will do more for such companies as they will be regarded as consistent, and be able to sustain their business performance.
4. Provide a recommendation to management as if you were a consultant (What would you do if this was your company?)
I would ask company management to properly scrutinize plans before adopting them. Taylors should be made aware of the view that outsiders have of them [owners] and the company. The company’s management should take timelines seriously and realize that change happens every day and they risk losing their business if they continue to hang on to age old managerial practices. Taylor Wines should consult experts more often to get a second opinion on pertinent matters. The management should improve the appearance of its cellar door as online sales are largely based on visual representations of commodities.
Case 4: Berry Street: we never give up
1. What is the strategy of the organization?
According to Hubbard (2015), Berry Street regionalized its services which developed somewhat differently because of local needs. The organization did not move directors of regions in order to give them experience as part of its leadership development program. The management of the organization was largely based on trust and relationships.
2. What ...
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