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Case Studies by Luk Van Wassenhove

112 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 15 Dec 2017

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Abstract:
Agility is often mentioned but seldom defined or clearly illustrated. This case discusses UNICEF’s response to the sudden disruption of its aid supply chain to Yemen after the bombing started in 2015. It illustrates how a forwarding hub was quickly established in Djibouti and dhow vessels were used to reach small Yemeni ports from there. The case analyzes the supply chain, the organizational and strategic aspects of agility and discusses how UNICEF can further develop its strategic agility as an organizational capability. It can be used in supply chain and strategy classes, as well as classes on change management and fast decision making processes in organizations.
Part A outlines the events leading up to the Yemen Crisis and presents the challenges faced by UNICEF. Part B then describes UNICEF’s response to the crisis. Part B is restricted to instructors but can be distributed to students as well. The same goes for the supplementary teaching note, which gives an analysis of the response with regard to strategic agility. Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Agility is required in dynamic environments but poorly understood. This case tries to explain how an organization has built multiple elements of agility in its supply chain and organization over the years and has been able to deploy them fully in a recent crisis. It explains what the basic building blocks of agility are and how an organization can develop an overall strategic capability by combining these components into a strong competitive advantage. The setting is a crisis in humanitarian aid due to a conflict and the organization is UNICEF.

Keywords:
Humanitarian Logistics, Emergency Aid, Strategic Agility, Supply Chain Management, Change Management, Sudden Change, Humanitarian Organization, Agility, Humanitarian Relief, Disaster Relief, Strategic Sensitivity, Collective Commitment, Resource Fluidity

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published: 15 Dec 2017

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Humanitarian Logistics
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
Agility is often mentioned but seldom defined or clearly illustrated. This case discusses UNICEF’s response to the sudden disruption of its aid supply chain to Yemen after the bombing started in 2015. It illustrates how a forwarding hub was quickly established in Djibouti and dhow vessels were used to reach small Yemeni ports from there. The case analyzes the supply chain, the organizational and strategic aspects of agility and discusses how UNICEF can further develop its strategic agility as an organizational capability. It can be used in supply chain and strategy classes, as well as classes on change management and fast decision making processes in organizations.
Part A outlines the events leading up to the Yemen Crisis and presents the challenges faced by UNICEF. Part B then describes UNICEF’s response to the crisis. Part B is restricted to instructors but can be distributed to students as well. The same goes for the supplementary teaching note, which gives an analysis of the response with regard to strategic agility. Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Agility is required in dynamic environments but poorly understood. This case tries to explain how an organization has built multiple elements of agility in its supply chain and organization over the years and has been able to deploy them fully in a recent crisis. It explains what the basic building blocks of agility are and how an organization can develop an overall strategic capability by combining these components into a strong competitive advantage. The setting is a crisis in humanitarian aid due to a conflict and the organization is UNICEF.

Keywords:
Humanitarian Logistics, Emergency Aid, Strategic Agility, Supply Chain Management, Change Management, Sudden Change, Humanitarian Organization, Agility, Humanitarian Relief, Disaster Relief, Strategic Sensitivity, Collective Commitment, Resource Fluidity

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published: 30 Jan 2017

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Decentralized supply chains - with a greater number of hubs and depot locations – are designed to be more responsive to disasters around the globe by getting primary relief items such as food, water and medicines to beneficiaries quickly. This case explores the centralized vs. decentralized tradeoff for the secondary support supply chain of an international humanitarian organization (IHO). Using data from a real organization (unnamed), it asks whether supply chains for secondary support items should be the same as those for primary relief goods, and how earmarked funds impact the supply chain configuration. It presents information on donations, secondary support demand and response in mega disasters, and optimized data and simulation results. These allow for extensive data analytics, interpretation, and Excel modeling skills to be utilized, as well as students’ intuition.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Understanding the trade-offs between centralized and decentralized humanitarian supply chains; 2. The impact of earmarked funding on humanitarian supply chains and decision making; 3. Differences between humanitarian and commercial supply chains; 4. Variations in humanitarian demand: the supply chain for food and water may differ from that of 4WD support vehicles and building supplies.

Keywords:
Humanitarian Logistics, Global Supply Chain, Global Facility Location, Global Supply Chain Network Configuration, Temporary Hubs, Earmarked Funding

published: 27 Jul 2015

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Newspapers: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
The Nation Media Group began with the campaign for Kenyan independence, and struggled to survive through decades of dictatorship. Beginning in the 1990s the Group sought to grow by launching new editorial products. Challenges of editorial standards, recruitment and objectives, and finding and serving audiences, repeatedly emerged. Strategies were continually adjusted to fit unforeseeable circumstances.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is one of the first ever written about media management and development in a developing nation. It highlights key success factors, as well as best and worst practices. The case thus enables discussion of how to launch news media in extremely challenging environments, where conditions vary significantly from those facing entrepreneurs in mature markets.

