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Case Studies by Elin Williams

13 case studies

published: 26 Mar 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Investment banking
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Costly Train Journey (A) tells the story of an MBA student who on graduation started an investment banking job in the City. He was successful in his first few years but commuting into London he continued to dodge the train fare until he was caught by ticket inspectors. He was asked to pay £43,000 in avoided fares or face prosecution. Costly Train Journey (B) reveals that the (A) case is based loosely on the experience of Jonathan Burrows a Managing Director at Blackrock Asset Management. Investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Burrows was judged to have failed its "fit and proper" test and banned from working in financial services.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) To examine the conduct expected of investment bankers and other business professionals, on and off the job. 2) To consider the appropriateness of punishment for misconduct in a non-work context. 3) To explore business ethics more generally, including arguments for and against ethical relativism.

Keywords:
Personal Misconduct, Financial Conduct Authority, Investment Banking, Business Ethics, Ethical Relativism, Sanctions for Misconduct, Train Fare Dodger, Fit and Proper Test, Corporate Governance, Auditing, Risk Control and Performance

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published: 26 Mar 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Investment banking
  • Region: Europe

Show details ...

Abstract:
Costly Train Journey (A) tells the story of an MBA student who on graduation started an investment banking job in the City. He was successful in his first few years but commuting into London he continued to dodge the train fare until he was caught by ticket inspectors. He was asked to pay £43,000 in avoided fares or face prosecution. Costly Train Journey (B) reveals that the (A) case is based loosely on the experience of Jonathan Burrows a Managing Director at Blackrock Asset Management. Investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Burrows was judged to have failed its "fit and proper" test and banned from working in financial services.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) To examine the conduct expected of investment bankers and other business professionals, on and off the job. 2) To consider the appropriateness of punishment for misconduct in a non-work context. 3) To explore business ethics more generally, including arguments for and against ethical relativism.

Keywords:
Personal Misconduct, Financial Conduct Authority, Investment Banking, Business Ethics, Ethical Relativism, Sanctions for Misconduct, Train Fare Dodger, Fit and Proper Test, Corporate Governance, Auditing, Risk Control and Performance

Related:

published: 29 Jun 2015

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Computer hardware/software and IT
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This governance simulation is a role-play between a powerful, charismatic chair-CEO and an equally powerful and demanding board of directors. The aim is to achieve the respective characters' goals and find the best possible and most workable outcome for all the stakeholders involved given the circumstances.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Participants gain a better understanding of the governance function by observing and experiencing how board relationships and dynamics influence the board's decisions and actions. They are challenged to discusss and resolve issues faced by the HP board of directors as they assess the performance of the business and its leader.

Keywords:
Acquisition, Decision Making, Board Governance, Tough Leadership, Merger, Personality Conflicts, Strategic Direction, Abrasive Leadership

published: 28 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Eyeglasses
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This three-part case study explores the development of Adlens, a commercial firm, and Vision for a Nation as the social venture developed in parallel. The entrepreneur’s strategy is to sell the innovative Adlens optical products in middle-to-high income economies for profit, while Vision for a Nation is dedicated to improving vision in the developing world, starting with Rwanda. A key synergy comes from the “Buy one, give one” model, whereby for every pair of Adlens glasses purchased, another pair (adjustable or traditional glasses) is given away for free in Rwanda. Developing Adlens and Vision for a Nation as viable ventures has been not been an easy task. Despite the vast amount of time and money James Chen has invested in these projects, their long-term sustainability has yet to be demonstrated. But as an investor of ‘patient capital’, he sees beyond the logic of short-term profit making.

Read a related Knowledge article "Entrepreneurship Lessons from a Family Venture Philanthropist" by Randel Carlock.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Apply entrepreneurship behaviors as an approach to strategy and leadership . Identify the relationship and tasks of the different forms of entrepreneurship . Understand potential strategic synergies between social enterprises and moneymaking ventures . Analyze investment horizons and the sunk cost dilemma in a new venture . Appreciate the career opportunities created by philanthropic ventures and family offices beyond working in the family business . Understand the importance of patient investment capital and the family legacy for philanthropic and social ventures

Keywords:
Social Entrepreneurship, New Ventures, Disruptive Technologies, Africa, Family Business, Family Enterprise, Start-Up, Venture Investing, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy

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published: 28 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Eyeglasses
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
This three-part case study explores the development of Adlens, a commercial firm, and Vision for a Nation as the social venture developed in parallel. The entrepreneur’s strategy is to sell the innovative Adlens optical products in middle-to-high income economies for profit, while Vision for a Nation is dedicated to improving vision in the developing world, starting with Rwanda. A key synergy comes from the “Buy one, give one” model, whereby for every pair of Adlens glasses purchased, another pair (adjustable or traditional glasses) is given away for free in Rwanda. Developing Adlens and Vision for a Nation as viable ventures has been not been an easy task. Despite the vast amount of time and money James Chen has invested in these projects, their long-term sustainability has yet to be demonstrated. But as an investor of ‘patient capital’, he sees beyond the logic of short-term profit making.

