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INSEAD professor’s Uber case study wins the ‘Ethics and Social Responsibility’ category in The Case Centre’s Awards and Competitions 2019

25 February 2019

N. Craig Smith, the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, won the ‘Ethics and Social Responsibility’ category in The Case Centre’s Awards and Competitions. The winning case was “Uber and the Ethics of Sharing: Exploring the Societal Promises and Responsibilities of the Sharing Economy”. Professor Smith is the third-time award winner in this category.

“Congratulations to Craig for his ongoing outstanding achievements in case writing,” says Ziv Carmon, Dean of Research at INSEAD. “We are pleased that our faculty has received great recognition for producing world-class teaching materials and cases. Recently, 13 INSEAD cases have been listed among The Case Centre’s best sellers in 2018, highlighting INSEAD’s research excellence that is both relevant and rigorous.”

Professor Smith, expressing his delight at receiving the award for the third time, says that, “The three cases which won the Ethics and Social Responsibility category have each been for cases that tackle significant current issues -- labour rights in the supply chain (Walmart), access to essential medicines (GSK) -- and now the ethics and responsibilities of the new digital economy businesses such as Uber. So, I think they have been timely and resonated well with faculty and student interests.”

The case is co- authored with Erin McCormick, a case writer at INSEAD. Their case explores the changes fashioned by the 'sharing economy'. It examines the innovations and controversies surrounding Uber and provides a unique overview of the challenges posed by new business models which use the internet to link individual providers of goods and services to customers.

“Unlike many of the other cases out there on Uber, this case focuses explicitly on how the business has grown from an ethics and social responsibility perspective, particularly in its social and environmental impacts. It also provides ample scope for generalisation beyond the one company, asking fundamental questions about the extent to which digital platforms like Uber, Airbnb or Facebook have the same responsibilities as the traditional businesses they are replacing”, says Smith.

INSEAD bestselling cases at the Case Centre 2018

31 January 2019

We are delighted to announce that 13 INSEAD cases are amongst the Case Centre’s most popular case studies of 2018.

Register or log in as an Educator to learn more about our best sellers.

Ethics and Social Responsibility

Finance, Accounting and Control

Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour


Production and Operations Management

Strategy & General Management

INSEAD case authors comment on case writing

25 January 2019

“Students can be really knowledgeable – and passionate – about a particular company or region. They understand what their fellow students will like and connect with, and I have found them to be deeply engaged in both the research and the topics as case writing collaborators,” reports Felipe Monteiro, Affiliate Professor of Strategy, talking about the involvement of MBA and PhD students in case writing.

Anne-Marie Carrick, Research Associate, explains the unpredictable character of the process of case development: “There is no rule about how you will end up writing a case; they are all different, as are the faculty, and you need to remain flexible throughout.”

For an in-depth look at creating cases, see “Working with case writers”, an article published on the Case Centre. Discover cases by Felipe Monteiro and Anne-Marie Carrick on INSEAD Case Publishing.

22 October 2018 – Five professors from INSEAD have been named in The Case Centre’s top 40 best-selling authors.

Professors of Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute are ranked #7 for their cases featuring companies that seek out “blue oceans” of untapped market space, rather than competing head-to-head in “red oceans”.

Reaching their highest ranked position in the past three years, their top best-selling cases are on Cirque du Soleil and “Instead of benchmarking itself to the competition, Cirque du Soleil made the competition irrelevant by focusing on differentiation and low cost simultaneously,” said Kim and Mauborgne. They call this logic “value innovation”, which provides a leap in value for customers at low cost.

Their case on centres on the highly competitive customer relationship management (CRM) software market. Established players typically used traditional business models to sell software licenses to implement in-house, which can be complex and burdensome. “Salesforce challenged the conventional wisdom by launching an online sales force automation offering that freed customers from having to purchase licenses and enabled them to access web-based CRM tools,” said the professors.