Keywords:
Media Management, News Industry, Nation Media Group, Kenya, Journalism, Business Journalism, Business Daily, The Eastafrican

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published: 27 Jul 2015

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Newspapers: Publishing, or Publishing and Printing
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
The Nation Media Group began with the campaign for Kenyan independence, and struggled to survive through decades of dictatorship. Beginning in the 1990s the Group sought to grow by launching new editorial products. Challenges of editorial standards, recruitment and objectives, and finding and serving audiences, repeatedly emerged. Strategies were continually adjusted to fit unforeseeable circumstances.

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published: 24 Apr 2015

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Reverse Logistics
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Cycleon moved from a non-asset company centered around IT solutions for consumer returns to a reverse logistics service provider that facilitates the take-back and processing (repair and refurbishment) of different types of returns. This case describes the strategic decisions taken by the CEO during the transformation and expansion of Cycleon in the past 10 years.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates entrepreneurship and business model reorientation as a promising start-up moves through turbulent waters, and has application to the unstructured market of product returns in the context of sustainable business.

Keywords:
Strategy, Leadership, Reverse Logistics, E-Commerce, Weee

published: 25 Aug 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Palm oil, healthcare
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case explores the events leading to the creating of a multi-stakeholder platform, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The promotion of palm oil as an alternative to fossil fuels has increased demand, hence the “palm oil dilemma”: to produce oil more sustainably or save the forests? The ability to respond to NGOs and the additional cost of certified palm oil are some of the future challenges facing the RSPO.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed to explore: • The life-cycle impacts of the production of palm oil • The social and environmental trade-offs involved • The development dilemmas faced by emerging economies • The logic behind the creation of ‘green clubs’ • How reputational value is created or destroyed - in individual organizations and in coalitions such as the RSPO • The rationale for certification and eco-label schemes.

Keywords:
Palm Oil Production, Production and Operations Management, Value Chain, Sustainability, Green Clubs, Eco-Activism, Voluntary Environmental Initiatives, Greenpeace

published: 30 Jul 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The introduction of a new class of persistent herbicides is anticipated by DuPont as a game-changer for the firm and its customers. Instead, the product creates unforeseen damage to vegetation. The mobilisation of the customer base soon extends to the general public and regulators, leading to withdrawal of the product and ultimately the sale of the DuPont business unit concerned.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Participants will learn that in the age of stakeholder-controlled media, the classic means of customer engagement are inadequate. Power has shifted from the firm to the customer, particularly in a B2B setting. The vehicle for this shift, the online forum, remains poorly understod and utilised by most firms. Participants will see that customer power can destroy entire business units.

Keywords:
E.i. Dupont Nemours & Co., Lawnsite.com, Online Forums, Stakeholder Media, Crisis Communication, Herbicide, Environmental Protection Agency, News Media, Lawnsite, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

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published: 30 Jul 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The introduction of a new class of persistent herbicides is anticipated by DuPont as a game-changer for the firm and its customers. Instead, the product creates unforeseen damage to vegetation. The mobilisation of the customer base soon extends to the general public and regulators, leading to withdrawal of the product and ultimately the sale of the DuPont business unit concerned.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Participants will learn that in the age of stakeholder-controlled media, the classic means of customer engagement are inadequate. Power has shifted from the firm to the customer, particularly in a B2B setting. The vehicle for this shift, the online forum, remains poorly understod and utilised by most firms. Participants will see that customer power can destroy entire business units.

Keywords:
E.i. Dupont Nemours & Co., Lawnsite.com, Online Forums, Stakeholder Media, Crisis Communication, Herbicide, Environmental Protection Agency, News Media, Lawnsite, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

Related:

published: 30 Jul 2014

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals
  • Region: North America

Show details ...

Abstract:
The introduction of a new class of persistent herbicides is anticipated by DuPont as a game-changer for the firm and its customers. Instead, the product creates unforeseen damage to vegetation. The mobilisation of the customer base soon extends to the general public and regulators, leading to withdrawal of the product and ultimately the sale of the DuPont business unit concerned.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Pedagogical Objectives Participants will learn that in the age of stakeholder-controlled media, the classic means of customer engagement are inadequate. Power has shifted from the firm to the customer, particularly in a B2B setting. The vehicle for this shift, the online forum, remains poorly understod and utilised by most firms. Participants will see that customer power can destroy entire business units.

Keywords:
E.i. Dupont Nemours & Co., Lawnsite.com, Online Forums, Stakeholder Media, Crisis Communication, Herbicide, Environmental Protection Agency, News Media, Lawnsite, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

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