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Case Studies by Brian Henry

44 case studies

by Title
published: 25 Sep 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Retail trade
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case documents the emergence of Artsy, a digital solution to the sale of artwork. Once the preserve of the elite, the art market has been democratized by the founder Carter Cleveland, who in 2012 created an online catalogue of painting, photography, sculpture, film and video, and design. The curated platform features works by 70,000 artists, including Pablo Picasso and even a drawing by Vincent Van Gogh. How the young Princeton graduate became the go-to art player for museums and major auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s is attributed to a business model based on a network of gallery owners, museum curators, art fair organizers and auctioneers, and the creation of a unique database that renders artwork accessible. A truly global powerhouse, Artsy offers art lovers a secure portal to the world’s leading purveyors of art.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be taught in executive education seminars and elective MBA courses in the following courses: luxury management, art history, e-commerce, digital marketing, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. It allows instructors to focus on a wide range of issues related to the sale of artwork—e.g., as a means to discuss the power and diversity of e-commerce solutions, a way to look at innovation in entrepreneurship, the methodology of forging powerful alliances, and the need to offer continuous education to customers.

Keywords:
Artsy, E-Commerce, Carter Cleveland, Artwork, Art Dealers, Sebastian Cwilich, Online Platform, Auctionata, Auction Houses, Museums, Larry Gagosian, Art Genome Project, Christie’s, Sotheby’s

published: 24 Mar 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Sale of food, beverages and tobacco via stalls and markets
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case highlights the infighting within a Thai family who own and operate a fresh-food market stall business in Bangkok. The case explores the depths to which the Thammawattana dynasty sank in order to keep control of a profitable cash-in-hand business that had made the matriarch, Suwapee Thammawattana, a billionaire by the time of her death at age 65.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to evaluate the importance for family businesses of having a long-term succession plan. Against the bloodstained backdrop of a family business in Thailand, students will learn about the challenges of succession in an emerging country. The case enables them to discuss the importance of cohesion among the members of a family business.

Keywords:
Thailand, Family Business, Thammawattana, Ying Charoen, Market Stalls, Linacre, Porntip, King Bhumibol, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Women in Family Business, Gender

published: 30 Oct 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Bakery products
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case highlights a failed attempt to ‘liberate’ management and employees from traditional business practices at a factory in France. It closely follows the events that took place at Poult during a 10-year period that began in 2006. It draws on the astute reflections of the last CEO at Poult, who, until his dismissal in 2017, was actively engaged in building an alternative culture among the firm’s 800 factory workers, machine operators and technicians. Thanks to detailed analysis, the case offers insight into the matrix of activities that constitute a ‘liberated enterprise’, from building autonomous teams to driving innovation from the bottom up.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers instructors a rare opportunity to discuss an alternative approach to traditional top-down management techniques. With a neutral voice, the case recounts a 10-year experiment in organizational design that changed the behaviour of hundreds of factory employees in France. Students may be surprised to learn that the main protagonist ultimately lost his job as CEO as a result of his commitment to the employees, who had embraced the radically new organizational design he had introduced 10 years earlier. The case serves to inspire students to align their beliefs with their career aspirations.

Keywords:
Entreprise Libérée, Poult, Semco, Ricardo Semler, Charles Van Der Haegen, Mehdi Berrada, Carlos Verkaeren, Banketgroep, Panier-Tanguy, Michel Et Augustin, W.l. Gore, Liberating Leadership, Isaac Getz, Biscuits

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Heating equipment
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Family-owned firm Brunata, an engineering business and major player in Denmark’s heat consumption market, faces a leadership crisis after the retirement of its charismatic founder. Although his four children have worked in the company, none ultimately have the right stuff to lead, notably the eldest son who is removed by his father three years after taking over the top job. The professional manager who is subsequently appointed lasts only two years. The case includes interview material and highlights the emerging role of the board, whose external directors tried to turn the situation around.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers penetrating insight into the issues of succession and professionalization of management at family-owned firms. It provides information for a lively discussion on the role of founders, owner-managers, next gens, professional managers and board members planning for the long term, as well as the distinctive hurdles that such firms face. It can be used for courses on family business, directors, leadership and negotiation.

