I need assistance writing a paper. I have chosen to work on Barnes & Noble. The requirements are attached for the paper on Barnes and Noble. Please use citations and APA format. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions
Also below is a previous draft paper with a lot of barnes and noble information that I completed earlier this semester.
Successful organizations have three things in common; a strong culture, outstanding ethics, and great leadership. A company and their culture, ethics, and leadership should direct how a company should proceed when faced with any issues that may arise. Leadership occurs within all levels of organizations and it is a tool that has the power to influence other people’s behaviors. Leadership focuses on achieving a common goal and it needs to be proactive from the top tiered management all the way down to the lowest paid worker within an organization. Therefore, when an organization has an effective leader it will create a more efficient organization.
Leadership involves an intricate relationship between leaders, the people that are being led, and the cultural environment that allows a company to tackle any organizational issues that may come about. Ethics is concerns itself with having a strong set of core values and character. Anyone that is in a leadership position must have certain qualities in order to successfully implement proper ethical decisions into any organization. Within any organization, an ethical climate is extremely important particularly when it comes to moral-decision making when times may get tough.
Barnes and Noble has been a successful organization since 1986 when it was first incorporated. It is content and commerce company that provides access to trade books and recently it has added additional content across its multi-media distribution stage. The company entered the market and made a name for itself as a brick and mortar retail store engaging in the sale of trade books, paperbacks, magazines, educational toys and games, music, movies, gifts, and café products. As of April 2016, Barnes and Noble has six hundred and forty bookstores throughout the globe (” Barnes & Noble Inc.”).
However, recently Barnes and Noble have run into an issue. They were primarily a brick and mortar store that became stuck in the middle of a digital age. In fact, one of their biggest competitors has gone bankrupt amidst the industry change. This competitor became complacent in what many would describe as a very turbulent industry, and therefore Barnes and Nobles has been faced with the need to be innovative. In 2011, industry wide book sales were down 2.5% from the same period in 2011. However, while the use of print books are declining, e-books are soaring ahead growing around 150% year on year (Wunker, 2011). The problem facing Barnes and Nobles is competing within the digital age as a traditional brick and mortar bookstore (Milliot, 2014).
In spite of this, Barnes and Nobles has brought a new product onto the scene, The Nook, in order to compete with new competitors and enter the new age (Kasman & Stephens, 2012). The Nook is a digital e-reader tablet that allows multi-media content provided by Barnes and Noble (Noble, “About BN.com”). The main problem they are faced with now is going from a traditional brick and mortar store to operating as a technology company.
It’s important to analyze the company’s culture, ethics, and leadership especially as they are entering a new market. In order to successfully make such a drastic change and maintain their identity, Barnes and Noble must have an incredibly strong culture. If you are looking to begin a career with Barnes and Noble, you will note that they seek employees who embody passion, innovation, and potential. Additionally, their mission statement states their goal is, ‘To operate the best omni-channel specialty retail business in America, helping both our customers and booksellers reach their aspirations, while being a credit to the communities we serve.’
Barnes and Nobles core company values are customer service, quality, empathy, respect, integrity, responsibility, and teamwork (“Barnes & Noble Booksellers”). Their values they note not only set the stage for what kind of company they strive to be, but also helps to outline some of their company culture and their ethical principles. They strive to make every customer a customer for life while offering the utmost quality and desired results in regards to all product offerings. With this being brought to my attention, in my mind it creates a strong foundation for conquering this new task of entering into the digital age successfully. Additionally, they focus highly on teamwork that cultivates open communications and enthusiasm. In turn, they hope that this creates a positive culture within their workplace and environments for employees and customers alike.
Additionally, Barnes and Nobles is an extremely empathetic company. Part of their core values outline that they care for not only themselves, but for customers through their choices, deeds, and words. They continually stress their gratitude for the position they are in and the ability to have a positive influence on communities throughout the world by promoting art, literacy, and education. With this being such an important part of their company, it’s no wonder Barnes and Noble is taking this leap to launch as a technology company. While book sales are down massively, they still want to reach their customer base (“Barnes & Noble Inc.”).
