Strategic management and organisational change


IMAX operated at three different industries, and it had done successful in some portion of its concern, while there were besides some failing for its development. This assignment is traveling to measure the current state of affairs of IMAX, including analyzing the nature and beginning of its competitory advantage, its sustainable competitory advantage, and future development.

The first subdivision will seek to show the nature and beginning of IMAX ‘ s competitory advantage by utilizing appropriate scheme, and the following subdivision will present its sustainable competitory advantage. In the concluding subdivision, some cardinal issues of IMAX ‘ s hereafter development will be discussed, and some recommendations will be given every bit good, which may assist IMAX to turn its concern in the close hereafter.

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The Nature And Source Of IMAX ‘ s Competitive Advantages

Choosing Appropriate Theoretical Frameworks

To get down with, there are two primary issues to be discussed. First one is which degree of scheme should be used in this instance. Basically, a company has two degrees of schemes, which are concern degree scheme and corporate degree scheme. Business degree scheme concerns how to make competitory advantage in each of the concern in which a company competes, whilst corporate degree scheme concerns what concern the corporation should in and how the corporate office should pull off the array of concern units. The chief difference between these two is that corporate degree scheme is what makes the corporate whole add up to more than the amount of its concern units ( Porter, 1996 ) . IMAX has three different concern units, hence, it could be easy considered that the instance more concerns with corporate degree scheme.

The following issue to be considered is which scheme should be selected to analyze the instance based on corporate degree scheme. There are two schemes which can be selected, the RBV ( resource-based position ) and the Positioning School. The RBV is more accent on the resources and capablenesss controlled by a company as beginnings of competitory advantage, while the Positioning School is more focal point on externally orientated and market driven ( Barney, 2008 ) . This instance mentions a small about IMAX ‘ s market driven, therefore there is non adequate grounds to utilize the placement school scheme for analyzing its competitory advantage. In contrast, the instance present IMAX ‘ s hardware, package, fiscal power, engineerings and other particular beginnings, which are helpful for utilizing the RBV to analyze IMAX ‘ s competitory advantage.

The Nature And Source Of Competitive Advantages

Competitive advantage emerges from typical resources or capablenesss that houses control, that is, something that houses do peculiarly good in comparing with their rivals ( Peteraf, 1993 ) . IMAX has its engineering resource, trade name image and organisational resource better than other movie companies, which can reason its nucleus competency, therefore it is easy to acquire IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages from its nucleus competency.

Technology Resource

IMAX has the technological capableness to make R & A ; D on both hardware and package instead than its rivals in the movie industry, thereby its technological capableness can be regarded as its nucleus competency.

IMAX was founded as the lone company in the universe that was involved in all facets of big format movies, and its alone technological capableness can take to its first-mover advantage. It used its technique know-how to bring forth projectors with particular characteristics, to plan big format movies, to develop lightweight 3D camera and 3D directional sound engineering, etc, and all the alone engineering differentiate IMAX from other conventional film engineerings. IMAX could do its audiences enjoy its particular IMAX experience which can non be replicated through DVDs or in conventional theaters, because of the unprecedented daze of the ocular and audile. Its advanced engineering held 46 patents and had 7 patents pending in the U.S. , besides its technological art was the 1997 Oscar Award which received for Scientific and Technical Achievement. As the first-mover advantage, IMAX achieved the most advanced degree of movie engineering, which can be considered as the competitory advantage so that IMAX can pull more audiences to hold different experiences from conventional films, to maintain its market presence.

IMAX kept invention on its engineering in order to keep its growing. IMAX spent about five per cent of its gross revenues gross on R & A ; D in 2007, and about $ 12.6 million in R & A ; D was spent in the last three old ages. MPX engineering was developed to let IMAX and theatre-owners to change over bing multiplexes ‘ screens to IMAX format, and a patented digital re-mastering ( DMR ) engineering was designed to change over traditional 35 millimeter movies into the large-screen format and even develop 3D versions. Those two engineerings could assist IMAX to establish more IMAX movies, to spread out the nucleus audience and to do the box office gross. Besides this, IMAX had solved the teething jobs with DMR engineering and the costs of transition of Hollywood films into IMAX format had come down. As a consequence, they led IMAX to hold cost advantage.

Brand Image

IMAX had the capableness to utilize its set image, which could be considered as its nucleus competency and add more economic value to its corporation, and as a consequence, it could take to trade name consequence within the movie industry.

