Internet Strategy Team Leader Chris Berkowitz was preparing for a meeting of representatives from all of Big City Phone Company’s (BCPC) major functional units. Together, they were to develop a recommendation to the CEO for how BCPC, a successful “Baby Bell,” should take advantage of the new High-speed Internet-access Product (HIP) opportunities. Should they move quickly into the HIP market? If so, how?
A pilot of HIP technology had been successfully completed, and now BCPC faced two choices. They could (1) staff and launch HIP as a high-speed Internet access service across its entire service region or (2) concentrate on providing HIP as a wholesaler and learn from the mistakes of retail providers of the service. Berkowitz was to lead a team of people well versed in the telecommunications business, and was confident that the team could arrive at an effective recommendation.
BCPC competed on excellent customer service and satisfaction. They were known across the industry for the sophisticated and thorough system of metrics with which they measured service quality. Despite its relatively recent entry into the long distance market, BCPC had quickly reached a high level of customer satisfaction following its launch of the new service. The CEO expected no less from the introduction of HIP. Berkowitz considered the team’s decision process critical for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that new product introductions in this industry tended to be highly visible within the firm and to the public.
Unlike previous Analysing Business Problems (ABP) classes, the case study above was analysed in a role play of about 5 groups ( 4 classroom groups and 1 online group) with members of each group representing characters from the case study and one observer. The characters represented in each group were,
Berkowitz from business development
Morgan Jones, VP of Finance
Alex Wilson, VP of Marketing,
Jan Trow, Senior Project Director of Information Systems,
Robin Rhee, Director of Operations Management
Terry Maneri, Director of Human Resources.
I played the role of Robin Rhee, Director of Operations Management in my Group 2. Although we had read the case study individually, as well as each of representative roles.
Analysing this case study was the most interesting so far for the following reasons;
(1) The role play gave member the opportunity to internalise the case
(2) Understand and memorise key statements and data in the case
(3) Simplified process of breaking down the case, which aided an easier understanding and our arrival at a final conclusion.
The Role play exercises gave my group members and I the opportunity to assume the role of a person in the case study and to act out given situations in the case study. And the role play engage us in scenarios that could been “stressful, unfamiliar, complex, or controversial, had we not analysed the case study through a role play. Below are the benefits derived by were,
- Motivated and engaged us
- Enhanced current teaching strategies
- Provided real-world scenarios to help us learn
- Learn skills used in real-world situations (negotiation, debate, teamwork, cooperation, persuasion)
- Provide opportunities for critical observation of peers.