United We Strive : How the Guardian returned to the black
Almost three-and-a-half years after a turnaround strategy for the UK-based loss-making Guardian Media Group (GMG) was launched, it had finally managed to stem its losses. Key to the successful turnaround was a culture of openness, which was exemplified by how it allowed its partners to reuse its online content provided they carried its advertising, and its groundbreaking efforts to bring citizen journalism to the fore.
The case examines how GMG built an ecosystem that flew in the face of conventional wisdom by providing content for free and working with supposed rivals, yet enabled it to boost its earnings in the process.
This case can be used in a business models and innovation course. Students who have examined the case should be able to achieve the following learning objectives: analyse how The Guardian has adapted to disruptions caused by technological change, articulate how The Guardian benefited from the ecosystem approach, examine how The Guardian’s partners contributed to its success, and also how they were persuaded about the benefits of its ecosystem.
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