Pierre Chandon, The L'Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing - Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD, is ranked #18 by the Case Centre. His best-selling cases highlight how innovative marketing strategies can create value for companies. His case, Unilever in Brazil (1997-2007): Marketing Strategies for Low-Income Consumers, shows how Unilever approached marketing of detergent to the base of the pyramid. “The value of this case is to show that the basic principles of marketing, which is to make the effort to really understand your customer, can guide them to a solution even in a context—selling detergent to poor Brazilians who don’t own a washing machine—is totally foreign to them,” said Chandon.

Another of his top best-selling cases is Renova Toilet Paper: Avant-Garde Marketing in a Commoditized Category. The case shows how a paper products company based outside of Lisbon, Portugal, managed to differentiate itself from international competitors by transforming toilet paper from a commodity into a premium product, and then enter new business sectors through innovative marketing. “Renova broke all the norms of the industry and came up with a very innovative new product. It shows it can be done, that you can beat all the giants,” he said.

His latest case, Can 3G Capital Make Burger King Cool Again? Brand Building under Zero-Based Budgeting shows how private equity, when it understand branding, can grow both the business and the brand, at a fraction of the cost of traditional competitors.

Wolfgang Ulaga, Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, is ranked #31. Ulaga bases his research and teaching on value-based marketing, customer experience management, and service excellence in B2B markets. His best-selling cases focus on business model innovation and alternative growth avenues in challenging economic environments.

Ulaga’s top best-selling case Michelin Fleet Solutions: From Selling Tires to Selling Kilometers, centres on how a worldwide leader in the tyre industry expanded into the new world of services and solutions with a comprehensive tyre-management solution offer for large European transportation companies, called Michelin Fleet Solutions. The company ventured into selling kilometres, instead of tyres.

“This case allows for an excellent discussion of how B2B companies can differentiate from competition in commoditised markets and grow their presence in strategic customer accounts by designing and integrating all building blocks of a new solution business model that reaches far beyond manufacturers’ traditional product-centric organisations and cultures,” says Ulaga.

David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing & Cornelius Grupp Fellow in Digital Analytics for Consumer Behaviour, ranked #37, is the highest new entrant in the rankings this year. The core of his research and teaching intersects digital technologies, customer centricity and brand management. One of his best-selling cases, Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends of Fads? “Pull” and “Push” Social Media Strategies at L’Oréal Paris describes how companies leverage big data from search and social media analytics, integrate digital and social media insights into new product development strategies and thus successfully capture and create new value through pull and push dynamics.

After discovering momentum on the web indicating increasing interest for a particular hairstyle in 2011, L'Oréal Paris developed a new hair dye solution targeting this need and integrate their new insights at different points on their value chain, from branding to positioning and product development. “This case demonstrates that the ability to integrate digital intelligence gives companies a significant competitive advantage in understanding and anticipating consumer preferences through digital analytics,” said Dubois.

Another of Dubois’ best-selling case, AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey, offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation to foster customer-centricity. The case dissects AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. “What I like about this case is that it shows that success in a digital world is a function of implementing a digital marketing organisation rather than a mere matter of investing in digital technologies.”

30 May 2018 – INSEAD is pleased to announce that four recent case studies have won awards at the EFMD, oikos and CCMP case competitions.

Congratulations to all our winners!

2017 EFMD CASE WRITING COMPETITION, Winner in Latin American Business Cases
EBX: The Rise and Fall of a Billionaire - Eike Batista
by Felipe Monteiro and Anne-Marie Carrick
“We are delighted to win this award with the case about the rise and fall of the formidable billionaire Eike Batista. His tale of boom and bust could be taken from the pages of a novel, with Batista’s larger-than-life personality that gained him extraordinary popularity in Brazil (and abroad) as his empire grew.”

Felipe Monteiro, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy

Read the case study and visit the case microsite for related videos and articles.
Who's #1: INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton, LBS? (A & B)
by Joerg Niessing and Pierre Chandon
“I am delighted that our case “Who’s #1: INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton, LBS?” won the first prize awarded by the French Marketing Association and CCMP because it teaches two important topics for today’s students – brand metrics and data analytics – in a context that they love: rating business schools.”

Pierre Chandon, INSEAD Professor of Marketing

Read the case study and visit the case microsite for datasets and a detailed teaching note.

