Module 1 - Case
Assignment Overview

Harley-Davidson: A Unique, Loyal Stakeholder Base

In this course we will look at Harley-Davidson Motor Company from a strategic management perspective. This organization is quite unique in that it has worked very hard through the years to build its brand and has acquired a loyal following. This loyal customer following has actually been quite a phenomonen and many have even identified it as "cultlike." That is to say, H-D is unique, particularly from a stakeholder perspective.

The corporation is now reaching to other countries in an attempt to expand its niche across borders and overseas. There is a lot of competition in the motorcycle market, including Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Indian, Victory, BMW, and Triumph motorcycles.

Although H-D dominated the heavy-weight motorcycle market in America for several years, in recent decades many of the above-mentioned competitors have developed cruisers and touring bikes of their own, emulating H-D’s bikes to include a V-twin engine design.
Case Assignment

For this assignment, read the information in the background material, spend some time getting a feel for H-D's history, strategy and key stakeholders, and then write a 3- to 4-page report for your professor and the executives of Harley-Davidson by addressing the following assignment requirements:

    Discuss to what degree you believe Harley-Davidson is currently proceeding towards its mission, vision, and values.
    Identify two or three of H-D’s most important stakeholders and discuss whether Harley-Davidson’s current strategic direction is aligned with the needs of the corporation’s stakeholders. Explain your reasoning.
    Based on your analysis and findings, what would you recommend to the executives of Harley-Davidson? Why? Explain your reasoning.


    This is an advanced-level course, so you must demonstrate your ability to provide a well-reasoned response.
    Your report/assignment will not be accepted without proper citations and references. Use the sources from the background material together with the sources you find on your own.

Assignment Expectations

This paper should include:

An introduction stating the thesis, position, or central theme of your paper.

A main body discussing:

    Your interpretation of H-D's mission and vision.
    Your assessment of the stakeholders and their needs/goals.
    Your critical assessment as to whether H-D's mission and vision takes their stakeholders into account.
    Your recommendations to H-D executives.

A conclusion concisely stating the main points of your analysis and the conclusions you reached.

Document your sources and provide in-text citations whenever you use information you obtained from a background reading or other outside source, as well as a separate reference list at the end of the paper. You may use footnotes instead, if you prefer, but you must document where you got the information you are using in your papers.

The following criteria will also be used to assess your paper:

    Meets Assignment Requirements: Is it apparent that all writing requirements are specifically addressed?
    Critical Thinking: Has the student integrated course materials into a well-reasoned presentation of ideas?
    Writing: Is the paper clear and well written with an academic tone?
    Use of Sources: Did the student apply recent, relevant sources to support key points?
    Mechanics: Was the paper properly formatted to include proper use of in-text citations?