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Case Studies by Ludo Van der Heyden

22 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 01 Nov 1999

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Iron & Steel
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The Wendel and CGIP cases tell the story of a business family, the Wendel, over a period of nearly three centuries. The Wendel case (A) describes how the company, founded in 1704, developed over 270 years under the stewardship of the Wendel family, as a major player in the iron and steel industry. It also shows how it overcame a revolution, three wars, and several technical challenges. The case ends in 1976, with the crisis of the French steel industry and the choice faced by Ernest-Antoine Seillière, a representative of the 9th generation, to join the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is written for use in classes on Family Firms with MBA students. Its main objective is to illustrate the role of a family in the development and perpetuation of a business and to identify the differences between a family business and a publicly-owned business. The Wendel case illustrates the family spirit and values as factors of business continuity; how each generation can renew the business and even needs to do so at particular moments to survive and flourish; how a family firm can attract particularly bright family members in spite of unattractive economic situations.

Keywords:
Family Firms, Family Business, (factors Of) Continuity, Governance, Wendel / Marine-Wendel, Cgip, Valeo, Crow-Cork & Seal

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published: 21 Oct 1999

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
One observes that despite the continued application of superior personal strategies and leadership throughout Napoleon’s lifetime, success eluded him in the end. A pattern is observed of meteoritic rise in the early stages (victories in the battle of Lodi, Marengo, Austerlitz) and a downfall later (Russian invasion, Waterloo). What is behind this rise and fall? Can any reasonable explanations be found? Exploring these questions is the motivation of this case.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The ultimate aim of the case is to realize that a good strategy should have both good content and good execution. To produce a good strategy, a proper interaction with people or more accurately, a proper decision-making process, during the strategy formulation is critical.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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