This case is also now available in French.

oikos CASE WRITING COMPETITION 2018 Second Prize, Corporate Sustainability track
Volkswagen's Emissions Scandal: How Could It Happen?
by Craig Smith and Erin McCormick
“It is great to hear that our INSEAD case on the Volkswagen emissions scandal received second prize in the oikos Case Writing competition, Corporate Sustainability track. This recognition will no doubt increase the adoption of this fascinating case about how organisations can go rogue.”

Craig Smith, INSEAD Chaired Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility

Read the case study.

oikos CASE WRITING COMPETITION 2018 Third Prize, Corporate Sustainability track
Candy Crush? Aligning Health, Business and Pleasure in the Chocolate Industry
by Pierre Chandon, Laura Heely and Nouha Touati
“It is a great honour to be recognised by the oikos Case Writing competition (Corporate Sustainability), especially because our case relies on research that I have conducted over 15 years to examine how the chocolate industry can align business, health, and eating enjoyment.”

Pierre Chandon, INSEAD Professor of Marketing

Read the case study and visit the case microsite for related videos and articles.

5 March 2018 – INSEAD case authors have won a remarkable five awards at this year’s The Case Centre Competitions. We are incredibly proud of their achievements. Congratulations to our award winners!

Pierre Chandon
“Winning the Outstanding Case Teacher Competition, two years after receiving the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award means a lot to me. I am thankful to INSEAD for allowing me to pursue both academic research and case writing and teaching.”

Pierre Chandon,
The L'Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing - Innovation and Creativity

Recent cases by Pierre Chandon:

The TAG Heuer Carrera Connected Watch: Swiss Avant-Garde for the Digital Age (A) and (B)
by L. Felipe Monteiro, Anne-Marie Carrick
“We are delighted to receive this award. The case resulted from a longstanding collaboration with Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO and President of the Watches Division of LVMH. When he first came to INSEAD to give a talk on the future of the watch industry, we never imagined it would lead to two case studies being written – about its heritage and its disruption. It was an honour to follow the development of the connected watch "in real time".”

L. Felipe Monteiro, Affiliate Professor of Strategy
Anne-Marie Carrick, Research Associate

Read the case study and visit the case microsite.
AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey
by David Dubois, Inyoung Chae, Joerg Niessing, Jean Wee
“We are very delighted to win this award and grateful to Olivier Arnoux and the top management at AccorHotels as working with them helped us to tackle how the group has entirely transformed its marketing strategy and capabilities and pave the way to implementing effective responses to the digital revolution.
We are particularly proud to offer a multi-disciplinary perspective on how Accor tackled disruptions by embracing online content – that is, how it adapted its KPIs, marketing organization and operations around the goal to achieve excellence in e-reputation. Students will be analyzing different stages of the customer journey and figuring out if some types of content were particularly effective at triggering awareness, while others were better at changing customer perceptions.”

David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing
Joerg Niessing, Affiliate Professor of Marketing

Read the case study and visit the case microsite.
Tony Hsieh at Zappos: Structure, Culture and Radical Change
by Noah Askin, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Joanna Lockard
“Can you impose empowerment? Can you love work too much? These are some of the fascinating questions raised by Tony Hsieh’s leadership at Zappos. His blend of the personal and the professional stirs up strong feelings among MBA students and executives alike, and it all makes for a great case discussion.”

Noah Askin,
Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Gianpiero Petriglieri,
Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Read the case study.
Tesla Motors: Disrupting the Auto Industry?
by Jeff Dyer, Nathan Furr
“Our favourite part of the case is the discussion about whether Tesla is a car company (i.e. product), a battery/energy company (i.e. component), or a system (i.e. ecosystem of product, service, repair, charging and upgrades). This discussion really opens students’ minds.”

Nathan Furr, Assistant Professor of Strategy

Read the case study.

“A good case does more than tell a good story. It intertwines exciting concepts with important issues, spurs discourse and debate, and challenges students to learn by doing.”

Read more insights about INSEAD cases by Pierre Chandon.