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Academic Case Analysis Completed by Imperial College London Students Based on the ‘Strategic Partnering’ Book - Strategic Partnering

Academic Case Analysis Completed by Imperial College London Students Based on the ‘Strategic Partnering’ Book

Building on the ‘Strategic Partnering’ book and its primary focus on the methodologies of a partnering system, MSc students at Imperial College London selected strategic partnering as their consultancy research project.  Together, they identified examples of partnerships applying the disciplines outlined in the book, researched why and how they are distinctive and worked to bring the power of example to 1000’s organizations worldwide.  Their research resulted in a report written by the students – Belle Wah, Chan Feng, Lili Zhang, Sansrith Mic Ruengpimkul, Parit Chittaropas, Shaoyi Tao – and presented in this and the next few posts.

Global Distinctive Practice Cases for Strategic Partnering

Executive summary

Strategic partnerships are increasingly crucial to today’s business success.  However, to ensure success in partnership, mere good and ‘gut’ feelings are insufficient.  Companies must develop an integrated strategy comprised with systematic steps and checkpoints.

This report examines 4 successful partnership cases on how each case reflects the disciplines outlined in chapters 8 and 9 of <Strategic Partnering> (Bardin,2014).  Methods of analysis include primary research and secondary research.

Case 1&2 – Thai Airways & Star Alliance and Starbucks & Yahoo! are examined with the disciplines in chapter 8, which discusses strategic mission, destination and partnership plan and how they help in ensuring transformational value.  Findings indicate that Thai Airways partners with other airlines in the Star Alliance which leads to successful results such as increasing flight destinations.  Starbucks partners with Yahoo! to create a new in-store digital service, which is enabled by aligning their missions and destinations to produce a successful partnership plan.

Case 3&4 – Coca-Cola & McDonalds and Topshop & Kate Moss are analysed with disciplines in chapter 9, which highlights the role of value propositions and offers in convincing organizations to form a partnership.

Analyses reveal that through compelling value proposition and offers, the partnership between Coca-Cola and McDonald’s is destined for a success;  Top Shop and Kate Moss benefit from a marketing perspective and from a market expansion perspective.

In the end of each case, recommendations on how they can improve on their current partnership practice and bring their successes to another level are given.


Overall introduction of Case 1 and 2

Establishment of a clear strategic partnership mission, destination and plan is a necessity for a successful strategic partnership.  Organisations need to be fully aware of why they partner with another party, and more important, why and how to partner.  Clarification on joint mission, destination and partnering plan will guide the organisations throughout the whole partnership journey.

The following two cases, Thai Airways & Star Alliance and Starbucks and Yahoo! are two extraordinarily good examples of organisations partnering together to fulfil a clear joint mission and destination and creating a higher level of value.  Each case starts with introductions of the organisations, follows by analysis of their partnership and ends with recommendations for the partnership.

Overall introduction of Case 3 and 4

Nothing can be more important in a successful strategic partnership than compelling partnership value propositions and offers.  Based on a clear strategic partnership mission, destination and plan are developed to provide real and material value to partners. Fascinating value propositions and offers are practically vital to convince two or more organizations to form a partnership and enable the involving parties to exploit invaluable capabilities throughout the partnership’s lifetime.  The development of them always calls for mutual understanding and co-design, and a good offer commonly:  1) focuses single or multiple ‘areas of co-operation’ (AoCs) or workstreams between partners; 2) highlights ‘source of values’ (SoVs) that bring different but mutual benefits to partners; 3) leads to joint destination; 4) involves mutual commitment (Bardin, 2014).

Through secondary research, two partnerships were identified; McDonald’s & Coca-Cola and Kate Moss & Topshop.  These are extremely successful partnerships and their experience in the development of partnership value propositions and offers are worth spreading around the world.  The case study will firstly evaluate and discuss the partnerships, followed by recommendations for the involving parties.


(To be continued…)

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