Strategy

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Strategy assignment
“ Edinburgh

Zoo ”

The preparatory group work was undertaken by:

Introduction to the assignment and to Edinburgh Zoo

This document reflects on a group work in respect of the current and estimated future strategy of Edinburgh Zoo. The group looked at the organisation using the contextual framework of an animal-related day-out fun-opportunity for families and tourists in Scotland, in particular for the inhabitants of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Due to collaboration limitations whilst group work, this author can only refer to group member within this account. Firstly, Edinburgh Zoo as an organisation will be briefly introduced. Secondly, the “SWOT analysis” and “Porter´s five forces” will be explained and applied in order to diagnose the situation and potential strategic options for Edinburgh Zoo. Thirdly, a strategy proposal for Edinburgh Zoo will be developed, followed by a critical discussion on the advantages and limitations of the two tools.

Unfortunately, an interview request with the Zoo management was denied due to current strategy review and development within the Royal Zoological Society. Hence, relevant data were retrieved from the Edinburgh Zoo web page. These include, among others, annual reports, chief executive´s blogs and press releases. Other sources being used within this account will be separately referenced.

The Edinburgh Zoo is the largest wildlife attraction in Scotland, ideally located three miles west of Edinburgh Centre. It was established in 1913 and is owned by the Royal Zoological Society (Gillespie, 1964). Since then the Zoo has been operated as a nonprofit charity. Right from the very beginning, the Zoo aims to host rare species with the utmost possible degree of naturalness and to offer a day out opportunity including a zoological educational aspect for people (Gillespie, 1964). To date, the Zoo claims

to be one of Europe´s leading centres of conservation, education and research. Especially scientific collaboration, for example with the University of St. Andrews in behavioural cognitive primate research (MacDonald and Whiten, 2011), expresses the scientific and interactively educational emphasis of the Zoo. That is underpinned by the official mission statement of the Zoo in 2012 “To inspire and excite our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats.” The Zoo hosts approximately 1000 rare and endangered species, enjoys a great reputation and more than 600 000 visitors a year. In addition to the animal experience, visitors have the opportunity to experience different educational events and activities, a wide range of eating facilities, playgrounds, a gift shop, safari rides and so forth. In this respect, a subsidiary company “ARC Enterprises”, which is owned by the Zoo, is in charge of these business activities. SWOT analyses According to Mintzberg et al (2005), SWOT is an acronym for the internal factors strengths and weaknesses and the external factors opportunities and threats which influence the position, performance and strategy options of an organisation within the environment. SWOT analyses date back to 1950-1960 decades (Ghazinoory, 2007, Chermack and Kasshanna, 2007) at Harvard Business School (Mintzberg et al , 2005) and is considered to be a situational resource-based model (Barney, 1991). Applying the SWOT analyses to the current situation at Edinburgh Zoo, the following picture was drafted, in which this author subjectively focussed on the four most important aspects of each category. Strengths: rare, endangered species (1) central location (2) Zoo school, education opportunities  Panda web cam (3)   

Weaknesses:

   

relatively high entrance fees (4) limited parking Panda web cam hilly landscape

Opportunities:

Threats:

Scottish independence movement multimedia, press & high-speed internet development (3)  increasing nature awareness (1)  new tram in...
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