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The WeWork Company: Internationalization of a Born Global Firm

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Saurabh BhattacharyaORCiD


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The case discusses the international expansion strategy of The WeWork Company (WeWork), a co-working space company. In the United States and Europe, the expansion of WeWork occurred through greenfield investment; membership focus was on freelancers and entrepreneurs. In Asian markets such as India, where WeWork entered through a joint venture, enterprise customers were the revenue generators. In June 2019, a co-founder of WeWork considered buying the entire stake of its partner in the Indian joint venture. However, given that revenues continuously remained lower than losses, investors doubted the expansion strategy and business model of WeWork. Should WeWork’s pace of expansion be slowed? Can WeWork’s business model be revamped for more profitable returns, and if so, should it? Learning Objective: This case is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on international business and strategic management. The case can also be used in a business strategy course. It discusses internationalization strategies and the possible challenges WeWork faces for growth in international markets. The case further discusses strategic issues associated with the business idea and business model of WeWork. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able tounderstand the characteristics of born global firms;analyze how firms decide on the mode of entry into international markets;critically analyze the factors a firm should consider for rapid internationalization; andexamine the challenges with a business model that might impede the route to profitability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agnihotri A, Bhattacharya S

Publication type: Online Publication

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Ivey Publishing

Year: 2020

Description: Business Case Study

Acceptance date: 17/03/2020

Publisher: Ivey Publishing

Place Published: London, OT, Canada