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Case Studies by Elizabeth Florent-Treacy

59 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 25 Nov 2013

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Succession patterns in Asia are heavily influenced by Confucian values and traditions. Liu Bai's father's authoritarian style of management was typical of Chinese families, but his critical and demanding manner made it impossible for Bai to work with him, even in the Asian context. While it may seem aberrant to Westerners, children are supposed to bow to the Confucian ideal of the patriarch, even more powerful than the state as far as the welfare and governance of the family is concerned. Conflicts are settled by the family, within the family.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To explore the impact of gender in family business succession; To recognize the limits of rational business thinking in highly emotional family situations; To appreciate how life cycle influences and motivates succession decisions and actions; To consider careers and succession in a family systemic framework to identify the interdependencies and interrelationships of succession decisions.

Keywords:
Family Business, Business Conflicts, Succession, Business Continuity, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 29 Jan 2013

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Abstract:
The case follows the progress of a year-long multi-module 'Make a Difference' programme for all 70 employees of Best Western Italy, the European operations and reservations centre for Best Western International, a global hotel group. The programme is designed to help individuals explore their own personal and professional goals, and then to work together to redesign the mission and vision of their organization. The objective is to unlock organizational energy, and to enhance trust and communication across all hierarchical levels. The outcomes included a restructuring of the senior executive level to create a flatter organization with more distributed leadership; improvement in the Great Places to Work Institute Italia ranking; and six company-wide projects initiated by employees. The case describes not only the programme design, but the necessary precursors for successful implementation, including organizational readiness for change and the skills and experience required of the coaches. It poses the question: How can this level of organizational change and renewal be sustained over time?

Keywords:
Leadership Development, Organizational Energy, Change Management, "authentizotic" Organizations, Authentic Leadership

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published: 29 Jan 2013

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Abstract:
The case follows the progress of a year-long multi-module 'Make a Difference' programme for all 70 employees of Best Western Italy, the European operations and reservations centre for Best Western International, a global hotel group. The programme is designed to help individuals explore their own personal and professional goals, and then to work together to redesign the mission and vision of their organization. The objective is to unlock organizational energy, and to enhance trust and communication across all hierarchical levels. The outcomes included a restructuring of the senior executive level to create a flatter organization with more distributed leadership; improvement in the Great Places to Work Institute Italia ranking; and six company-wide projects initiated by employees. The case describes not only the programme design, but the necessary precursors for successful implementation, including organizational readiness for change and the skills and experience required of the coaches. It poses the question: How can this level of organizational change and renewal be sustained over time?

Keywords:
Leadership Development, Organizational Energy, Change Management, "authentizotic" Organizations, Authentic Leadership

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published: 28 Jan 2013

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Abstract:
The case follows the progress of a year-long multi-module 'Make a Difference' programme for all 70 employees of Best Western Italy, the European operations and reservations centre for Best Western International, a global hotel group. The programme is designed to help individuals explore their own personal and professional goals, and then to work together to redesign the mission and vision of their organization. The objective is to unlock organizational energy, and to enhance trust and communication across all hierarchical levels. The outcomes included a restructuring of the senior executive level to create a flatter organization with more distributed leadership; improvement in the Great Places to Work Institute Italia ranking; and six company-wide projects initiated by employees. The case describes not only the programme design, but the necessary precursors for successful implementation, including organizational readiness for change and the skills and experience required of the coaches. It poses the question: How can this level of organizational change and renewal be sustained over time?

Keywords:
Leadership Development, Organizational Energy, Change Management, "authentizotic" Organizations, Authentic Leadership

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published: 25 Jun 2012

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

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Abstract:
After announcing the sudden medical leave of absence of António Horta Osório, CEO of Lloyd's Banking Group, the challenge facing the board was unprecedented. They would have to take immediate action to ensure interim leadership, and plan for the future. Should António Horta Osório return as CEO? If so, under what conditions? The board could only begin to answer these questions by addressing the source of the problem: What had caused their highly experienced and previously successful CEO to burn out? And how could they prevent it from happening again? Their collective knowledge of finance and the vicissitudes of global markets was broad and deep, but now they would be forced to discuss the undiscussable: the taboo of senior executive stress.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case presents the story of a highly regarded CEO who was temporarily brought down by the multiple pressures induced by a global economic crisis and internal business challenges. The objective is to focus on stress at the senior executive and board level, and to challenge the taboos around discussing this increasingly prevalent problem.

