The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Houston Public School case provides an exciting opportunity to apply strategic management principles to an innovative, non-profit educational organization. At the time of the case, new regional superintendent Sehba Ali is seeking solutions to several major challenges. By using a situation analysis approach to solve these issues, she will be better able to understand and integrate the factors relevant to making sound strategic decisions.
This case introduces the Houston, Texas charter schools by describing their high expectations, novel educational techniques, and honorable mission to serve underprivileged students. From storied beginnings, the successful school system grew nationally with the help of philanthropic donations before restructuring regionally to facilitate continued expansion. The case describes general environment segment and competitive industry conditions, highlighting market needs, regulatory constraints, and key elements of school funding. Detailed information about the organization’s internal operations, resources, structure, and strategic concerns are also furnished.
The extensive material provided on KIPP Houston’s external and internal environments enables a comprehensive examination of the pressures confronting Ali. The purpose of this case analysis is to develop an integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions which will exploit the organization’s core competencies, strengthen its competitive advantage, address areas of weakness, and enable KIPP Houston to set and achieve realistic growth objectives. Whether they are caused by growth, restructuring, or other factors, KIPP Houston schools are experiencing some problem areas which Ali needs to address if the region is to reach its targeted expansion levels.
Respond to these questions in the discussion forum:
1. Summarize the organizational strengths and core competencies which distinguish KIPP Houston from its competitors. Does the new regional structure advance or interfere with the goals of the organization?
2. What are the weaknesses of KIPP Houston’s internal operations? Compare the organization’s performance to the achievements of its competitors. What steps have been taken to manage its problem areas?
3. Describe the factors in the external environment which affect the charter organization’s ability to meet its objectives. Discuss KIPP Houston’s current expansion goals.
4. Describe and consider Ali’s strategic posture on the major issues facing KIPP Houston. Based on your analysis, do you agree with her judgment? What additional recommendations can you make to guide the organization’s strategy and actions?
2- Trust is identified as a potential source of competitive advantage. Consider a situation that you have been involved in, or are aware of, in which trust was instrumental in accomplishing an organization’s goals? If so, what outcomes were made possible because of trust?
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