Harley Davidson: A Unique, Loyal Stakeholder Base


Harley Davidson: A Unique, Loyal Stakeholder Base

In this course we are going to be looking at Harley Davidson Motorcycles Corporation, Inc. 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 “cult like”. That is to say, HD is very unique, and particularly unique from a stakeholder perspective.

The corporation is now reaching to other countries in an attempt to expand its niche across borders and oversees. There is a lot of competition in the motorcycle market. Some competitors include Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Indian, Victory, BMW and Triumph motorcycles. And although HD dominated the heavy-weight motorcycle market in America for many years, in recent decades many of the above mentioned competitors have developed cruisers and touring bikes of their own, emulating HD’s bikes to include a V-twin engine design.

For this assignment, you are to read the information in the background material, spend some time getting a feel for HDs history, strategy and key stakeholders, and then write a 3 to 4 pages report for your professor and the executives of Harley Davidson by addressing the following assignment requirements:

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


  • i) Please note that this is an advanced level course so you must show and demonstrate your ability to provide a well reasoned response.
  • ii) Also please note that your report/assignment will not be accepted without proper citations and references. You must use the sources from the background material together with the sources you find your own.

Case expectations:

This paper should include:

An introduction stating the thesis, position, or central theme you plan to take in your paper.

A main body discussing:

  • 1. Your interpretation of HD’s mission and vision.
  • 2. Your assessment of the stakeholders and their needs/goals.
  • 3. Your critical assessment as to whether HD’s mission and vision takes their stakeholders into account.
  • 4. Your recommendations to HD executives.

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

Be sure to 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:

  • 1. Precision: Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?
  • 2. Breadth: Is the full breadth of the subject, i.e., all the keys to the assignment, addressed?
  • 3. Depth: Does the paper/report address all elements of the topic in sufficient depth? Does it include and apply the background readings and other background resources? Are they included as references?
  • 4. Critical thinking: Are the concepts of this module applied accurately, logically, and relevantly?
  • 5. Organization: Is the paper organized in a coherent and systematic manner? Are headings included in all papers greater than 2 pages
  • 6. Clarity: Is the writing clear and the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of response to the questions, or are thoughts conveyed through excessive use of quotations?