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Case Studies by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

74 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 01 Jul 2003

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Case Writers: Nesreen SROUJI and Elizabeth FLORENT The objective of this case is to provide a cautionary tale. The narcissistic entrepreneur/founder of the company was initially successful in building his organization during the Internet dot.com bubble, as he was able to motivate and inspire his young employees. As they began to realize that they were being exploited, he lost control of them. Most of them left the company, ironically leaving the leader without the knowledge resources to recreate the organization in the post dot.com economy. Themes addressed in the case are: entrepreneurship; narcissistic leadership; corporate culture, succession, leadership development; and the perils of growing out of the start-up stage.

Pedagogical Objectives:
A clinical perspective is used in analyzing personality and behavior of the leader of this company. Concepts of developmental psychology, family systems theory, cognitive theory, dynamic psychiatry, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis are applied to better understand his behavior and actions. Significant themes that highlight psychological dimensions relevant to his leadership style are explored. Observations are made about the key elements of effective leadership, and what contributes to leadership derailment. Lessons learned from the case concern leadership development and succession.

Keywords:
Charisma, Leadership, Hubris, Narcissism, Managing Growth, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Culture, Succession, Leadership Development

published: 11 Jan 2003

  • Industry: Finance
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
The case study evolves around business career of Ruben Vardanain, the CEO of Russian investment bank Troika Dialog. It follows evolution of the business and Vardanian’s leadership style over the period of ten years focusing on turning points and decisions the CEO had to make with regard to his vision for the business, its business model, organizational culture and human resource management systems.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students are expected to get insights into the nature of leadership and factors contributing to the development of a particular leadership style. Problems of growth of entrepreneurial organizations operating in changing environment will be examined through the prism of people management. Students are expected to enrich their understanding of the Russian business environment and the style of new Russian entrepreneurs.

Keywords:
Leadership, Corporate Culture, Crisis Management, Leadership Development, Managing Growth, Acquisitions, People Management, Russia, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

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published: 01 Jan 2003

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
VimpelCom is a Russian cellular operator that grew in less than 10 years (1992-2002) from a hypothetical concept, to small family-like company, to $2 billion NYSE-quoted corporation with 5.5 million subscribers on its wireless networks. This case study describes the perfect partnership between the two founders. One was "the professor", Dr. Dimitry Zimin, formerly a department head at the Applied Radio Research Institute, and a cog in the Soviet machine. The other was Augie Fabela II, a very young, yet experienced, American entrepreneur. The case looks at their complementary leadership styles. It also tells the story of how they managed to capture a majority share of the market in Moscow and bring their company to the New York Stock Exchange.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be used to explore the following themes: Formation of business alliances with Russian partners Strengths and weaknesses of Russian business leaders Historical context and current climate for entrepreneurship in Russia

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship, Russian Entrepreneurs, Telecommunications in Russia, Russian Business Leadership, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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published: 01 Jan 2003

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case describes a knotty problem in consulting. The intervention explores the role of social defences and unconscious processes in organizations. It also illustrates the use of the clinical approach to organizational intervention.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the applicability of the clinical approach to organizational intervention and change. In this context it deals with issues such as leadership, corporate culture, and organizational transformation and change.

Keywords:
Organisational Culture, Consulting, Social Defences, Organisational Consultation, Leadership, Organisational Intervention

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published: 01 Jan 2003

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Global
published: 01 Jan 2003

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Global
published: 06 Dec 2002

  • 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.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objectives of this case is to analyze: 1) Dynamics of growth of entrepreneurial organizations in Russia. 2) Evolution of complexity of managerial challenges faced by entrepreneurs. 3) Naive nature of relationships with foreign partners. 4) Staffing approaches and limitations faced in entrepreneurial organizations. 5) Identity issues (Russian versus multinational company). 6) Managing new generations of professionals. 7) New labor force in Russia (and, by extension, other Eastern European organizations). 8) Career aspirations of young professionals. 9) Career development and growth challenges. 10) Coaching and counseling issues. 11) Owner-manager development in areas beyond functional expertise.

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

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published: 26 Nov 2002

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Software
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Larry Ellison – fact or fiction? Although he is a tremendously successful entrepreneur and founder of Oracle, it is sometimes hard to decipher the rationale behind his decisions and behaviour. This case study explores Ellison’s “inner theatre,” the life experiences that shaped his character. It is a study of the strength and weaknesses of a larger-than-life leader, giving insights into the dark side of entrepreneurship, succession in entrepreneurial organizations, and the role of top executives in this kind of organization.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students will have the opportunity to explore: The life experiences and character development of a powerful entrepreneur, and how this affects his organization. Corporate culture in an entrepreneurial firm. Leadership succession � after Larry, le deluge? Effective executive role constellations � balancing the founder�s strengths and weaknesses. Narcissistic leadership � an advantage or a handicap?

Keywords:
Leadership Succession, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Governance, Corporate Culture, Executive Roles, Managing Growth

published: 01 May 2002

  • 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

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published: 01 Sep 2000

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Banking, IT
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
This case looks at entrepreneurial leadership and business development on several levels. It addresses issues that typically arise in new ventures and bricks to clicks transformation, including: evolution from the messy start-up stage to a more professional organization; entrepreneurship and internal incubators; strategies for continued growth and diversification; and brand management and marketing. It also looks closely at entrepreneurship in the very complex political and economic environment in Russia, and analyses the way past history and culture influence the course of an entrepreneurial organization's development insights which can be applied to organizations in other Eastern European countries. Finally, the case is a chronicle of a founder-entrepreneur's hopes, fears and impressions, an intimate look at the birth and growth of an entrepreneurial organization.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case has several main themes. It serves as a basis for discussion of many of the challenges that typically face young entrepreneurs. These insights will help to reinforce students? understanding of such global issues as: The importance of the leader's charismatic and architectural roles defining and communicating a compelling and unifying vision and building reward and control processes that are aligned to the organization?s vision Creating an intrapreneurial culture and in-house incubators The transformation from entrepreneurial to more systematic management Strategies for diversification and growth; capturing synergies between divisions Personal issues: the ways in which the founder?s character affects the organization; the importance of life balance; the development of a set of core business values that complement strict control systems The case raises these points in a specific context: the chaotic environment in post-Soviet Russia. There are unique difficulties faced by entrepreneurs in Russia, ranging from lack of confidence by foreign investors, to dealing with the mafia and government officials. Students are challenged to reach their own conclusions about Roustam Tariko and his business practices, based on the objective and subjective information they are given just as they would have to do in a real life situation working for him or with him as a consultant, or as a potential investor.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship, Character Traits of Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial Behaviour, Russia, Russian Leadership Styles, Brand Management, Bricks-To-Clicks, Business Ethics, Incubators, Intrapreneurship

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