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Case Studies by Charles Galunic

19 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Digital transformations require foundations. Placing advanced technologies on top of poor organizational structures and processes is not likely to work. Digital transformation may involve long-term strategic and organizational development to create a solid foundation that can properly absorb and develop digital initiatives. The case describes the Italian insurance company Generali Italia’s digital journey, from integrating its fragmented offering to transforming the company based on three pillars: discipline, simplicity and focus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To understand the wider work that may be required as part of digital transformation.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Digital Transformation, Organization Culture, Retooling / Training, Insurance

published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Imagine a high-tech environment which is a hive of creativity and collaboration, where people think in terms of platforms and ecosystems, and are asked to provide a rapid response in pursuit of a goal. While a start-up setting in a tech hub will likely come to mind, such a setting is typical of a more traditional (yet advanced) organization – the military. What makes the military context different is the role of discipline. While the word discipline conjures up an image of repetitive behaviour – the opposite of creativity – it is key to the way a modern air force copes with the need for creative responses, adaptation, and the integration of digital technologies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To understand the roots of creative action and effectiveness in organizations that are traditionally typecast as hierarchical.

Keywords:
Discipline in Organizations, Organization Culture, Creativity, Decision Making, Judgement

published: 29 Jan 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Does the digital age require companies to look and behave differently? This research note explores the digital journeys of various companies (with an initial focus on media companies) and introduces 10 “checkpoints” into their respective experiences as they strive to become digital-ready.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This research note offers a framework for thinking about the organizational implications of digitization. It offers insights from the practices of digitizing companies and prompts discussion about what it means to be “digital-ready” as an organization.

Keywords:
Digitization, Digital Journey, Disruption, Leadership, Organization Culture, Digital Age, Digital Disruption

published: 24 Feb 2016

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Abstract:
The telecommunications manufacturing industry has seen massive consolidation in the past 10 years. This is the story of how two major telecom providers, Alcatel and Lucent, merged and positioned themselves for the future. It focuses on the leadership challenges of the final years, just before the company was sold. Alcatel-Lucent was at high risk of failure around 2012, but it managed to find its way forward and create a new future with Nokia.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The focus of the case is on the ongoing challenges of strategic alignment: how senior leaders attempt to fit the organization to its strategy, and ultimately to the environment.

Keywords:
Leadership, Change Management, Fair Process Leadership, Strategic Alignment, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

published: 26 May 2015

  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case looks at how Lincoln Electric, the US-based company renowned for its compensation scheme, tried to implement its human resource policies globally and particularly in China.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to expose readers to some of the difficulties and myths of pushing well-worn ideas overseas. The case ends off with an important question regarding the company’s future, one that depends on its overseas strategy, of which HR is key.

Keywords:
Compensation, Cross-Culture, International Expansion, China, Incentives

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published: 26 May 2015

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming and Software Entertainment
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Organizational design can be complex, involving many different levers. But at its roots are a few fundamental formal structures or forms: functional, matrix, and divisional. This case tracks the early history of a (fictitious) start-up company in the software/mobile entertainment industry that rapidly expands and needs to consider the pros and cons of these various archetypes of formal structure.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is short and to the point, allowing the reader to quickly see the strengths and challenges of three different structural forms (functional, matrix, divisional). It is told as a story of a young company that faces organizational design challenges as it grows. The case is ideal as a discussion vehicle, giving the reader just enough information to motivate a deeper discussion of structural forms, encouraging readers to pull in their own experiences (rather than being a highly context-specific or 'closed' case study).

Keywords:
Formal Structure, Organization Design, Functional Structure, Matrix Structure, Divisional Structure, Structural Change, Organization Change, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

published: 27 Jan 2014

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

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Abstract:
Companies regularly face difficulties, but sometimes they have to face a "life threatening" crisis. Such events challenge leadership, not least because of their complexity - technological puzzles, loyalty and political maneuvering, branding and communication issues, to name a few. But they can also be are powerful integrative moments, and when "well navigated" they can become opportunities for wider company reforms.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to help students see how crisis is an opportunity for change, although it must be navigated well and with a supportive coalition. The case also reveals how crisis is an opportunity for natural opposition to surface.

Keywords:
Leadership, Turnaround, Power and Politics, Top Management Team, Crisis, Ceo, Vision, European Competitiveness Initiative, , Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, European Competitiveness, Europe, Change Management, Hmi, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sectors

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published: 27 Jan 2014

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

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Abstract:
Companies regularly face difficulties, but sometimes they have to face a "life threatening" crisis. Such events challenge leadership, not least because of their complexity - technological puzzles, loyalty and political maneuvering, branding and communication issues, to name a few. But they can also be are powerful integrative moments, and when "well navigated" they can become opportunities for wider company reforms.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to help students see how crisis is an opportunity for change, although it must be navigated well and with a supportive coalition. The case also reveals how crisis is an opportunity for natural opposition to surface.

Keywords:
Leadership, Turnaround, Power and Politics, Top Management Team, Crisis, Ceo, Vision, European Competitiveness Initiative, , Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation, European Competitiveness, Europe, Change Management, Hmi, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sectors

Related:

published: 07 Apr 2008

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

Show details ...

Abstract:
This case looks at how Lincoln Electric, the US-based company renowned for its compensation scheme, tried to implement its human resource policies globally and particularly in China. Pedagogical Objectives The objective is to expose readers to some of the difficulties and myths of pushing well-worn ideas overseas. The case ends off with an important question regarding the company’s future, one that depends on its overseas strategy, of which HR is key.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to expose readers to some of the difficulties and myths of pushing well-worn ideas overseas. The case ends off with an important question regarding the company’s future, one that depends on its overseas strategy, of which HR is key.

Keywords:
Compensation, Cross-Culture, International Expansion, China, Incentives

Related:

published: 21 Mar 2008

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

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Abstract:
This two-part case study describes the initial merger and cultural transformation of Aviva's Norwich Union (NUI) operation in the UK. It examines the complexities of integration that arose following a series of mergers that created NUI from 1998 to 2000. Case A describes how, after CGU Plc and Norwich Union joined forces to become NUI, top management's priority was to restore profits. Behind the scenes, however, the need for a whole new corporate culture was becoming increasingly imperative. It shows the tension between the need for immediate gains in efficiencies vs. longer-term approaches to the business that required careful nurturing and attention. It ends as the executive team's announcement of the new corporate philosophy - "to be a service provider with insurance at our core and care at our heart" - is greeted with complete disbelief by employees. Case B describes the actions taken to overcome their skepticism and successfully implement the new philosophy - actions that required significant change to the organisational culture.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case does two things. First, it shows how easy it is for strategy and culture to come apart. In a permanent quest for strategic advantage, top executives seek ways to improve the positioning of the firm in the marketplace, often making major and seemingly sudden decisions on how the firm will play the game against competitors. Once they identify a direction, they expect the change yesterday. If the company culture is important to realising these strategic ends but is not moving in the same direction or is being asked to move too often, misalignment can occur. The second objective - how to go about realigning the culture with the strategy - follows the steps taken by this large organisation in trying to ensure the people and systems support the strategy.

Keywords:
Organisational Behaviour, Culture Change, Corporate Transformation, Leadership, Insurance, Merger, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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