General Electric’s Corporate Strategy

Case Solution

Andrew Inkpen
Thunderbird School of Global Management ()

For many years, GE has been seen as an exception to two arguments: (1) that related diversification strategies outperform stand-alone diversification strategies, and (2) that conglomerates in an age of outsourcing, targeting, and maximizing value for shareholders. While many previously diversified companies have scaled down and focused their corporate strategies, GE continues to buy and sell companies and operate an extremely complex business. This case provides a tool to examine the strategic rationale behind GE’s corporate strategy and its complex diversification. The central arguments for and against discontinuous diversification may be related to GE’s strategy.

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