Barnes and Nobles states that their integrity is fundamental in their organization because their business principles are to mirror the highest standard of ethics and integrity. They value honesty and maintaining commitments, while continuing to give their best efforts. Finally, they stress responsibility for their organizational decisions by arranging their everyday decisions with their end goals. Barnes and Nobles also states that they embrace change and confront any issues. This is extremely important as they’re currently facing tremendous hurdles while trying to improve their business because the Nook e-reader is still losing money.
To continue on, this is where leadership comes into play. With the launch of the Nook Tablet, and the statement that it anticipated to produce $1.8 billion from the Nook line in 2011, Barnes and Noble became a technology company. This is a company whose core organizational values lied in paper books and has recently become in direct competition with some of the greatest technology companies in the world (Shapiro, 2011). Leaders within Barnes and Noble decided that perhaps with this leap, the company could stay relevant, stay alive and maybe even be successful.
Due to this dive into the technological industry, leadership became an important factor. When issues arise, sometimes in order to rise above changes need to be made. Therefore Barnes and Noble hired William Lynch who was an Internet executive who had previously worked for many big time companies running their digital operations. Barnes and Noble promoted William to CEO, which was an extremely important, and some may even say extreme move because he had no prior experience in the selling of books or brick and mortar retail.
After analyzing Barnes and Nobles ethics, culture, and environment I have come up with some recommendations that I feel would benefit the organization as a whole. Barnes and Nobles should continue their dive into the technology industry. Technology is only becoming a bigger aspect of everyday life and to shy away from the challenge of embracing the digital age would, in my opinion, send this company into a downward spiral.
However, it’s not as simple as that. With that being said, Barnes and Noble should accentuate the fact that they are creating a legacy business. They are the only legacy retailer to create their own devices and they have not simply offered a single e-reader, but they have a variety of digital products relating to their e-reader and they’re promoting that in store. The company should continue to move aggressively into the e-reader market.
With that in mind, my second recommendation is to focus heavily on their target customers. While a lot of e-readers have been very versatile in their abilities such as the ability to access PDF documents and the ability to create documents, it seems Barnes and Noble has always attracted the “simple reader.” When I have visited any Barnes and Noble, I have noted the customers who simply love to read and that are content with only a book in hand. Therefore, I would suggest Barnes and Noble stick to their roots by offering a simple e-reader that brings their paperbacks to life through design and functionality. From there, I would aim my marketing towards their loyal base customers who have been with them from the beginning and have yet to be swayed by competitors.
Finally, I would suggest experimenting persistently. I believe that’s what you have to do when entering a new market and that’s what Barnes and Noble did when it first entered the brick and mortar industry. They didn’t stop with just book sales. They tackles publishing their own works, presenting authors with the option for self publishing, they created super-stores, and even put in coffee shops and cafes in their establishments. Barnes and Nobles has also recently succeeded by selling toys and games. In the past, they have eagerly tried out new methods and then they adjust their game plan based on being mindful of how the market reacts. That’s smart business and that is sometimes what is required when entering a new industry.
In conclusion, Barnes and Noble has picked a levelheaded market of readers, but they cannot act as though they know just how customers reading routines will progress. After entering this new industry, Barnes and Noble understand that its forecasts may be uncertain. Some brick and mortar locations will soon be closing with the launch of its digital media content and e-reader, but that is part of the process. Certainly there is a lot of change ahead, but that goes for any business, particularly one that transitions from brick and mortar locations or physical products to virtual goods and online content.
With all that being said, not many companies are gutsy enough to make the leap that Barnes and Noble has made. While, continuing to make changes and additions to their brick and mortar retail locations, they are still trying to fine tune their e-reader and their place in the technology industry. Perhaps, Barnes and Noble should cut their losses and continue to do what they do best; brick and mortar retail. All while, adding new features or maybe they should continue to look into a different market with their e-readers such as college textbook sales. (Arango, 2009) Brainstorming from a graduate student aside, it’s clear to see that in order to succeed in any industry a company must have strong leadership, excellent ethics, and a positive culture to tackle any issues thrown their way.