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Partnership both in wild nature and on the market could bring short-term and long-term benefits for each side. Frequently, such partnership could be the only possibility for an endangered species or a company with financial problems to survive. It is interesting to compare a wild-nature partnership of wolves and monkeys to the situation with the extinct company (Borders Group) and to look for a possible solution for company’s difficult situation.
Part I. Gelada Monkeys and Ethiopian Wolves
According to Venkataraman, Kerby, Nguyen, Ashenafi, and Fashing (2015), gelada monkeys and Ethiopian wolves demonstrate commensalism as a type of relationship when one species gets profit from the cooperation, and another one does not get harm. Each species in this partnership has short-term and long-term benefits from the collaboration. For wolves, short-term benefits are obvious: they increase their success in hunting rodents. Successful hunting leads the wolves’ population increase, which could be considered as a long-term benefit.
Ethiopian wolves are an endangered species. Therefore, the partnership might help wolves to survive. For monkeys, the situation is not entirely clear. It could be supposed that a short-term benefit for them is the following: while hunting rodents, wolves do not kill monkeys’ youth. Therefore, this partnership increases the safety of a herd. Regarding long-term benefits, wolves reduce the number of rodents who are monkeys’ competitors for food and, therefore, increase the amount of available sources for geladas.
However, some costs should be paid for benefits. For wolves, possible costs are the following: they do not eat monkeys’ youth even though it is an easy prey. Therefore, they lose a potential food source. Monkeys in this situation do not pay any costs because they do not change their behavior in the wolves’ presence. Finally, it could be supposed that if resources (rodents) became scarce, this partnership could end, and wolves might start hunting geladas’ youth.
Part II. Borders Group
Borders Group was an American chain of bookstores, which applied for bankruptcy protection and was liquidated in 2011 (“About Borders Group,” 2011). As an example of Borders’ fixed costs, spending on the advertisement could be cited. Borders’ variable costs were personnel salaries, stores rent, and costs of products (Pearson Higher Education, 2014).
As to the company’s long-term costs, the business expansion to other countries (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and others) could be cited. Competitors of Borders Group include bookstore chains, for example, Crown Books, Atlantic Books, and others. It is also important to mention that online stores such as Amazon.com are the main competitors of the traditional stores. This factor could be considered as one of the main reasons for Borders’ production decline and, finally, company’s liquidation. It could be stated that the company became a victim of the digitalized media (Lee, 2011). Nowadays, people prefer electronic books and on-line shops. As a result, the company’s income dropped, and it had no options but to shut down the production.
It could be supposed that a potential partnership could bring some benefits but could not save this company from bankrupts. Cited above relationship between monkeys and wolves reflects the situation when companies do not fight for sources, therefore, they do not sell similar products. A potential partner for Borders could be a cafe’s network. It was possible to open cafés with bookshelves. However, it could be supposed that such partnership could bring just short-term benefits but could not change the general tendency. The only efficient solution for Borders was to change their business strategy and find the representation in the Internet through on-line shops.
It could be concluded that, in general, a partnership could be a useful surviving strategy in both wild nature and business media. Cited example of wolves and monkeys partnership demonstrates how both sides obtain benefits from their relationship without paying significant costs. But such cooperation is possible only when there is no scarcity of resources. This strategy could not be applied to Borders’ company. It could be supposed that Borders was liquidated under the circumstances of scarce resources (consumers), and possible partnership could bring just short-term benefits.
About Borders Group, Inc. (2011).
Lee, R. S. (2011). Corporate reorganization as corporate reinvention: Borders and Blockbuster in Chapter 11. Harvard Business Law Review Online, 1, 53-55.
Pearson Higher Education. (2014). Pearson learning solutions: Economic concepts, production and cost.
Venkataraman, V. V., Kerby, J. T., Nguyen, N., Ashenafi, Z. T., & Fashing, P. J. (2015). Solitary Ethiopian wolves increase predation success on rodents when among grazing gelada monkey herds. Journal of Mammalogy, 96(1), 129-137.