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For this discussion forum, we are going to work on the Closing Case from Chapter 4. This is an important case study since it combines the elements of how a company apeals to diverse cultures, and also the story of a old company that faces new challenges with the rise of new technologies. 

Below, you can see a summary of the case. You can find the full text of the case at the end of Chapter 4 in your book.

Additionally, I have added some extra material and videos to help you understand the company and the issues better. It also helps those of you who might be interested in digging deeper and learning about the history of Swatch as a company and conglomerate.

Make sure to number your answers accordingly and don’t leave any questions unanswered:

Summary of case

The closing case explores the Swatch Group and the influence of Swatch on culture. Founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek, Swatch is now the world’s biggest watchmaker. With some 40 percent of the company still under the control of the Hayek family, Swatch focuses on diversity and culture.  Swatch promotes its watches as a means of speaking without words. Wearers of Swatch are telling more than just time; they are telling the world something about themselves.  

Please make sure to read and study the full case in Chapter 4 of our textbook.

In addition:  Here are couple of videos that are very informative about Swatch company and its new challenges with the rise of “smart watches”:

Video 1: 

How Swatch Went From Bankrupt to Domination

 https://youtu.be/DD40puhwz0A 

Video 2: 

Swatch Shares Suffer Due to New Apple Watch

https://youtu.be/w0LqTHNx3hs 

Questions:

1- With the Hayek family controlling nearly 40 percent of The Swatch Group, how do you think the family influence impacts the type of corporate culture in the company? What about the company’s international culture being impacted by the Hayek family?

2- According to the company, “Swatch is an attitude, an approach to life, a way of seeing. The sight of a Swatch excites emotion. Wearing one is a way to communicate, to speak without speaking. Heart to heart.” Do you buy this overarching “branding” of a Swatch watch as a cultural icon?

3- Considering the rise of smart watches such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Samsung Galaxy Watches, do you think that the traditional watch companies can compete, or will they go away? Is there anything that traditional watch companies such as Swatch can do to compete? Culturally? Economically?

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