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Curriculum Web February 12, 2009
What Business is Zara In?
A Curriculum Web created by Professor Daniel Doiron Aim The What Business is Zara In? curriculum web will build confidence in fourth year BBA or MBA students to construct an understanding of how companies compete in an industry via analyzing their business models. Through this process students will build skills which will enable them to confidently study an industry and draw key conclusions of how companies can effectively compete within that industry. This is more easily accomplished by studying companies who have introduced disruptive business models into their industries, like Zara, Southwest Airlines, Wal‐Mart or Dell. Introduction Zara is one of the most successful apparel manufacturing and retail business in the
world today. They are not the biggest, but their profit margins and growth rates are leading the industry. Most interesting though is that they have accomplished this through the introduction of a very unique business model within their industry. Let’s find out how they did it . . . Rationale Graduates with business degrees or MBA’s too often are led to analyze problems or
opportunities through narrowly focused functional silos like operations management, marketing, distribution, financial management or supply chain management. They are taught to perform SWOT analysis, which can build long lists of external and internal factors which are rarely put in context of the industry and the company’s competitors. The proper approach starts with an understanding of how the business model for an industry works. When students have a picture in their minds of how an industry works, from a broad perspective, they can more easily solve a problem or address an opportunity any one stakeholder or company in that industry is facing. Page 1 of 9
© Daniel Doiron (2009)
Their approach to succeeding in this industry is radical. The use of business cases is one effective method to help students engage in this kind of high level thinking.Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. discuss and ultimately analyze various solutions to the problem at hand. yet easy to understand. Specifically it can help the students to understand the dynamics of the industry and the business model which is driving the companies within that particular industry. which is a fourth year capstone course in an undergraduate Business degree program. who have little business experience. overarching perspective. business model. from a broad perspective. with the industry analysis usually taking up at least half of the class time allotted to the case discussion. free up the class time to focus on the company. into a complex industry – fashion apparel manufacturing and retailing. The fun part of this case is the answer to the question is a two word answer. in other industries. One of the primary goals of the course is to help the students learn to look at business from a broad. Students can be led to answer the question at hand – What Business is Zara In? In doing so they will gain an understanding of how Zara’s business model is radically different than that of their competitors. 2009 Building this kind of perspective is difficult for students. This top down approach can be very difficult to execute successfully. The instructor will usually begin the in‐class discussion of the case by attempting to build an understanding of the industry and then build a picture of how the company fits within that particular industry. This is accomplished in part through the delivery of in‐class Page 2 of 9 © Daniel Doiron (2009) . General Goals The curriculum web was developed by Daniel Doiron as part of BA4101 Competitive Strategy. Zara is a perfect case to exemplify how this concept can work as they have introduced a very successful. Building this understanding will help them gain the confidence to look at other companies. yet simple. This will better prepare the students for the class discussion and more importantly. It is the job of the instructor and students to dissect the situation and build to a solution for the problem or opportunity. Business cases typically describe a situation in which a company finds themselves. but it can better prepare the students for this discussion. which when discovered is almost always is an aha moment for the learner. A curriculum web will not replace an in‐class case analysis and discussion.
Understanding the supply chain management capabilities and practices at Zara. They are the most profitable in the world when you consider their profit margins. Recognizing the strong beliefs or overarching principles that guide the business and how they are weaved into the company’s strategy and business model. Zara has adopted a very unique approach to the market. Zara is a fashion manufacturer and retailer based out of Spain. 2009 strategic business case studies. Recognizing the role key employee groups play in the company. overarching perspective. to better help the student build skills in analyzing and observing an industries business model and ultimately learning to look at business from a broad. Identifying this model is key to understanding their success and ultimately their unique approach to fashion retailing. which is trying to answer what at first glance seems like a very simple question – What Business is Zara In? It is centered on understanding how Zara approaches their business. This WebQuest will be used in preparation for an in‐class case discussion. Understanding the key core competencies of Zara. This web involves the exploration and understanding of: • • • • • • • • A competitors approach and business model to the apparel manufacturing and retailing business by looking at Gap. The goals of this WebQuest are to have the students build an understanding of the business model for the industry and then understand the unique approach or business model of Zara. Ultimately recognizing the difference in Zara’s approach to the business Seeing how a different approach to business can lead to superior results Understanding how business risk can be almost completely mitigated through the proper strategic approach Page 3 of 9 © Daniel Doiron (2009) .Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. One of the case studies used is the Harvard Business School Case ‐ Zara: IT for Fast Fashion. Subject Matter Description This web is a problem centered curriculum. through a disruptive business model. although they are far from the largest.
