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Case Studies by Randel Carlock

43 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 31 Jan 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Harry McNeely Sr started a storage and transport company with his brother-in-law in 1916. Whereas his sons, Don & Harry Jr, were taken into the company, Harry Sr made provision for his two daughters to be financially independent but gave them no stake in the family business. After his death, the daughters contested the will and were made minority shareholders, but not before the family had endured the largest court ordered business liquidation in Minnesota's history. Things settled down for a while but then another problem emerged: the succession had not been settled. Although Paddy, Harry Jr.'s son, was keen to run the company, his ageing father was reluctant to hand over the reins. In parallel, participation in the family's charitable foundation successfully united all the cousins of the third generation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case deals with the next generation problems and recognition within the family business. It also examines the importance of communication in a family business and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation.

Keywords:
Family Business, Governance, Ownership, Next Generation, Family System, Family Relationship, Foundation, Role of the Board, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2009 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Family Business Category

published: 28 Apr 2008

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Global
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
After his first week on the job, the new CEO is concerned about his decision to join ABC Telecommunications to lead its turnaround effort. He now realises that he was overly optimistic when he promised the board a 36-month recovery. Early on he thought he was the right man for the job but the odds do not look good for one person to change a firm that has a corporate culture based on 10 years of missed opportunities and bad execution. Worse still, nobody knows who is really in charge. Is it the supervisory board, the executive committee, or the CEO? The fact is, nobody is taking responsibility for the loss of ABC’s market share or the general decline of the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case helps to understand all the elements that create a healthy company. It allows students to deal with the questions of strategic implementation, strategic turnaround, values for employees and shareholders, identifying goals and possible business vision.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Turnaround Strategy, Strategic Implementation, Strategic Turnaround, Company Values, Company Goals, Business Vision

published: 21 Mar 2008

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Andrew Whiteside and his five siblings, owners of a family business, have staged a semi-annual family meeting to review business results with all blood relatives over 21. With the next meeting coming up, many different perspectives and emotions are starting to appear within the senior and next generation. While some people feel these meetings are very effective, others are concerned that the existing family forum may be creating more problems than solutions because difficult issues, like board seats or family compensation, are not discussed. What can be done to improve communication?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case allows us to understand the purpose of a family meetings, and the need to establish a structure that encourages family participation in planning, problem solving and decision making. It also deals with next generation problems and recognition as well as rules to develop the meeting into a formal council.

Keywords:
Family Meeting, Next Generation, Family Meeting Members, Family Council, Communication in Family Business, Family Business, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 15 Jan 2008

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

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Abstract:
The A and B case material (included in both the Participants’ Guide and the Facilitator’s Guide) sets the stage for the family succession simulation. In a frank and intimate narrative style, members of the Levy family and their non-family CEO discuss the future of their business. Roger Levy, founding entrepreneur and chairman of Ilapak, a packaging machine manufacturer, has reached retirement age, but is not sure if his son Guy or daughter Sabrina are prepared to take his place. Luciano, the CEO, shares his insights as non-family executive. Guy and Sabrina talk about their own hopes and concerns. In the simulation, students take the role of one of these key people, considering and discussing different perspectives on leadership, succession and lifecycle transition issues that are common to, but seldom addressed by, all family firms.

Pedagogical Objectives:
By focusing on personal narratives this case goes beyond typical strategic and financial issues. The simulation fosters discussions around the character and leadership style of the founding entrepreneur; lifecycle and business cycle transitions; psychodynamic issues in family firms; and a family systems approach to business challenges.

Keywords:
Family Business, Entrepreneurship, Next Generation, Succession, Family Business Leadership, Life Cycle Transition, Leadership Transition, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation

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published: 29 Nov 2007

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Finance Services
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
A family office provides professionally managed support in planning, investment and professional advice, reporting and specialized services related to managing the family’s wealth. This case study explores the challenges of a next generation family member in attempting to convince his traditional Chinese father of the advantages and opportunities to be created by establishing a family office to support the family's financial and investment activities.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Business families and wealthy families need to appreciate the investment opportunities created by the creation of a family office. This case provides an overview of the issues and opportunities created by a family office. Students will explore the implementation process and develop an understanding of professional practices that support the effective development of a family office strategy.