Since the first multi-screen theatre system launched in 1967 and the first IMAX movie premiered in 1970, as the first-mover advantage, IMAX had made a good repute and besides had its loyal audience base. Furthermore, taking esteemed locales to turn up IMAX had created a alone trade name image, which would ensue in its trade name consequence within the industry.

Organisational Resource

Lado and Wilson ( 1994 ) proposed a widely accepted definition of organizational capablenesss: managerial, input-based, transformational, output-based. IMAX used its alone organizational resorces to accomplish the operational procedure efficaciously. IMAX maintained long-run relationships with the sellers who supplied the constituents, produced films and systems, and so distributed them to the theatres. IMAX besides had its wholly-owned subordinate, in which IMAX had 51 per cent ownership, and its subordinate could assist IMAX execute the post-production work. The talent organisational capableness which was good used in the organisation made its production, post-production, distribution nexus good and led to its operation efficiency.

IMAX ‘ s Sustainable Competitive Advantage ‘ s Beginnings

There is competition from Pixar/Disney which have the same mark clients with IMAX, the lone challenger within the big format movie section, and the possible new independent houses to come in the industry with the progressively development of new engineering. On the other manus, many alternate beginnings of amusement such as unrecorded dramas, Television plans, the Internet, athletics events attract viewing audiences every bit good. Therefore, there is no uncertainty that IMAX has progressively pressure come from the rivals within the industry.

The resource-based position ( RBV ) of the house holds that certain assets with certain features will take to sustainable competitory advantage ( Black, 1994 ) . The beginnings of IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages are traveling to analysed utilizing the VRIO model, consecutive to measure which 1 is sustainable.

VRIO Analysis

It is necessary to do the premise that the steadfast resources may be heterogenous and immobile in order to cognize the beginnings of sustainable competitory advantage, and a steadfast beginning must hold four properties to keep the potency of sustained competitory advantages, that the house beginning must be valuable, rare, amiss imitable and substitutable ( Barney, 1991 ) . Appendix shows whether IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages ‘ beginnings are sustainable utilizing the VRIO model.

The beginnings of competitory advantages of IMAX could add value. Economic value could be added to a corporation through either increasing its entire gross, or take downing its costs. Introducing through its high degree of engineering resource allowed the transition costs down and saved the costs, and developing MPX engineering and DMR engineering would spread out the nucleus audience and increase the box office gross, both of them added more economic value to IMAX..

Most beginnings of the competitory advantages of IMAX were rare in the movie industry. IMAX mastered a high degree of engineering resources in the movie industry, and it merely had one challenger within the big format movie section. Besides, IMAX hold its unqiue trade name image and besides operated at a alone concern theoretical account by utilizing its organizational resources, which was besides rare in the movie industry. The peculiar capablenesss were non controlled by legion rivals, hence IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages were likely to be rare.

“Competitive advantage is more likely to be created and sustained if the administration has typical or alone capablenesss that rivals can non imitate.” ( Johnson, 2005 ) Most resources of IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages are hard for its rivals to copy. The transition engineering such as MPX engineering and DMR engineering and its designed projectors are difficult for rivals to copy, because IMAX invested a big sum of money and clip and besides engage the endowment employee on R & A ; D, invention, selling, which would be considered as sunk costs within the movie industry. Besides this, IMAX ‘ engineering held 46 patents and had 7 patents pending in the U.S. , hence IMAX ‘ s high degree of technological discoveries which were carefully patented could be considered the alone capableness in the movie industry. In add-on, IMAX made a good repute and had its loyal audience base through the old ages, therefore it had its ain trade name image, which could do barriers for entrants to copy.

The competitory advantages of IMAX were explored by administration. IMAX had to the full explored and used of its engineering resources, organizational resources and alone trade name image, so organised and took full advantages of its beginnings and capablenesss.

Given the VRIO model analysis, it is non hard to reason that most beginnings of IMAX ‘ s competitory advantages are sustainable, as they are based on the nucleus competencies of IMAX.

Recommendations For IMAX ‘ s Future Development

As the rivals are progressively strong and the film engineering and movie industry are altering mundane, IMAX may confront some unprecedented challenges in the hereafter. Based on the RBV and VRIO analysis, IMAX should prolong its competitory advantages and besides derive some new competitory advantages to react in the hereafter.

Two Larger Issues To Be Discussed

IMAX faced two critical issues, which were whether or non to exhibit excessively many Hollywood films, and whether or non sold itself to a larger studio such as Sony, Disney or Time-Warner. The two jobs will be addressed foremost, and so some certain recommendations will be provided.

