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Case Studies by Michael Jarrett

6 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 01 Apr 2015

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
BP CEO Tony Hayward (UK) faced intense public scrutiny from many different constituencies in the US in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The case focuses on how his words and actions were perceived by the US media and government, and how these perceptions had critical business and personal outcomes.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Corporate leaders face the mounting challenge of having to inspire and motivate employees to achieve their business objectives, as well as external constituencies who do not perform economic transactions with the company, but can significantly influence its economic performance and leaders' legitimacy. The way in which Hayward's words and actions were perceived by these non-market constituencies, the outcome, and the conclusions to be drawn about managing such perceptions in a crisis bring into focus issues such as national politics, collective emotions, impression and symbolic management that many leaders fail to heed when managing a business.

Keywords:
Crisis, Public Perception, Symbolic Management emotion, Impression Management, Top Management, National Identities, Politics

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published: 23 Feb 2015

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Finance and Banking
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the spectacular rise of UBS in the period 2000-2008 and its decline in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. CEO Ospel led an ambitious growth strategy, abandoning UBS's traditional risk-averse culture in favour of a more risk-taking form of investment banking in the USA.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case brings into focus the tensions between different concepts of ambitious leadership, different approaches to strategy execution in international settings, and different organizational cultures (Swiss-style conservative banking vs. the risk-seeking culture of investment banking). The implicit question is whether the expansion strategy into the US have been executed differently.

Keywords:
Strategy Execution, International Expansion, Visionary Leadership, Banking and Finance, Organizational Culture, Investment Banking, Global Financial Crisis, Hedge Fund, European Competitiveness, Europe

published: 26 Aug 2013

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Technology
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This case allows a rich and nuanced discussion of the various leadership dimensions of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, who was widely regarded as a visionary leader but could be harsh with people working around him. The case raises the strategic question of profit sustainability and organizational resilience. Could Apple thrive as a creative company without Jobs? Was Jobs an emotionally intelligent leader? (why/why not) Was Jobs a good leader?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case allows a rich and nuanced discussion of the various leadership dimensions of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, who was widely regarded as a visionary leader but could be harsh with people working around him. The case raises the strategic question of profit sustainability and organizational resilience. Could Apple thrive as a creative company without Jobs? Was Jobs an emotionally intelligent leader? (why/why not) Was Jobs a good leader? The case enables students to evaluate his leadership competence by using different theories of leadership.

Keywords:
Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Emotion, Strategy, General Management, Technology, Social Media, Computer

published: 28 Sep 2011

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Furniture
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case describes how IKEA's distinctive strategy was formed over a period of about 30 years (late 1940s to late 1970s). It describes how the various elements of its strategy were created gradually, with the help of many people other than the founder Kamprad, and how these elements were ultimately integrated with each other thanks to the creation of IKEA's organizational culture that came much later.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates a process view of strategy creation. Many students of strategy think that an integrated and effective strategy is the outcome of some systematic, highly analytical process performed centrally by a group of strategic planners. In fact, this case shows how it can emerge from a series of creative small steps by frontline managers, overcoming constraints one by one, over 30 years in a highly competitive industry. Despite the competitive environment, creative strategies continue to emerge through persistent attempts to circumvent existing barriers.

Keywords:
Strategy, Core Competence, Activity System, Culture, Leadership, Values, Competition, Multinational, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices

published: 28 Sep 2011

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Furniture
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case describes IKEA's strategy, aiming to show how the Swedish company has developed and maintained its competitive advantage over decades while expanding its business worldwide.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used to teach the key elements of business strategy, including mission, scope, organizing logic, and sources of competitive advantage. It shows how the company organizes itself to create value for specific customer segments while maintaining a competitive cost structure. It also illustrates how organizational culture can be a source of competitive advantage.

Keywords:
Strategy, Core Competence, Activity Systemculture, Leadership, Values, Competition, Multinational, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices

published: 28 Sep 2011

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
BP CEO Tony Hayward (UK) faced intense public scrutiny from many different constituencies in the US in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The case focuses on how his words and actions were perceived by the US media and government, and how these perceptions had critical business and personal outcomes.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Corporate leaders face the mounting challenge of having to inspire and motivate employees to achieve their business objectives, as well as external constituencies who do not perform economic transactions with the company, but can significantly influence its economic performance and leaders' legitimacy. The way in which Hayward's words and actions were perceived by these non-market constituencies, the outcome, and the conclusions to be drawn about managing such perceptions in a crisis bring into focus issues such as national politics, collective emotions, impression and symbolic management that many leaders fail to heed when managing a business.

Keywords:
Crisis, Public Perception, Symbolic Management, Emotion, Impression Management, Top Management, National Identities, Politics, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top, European Competitiveness, Europe

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