The Random House Response to the Kindle

Posted: 16 Feb 2012

See all articles by Bharat N. Anand

Bharat N. Anand

Harvard University - Strategy Unit

Peter Olson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 7, 2011


In early 2010, e-readers like Amazon's Kindle, and Apple's impending iPad, threatened to disrupt the book publishing industry. The case provides an overview of the industry, describes the broader trends regarding e-readers, and asks: how should major publishers like Random House respond to these trends?

Learning Objective: The case provides an opportunity to examine corporate change among print book publishers amidst trends towards digital platforms. In addition to examining changes within this particular industry, the case is useful to highlight certain general issues involved in any corporate strategic change process, particularly: understanding the impact of external shocks on industry economics; clarifying underlying assumptions regarding trends in technology, customer behavior, and competitor response; and crafting integrated strategic options in response.

Suggested Citation

Anand, Bharat N. and Olson, Peter, The Random House Response to the Kindle (February 7, 2011). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Case No. 710-444. Available at SSRN:

Bharat N. Anand (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617 495-5082 (Phone)
617 495-0355 (Fax)

Peter Olson

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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