Keywords:
Family Wealth, Family Office, Investment Management, Family Investments, Family Business, Estate and Ownership Planning, Financial Performance, Wicfe, Family Office, Wealth Management, Legacy, Ownership

published: 30 Sep 2006

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Heavy industry
  • Region: North America
published: 01 Sep 2006

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

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Abstract:
In a frank and intimate narrative style, members of the Levy family and their non-family CEO discuss the future of their family business. Roger Levy, founding entrepreneur and chairman of Ilapak, a packaging machine manufacture, has reached retirement age, but is not sure if his son, Guy, or daughter, Sabrina, are prepared to take his place. Luciano, the CEO, shares his insights as a non-family executive. Guy and Sabrina talk about their own hopes and concerns. This case allows students to consider leadership, succession and life-cycle transition issues that are common, but often unaddressed, in all family firms.

Pedagogical Objectives:
By focusing on personal narratives, this case goes beyond typical strategic and financial issues. This case provides material for discussions around the character and leadership style of the founding entrepreneur; life-cycle and business cycle transitions; psychodynamic issues in family firms; and a family systems approach to business challenges.

Related:

published: 01 Sep 2006

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

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Abstract:
In a frank and intimate narrative style, members of the Levy family and their non-family CEO discuss the future of their family business. Roger Levy, founding entrepreneur and chairman of Ilapak, a packaging machine manufacture, has reached retirement age, but is not sure if his son, Guy, or daughter, Sabrina, are prepared to take his place. Luciano, the CEO, shares his insights as a non-family executive. Guy and Sabrina talk about their own hopes and concerns. This case allows students to consider leadership, succession and life-cycle transition issues that are common, but often unaddressed, in all family firms.

Related:

published: 03 Jan 2006

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case and teaching note explore one of Singapore's early entrepreneurs and the family business empire he created. Eu Tong Sen started from humble beginnings as tin miner, and over the next 50 years built a family firm that included mining, rubber plantations, real estate and banking. One of his early ventures in traditional Chinese medicine is the only operating company the family still controls. The second generation of the Eu family was racked by conflict and legal battles as the 24 children of the founder and his five wives have fought for control of the family dynasty. The case explores how Richard Eu, a grandson of the founder, united his cousins in an alliance to stop their father's feuds and regenerate the traditional Chinese medicine business into one of the few companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange that actually improved its performance and stock price during the recent SARS epidemic.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case explores the impact of family relationships (the founding entrepreneur had five wives resulting in 24 children and 72 grandchildren), changes in the business environment, the need for improved structures and systems as the family matures and the power of regenerating a business around a family's values. The case and teaching note will examine the problems confronting traditional family business and how the next generation of Western-trained family members can blend traditional and Western thinking to create value for the family.

Keywords:
Asian Family Business, Chinese Family Business, Chinese Entrepreneurship, Family Conflicts, Family Business Strategy, Next Generation Leaders, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 02 Jan 2006

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: High Tech
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This is the fourth of a four-case series. At first glance, Hewlett Packard (HP) doesn't seem to be a family firm, but when push comes to shove - as it did during the controversial HP-Compaq merger - family matters. The case introduces the strategy that drove the merger, analyses Carly Fiorina's background and leadership style, and discusses the corporate culture of HP. Chronologically, the case begins with the announcement of the merger and ends with the shareholders' vote. This case study illustrates the importance of corporate governance, parallel planning, and a shared vision in organisations in which the founding families still have a large financial and emotional stake.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives are: (1) to define the role of board - strategic development and decision making; (2) to recognise the importance of family legacy and shareholders' influence; (3) to explore the challenge of leadership - regenerating a highly regarded corporation; and (4) to understand the significance of corporate culture in organisational transitions.

Keywords:
Hewlett Packard-Compaq, Parallel Planning Process, Walter Hewlett, Carly Fiorina, Mergers and Acquisitions, Succession in Family Firms, Corporate Governance, Shareholders' Rights, Boards of Directors, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2004 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Family Business Category

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