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Twitter, Inc 3

Twitter,Inc Case Study

TWITTER, INC CASE STUDY

Many companies have in severally failed tounderstand the importance of a clearly laid down mission Thecompany’s mission is a vital inclusion as it specifically outlinesthe purpose and objectives it wishes to meet A combination ofpurpose, strategy, values and behaviour standards will offer a senseof mission to any organization A better understanding of a company’smission is stated in Campbell and Yeung’s (1991), Creatinga Sense of Mission For Twitter, Incto achieve maximum growth and success of its intended strategies,purpose, strategy, values and behaviour standards have to be clearlyand considerably included in the company’s agenda Therefore, thispaper in its first part will examine to what extent Twitter, Inc hasembraced the Ashridge model in defining its mission by comparingCampbell and Yeung`s definition of a great sense of mission withTwitter’s displayed strategic decisions and operational activitiesThe paper`s second part will specifically focus on Twitter`s approachto strategic decisions and how they relate to deliberate or emergentforms of strategic development by examining the company’s decisionbasis whether from value judgement or experiential researchFurthermore, it will also determine the level of success Twitter hasencountered with its chosen form of strategic decision method fromprofit data ending with possible recommendations for Twitter’sfuture growth

TheAshridge Mission Model

The Ashridge model is a mission statement that wasformulated by Campbell and Yeung of the Ashridge Strategic ManagementCentre The model hypothesizes that a strong mission is establishedwhen the four elements purpose, values, strategy and behaviourstandards are firmly interlinked and resonated (Campbell &amp Yeung1991 pg 16) Campbell &amp Yeung define an organization’s purposeas to why it exists while its competence and competitive advantagedefine its strategy Moreover, the duo defines values as to what thecompany believes in and its underlying moral principles The model ismade complete with employed behaviour guidelines by implementingrelevant daily actions that will steer the strategy into success

Twitter Inc has its own mission statement that thecompany works towards which in part says that Twitter’s majorundertakins are to offer people the power to share and create ideasand information devoid of any difficulties Below is an evaluation ofhow Twitter’s mission statement and company operations compare withCampbell &amp Yeung’s Ashridge Mission Model

Purpose

Twitter Inc needs to define itself better on whyit exists in the market All employees in the company should have abetter and patent understanding of their purpose in the internetindustry In Twitter’s annual report, the company tries to stateits purpose as a global platform that offers self-expression topeople by allowing conversations to occur in real time (Twitter2013) In this context, Twitter exists for the customer, providing aplatform for real-time communications anywhere in the worldTwitter’s mission as stated in 2014 annual report includes offeringan opportunity for clients and the world, in general, to create andshare thoughts and information in any context without barriersHowever, the report in 2014 offers a more description of what Twitterdoes It reports that twitter’s primary objective is to providegoods and services to the users, advertisers, data partners anddevelopers (twitter 2014) Regarding twitter’s 2014 report, thecompany seems to be mainly focused on making profits and not sharinginformation Mark and Parker (2013) report on a document that Twitterasked its employees to define themselves The great definition was acompany whose primary purpose is to discover and share newinformation Twitter Inc seems to have a problem identifying itspurpose in the industry Consequently, employees feel no personalattachment to the company

Strategy

For Twitter to achieve any of its purposes, aclear and profound strategy needs to be formulated (Campbell andYeung 1991) Clear roadmaps are needed to direct Twitter on how toaccomplish its purposes Whether Twitter wishes to offer real-timeinformation sharing among its users or make offer products andservices to its stakeholders, a clear and transparent strategy isneeded In Twitter’s 2013’s annual report, Twitter has put intopractice data licensing and advertising services to generate incomeas a platform for earning a profit, a strategy aimed at satisfyingshareholders and investors in the company In the same report, yearlyrevenue has experienced a 100+% increase since 2011 to 2013 Datalicensing remains to offer lower returns as compared to advertisingwhich might be caused by a premature increase in licensing fees Thecompany ought to have stabilized its sales and market share beforeany significant changes to its fees As Levitt (1960) puts it, thisis a form of marketing myopia where more focus is laid on thebusiness than on customer satisfaction Twitter’s opaque strategyhas caused it stagnation and little peaking pace In 2014, Twitterreported new strategic changes including new app developmentsstrengthen the existing user base and reduce content barriers Thesenew prospective strategies are aimed at increasing customers andusers while increasing information sharing levels Moving forward,twitter needs to have clearly outlined strategies that focus on userinformation exchange Strategies that offer to brand the company inthe global market while increasing profitability These strategiesshould be based on the mission outlined by the business of enhancinginformation sharing globally The laid out strategies will in turnoffer opportunities for business prospects income and revenues Thevital part of the primary strategy is to define the best ways ofbringing information to the wider population

BehaviourStandards

Behaviour standards describe and define guidelinesfor achieving the business purpose and strategy These are day-to-dayactivities that help a company and particularly employees to have acomplete instruction that directs them into realizing theirstrategies (Campbell and Yeung 1991) Twitter has created rationalbehaviour standards to help steer its purposes It uses technology todeliver tweets to different users The incorporation ofstate-of-the-art technology has given Twitter an edge over itscompetitors such as Facebook as it offers a reliable and efficientsystem (Twitter 2013) The company has also achieved in creatingrelevance for content consumption Each minute, database content isupdated to offer the most recent and relevant information for theuser The user only needs to click one entry, and related entries areprovided This kind of technology creates user satisfaction,involvement and acceptance as it offers information requiredStrategies presented in Twitter’s 2014 annual report came withpolicies that will convey them Renewing the user interface toreflect users’ required content and an addition of new features arebeneficial for the company

