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Case Studies by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

74 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 18 Jun 2007

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
In contrast to traditional circuses, the product of the Cirque du Soleil is not a collection of different acts by star performers. It is an integration of acts into a single narrative with a universal appeal that catches the imagination and creates a bond with the audience. The the creative product is the result of a team effort.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Though true to its commitment to creativity, it has transformed itself from a happy-go-lucky, creative commune into a streamlined, far-sighted, hard-nosed, and profit-wise conglomerate. Can the Cirque continue to reinvent itself, producing "extreme creativity" time and again? And are spin-offs of the brand a good thing? Will the process of growth be at the price of the Cirque's soul?

published: 18 Jun 2007

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Luxury Goods
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The purpose of this case is to introduce students to the psychodynamic perspective on family owned or influenced businesses. The events that led to schisms in the family and the sale of the company are dramatic and well documented. We approach the case as allegorical, in a sense, challenging students to deconstruct critical family and business events, and analyze the way Gucci family members reacted and interacted. The objective is for students to identify the logical reasons behind the seemingly irrational behavior of various family members, and finally, to understand that every family business is a potentially a Gucci, in terms of potential for fantastic success or dramatic collapse.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This approach allows us to apply several concepts taken from family systemic and psychodynamic theory, and to introduce the genogram, a useful tool for identifying types of relationships in the family, and how they may affect the business. The case should lead to discussion around the following themes: - An overview of the psychodynamic approach to studying family business - Boundaries, dyads and triangles in the family and business - The influence of family myths - A consideration of cultural context

published: 01 Jan 2007

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Petroleum and Energy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case follows and builds upon the ECCH award-winning 1997 case "British Petroleum, A Study of Transformational Leadership" (INSEAD N° 04/97-4692). This new case briefly reviews Robert Horton and David Simon's leadership styles before moving on to an in-depth look at the John Browne era (1995-2007). The two cases together will provide a historical context to discuss the transformation of BP over the past two decades, and this new case will be useful to analyses of John Browne's vision and strategy, as well as discussions about future direction under new leadership. The case addresses issues of transformation and national and corporate cultures in a transnational organization.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Teaching objectives include: - Addressing the concepts of triggers of change and barriers to change - Exploring the dynamics of the individual and organizational transformation processes - Analyzing the role of the CEO in the transformation process - Emphasizing the importance of a "global mind-set" and cultural relativity in transnational organizations - Discussing the ways in which corporate culture is shaped and changed, and the corporate culture and values of "vanguard" companies like BP.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

published: 01 Nov 2006

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Software development, High tech
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
It was long believed that entrepreneurship in Russia is close to impossible without government or mafia connections. This case study argues that, on the contrary, "garage-type" entrepreneurship is possible in Russia. For the Russians at Frontstep, the company in this case study, however, there were no how-to manuals to turn to. When the employees started making demands for Western-level salaries and benefits, matters came to a head. The problem was solved as the founders developed a hybrid organization, with Western incentives and structures, and Russian corporate culture.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurial Start-Up, Russian Organisational Leadership, Corporate Culture, Russian Culture, Human Resources Issues, Career Development

Related:

published: 01 Sep 2006

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Information Technology
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case delves into the operational details of values-based leadership. It addresses core issues including: how do visionary leaders set directions and clear and visible values for the firm; how do they measure performance; and how do they balance the needs of all stakeholders? It explains how the founding entrepreneurs stimulated innovation; how knowledge and capabilities at Infosys are built from top down and bottom up; how sustainability is ensured through a leadership system and how strategies for continued growth are deployed. It analyzes the way behavior and culture influence the course of an entrepreneurial organization's development.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To discuss and understand leadership challenges including: - The charismatic and architectural roles of a leader - The creation and maintenance of integrated vision, values and performance expectations - The creation of an environment that encourages ethical behavior and high performance - The identification of strategies for growth - specifically management of innovation and its link to leadership - Transition in entrepreneurial start-ups - passing on the founders' values in the next phase in the organization's life cycle.

Keywords:
Leadership Values, Role Models, Entrepreneurship, India, Information Technology, Indian Leadership Styles, Business Ethics

Prizes won:
- 2010 ecch Best Selling Case in Entrepreneurship

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