Twitter Case Study

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Case Study Background & Questions

Read carefully the case evidence on Twitter which is contained in the following three sources:
1. Mark, K. & Parker, S. (2011) Twitter extractedfrom:

Ireland, R.D., Hoskisson, R. E., &Hitt, M.A. (2013) The Management of Strategy: Concepts and Cases, 10thInternational Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning, pages 371-377
2. Twitter (2013) Annual Report 2013, Twitter,Inc.

3. Twitter (2014) Annual Report 2014, Twitter,Inc.

4. Twitter (2016) Annual Report 2015, Twitter,Inc.


Each source covers a distinct period of Twitter’s strategic development from start-up, to stock market listing (IPO), to growth within the internet information provider industry.
• Source 1 provides a case analysis of Twitter’s strategic development at start- up(2006-2011).
• Source 2 reports on Twitter’s strategic position having achieved an initial public offering (IPO) in2013.
• Source 3 reports on Twitter’s proposed growth directions and future strategic choices in2014-2015.
• Source 4 reports on Twitter’s current strategic position and outlines the current risks related to Twitter and their industry in2015-2016.

All sources provide insights into the leadership, strategy and innovation practices within Twitter. Source 1 critiques Twitter’s origins, current business model and future strategic choices, whereas sources 2 and 3 provide a corporate account on Twitter’s mission, values, along with the content and direction of their previous strategy.
Source 4 provides a corporate on Twitter’s current strategic position and warns of the risks the business currently faces. Your analysis of the Twitter Annual Reports should therefore be particularly critical in order to answer the below questions.
(Case Analysis) to answer two questions:


1. Using the Ashridge Sense of Mission Model analyse the caseevidence to interpret whether Twitter’s strategy show signs of a weak or strong sense ofmission.

2. Using relevant strategic decision making theory, analyse Twitter’s existing strategic decisions to interpret if Twitter have pursued a deliberate or emergent strategy. In your answer, discuss to whatextent you believe Twitter have built and sustained a long-term competitive advantage.

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Write on the application of concepts and frameworks to interpret the case information, analyse key events and statements, and reach evaluative judgements. In developing the analysis and arguments, you should use supporting evidence from the information contained in the case studies.
The answers must only be derived from the information on Twitter contained in the three case evidence sources listed above. You are not required to consult othersources on Twitter or go beyond the end date of the fourth source (2015-6). The reason for this is that the analysis and evaluation is being assessed at this point in the organisation’s development and not in the light of subsequent events. As a result you should not include references on Twitter from the internet or other sources.
In terms of presentation, introduce each question indicating how you will structure your answer and conclude each answer with reference to your preceding arguments and the task required by the question. Do not present your answer in rigid report format but you may wish to divide your answer into sections which reflect the major elements of your analysis. The combined word count of your answers to both questions must comply with the following guidance:
MinimumLength: 2000 – 2500 words


The word limit excludes appendices and bibliography.
There is no need for an introduction and table of content.





In writing your solution to the questions you must not describe what the case says but use the concepts to analyse the information and use the evidence/facts in the case to support your analysis.

Question 1 – To critically review if Twitter has achieved a strong sense of mission. The question specifically asks you to use the Ashridge Sense of Mission model which is part of your prescribed reading for unit 2. Specifically you should apply and discuss the four elements of mission (Ashridge model) to Twitter. When considering purpose and strategy, you should analyse the case evidence on mission, values and strategy. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of Twitter’s strategy as you will soon exceed the word limit. Attempt to develop arguments and, if necessary, include supporting details in appendices. More crucially, you must address the central issue in the question of how the fifth element, a sense of mission, is achieved through the alignment of the employees’ personal values with the organisation’s identity and values. In doing this, consider the role played by the leadership and management approach at Twitter – particularly discussed in sources 2, 3, & 4 – to integrate the elements of mission, behavioural standards and values of the organisation, with those of the employees. You will also need to evaluate Twitter’s mission based on the company’s recent expansionandstrategic developments to express and justify your opinion on whether Twitter have a achieved a strong or weak sense of mission.

To answer question 2 – To write a short essay by drawing on your learning of strategic decision-making theory and your prescribed reading from Johnson et al, chapter 12. Initially, you should commence your research by reading and examining the case evidence in order to identify a list of Twitter’s strategic decisions. Once you have identified a list of these decisions in chronological order, your essay discussion should focus on how this decision-making relates to deliberate and/or emergent forms of strategy development. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of these decisions. Instead, you should ensure that the use the relevant theory to structure your discussion of case evidence. To develop your arguments further, a brief distinction between deliberate and intended strategy would be useful, followed by an in-depth discussion on which approach most closely resembles Twitter’s strategic development. To reach conclusions on Twitter’s competitive advantage, you should consider the sources of their competitive advantage (e.g. cost leadership, differentiation, focus etc.) and whether this has been sustained (e.g. through various types of isolating mechanisms).SeeGrant (2012), Chapter 7 and Unit 7 on Strategic Decision Making in Innovative Contexts for furtherguidance.

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