Values

Innovation, creativity and independence form thefoundation for twitter’s activities Values are moral principlesthat guide individual’s behaviour (Campbell and Yeung 1991 Thecompany believes in its workers’ innovative skills and creativityEmployees who love independence may admire this work environment asit gives them an opportunity of being creative in their workHowever, no personal connection exists between workers and thecompany Connection in values and principles more of this isdiscussed bellow

Senseof mission

As taken up under values, a sense of mission isformed when employees feel emotionally attached to the company’sagenda and purpose (Campbell and Yeung 1991) Twitter’s employeeslack an emotional connection with the enterprise This can be seen bythe raised concerns over intense competition over employees Twitterhas faced a challenge in retaining professional employees located inthe wider San Francisco area Former employees at Twitter probablydid not find an alignment and comparison of values shared betweenthem and the company To create a strong sense of mission, Twitterwill need to incorporate the four elements discussed above Aconnection of all these elements will ensure commitment and successin the business model Drucker (1973) suggests to businesses to haveclear mission definitions and statements to avoid frustrations andbusiness failures

Twitter’sApproach to Strategic Decision-Making

One of the important aspects of business is thecreation of a mission and setting goals that will ensure therealisation of the mission Strategic decision making depicts theprocess of laying down attainable visions and objectives and decidingupon the different avenues to be employed to accomplish thesetargets Twitter Inc also has its objectives and has set goals toachieve Furthermore, it has established avenues on how to achievethese goals to realise on its mission As discussed earlier,twitter’s mission is to reach out to everyone giving people thepower to create and share information and ideas without any hurdles(Twitter 2014 p 41) To achieve this mission, Twitter has laid downgoals to reach out to the entire world audience using its platformdesigned for information sharing and distribution of products(Twitter 2014 p 41)

The company has a formal planning system wheredecisions originate from the top management (Johnson et al, 2008, p402) The management is responsible for the estimation of productpricing and any other market pricing estimates required by thecompany (Twitter 2015 p 61) The company has hence allowed for datalicensing and advertising producing revenues to Twitter The companyhas also partnered with several organizations that allow for contentsharing enhancing products quality (Twitter 2015 p 5) Thestrategies mentioned above are aimed at improving user experiencewhile adding value to the products offered

As posited by Johnson et al (2008), there are twodifferent strategic development processes The processes describe howa company’s strategy is developed or what distinct processes forman organization’s strategy The first type is the intended strategywhich is carefully discussed and deliberated by the top management,and a decision is made (Johnson et al, 2008 p 400) It primarilyuses concepts and tools to make rational judgments The second typeis known as an emergent strategy which mainly articulates thatdecisions do not depend on a grand plan but emerge over time withinan organization The emergent strategy may form based on subsequentstrategic decisions of which maintain sense (Johnson et al, 2008 p407)

As discussed by Johnson et al (2008), thestrategic development process employed by Twitter is the intendedstrategy which describes its management’s deliberate strategyformulation for a larger audience and improved user experience Mostof twitter’s decisions are closely similar to the intended strategyas they originate from the top management This form of strategydevelopment resembles the prescriptive or normative approach tostrategic decision making Twitter uses analytical, top-downdecision-making techniques to make judgements about what ought tohappen next The approach forms a structural type known as thefunctional structure where an organization divides its rolesaccording to departments This strategy has so far been successful asmore users have gained access to the internet platform having theopportunity to share information Twitter’s partners andshareholders have enabled an improved experience through theircontributions to the company

To conclude, this paper has indicated howimportant a sense of mission is vital for the growth of anorganization The case study on Twitter, Inc has pointed outdisconnects in its mission statement affecting its ability to steerits strategy fully More specifically, Twitter Inc has no solid senseof mission as employees and management have no emotional attachmentto the company as seen by the stiff competition it faces with otherbusinesses over workers Moving forward, Twitter needs to change itsstrategic inertia Top management within Twitter Inc can be a majorroadblock to strategic planning if they are characterized by lowgenetic diversity (Harmel 2000) The conservative biases may needbreaking by replacing the management with a younger management teamfrom the corporate HQ Furthermore, to enter into new marketenvironments, twitter needs to acquire innovative strategiesspecifically for them every business situation is different andcannot work on conventional strategies (Baden-Fuller and Stopford1994) In addition to innovation acquisition, Twitter needs to employa transnational structure that will enable knowledge exploitationacross global boundaries Moreover, Twitter can begin paying moreattention to emerging discontinuities within the company’sfruition These misalignments discoveries will offer Twitter a chanceto create a quick strategic change within the desired time (Burgelman&amp Grove 1996) Finally, twitter inc seems to be affected more byuncertainties The company’s planning team may time to time beenforced to change and alter decisions However, these uncertaintiescall for a strategy that is majorly concerned with the creation ofclarity in the direction which then can be harmonized with strategicdecisions In this case, long term goals need to be articulatedproperly within statements of vision and mission (Van Der Heijden1993) The statements should then be committed to enabling thesuccess of the strategic objectives (Hamel &amp Prahalad 1989)

References

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Drucker, Peter 1973 Management: Tasks, Responsibilities,Practices,Harper &amp Row, New York

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Van Der Heijden K 1993 Strategic Vision at Work: DiscussingStrategic vision in management teams In Strategic Thinking:Leadership and the Management of Change, Hendry J, Johnson G,Newton J (eds) Wiley:New York 137-150