They typically do not have much “real world” business experience. This curriculum web is designed to be used in conjunction with the Harvard Business School Case Zara: IT for Fast Fashion. As this case study can be presented from a number of different business contexts. competing globally and implementing disruptive business models. 2009 Learner Description The activities in this curriculum web are designed for fourth year Bachelor of Business students or MBA students taking a Competitive Strategy or Managing Innovation course. human resource management. including strategic business growth. Learning Objectives On completing this curriculum web. For example. students will be able to: 1. such as marketing. manufacturing. Describe the key elements of disruptive business models in the retailing. managing innovation. operations management. They will have had previous experience in case study management and have a foundation of knowledge in core functional business areas. Prerequisites Students taking this curriculum web will typically be in the fourth year of a Bachelor of Business program or in an MBA program. Page 4 of 9 © Daniel Doiron (2009) . the audience for this web could potentially vary widely. All of this educational experience can of course be replaced or augmented with experience. airline and personal computer businesses. and human resources management. supply chain management. financial management and marketing. They will understand the basic notion of a “business model” and have some confidence in discussing industry level analysis. this case and curriculum web could be part of a seminar series being delivered to management employees at a large enterprise or to a group of technology entrepreneurs trying to understand how to grow their business globally. 2. They will also have knowledge of functional business topics.Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. finance. Discuss the general business model for the apparel industry and describe the inherent risks associated with this business model. such as operations management. They will be familiar with and will have used business or situational analysis techniques. such as performing SWOT analysis.
Draw a picture and provide a succinct overview of Zara’s business model. 2009 3. Teaching Guide for What Business is Zara In? 8. Answer the question What Business is Zara In? Materials All of the materials required for this curriculum web are available for download within the web site itself. The following documents. with the exception of some of the research information. Worksheet #2 ‐ Business Models 3. Zara Crossword Puzzle 6. It can be accessed and purchased at http://www. Worksheet #3 ‐ Customer’s & Behaviors 4. 5.com.hbsp. Worksheet #4 ‐ Competencies and Competitive Advantages 5. the fashion apparel industry. Worksheet #1 ‐ The Question 2. Related these to the behavior drivers inherent with Zara’s approach to the business. The business case itself will not be made available through the web as there are licensing restrictions with Harvard Business School Publishing which do not allow this case to be posted. Describe the unique customer characteristics and behaviors of Zara’s customers. Discuss the key core competencies of Zara and the business measures driven by these competencies. 6. 4. Zara Word Scramble 7. which is hosted on various other web sites and directly accessible via links. In doing so discuss how Zara has all but eliminated risk in what is a very hard to predict business. worksheets and interactive materials are included in the web: 1. Imbedded Video – Clayton Christensen at MIT Computer Technology Requirements © Daniel Doiron (2009) Page 5 of 9 .Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12.
