In the Module 3 Case, we will be using tools that were discussed in the Background materials section to determine the best grand strategy for a well-known company. To begin the Module 3 Case, read the following article concerning Barnes & Noble’s strategic direction:

Hall, W., & Gupta, A. (2010). Barnes & Noble, Inc.: Maintaining a competitive edge in an ever-changing industry. Journal of Business Case Studies, 6(4), 9-22. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Case Assignment

Using the article above and the readings provided on the Background page of Module 3, write a 6- to 7-page paper in which you do the following:

Apply the BCG Matrix and the Grand Strategy Matrix to decide the optimal grand strategy – or grand strategies – that Barnes and Noble should follow.

Keys to the Assignment

The key aspects of this assignment that are to be covered in your 6- to 7-page paper include the following:

· After completing research in the library, apply the Grand Strategy Matrix to determine what you believe should be the optimal grand strategy (or blend of grand strategies) that should be pursued by Barnes and Noble.

· Discuss the assumptions you have made in applying the Grand Strategy Matrix (i.e., rapid vs. slow growth; strong vs. weak competitive position).

· Next, apply the BCG Matrix to Barnes and Noble’s core strategic choices (i.e., the company’s use of brick-and-mortar stores versus Internet business).

· Compare the results from the BCG Matrix and the Grand Strategy Matrix: Does your use of the BCG Matrix support or refute your choice of grand strategy (or strategies) as selected by the Grand Strategy Matrix? Discuss.

· Which grand strategy should Barnes and Noble follow? Why? Defend your answer.

· Be sure to use a minimum of three library sources in support of your answers.

Background References

Strategic Management: 15 Grand Strategies. (2012, March 1). Cal Miramar University. Podcast retrieved on April 29, 2014, from

The following is an excellent overview of the Grand Strategy Matrix. Note that organizations choose grand strategies using two key criteria: Market Growth and Competitive Position:

Grand Strategy Matrix. (2010). MBA Tutorials. Retrieved on April 29, 2014, from

The following video shows how the Grand Strategy Matrix might be applied to a real-world organization – in this case, Pepsico:

Grand Strategy Matrix and Pepsico. (2011, April 24). Podcast retrieved on April 29, 2014, from

In the previous video, mention was made of the BCG Matrix. Review the following two sources as they relate to use of the BCG Matrix:

Holzer, J. (01/01/2013). Encyclopedia of management theory: BCG growth-share matrix Sage Publications pgs. 64-66.

How the BCG Matrix Works. (2013, March 17). Alanis Business Academy. Podcast retrieved on April 29, 2014, from


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