Keywords:
Family Business, Board of Directors, Brunata, Danish Market, Heat Meters, Owner-Managers, Negotiations, Succession, Next Gens, Ceo, Founders, Sibling Disputes, Professionalization, Denmark

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published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Heating equipment
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Family-owned firm Brunata, an engineering business and major player in Denmark’s heat consumption market, faces a leadership crisis after the retirement of its charismatic founder. Although his four children have worked in the company, none ultimately have the right stuff to lead, notably the eldest son who is removed by his father three years after taking over the top job. The professional manager who is subsequently appointed lasts only two years. The case includes interview material and highlights the emerging role of the board, whose external directors tried to turn the situation around.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers penetrating insight into the issues of succession and professionalization of management at family-owned firms. It provides information for a lively discussion on the role of founders, owner-managers, next gens, professional managers and board members planning for the long term, as well as the distinctive hurdles that such firms face. It can be used for courses on family business, directors, leadership and negotiation.

Keywords:
Family Business, Board of Directors, Brunata, Danish Market, Heat Meters, Owner-Managers, Negotiations, Succession, Next Gens, Ceo, Founders, Sibling Disputes, Professionalization, Denmark

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published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Wholesale-Beer, Wine & Distilled Alcoholic Beverages
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case goes back in time to the ‘golden age’ of Absolut when contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring painted the unusual bottle to the amazement of the global arts community. The nearly accidental collaboration with artists in the glorious years turned the brand into a must-have aspirational drink to be consumed at chic bars and art fairs. Based on the vivid recollections of Vadim Grigorian (INSEAD MBA ‘00J), the case uncovers the awakening of new paradigm, the brand as acultural agent of contemporary art in consumer society. In his retelling of these events, hitherto unknown, the marketing executive recaptures the essence of Absolut during its hey day from the mid-1980s to 2011 in an exquisitely told and unusual account of cultural engagement.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used by instructors teaching specialized courses in marketing and communication, and marketing research. By focusing on the engagement of Absolut with contemporary art and culture, the case prompts discussion of the role of brands as cultural agents. It draws students into a discovery process, tracing the relationship that Absolut, acquired by the global drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard in 2008, developed with young artists, fashion photographers, musicians, and even designers of art bars and cocktail recipes. It can start a conversation about the future of cultural engagement strategies that many brands have embarked on, for example, when a brand needs to move on from a wildly successful personality to a more nuanced image that appeals to a broader customer base. The short case is a page-turner that will satisfy a broad range of intellectual interests.

Keywords:
Absolut, Keith Haring, Vadim Grigorian, Documenta, Venice Biennale, Michel Roux, Spirits, Andy Warhol, Pernod-Ricard, Arts and Culture, Tbwa, Grey Goose, Grey Goose, Bottle

published: 25 Apr 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Papers and Allied Products
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
Carvajal traces the 110-year history of one of Colombian’s oldest family-owned firms from a small print shop to one of the largest paper product conglomerates in Latin America. Founded in 1904 by Manuel Carvajal, a Colombian educator and erstwhile politician, the company has contributed to Colombia’s economic and intellectual development ever since. By the 1950s Carvajal was the leading printer and publishing house in Latin America. Although the company benefitted from state protection, a tradition of technical innovation was established – in 1958 it printed the first telephone directory for Bogotá on two-sheet offset press – and thereafter expanded into neighboring countries, diversifying into inter-linked activities. Throughout the 20th century the firm was led by descendants of the founder. In the 21st century, a non-family CEO was hired for the first time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This strategy-making exercise for a family-run company that has reached a turning point in its 110-year-old history requires students to think about how ‘family assets’ can contribute to the firm during the 21st century. While family firms in Colombia are often associated with conflict and failure, here the challenge is to examine the role of professional management as a force for change. Students also need to consider why many Carvajal next gens have positioned themselves as potential leaders, with skills honed at top international business schools and a deep understanding of the family enterprise. Beyond the leadership issue, discussion can encompass the vision of the Carvajal family as the company expands beyond Latin America. Students of family business in the region will find many lessons to be learned from this exceptional firm and family, and their commitment to its survival.

