Case Study - Encyclopædia Britannica


Essay, 2003
10 Pages

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction:

Overview of Encyclopædia Britannica:

Industry Overview:

SWOT Analysis of Britannica:

Possible Strategies:

Conclusion:

References

Abstract

In today’s world, businesses are faced with a quickly changing, hyper-competitive environment. Technology has become so intertwined into everyday life that as it is rapidly developed, organizations are forced to either adapt or be forgotten. Competitive advantages for today’s businesses can often be found in the efficient and effective use of new technologies. Even mature industries and leaders, of those mature industries, that once dominated the marketplace have to adapt or risk falling like Goliath to David.

Case Study – Encyclopædia Britannica

Introduction

In today’s world, businesses are faced with a quickly changing, hyper-competitive environment. Technology has become so intertwined into everyday life that as it is rapidly developed, organizations are forced to either adapt or be forgotten. Competitive advantages for today’s businesses can often be found in the efficient and effective use of new technologies. Even mature industries and leaders, of those mature industries, that once dominated the marketplace have to adapt or risk falling like Goliath to David.

Encyclopædia Britannica is one such corporation. They are faced with a new world that changes the way the industry does business. If they cannot adapt to the new way consumers gather and use information, and utilize information technology effectively, they too will be left along the wayside as new industry leaders emerge and quickly gobble up their long held market share.

Overview of Encyclopædia Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica’s corporate mission is simple. They strive to fuse “the remarkable legacy of Encyclopædia Britannica with all the power and possibilities of technology. (… They) desire to be the most trusted source of information, knowledge and learning” (“Employment”, 2004) in the industry.

Encyclopædia Britannica was first published in 1768. Now, more than 230 years later, they still publish their 32-volume Encyclopædia Britannica, The Annals of America, and Great Books of the Western World, and more. In addition, they publish a variety of reference books through their Merriam Webster subsidiary (Anderson, 2004b). Encyclopædia Britannica is one of the leading providers of learning and knowledge products (“Welcome”, 2004).

It was engraver Andrew Bell and printer/bookseller Colin Macfarguhar of Scotland that created the first three-volume edition of Encyclopædia Britannica. It was in this region of the world and during this time that Adam Smith prepared The Wealth of Nations, Sir Walter Scott wrote his novels, and David Hume and Adam Ferguson contemplated philosophy (“History”, 2004). Bell and Macfarguhar released the set in weekly installments between the years 1768 and 1771. With the assistance of Benjamin Franklin and John Locke, the second edition was expanded to 10 volumes, and released in 1784. By 1809, Encyclopædia Britannica was in its fourth edition and had doubled in volume size (Anderson, 2004a).

In 1901, Horace Hooper and Walter Jackson purchased Encyclopædia Britannica and established the Encyclopædia Britannica Company in America. Despite the fact that the company was now owned by two Americans, the “strength and confidence of much of its writing marked the high point of Edwardian optimism and perhaps of the British Empire itself” (“History”, 2004). Twelve years later, the duo would publish the first Britannica Book of the Year. However, seven years later company ownership would change once again (Anderson, 2004a).

It was 1920 when Julius Rosenwald, then chairman of Sears, purchased the company. His idea was to market the Encyclopædia through his chain of retail stores as well as door to door. Twenty-one years later, William Benton, of Benton & Bowles Advertising and a later United States Senator (“History”, 2004), would purchase the company from Rosenwald, and perfect the door-to-door marketing campaign. It was Benton who build the nationwide sales force that was known for their hard-sell techniques. During Benton’s ownership, Encyclopædia Britannica published its first foreign language edition, Enciclopedia Barsa, in 1957. By the 1990s, Encyclopædia Britannica would have produced Encyclopædias and educational materials in countries around the world, including: Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Italy, France, Spain, Latin America, Turkey, Hungary, and Poland (“History”, 2004). He also spearheaded the acquistion of dictionary publisher, G & C Merriam, in 1964 (Anderson, 2004a).

[...]

Excerpt out of 10 pages

Details

Title
Case Study - Encyclopædia Britannica
College
University of Phoenix
Author
Year
2003
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V60768
ISBN (eBook)
9783638543552
ISBN (Book)
9783640338085
File size
441 KB
Language
English
Tags
Case, Study, Encyclopædia, Britannica
Quote paper
Kimberly Wylie (Author), 2003, Case Study - Encyclopædia Britannica, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/60768

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