Research in Motion: Managing Explosive Growth
Prof. Brad Olson
University of Lethbridge
March 18, 2013
RIM was strategically centered in Waterloo which allowed them to capture a large portion of their recruiting from the of University of Waterloo’s engineering and computer science graduates and also through co-op programs. RIM prides itself on maintaining its ‘unique culture’ and making employees aware that they are valuable members of the team. This strengthens RIM’s internal structure through reducing employee turnover and having happy employees who enjoy their jobs and in-turn demonstrate good work ethics. One of RIM’s greatest strengths is the security of information provided by the blackberry. Their smart-phones maintain a high level of security through securing information behind company firewalls and the encryption of information when it is being transferred to other consumers. This allows RIM to capture large organizations that demand a high level of security such as the U.S. Government and financial institutions. RIM developed their smart phones with multiple features but the one that gave them an edge on their competition was their “push” email architecture. By being the first to market with the “push” email, RIM was able to offer consumers a fast and secure way to receive emails to their phones. This was geared towards their target market of business professionals who require immediate transfer of information effectively. RIM used their “push” email architecture to set up a licensing program with other cell phone manufacturers, which allowed them to incur additional revenue. Weaknesses:
Since RIM was centered in Waterloo the company had access to an excellent recruiting pool from the University of Waterloo and surrounding area. RIM focused on recruiting local talent and had made small acquisitions in the past to maintain a sufficient amount of employees but as they continued to grow, new sources of recruiting needed to be established. RIM hadn’t been very effective with their online job postings and desperately needed to revamp their careers website and establish a more effective way to recruit so that valuable talent wasn’t lost in the process. RIM wanted to keep their employee growth as a direct correlation with their growth of sales. RIM had grown geographically within the past 5 years but was struggling with how much they should grow and where. Their centralized structure in Waterloo was considered the core of their R&D and as the company grew there was mixed feelings within the company about the loss of control and the effect this outside growth would have on the Waterloo location. Opportunities:
An opportunity that RIM can capitalize on for recruiting employees from other countries is Canada’s high quality of living. Canada’s stable economy and strong dollar make it a desirable place to live. This provides RIM with a great opportunity to capture recruits from other countries where the quality of living may be poor or unsatisfactory. Another great opportunity that RIM could benefit from would be acquisitions of European companies. Since the European markets is fairly nationalistic, there is opportunity for RIM to penetrate the market through acquiring local companies in Europe. Asides from the benefits of penetrating a new market, RIM could benefit through the gain of experienced employees and technological advances through acquisitions in Europe.
A huge threat is posed through other companies trying to acquire employees through the talent pool at the University of Waterloo as well as locally in the Waterloo area. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google pose great threats to stealing employees from RIM. Another threat RIM faces is growing globally. Since different countries have unique rules and regulations there are problems that can...