Keywords:
Carvajal, Carvajal Empaques, Colombian Family Business, Grupo Norma, Publicar, Carpack, Assenda, Propal, Bernardo Quintero Balcázar, Pedro Carvajal, Ricardo Obregón Trujillo, Eugenio Castro Carvajal, Alfredo Carvajal Sinisterra, Adolfo Carvajal Quelquejeu, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

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published: 29 Mar 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Papers and Allied Products
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
Carvajal traces the 110-year history of one of Colombian’s oldest family-owned firms from a small print shop to one of the largest paper product conglomerates in Latin America. Founded in 1904 by Manuel Carvajal, a Colombian educator and erstwhile politician, the company has contributed to Colombia’s economic and intellectual development ever since. By the 1950s Carvajal was the leading printer and publishing house in Latin America. Although the company benefitted from state protection, a tradition of technical innovation was established – in 1958 it printed the first telephone directory for Bogotá on two-sheet offset press – and thereafter expanded into neighboring countries, diversifying into inter-linked activities. Throughout the 20th century the firm was led by descendants of the founder. In the 21st century, a non-family CEO was hired for the first time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This strategy-making exercise for a family-run company that has reached a turning point in its 110-year-old history requires students to think about how ‘family assets’ can contribute to the firm during the 21st century. While family firms in Colombia are often associated with conflict and failure, here the challenge is to examine the role of professional management as a force for change. Students also need to consider why many Carvajal next gens have positioned themselves as potential leaders, with skills honed at top international business schools and a deep understanding of the family enterprise. Beyond the leadership issue, discussion can encompass the vision of the Carvajal family as the company expands beyond Latin America. Students of family business in the region will find many lessons to be learned from this exceptional firm and family, and their commitment to its survival.

Keywords:
Carvajal, Carvajal Empaques, Colombian Family Business, Grupo Norma, Publicar, Carpack, Assenda, Propal, Bernardo Quintero Balcázar, Pedro Carvajal, Ricardo Obregón Trujillo, Eugenio Castro Carvajal, Alfredo Carvajal Sinisterra, Adolfo Carvajal Quelquejeu, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

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published: 29 Mar 2017

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Abstract:
This case illustrates the key role played by a local distributor in the luxury goods industry in the Middle East. By partnering with the Chalhoub Group, western firms have built a competitive advantage across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). While not typical of western luxury brands selling to global markets other than the Middle East, their alliances with the Chalhoub Group offer access to a vast network of 650 stores in prime locations in the GCC, many in new shopping malls. Chalhoub has retail outlets in 14 countries in the MENA region. Since its establishment in 1955, the Dubai-based Chalhoub has developed partnerships with Christian Dior, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and many others. In so doing it has laid the foundations for the creation of own-concept stores, where it sells its own branded products.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be taught in executive education and elective MBA courses in luxury management. The focus is on the marketing and distribution of personal luxury goods in the Middle East, a region that outperformed the global luxury market until the collapse of oil prices in 2014. The case examines consumer characteristics in the Middle East, the unique business model of the Chalhoub organization, which employs over 12,000 people in the region – including Saudi Arabia where women play a surprisingly big role in its workforce – and its investment in employee training to a degree rarely seen among retail distributors in the West.

Keywords:
Chalhoub, Beauty, Fashion, Ghawali, Level Kids, Katakeet, Wajooh, Level Shoes, Tanagra, Gcc, Wassim Eid, Fadi Jabbour, Tdesign

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Retail trade
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case follows the career path of Megha Malagatti, from her humble Indian origins as a member of the Dalit caste (known as “untouchables”) to a senior management position in a French luxury goods company – an improbable journey that speaks to her personal strengths, skills and qualifications, as well as the possibilities open to young women to make a career in the luxury goods industry irrespective of their background. It opens a window on gender diversity in the executive suite, highlighting the company culture of S.T.Dupont and the CEO who mentored her.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Gender diversity in the workplace and the executive suite.

Keywords:
Career, Luxury, India, Emotional Intelligence, Hindu, Mentor, Hr Professionals, Comité Colbert, S.t.dupont, Alain Crevet, Untouchables, Coach, Sharon Flood

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