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Selected Case

published: 26 Aug 2013

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Online travel agency
  • Region: North America

Abstract:
The case discusses the dynamics of the online travel industry and focuses on one of the key actors: Orbitz Worldwide (OWW). Under the leadership of CEO Barney Harford (INSEAD MBA, 1999), the company moved away from its historic reliance on US airline ticket bookings to become a global player in both airline and hotel bookings as well as in travel packages. The case reviews the economics and dynamics of the travel industry and its supply chain, the different business models of the competitors of OWW, and the strategic transformation of OWW by CEO Harford.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The travel industry is the archetypal example of a "competitive" industry and the case allows a discussion of how to craft a strategy in such a setting. The situation is particularly challenging as the case considers the strategy and options of a distant third player, OWW. It is designed to allow for a full supply chain analysis of the travel industry (Who has the power and how are the profits distributed?).

Keywords:
Turnaround Strategy, Follower Strategy, Competitive Advantage, Online Strategy, Strategy in Competitive Industries, Supply Chain Analysis, Global Expansion, Private Equity and Strategy Making, European Competitiveness Initiative, European Competitiveness, Europe


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