Harrison Keyes Situation Analysis and Problem Statement

Topics: Publishing Pages: 6 (1836 words) Published: September 29, 2006
Situation Analysis and Problem Statement
Harrison-Keyes, Inc. is a century-old company that specializing in publishing scientific, technical and business books and journals, professional and consumer books, textbooks, and other educational materials for all levels of study. During that century, Harrison-Keyes has shifted its focus from publishing the works well-established authors to publishing business, scientific, and technical materials. In the process, Harrison-Keyes has established itself as prominent company in the publishing industry; however, recently increased competition has caused profits to decrease, a new CEO to be hired, and the adoption of a new strategic approach. This new, wide-ranging strategy focused on e-publishing, promises to affect many groups associated with the organization differently, and the effects may not be all positive, but the ultimate goal of the strategy is to improve the organization. Senior leadership's new strategy also has its ethical implications as well. This paper describes Harrison-Keyes' current predicament. Situation Background

Over the years, Harrison-Keyes claimed a substantial share of the publishing market by responding to customer demands as evidenced by its shift to publishing scholarly and business information in the mid-1950s. On the other hand, the entire industry has faced difficulties. Low-cost retail superstores are competing at higher levels than ever before, distribution channels are consolidating, and discounters are cutting into profits. In response to the problems, Harrison-Keyes' Board of Directors hired a new CEO, Meg P. McGill, who developed a new strategy for the company centered on e-book publishing. Her strategy entailed producing digital versions of printed books and other works of its authors (Wikipedia, 2006). Despite the best efforts of the entire organization to implement McGill's e-publishing strategy, initial results have been less than stellar. Quite a few issues have arisen that indicate that Harrison-Keyes was not adequately prepared for its venture into e-publishing. In response, the Harrison-Keyes Board of Directors elected to fire CEO Meg McGill and hire William Guardo as her replacement. Mr. Guardo is in favor of more traditional publishing methods and is not a huge proponent of e-publishing; however, he is willing to give e-publishing a chance if certain issues can be dealt with accordingly. Issue Identification

Dealing with the many issues related to implementing a successful e-publishing strategy will not be easy.. First, Harrison-Keyes faces the challenge of having to continue with its e-publishing strategy under the guidance of a new CEO who is not exactly in favor of it. Meg McGill, the recently fired CEO and champion of Harrison-Keyes' e-publishing strategy, was replaced by William Guardo who is a supporter of more traditional publishing techniques. Mr. Guardo has indicated that he is willing to give e-publishing a chance, but it will be interesting to see he can effectively lead the implementation of the e-book strategy despite his reservations about it. The next issue facing Harrison-Keyes is dealing with the loss of its foreign partner, Asia Digital Publishing. In order to expedite the implementation of the new strategy and cut costs along the way, Harrison-Keyes outsourced the task of completing the technical formatting for the e-books—the layout in terms of font, style, and graphics—to the Indian company Asia Digital Publishing. Unfortunately, a recent storm in India has put Asia Digital under five feet of water and out of business for the foreseeable future. To make matters worse, Harrison-Keyes did not develop a contingency plan in the event that Asia Digital was unable to perform its duties. Consequently, Harrison-Keyes has yet to find a way to continue the formatting of its e-books.

Another challenge that Harrison-Keyes must deal with is low employee morale and the threat of turnover. The editorial staff within the...

References: Gray, C., & Larson, E. (2006). Project Management: The managerial process, 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Pearce, J., & Robinson, R. (2005). Strategic management: Formulation, implementation, and control. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wikipedia. (2006). Initial Public Offerings. Retrieved February 25, 2006, from http://www.wikipedia.org .
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