Traditional IMAX movies were frequently educational and entertaining, and involved docudramas of natural and scientific admirations which were largely located in museums, fish tanks, menagerie and other establishments, and IMAX had engaged in confederations with commercial film theater proprietors. However, IMAX could non get away the crisis that hit the theater industry in the late 1990s, and it began to hold fiscal jobs. IMAX had long-run debt through the old ages, and both its net income and hard currency flows were negative in 2006 and 2007.

In order to work out the fiscal job and survive in the hereafter, IMAX has to alter its scheme to keep its growing. At that clip, acquisition by a larger studio such as Sony, Disney or Time-Warner is a good thought and developing tendency for IMAX in the hereafter. Two houses which both had trusty trade name consequence combined will be greater than their economic value as separate entities. Through acquisition, big studio can non merely address IMAX ‘ s fiscal job and aid IMAX to pay off its debt, but besides can acquire more economic returns and add more value through IMAX. Besides, IMAX can guarantee its endurance and do more concern chances in the hereafter.

After acquisition, the studio can put in more IMAX digital theaters systems, and invested more money on selling, to pull more audiences to watch its IMAX movie and increase its box office gross. Furthermore, the studio can change over its ain movies into IMAX big format movies with lower costs or make new movies combined with both studio and IMAX ‘ s trade name, hence it will spread out their nucleus audience, therefore it will make more economic value to both studio and IMAX.

On the other manus, to work out the same job facing to IMAX, exhibiting Hollywood films is a good thought for IMAX to increase its box office gross. IMAX can prolong its competitory advantages, utilize its strong R & A ; D squad developing DMR engineering that allows change overing traditional 35 millimeter movies into the large-screen format Hollywood movies. It keeps invention and worked out the dentition jobs, as a consequence the costs of transition had come down, accordingly more IMAX screens will be unfastened to establish Hollywood movies. The IMAX scheme of traveling into Hollywood movies will increase its box office gross and spread out the nucleus audience. IMAX can go on doing educational movies for households, pupils and tourers, while Hollywood movies can besides be launched during the eventide. This will non do IMAX lose its distinction, in contrast, it will make more IMAX ‘ s trade name consequence, because most of which come from the amusement experiences.

Other Recommendations

Compete Among Rivals

Some studios such as Pixar/Disney produced the movies for the same targeted group, and within the big format movie section, IMAX faced merely rival Iwerks, which was merged with SimEx, a drive simulation and life production company. One possible solution to vie this challenger is that IMAX is acquired by a larger studio, hence overcomes its fiscal jobs and besides has the tantamount strengths to vie with it. There was besides another movie, Pollavison, which was engaged in confer withing services for big format movie theaters. IMAX could develop its engineering and keep its core invention capableness to maintain its leading.

Technology Development

“Edutainment” Market


Although IMAX did hold selling staff at its office in Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan and China to market its theatre systems and IMAX films were showed in 40 states, about 60 per cent of the theaters were in North America. The movie industry is now progressively going international, and Asia-Pacific market is going the largest portion of the planetary market, hence IMAX can spread out its market internationally and pull more international audiences alternatively of American audiences. IMAX can put in a big figure of its theatre systems yearly across different states particularly Asia-Pacific market, and besides market and publicize its movie to assist maximize its theater attending and increase its box office gross.


Based on the RBV, it is clear that IMAX has its high engineering, alone organisational methods and human resource better than other movie companies, which can be treated as its competitory advantages. Using the RVIO theoretical account, it is non hard to reason that most of its competitory advantages are sustainable. However, as the film engineering and movie industry are developing mundane, IMAX may confront some unprecedented challenges. Therefore, IMAX should develop its sustainable competitory advantages and besides …… to turn to the jobs in the hereafter.


Peteraf, M.A. ( 1993 ) ‘The Basis of the Competitive Advantage: A Resource-based View ‘ ,

Strategic Management Journal, 14: 179-91.

Porter, M. ( 1996 ) . From competitory advantage to corporate scheme. In M. Goold & A ; K. Luchs. Pull offing the multibusiness company: strategic issues for diversified groups,

Lado, A. and Wilson, M. ( 1994 ) ‘Human Resource System and Sustained Competitive Advantage:

Competency-based Perspective ‘ , Academy of Management Review, 19: 699-727.

Black, J. A. “ Strategic resources: traits, constellations and waies to sustainable competitory advantage. ” Strategic Management Journal 15 ( 1994 ) :131.

Barney, J. B. 1991. Firm resources and sustainable competitory advantage. Journal of Management 17 ( 1 ) : 99.



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