Please note item numbers in the rubric should correspond to the associated learning objective. complexity or relevance to the overall learning goals of the curriculum web.Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. All of this required capability is available on the University computers in the computer labs or libraries. 2009 This curriculum web contains a number of interactive and multi-media features. This web is designed to be executed by students individually. It should take 4 . This will prepare the students to present a supported answer to the question What Business is Zara In? Plans for Assessment & Evaluation As part of the assessment students will be required to complete and submit four worksheets. This can be done in the computer labs on campus or at home. all the worksheets and activity sheets. such as Internet Explorer 7. word scramble and watch the online video of Clayton Christensen.5 hours to complete the research. which will demonstrate all of the learning objectives. including the interactive crossword. with the exception of the final presentation. © Daniel Doiron (2009) Page 6 of 9 . Instructional Plan Students should be able to complete this web prior to the class discussion of the Zara case. the appropriate Java run time application (which is typically embedded in IE 7.0. either due to an insufficient browser or security measures on their computer which will not allow them to turn on the “Active X” capability required for the web.0). Parts of this curriculum web will not function properly if the user does not have a broadband connection to the internet. with appropriate weighting on sections of greater importance. For these to run smoothly the student’s computer must have an up-to-date browser. The following rubric has been designed to assess each of the learning objectives. there is no reason why they could not do it in groups. an interactive crossword puzzle and word scramble and prepare and present a power point presentation to class. Certain interactive applications have been duplicated onto Adobe pdf files for students unable to run the Java applications. However. Flash player to view a streaming video and a copy of Adobe Reader. These are all accessible and downloadable through the curriculum web.
Customer characteristics & behaviors Complete Work Sheet 3 No submission or a basic regurgitation of facts from case. 2009 Rubric for Evaluating the Learning Objectives for What Business is Zara In? Learning Objective 0 points 2 points Assigned Task Incomplete Complete Enthusiastic Learner 4 points Score 1. Strong links between customer characteristics and behaviors with an eye to the driving factors. Disruptive Business Models Complete Section 1 of Work Sheet 2 No submission or poor research as evident by misunderstanding of disruptive business models. Strong understanding of the apparel industry business model through concise pictorial view which demonstrates strong research into Gap’s approach to the business. Strong discussion supporting facts from the case. 4.Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. Good understanding of apparel industry business model as evident by pictorial view and description of three key elements of the model. Zara 0 points 3 points 6 points © Daniel Doiron (2009) Page 7 of 9 . Apparel Industry Business Models No submission or poor research as evident by misunderstanding of the apparel industry business model. 8 points Complete Section 2 of Work Sheet 2 2. 0 points 1 point 2 points 3. 0 points Good understanding of at least two key elements all three disruptive business models. 4 points Apply disruptive litmus test to each of the three business models.
Zara Business Model Section 3 of Work Sheet 2 No submission or complete lack of understanding of the uniqueness of Zara’s business model. 2009 Competencies and Business Measures Complete Work Sheet 4 No submission Students show an understanding of at least three key core competencies of Zara.Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. 0 points 6. What Business is Zara In? 5 points 10 points Answer(s) on Work Sheet 1 No submission or wrong answer. Strong understanding of Zara’s business model. which is well communicated through a pictorial representation. 0 points 6 points 12 points Complete 5. Completed crossword and unscrambled letter puzzle with correct two word answer to the question. Good understanding of Zara’s business model. Right answer. 0 points 4 points 8 points Complete Zara Interactive Exercise Crossword Puzzle No submission or incomplete crossword. Right answer showing a strong sense of what it means. What Business is Zara In? 0 points 10 points 20 points © Daniel Doiron (2009) Page 8 of 9 . Completed crossword. Students show an understanding of at least three key core competencies of Zara and links these to achieving core business measures and results.
2009 Presentation Class presentation No submission Good succinct presentation showing a strong understanding of the uniqueness in Zara’s business model. © Daniel Doiron (2009) Page 9 of 9 .Teaching Guide to What Business is Zara In? Curriculum Web February 12. Total Score /70 The answers to the worksheet questions will lead to completion of the crossword and to the answer to the question at hand. Also. The students ability to answer the question AND describe its relevance as a disruptive business model will be key deterministic factors in their learning achievement. Good succinct presentation showing strong understanding of the uniqueness in Zara’s business model and discussion on why this is a disruptive business model and how Zara has all but eliminated the core risks associated with the industry through this model. student’s ability to simply and accurately describe the different risk profiles of the two business models is also a key deterministic factor.
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