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Case Studies by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

73 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 01 Mar 2000

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Food
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Direct foreign investment in Russia was only 1% of GDP in 1999, and Russian industry was only half as productive in that year as in 1992. Not surprisingly, the prevailing opinion is that privatization has only aggravated Russia's economic problems, and that foreign firms should avoid investing in Russia for the time being. This case study argues that, on the contrary, Russian companies can be successfully integrated within a multinational organization. It shows that an Anglo-Saxon-style revolutionary change process is not always the best way to proceed in Eastern European organizations; that the commonly accepted goals of rapid change, employee empowerment and a flatter hierarchy are not necessarily appropriate in these organizations in the short-term, moreover that even the definitions of trust, strategy and leadership can differ according to cultural context. The challenge lies in understanding the complexities the lingering influence of the Soviet planned central economy - as well as the Russian culture and management systems.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Case A describes the process of transforming a Russian organization, still run as if it were part of the Soviet-era planned economy, to one with the leadership and mentality to operate as part of a global organization in an open market. Case A analyses these key themes:

Keywords:
Russian Leadership Style, Russian Culture, Acquisitions in Russia, Danone, Change Management, Cross-Cultural Management, French Leadership Styles, French/ Russian Corporate Culture

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published: 01 Mar 2000

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Food
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Please refer to part A for the abstract.

Keywords:
Russian Leadership Style, Russian Culture, Acquisitions in Russia, Danone, Change Management, Cross-Cultural Management, French Leadership Styles, French/ Russian Corporate Culture

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published: 03 Jan 2000

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Brand management / Entertainment / Airline
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case study provides an opportunity to explore the person-organisation interface. From a developmental point of view, it examines the making of an entrepreneur. The case also allows for an exploration of the vicissitudes of leadership. It looks at effective leadership in the context of a high performance organisation and, finally, incites discussion about planning for the future of an entrepreneurial organisation, in particular using a brand to enter new, unrelated markets. (former title: The House that Branson Built: Virgin's Entry into the New Millennium)

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case focuses on leadership in a creative, entrepreneurial organisation. Virgin has made many brilliant moves and weathered spectacular setbacks. The case offers insight into these and other management issues that have come to the fore in Virgin's history. Among them are the transition from entrepreneurial to more conventional, "systematic" management; the formulation of strategy for, and the management of, rapid growth around the stretching of a brand, particularly expansion into unrelated areas and expansion overseas; the management of strategic alliances; the development of a corporate culture centred around youth and informality; a preference for promotion of insiders who "fit" rather than outside candidates; the management of creativity; and the transition from a private enterprise to a public company and back again to private. The case also examines the basic issue of the future of the Virgin Group, with or without Richard Branson. Can synergy, which is so dependent on the integrative capacities of the key players, be retained between the various parts? As the company moves into new ventures far removed from the original core businesses, what will the impact be on the Virgin brand name? Most importantly, what would happen to the Virgin Group if its charismatic chairman were no longer associated with the company?

Keywords:
Richard Branson, Virgin, Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Brand Management

Prizes won:
- 2010 ecch Best Selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2009 ecch Best Selling Case in Human Ressource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2008 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2003 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2002 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- Winner of ecch 2002 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour

published: 01 Dec 1999

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

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Abstract:
Alice in Wonderland (A) showed how the new Managing Director of LVV transformed a trucking company from a "fossilized" and "arthritic" minor subsidiary of a Dutch shipping group into a revitalized organization. The case looks at how her own leadership characteristics, as well as Dutch leadership styles, contributed to the development of an authentizotic culture of trust, affiliation, and meaning for employees, and how the financial situation of the company was turned around as a result. Alice in Wonderland (B) case follows Marike van Lier Lels as she takes on the position of COO of Schiphol Airport. Despite her brilliant previous career successes, her tenure there ends acrimoniously. This case series explores leadership in different contexts, and highlights the management of disappointment. NOTE: Alice in Wonderland (A) was a disguised case, but at the time of writing the (B) case, Marike van Lier Lels gave permission to use her real name.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Emma van Nijmegen(Marike van Leir Lels) is a rare example of a female top executive in a typically male dominated industry (Shipping and Transport). The (A) case aims to show how LVV's remarkable turnaround from a loss making company in 1996 to a very profitable market-focused organization was facilitated by van Nijmegen's focus on a change of culture, a change of image and a drive for open communication. The (B) case focuses on the problems that her authentizotic leadership style created within the executive team of Schiphol, and shows how she managed her disappointment when her vision could not be carried out. Teaching objectives include: - provide insight into the dynamics of female leadership and its influence on the corporate culture, - an opportunity to discuss the importance of emotional intelligence in leaders, - discussing the ways in which corporate culture is shaped and changed. - management of disappointment