Read a related Knowledge article "Entrepreneurship Lessons from a Family Venture Philanthropist" by Randel Carlock.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Apply entrepreneurship behaviors as an approach to strategy and leadership . Identify the relationship and tasks of the different forms of entrepreneurship . Understand potential strategic synergies between social enterprises and moneymaking ventures . Analyze investment horizons and the sunk cost dilemma in a new venture . Appreciate the career opportunities created by philanthropic ventures and family offices beyond working in the family business . Understand the importance of patient investment capital and the family legacy for philanthropic and social ventures

Keywords:
Social Entrepreneurship, New Ventures, Disruptive Technologies, Africa, Family Business, Family Enterprise, Start-Up, Venture Investing, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy

Related:

published: 28 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Eyeglasses
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
This three-part case study explores the development of Adlens, a commercial firm, and Vision for a Nation as the social venture developed in parallel. The entrepreneur’s strategy is to sell the innovative Adlens optical products in middle-to-high income economies for profit, while Vision for a Nation is dedicated to improving vision in the developing world, starting with Rwanda. A key synergy comes from the “Buy one, give one” model, whereby for every pair of Adlens glasses purchased, another pair (adjustable or traditional glasses) is given away for free in Rwanda. Developing Adlens and Vision for a Nation as viable ventures has been not been an easy task. Despite the vast amount of time and money James Chen has invested in these projects, their long-term sustainability has yet to be demonstrated. But as an investor of ‘patient capital’, he sees beyond the logic of short-term profit making.

Read a related Knowledge article "Entrepreneurship Lessons from a Family Venture Philanthropist" by Randel Carlock.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Apply entrepreneurship behaviors as an approach to strategy and leadership . Identify the relationship and tasks of the different forms of entrepreneurship . Understand potential strategic synergies between social enterprises and moneymaking ventures . Analyze investment horizons and the sunk cost dilemma in a new venture . Appreciate the career opportunities created by philanthropic ventures and family offices beyond working in the family business . Understand the importance of patient investment capital and the family legacy for philanthropic and social ventures

Keywords:
Social Entrepreneurship, New Ventures, Disruptive Technologies, Africa, Family Business, Family Enterprise, Start-Up, Venture Investing, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Philanthropy

Related:

published: 12 Aug 2016

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Manufacturing, Tech, Banking, Education, Hotel
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
The case follows the story of Brazilian business leader, Ricardo Semler, who took the family marine-pump business, Semco, to multi-national, multi-sector success. To do so, Ricardo Semler dramatically changed his own leadership style by relinquishing control and working less hard, and subsequently transformed the culture at Semco via a radical process of workplace democratisation. Finally, he applied the same leadership principles successfully to other industries: hotels, education, and banking.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Highlight the effects of different leadership styles in different situations; the organizational consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and different types incentive systems; the self-fulfilling effects of leadership behavior; and how leaders can use the change process to transform an organisation's culture.

Keywords:
Leadership, Motivation, Organisational Change, Incentive Systems, Organizational Culture, Transformational Leadership, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Related:

published: 12 Aug 2016

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Manufacturing, Tech, Banking, Education, Hotel
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case follows the story of Brazilian business leader, Ricardo Semler, who took the family marine-pump business, Semco, to multi-national, multi-sector success. To do so, Ricardo Semler dramatically changed his own leadership style by relinquishing control and working less hard, and subsequently transformed the culture at Semco via a radical process of workplace democratisation. Finally, he applied the same leadership principles successfully to other industries: hotels, education, and banking.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Highlight the effects of different leadership styles in different situations; the organizational consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and different types incentive systems; the self-fulfilling effects of leadership behavior; and how leaders can use the change process to transform an organisation's culture

Keywords:
Leadership, Motivation, Organisational Change, Incentive Systems, Organizational Culture, Transformational Leadership, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Related:

published: 28 Apr 2014

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Manufacturing, Tech, Banking, Education, Hotel
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case follows the story of Brazilian business leader, Ricardo Semler, who took the family marine-pump business, Semco, to multi-national, multi-sector success. To do so, Ricardo Semler dramatically changed his own leadership style by relinquishing control and working less hard, and subsequently transformed the culture at Semco via a radical process of workplace democratisation. Finally, he applied the same leadership principles successfully to other industries: hotels, education, and banking.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Highlight the effects of different leadership styles in different situations; the organizational consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and different types incentive systems; the self-fulfilling effects of leadership behavior; and how leaders can use the change process to transform an organisation's culture

Keywords:
Leadership, Motivation, Organisational Change, Incentive Systems, Organizational Culture, Transformational Leadership, Iaf, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- Winner of 2016 Case Centre Awards, Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour category

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published: 28 Sep 2011

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Entertainment and Sports
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case describes the tragedy that occurred on Everest in 1996 - when teams led by highly-skilled guides got caught in a terrible storm, causing the death of the team leaders and several of the client climbers. It delves into the factors that help teams survive when they encounter turbulence, and why others in similar circumstances meet tragedy. The case builds on the experience of one of the team leaders who was on the mountain that year, and discusses three different teams on the mountain that year.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The main objective is to discuss high performance team leadership under turbulence. The recent financial crisis has provided a particularly vivid context for this case. It can be taken from different angles: leadership, collaborative team work (or not), crisis management, and managing under turbulent conditions. Further materials are being developed for the case (video excerpts, teaching note, transparencies).

Keywords:
Team Work, High Performance Teams, Crisis Management, Collaboration, Project Management, Goal Setting, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

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