Friday, September 30, 2011

LING Katrina, KIM W. Chan, MAUBORGNE Renée
Making a Blue Ocean Strategic Move that Discourages Imitation
© 2011 INSEAD Case Study
Also available: Teaching Note

This case is excellent for teaching both MBAs and executives how to create a blue ocean strategy that is hard to imitate and sustainable. It focuses on Wikipedia versus Britannica.com in the online encyclopedia industry. The case teaches participants the importance of aligning the three strategy propositions of value, profit and people around both differentiation and low cost to break the value-cost trade-off and create a blue ocean that is hard to imitate.

Pedagogical Objectives: This case shows participants how to create a blue ocean strategy that is hard to imitate by aligning the value, profit and people propositions using a reconstructionist approach that pursues both differentiation and low cost. In the case of Wikipedia, this alignment allows each strategy proposition to also support and reinforce the other two strategy propositions, resulting in a self-sustaining cycle of growth: as more people are motivated to contribute knowledge, the value of its content increases for the users of Wikipedia, which makes its social impact even greater.