ESPN is now billed as the worldwide leader in sports, owning several ESPN affiliates as well as production of ESPN magazine, ESPN radio, and broadcasting for ABC.
In 1977, a cash-strapped advertiser gave a radio station managed by Lowell Paxson 112 electric can openers to pay off an overdue bill. The can openers were offerend over the air for $9.95 and quickly sold out.
An idea emerged. Soon the radio station featured a regular show called “Suncoast Bargaineers.” In 1982, Paxson and a partner launched the Home Shopping Club on local cable television in Florida.
Today the Home Shopping Network has evolved into a retail powerhours. The company sells tens of thousands of products on television channels in several countries and over the internet.
Intended and Emergent Strategies
Figure 1.3 A Model of Intended, Deliberate, and Realized Strategy
An intended strategy is the strategy that an organization hopes to execute. Intended strategies are usually described in detail within an organization’s strategic plan. When a strategic plan is created for a new venture, it is called a business plan. As an undergraduate student at Yale in 1965, Frederick Smith had to complete a business plan for a proposed company as a class project. His plan described a delivery system that would gain efficiency
1.3 Intended, Emergent, and Realized Strategies 14
by routing packages through a central hub and then pass them to their destinations. A few years later, Smith started Federal Express (FedEx), a company whose strategy closely followed the plan laid out in his class project. Today, Frederick Smith’s personal wealth has surpassed $2 billion, and FedEx ranks eighth among the World’s Most Admired Companies according to Fortune magazine. Certainly, Smith’s intended strategy has worked out far better than even he could have dreamed (Donahoe, 2011; Memphis Business Journal, 2011).