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Case Studies by Mark Hunter

60 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 19 Dec 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case focuses on the contribution of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an American trade organization based on an industry-wide collaboration and a multi-stakeholder approach, to the fashion industry. The Higg Index is a self-assessment tool that aims to measure and reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel supply chains. While the SAC’s initiative is succeeding as far as the global scenario is concerned (measured by the number of member companies and adoption of the Higg Index), the challenge is changing. New strategically relevant issues force SAC to re-evaluate its approach to future expansion.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case was designed for MBA and EMBA sessions on sustainability and social innovation to help students: • analyse the value of self-regulation through an example of self-regulation in the apparel and textile industry (see background on social self-regulation mechanisms in this note); • analyse the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and its self-assessment tool, the Higg Index, and evaluate conditions under which the SAC can be successful; • examine how competitors in the market come together when a common strategic issue such as sustainability emerges; • discuss how collaboration can enable companies to focus on product and process innovation; • critically analyse the pros and cons of the SAC’s operations strategy; • identify the risks of self-regulation (for companies and for SAC); • discuss the nature of “wicked problems” and their relevance for managers.

Keywords:
Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Textile Industry, Self-Regulation, Higg Index, Patagonia, Wal-Mart, Fast Fashion, Sustainable Fashion, Jason Kibbey, Rick Ridgeway, Apparel Industry, Wicked Problems, Pilot Washing, Self-Assessment

published: 28 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Motor vehicles and passenger car bodies
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
In 1998, Renault proposed an alliance with Nissan, the Japanese auto manufacturing giant which was in financial trouble. Subsequently, a Renault team led by Carlos Ghosn helped Nissan achieve one of the most spectacular turnarounds in recent history. The alliance partners continued to grow through synergies of distribution, manufacturing and know-how that enabled significant cost reductions. Yet within a decade it became apparent that Renault was growing less quickly and less profitably than its partner. Whereas Nissan profited from better access to the US market and from selling upscale models under the Infiniti brand (which later attracted Daimler to join the alliance), Renault competed mainly in the small and mid-size car segments in Europe, a congested, competitive segment with low margins. In 2015, the French government sought to consolidate its control over Renault, and by extension Nissan, which was 43.4 % owned by Renault. Clearly the alliance had reached a turning point in which Nissan’s relative advantages had to be taken into account.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To analyse how the governance of an alliance must evolve to reflect the contributions and benefits of each partner. Nissan’s superior profitability raises the question of why ownership and governance structures still assume Renault predominates. 2. To analyse the potential and limits of cooperation among partners over time. The case shows the mechanisms used to deepen cooperation as well as the phases of development that ultimately upset the internal balance of the alliance as Nissan becomes the dominant partner. Simultaneously, Renault restructures and its workers are asked to make sacrifices, setting the stage for government intervention. 3. The role of alliance leaders in addressing various stakeholders. As CEO of two major firms bound by a close partnership, Ghosn’s turnaround of Nissan is unique. Yet his succession remains unclear, and a period of turbulence sets in as the government votes against a proposed pay increase for the Renault chief. 4. To discuss the specific nature of state owned or influenced companies in global competition and international alliances. By 2015 Renault’s viability rests on dividends from Nissan and its “Entry” product line and brand. Cuts in production in France to remain competitive become a major source of tension with the French state, still the majority shareholder.

Keywords:
Renault, Nissan, Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, Automobile Manufacturing, Strategic Alliance, Alliance Synergies, Daimler, Logan, Louis Schweitzer, France, Japan, Cross-Functional Teams, Cross-Cultural Alliances, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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: 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

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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:
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: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Engineering and Construction
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Case A offers an overview and Case B explores specific aspects of a major Indian construction firm which seeks to use corporate social responsibility as a strategic tool in its quest for rapid growth at home and abroad. Source materials include on-site interviews of the firm’s executives, line managers and workers in Delhi, Mumbai and Lavasa, as well as corporate reports, scholarly articles, and domestic and international press articles.

Pedagogical Objectives:
How can corporate social responsibility contribute to the profitability of a firm? More than 60 years after the concept of CSR first emerged, examples remain sparse and it has been frequently cited as a defensive strategy to protect a firm’s reputation or license to operate (Vogel, 2005). On the positive side, it is claimed that CSR strengthens a firm’s ability to compete for and retain superior talent (McElhaney, 2009). Porter and Kramer (2011) argue that CSR can create “shared value” through reconceiving products and markets and by redefining productivity in the value chain. The HCC case suggests significant nuances and new additions to these known/projected benefits.

Keywords:
Hindustan Construction Company (hcc), India, Engineering and Construction (e&c), Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Relief, Infrastructure

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published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Engineering and Construction
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Case A offers an overview and Case B explores specific aspects of a major Indian construction firm which seeks to use corporate social responsibility as a strategic tool in its quest for rapid growth at home and abroad. Source materials include on-site interviews of the firm’s executives, line managers and workers in Delhi, Mumbai and Lavasa, as well as corporate reports, scholarly articles, and domestic and international press articles.

Pedagogical Objectives:
How can corporate social responsibility contribute to the profitability of a firm? More than 60 years after the concept of CSR first emerged, examples remain sparse and it has been frequently cited as a defensive strategy to protect a firm’s reputation or license to operate (Vogel, 2005). On the positive side, it is claimed that CSR strengthens a firm’s ability to compete for and retain superior talent (McElhaney, 2009). Porter and Kramer (2011) argue that CSR can create “shared value” through reconceiving products and markets and by redefining productivity in the value chain. The HCC case suggests significant nuances and new additions to these known/projected benefits.

Keywords:
Hindustan Construction Company (hcc), India, Engineering and Construction (e&c), Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Relief, Infrastructure

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published: 27 May 2013

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Newspapers, publishing
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In the 1990s, following the fall of the Soviet empire, a wave of English-language newspaper emerged in Eastern Europe. Among the most significant was the Kyiv Post, which by the end of the decade had established a reputation as the leading independent news source in Ukraine. From its shoestring beginnings, by 2006 it had become a $US55 million enterprise. However, the newspaper's independence and survival was severely tested in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case aims to stimulate discussion about the commercial value of independence in news media, and how financial and content management are key to ensuring survival and ultimately prosperity in a media enterprise. The diverse ventures of KP Media underline the critical importance of strategic planning to achieve and maintain success. A further key issue is how alliances can support the offer and reduce the cost structure of independent media. A final, crucial issue is how to cope with severe pressure from stakeholders such as government in developing economies, while simultaneously maintaining the motivation and reputation of editorial staff.

Keywords:
Media, Media Management, Publishing, Newspapers, Digital Publishing, Investigative Reporting, Ukraine, Kyiv Post

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