First discuss the organization's strategy and classify it according to Porter's three generic competitive strategies.
Then identify the most critical inputs in each of the first three categories and justify WHY they are critical. Also explain what effect the inputs from one category have on inputs from the other categories. How well does the strategy fit with the environmental, resource and historical inputs you identified?
Make a Case for your proposition as to how the Key Inputs support (are congruent with) the Strategy. Specifically make a claim: "The inputs at Skype consisting of Organizational Environment factors. Internal Resource factors, and Historical Tradition factors are, [highly, partially, or minimally] congruent with the company's strategy."
Skype offers product uniqueness. This is one of Porter's competitive strategies. Skype has, in fact, received a reputation as being a highly unique company and indeed it works on being innovative and is constantly producing new material. Skype gives its users voice, video, and instant messaging via the Internet whilst also servicing traditional phone calls over traditional telephone networks. Calls to other Skype internet users are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and cellular phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Analysis of Skype's growth shows that it seems to be profiting and has also become popular for its other features, such as file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype has become internationally renowned as an innovative company that works hard on being ambitious and competing. It took a while for competition to catch up. Skype now competes with SIP and H.323-based services, such as Linphone, Mumble, as well as the Google Talk service But it is still emerging with new products. The company's inputs are in various ways critical to the operation of the company as a whole and this essay will assesses the inputs of the three categories -- environmental, resources, and history -- in order to show that this is so.
The company's inputs are, in various ways, critical to the operation of the company. These inputs, according to the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Module, range along the three categories or influences of environmental, resources, and history
Environmental refers to the larger locus of control that the organization exists and functions within. Nadler and Tushman (1980) remark that:
Specifically, the environment includes markets (clients or customers), suppliers, governmental and regulatory bodies, labor unions, competitors, financial institutions, special interest groups, and so on (p.40).
The environment is critical to organizational functioning in at least three ways. Firstly, it demands that the company's products be up to par in both quality and quantity. The environment places certain expectations -- rules and conditions -- on the company. And, finally, the environment also provides opportunities that the company can explore.
There are critics who fear that Microsoft's acquisition of Skype in 2005 represents the first step-in of government's interference with the company.
Skype has, after all, achieved the amazing innovation of linking country-to-country transcending local politics and using the global Internet age for establishing a phone connection that may well escape government scrutiny. There has been unprecedented social interaction across borders, and Skype has been partially held responsible for spreading the mass protests against the Mubarak regime in Egypt. Skype is disruptive in more ways than one. Its accomplishments make it frightening to governments and rulerships that may wish to control or suppress it. Skype's achievements also make it vulnerable to other 'sharks' in the environment such as profit seeking capitalist corporations.
As quoted by -- (2011), the New York Times had earlier reported that:
The F.B.I. has been quietly laying the groundwork for years for a push to require Internet-based communications services -- like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry and Skype -- to design their systems with a built-in way to comply with wiretap orders.
Skype cries for government control. In fact, the F.B.I.'s general counsel, Valerie Caproni had stated that, "Due to the revolutionary expansion of communications technology in recent years, the government finds that it is rapidly losing ground in its ability to execute court orders with respect to Internet-based communications." (ibid.)
Microsoft has bought Skype and critics are concerned that, given Microsoft's tendency to accede with government subpoenas, Skype's pioneering spirit, its force and vigor, may yet be controlled. In this way, therefore, environmental inputs are none to promising for Skype.
Resources, according to Nadler and Tushman (1980), are the following. They include:
Employees, technology, capital, information, and so on. Resources can also include less tangible assets, such as the perception of the organization in the marketplace or a positive organizational climate. (p.41)
Resources can be used in different ways according to different configuration by companies. They can fixed or malleable. They can also be assessed in terms of their relative quality in comparison to the environment.
Skype claims that it wants "the coolest, the most talented and brilliant minds" and wants a diverse team (Skype eesti keeles). Skype's director, in fact, has posited team spirit and tight team working as crucial to the success of the company. This and rigid self-discipline as well as creativity, original thinking, innovation, and constant monitoring of goals is, according to Skype's chief strategy officer Christopher Dean (who innovated an innovation group called SkypeWorks), the route for success of the company (ComputerWeekly.com.).
Skype's employees also share Dean's passion of liking to win and competitive streak. They all love technology -- using it as well as creating it -- and are motivated in their jobs. People are expected to work hard; they are regularly assessed, and liberally rewarded on a merit basis. Small functional teams work on a project-to-project basis, and different people are selected for different roles.
Skype's employees, therefore, are intent on innovation; they possess an enthusiasm and obsession for technology. Their enthusiasm for technology amongst their various other skills and focus on innovation certainly maintains Skype's competitive drive as a pioneering innovative company.
History refers to the organization's present as transmitted to it by its past. In other words, an organization's culture and, indeed, it's very rules and characteristics, ways that it deals with crisis, leadership positions and qualities of its managers, employee interactions, and so forth are each a product of past history. Understanding the history better enables us to understand the reasons for configurations and attributes of the present.
Skype was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. They used the idea of kaza, an innovative peer-to-peer file sharing program used by millions of people in the early 2000?s in order to share music files, videos and programs; it quickly became hugely popular, and Zennstrom and Friis transferred it to the concept of voice transmission. This voice transmission was free (itself an innovation) and their idea was that the more people who used the connection, the better the connection would be. Being a peer-to-peer network, Skype's differentiation was that people could make free calls to anyone internationally simply by using internet and a headset. The risibility of numbers would effectuate the system making it stable and fast. Skype innovated by using instant messaging, which is easier compared to voice data, and innovated still further by introducing its live videoconferencing -- all of this free to Skype users (Aamoth, 2011)).
Innovating themselves in this way, Skype made money by charging people for making Skype calls to landlines or mobiles or by receiving Skype calls from landlines or mobiles. Even in this way, Skype calls were still cheaper than competitive standard phone service. This is another landmark of Skype's history that has influenced its current operational strategy. Skype innovates, and it does so slowly testing the waters with each try. It seduces by offering free service or a free product. It habituates its clients to these new products and then introduces its newer offering that it mostly charges for. In…