Exploring Strategic Change: A Case Analysis of the ConocoPhillips Merger

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Moellenberndt, Richard
Martin, James
Ockree, Kanalis
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
December 2005
Alternative Title
Americans today face energy costs which are spiraling upward every time they fill their cars with gas. Fingers point at large oil companies as people seek the real culprit for increased prices at the pump. On the other side of the ledger, large oil companies face the daunting task of earning a reasonable return for their shareholders, dealing with unhappy customers, and searching for sources of a commodity which is in ever-decreasing supply. These companies must also develop and execute a strategy which provides an opportunity to survive and adjust to a changing consumer energy market in the future. This case examines the strategy followed by two large oil companies, Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company, to meet these challenges and analyzes the precipitating financial results. This paper also delves into the though process regarding why managers attempt mergers and whether or not mergers appear to be in the best interest of the merging company shareholders.