Keywords:
Lloyds Banking Group, António Horta Osório, Executive Burnout, Stress, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

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published: 25 Jun 2012

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

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Abstract:
After announcing the sudden medical leave of absence of António Horta Osório, CEO of Lloyd's Banking Group, the challenge facing the board was unprecedented. They would have to take immediate action to ensure interim leadership, and plan for the future. Should António Horta Osório return as CEO? If so, under what conditions? The board could only begin to answer these questions by addressing the source of the problem: What had caused their highly experienced and previously successful CEO to burn out? And how could they prevent it from happening again? Their collective knowledge of finance and the vicissitudes of global markets was broad and deep, but now they would be forced to discuss the undiscussable: the taboo of senior executive stress.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case presents the story of a highly regarded CEO who was temporarily brought down by the multiple pressures induced by a global economic crisis and internal business challenges. The objective is to focus on stress at the senior executive and board level, and to challenge the taboos around discussing this increasingly prevalent problem.

Keywords:
Lloyds Banking Group, António Horta Osório, Executive Burnout, Stress, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

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published: 29 Nov 2010

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Information Services / Management Consulting
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how a team leader manages a simple change management project by leveraging the unique skill set she has developed through her childhood experiences growing up in several different countries. Fatima, the protagonist, needs to integrate a mixed group of performers into an already high performing team in a short timespan.

Pedagogical Objectives:
- To illustrate the linkage between personal experience and leadership style- in this case to illustrate how a young leader with extensive global personal experiences can leverage her unique skill set to manage change - To illustrate components of successful change management through a simple management challenge case

Keywords:
Change Management, Team Management, Psychometrics, Global Executive/cosmopolitan, Leveraging Networks, Information Services, Leadership

published: 22 Feb 2010

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Tourism
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has witnessed rapid development in recent decades. As its physical, economic and demographic landscapes evolve, the time has come to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead. This case illustrates the establishment and achievements of the Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi (OBAD). It describes the development challenges faced by the emirate as it enters the global economy while seeking to define and protect its national and cultural identity. The work of crafting an identity for a nation is interwoven with the advent of a new generation of leadership. The case focuses on OBAD’s general manager and custodian of the Abu Dhabi brand, a young Emirati woman, Reem Al-Shemari, who exemplifies Generation Y leadership in the UAE.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The purpose of the case is to provide an introduction to a new generation of leaders, particularly the young women who must reconcile traditional values with their professional obligations. The context of the Middle East and the rapidly developing Gulf states allows for reflection on growth issues as well as individual and organisational life-cycle transitions in the face of globalisation and market shifts.

Keywords:
Gen Y Leadership, Abu Dhabi, Middle East, Women Business Leaders in the Middle East, City Branding, Tourism Branding, Cultural Identity in the Middle East, Women in the Middle East, Adec

published: 30 Sep 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: construction
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
Very little has been written about women business leaders in the Middle East. Fatima Al Jaber is the Chief Operating Officer of a multibillion-dollar family owned company in Abu Dhabi. The case traces her personal history, highlights the challenges faced by family businesses in the region, and focuses on the distinctive strengths and leadership styles of Muslim businesswomen. The case will prompt discussion about work-life balance, the significance of culture, and the traditional and transitional roles and responsibilities of women in a rapidly evolving geopolitical context. It can also be used more broadly to compare leadership and gender in Western cultures to more traditional Middle Eastern cultures.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The primary purpose of this case is to provide an introduction to the Middle East and an overview of the issues and challenges faced by working women as they seek to reconcile traditional values with professional demands and obligations. The context of the case includes family business issues, and individual and organisational life cycle transitions. The case can be used with different audiences: I. Students or executives familiar with or living in the Middle East a. A discussion of the importance of family values b. The influence of culture on organisations c. Life cycle transitions and succession and the relevance of gender d. Decisions/action in the public sphere (face-saving and social constraints) II. Students or executives not familiar with the Middle East a. Introducing the region, breaking down stereotypes, finding commonalities b. Exploring family business issues and challenges in a traditional context

Keywords:
Family Business, Family Business Leadership, Muslim Women Leaders, Abu Dhabi, Work Life Balance, Women in the Middle East, Adec, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards, Women in Family Business, Gender

published: 30 Apr 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Packaging
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Perfect Plastics was founded in 1969 by Jim Peters to design and manufacture plastic packaging materials for the fast-food industry. The influence of Jim and his family has always been strongly felt throughout all aspects of the company. His son, Steve, who is executive vice president and COO, has been approached by a lawyer – with whom he occasionally played golf – with an inquiry about his father’s willingness to discuss a sale of the firm. Steve is not sure if Perfect Plastics should be sold but he is concerned that no long-term strategy has been developed, and feels a responsibility to take action.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case goes beyond typical strategic and values issues. The challenge that this family business faces is to decide on a long term-strategy and how to implement it. Through the case it becomes clear that the family's commitment and vision of itself are shaped by the values it holds.

Keywords:
Family Business, Family Business Strategy, Next Generation, Family Values, Family Business, Philosophy, Parallel Planning, Reinvestment Decision, Wicfe, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

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