Keywords:
Authentizotic Organizations, Corporate Transformation, Dutch Leadership Style, Female Top Executive, Corporate Culture

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2005 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category
- 2003 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour

Related:

published: 30 Apr 1997

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

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Abstract:
The case looks at the difference in Robert Horton’s and David Simon’s leadership styles in the context of the upheaval of the oil industry in the past 25 years, and the roles the two leaders played in the transformation process at BP. It examines the reasons why, although the two men’s goals were nearly identical, their individual style determined failure for one, and success for the other. The case addresses issues of transformation and national and corporate cultures in a transnational organization.

Pedagogical Objectives:
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 and Chairman 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 Transformation, Corporate Change, Corporate Culture, Leadership Styles, Executive Rate Constellation, "teddy Bear" Effect, National Culture, Emotional Intelligence

Prizes won:
- 2005 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2003 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2002 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- Winner of the ecch 2000 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category

published: 07 Jan 1997

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Audiovisual Systems
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case contains the description of a major organizational transformation process at the Danish audio-visual company, Bang & Olufsen A/S. It highlights the role of leadership played in the change process. Additional issues concern human resource management practices, the management of innovation and strategic marketing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives of the case consist of presenting an illustrative example of a successful corporate transformation process, highlighting the role of leadership in creating a change of mind-set.

Keywords:
Organizational Transformation & Change, Leadership, Restructuring, Management of Innovation

published: 01 Dec 1996

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: High-tech
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case in three parts describes the do's and don't's of a downsizing process in a high-tech company. It contains numerous examples of the different issues that arise during a downsizing effort and makes suggestions about how - and how not - to deal with these issues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives of this case consist of pointing out the dangers of a poorly planned corporate downsizing effort and to provide suggestions about how to proceed in a more constructive way.

Keywords:
Downsizing, Corporate Restructuring, Leadership

Related:

published: 01 Mar 1996

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

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Abstract:
The second part of the case (B) shows how the CEO belatedly took control of the transformation process himself and turned it around.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case focuses on the three main phases in the transformation process: Phase One: Dealing with Organisational and Individual Stress (breaking out of the vicious circle of frustration and dissatisfaction with the status quo; Phase Two: Hope - A New Vision (the arrival of a powerful change agent, in this case the CEO of the acquiring bank, who is able to develop a positive relationship with employees and design and communicate a compelling reason for the transformation and vision for the future); and Phase Three: Transformation (steered focal events to set goals and declare intent to change; individual change in relation to one's perception of locus of control, crystallisation of discontent, acceptance of change on a personal level; reality check - concretisation of rewards, small wins). These points are summarised in an exhibit, which will serve as an outline of the transformation process.

Keywords:
Organizational Transformation, Integration of Corporate Cultures, Change, Mergers and Acquisitions, Leadership

Related:

published: 12 Jan 1996

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: High-tech
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case in three parts describes the do's and don't's of a downsizing process in a high-tech company. It contains numerous examples of the different issues that arise during a downsizing effort and makes suggestions about how - and how not - to deal with these issues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives of this case consist of pointing out the dangers of a poorly planned corporate downsizing effort and to provide suggestions about how to proceed in a more constructive way.

Keywords:
Downsizing, Corporate Restructuring, Leadership

Related:

published: 12 Jan 1996

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: High-tech
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case in three parts describes the do's and don't's of a downsizing process in a high-tech company. It contains numerous examples of the different issues that arise during a downsizing effort and makes suggestions about how - and how not - to deal with these issues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives of this case consist of pointing out the dangers of a poorly planned corporate downsizing effort and to provide suggestions about how to proceed in a more constructive way.

Keywords:
Downsizing, Corporate Restructuring, Leadership

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