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We Didn’T Start The Fire: What Can Billy Joel Teach Us About The External Environment?

As changes in the firm’s general environment may create opportunities and threats that influence firm performance, general and strategic management textbooks frequently provide external analysis tools. In this exercise, I introduce analysis of the general environment through Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Students listen to the song, select a lyric, and, using the language of external analysis, examine how the change or condition marked by that lyric created opportunities and threats for industries or firms. By examining the eventualities of historical changes, students develops their skills to assess the impacts of current trends on today’s industries and firms.

Nicholas Rhew
Coastal Carolina University
United States


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