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Case Studies by Brian Henry

34 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Wholesale-Beer, Wine & Distilled Alcoholic Beverages
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case goes back in time to the ‘golden age’ of Absolut when contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring painted the unusual bottle to the amazement of the global arts community. The nearly accidental collaboration with artists in the glorious years turned the brand into a must-have aspirational drink to be consumed at chic bars and art fairs. Based on the vivid recollections of Vadim Grigorian (INSEAD MBA ‘00J), the case uncovers the awakening of new paradigm, the brand as acultural agent of contemporary art in consumer society. In his retelling of these events, hitherto unknown, the marketing executive recaptures the essence of Absolut during its hey day from the mid-1980s to 2011 in an exquisitely told and unusual account of cultural engagement.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used by instructors teaching specialized courses in marketing and communication, and marketing research. By focusing on the engagement of Absolut with contemporary art and culture, the case prompts discussion of the role of brands as cultural agents. It draws students into a discovery process, tracing the relationship that Absolut, acquired by the global drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard in 2008, developed with young artists, fashion photographers, musicians, and even designers of art bars and cocktail recipes. It can start a conversation about the future of cultural engagement strategies that many brands have embarked on, for example, when a brand needs to move on from a wildly successful personality to a more nuanced image that appeals to a broader customer base. The short case is a page-turner that will satisfy a broad range of intellectual interests.

Keywords:
Absolut, Keith Haring, Vadim Grigorian, Documenta, Venice Biennale, Michel Roux, Spirits, Andy Warhol, Pernod-Ricard, Arts and Culture, Tbwa, Grey Goose, Grey Goose, Bottle

published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Motor vehicles and passenger car bodies
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case looks at the enormous disruption affecting the entire automotive industry through the eyes of a recently hired CRM expert at the British premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover who keeps the marketing team grounded by taking a customer-centric approach. The case provides a clear sense of purpose about the typical customer journey and the touchpoints where the car maker can reach out to the customer with relevant and timely information. The case reveals the way in which JLR collects data and customer intelligence during the product lifecycle in clear and easy-to-understand terms. One of the highlights of the case is the use of ethnographic research to strengthen the relationship between the target customer and the brand. The case also examines the creative use of smart-data analytics for decision making and the innovative deployment of conjoint analysis for simulating output volumes against price points.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed for marketing professors especially those who teach courses in market research. Written in plain English, the case can be understood by students who are interested in learning how one of the most innovative car makers in Europe leverages market research along every step of the customer journey. Using the case, instructors can expect a lively discussion in the classroom since the British car company in question, Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Tata Motors, an Indian family-owned conglomerate, appeals to a wide range of students. Instructors can also demonstrate the role of CRM solutions in being able to leverage data through smart-data analytics in the fast-changing automotive sector.

Keywords:
Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Tata Motors, Ford, Crm, Jlr, Cloudcar, Data Analytics, F-Pace, I-Pace, Range Rover, Defender, Formula E

published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Internal Affairs
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case explores the murky world of tax havens and hidden wealth. The so-called ‘Panama Papers’, ‘Paradise Papers’, ‘Swiss Leaks’ and ‘LuxLeaks’ are essentially digital dumps that exposed where the the ultra-rich had for decades stashed their billions to evade paying taxes. Academics such as Gabriel Zucman have mined these revelations for insights about global wealth inequality. Their research and that of investigative journalists have put public policymakers under pressure to make laws to “regain control over globalized financial capitalism” as economist Thomas Piketty calls it, arguing that the continued legality of tax havens puts at stake the basic social contract on which democracies are founded, and that the resulting shortfall in tax revenues deprives advanced economies of resources for nation building for future generations.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This short case is designed to spark discussion among students regardless of background. Starting with the electronic dumps that have provided huge amounts of data for academic researchers and investigative journalists, it describes the vast amount of wealth that is hidden in tax havens and the taxation policies designed to entice the super-rich to keep their wealth ‘at home’. It can be used for students from undergraduate to MBA, part-time masters and executive education. Instructors of public policy courses can use it to discuss taxation issues. In family business courses it can focus on intergenerational transfers of wealth. Instructors of courses on international business can highlight the role of globalization in hidden wealth. Experientially, the case enables students to visualize a world where tax evasion offers no advantages.

Keywords:
Wealth Inequality, Tax Havens, Wealth Taxes, Corruption, Transparency International, Thomas Piketty, Panama Papers, Hidden Wealth, Tax Evasion, Swissleaks and Luxleaks, Tax Shelters, Icij,gabriel Zucman, Paradise Papers

published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Transportation
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case highlights a bloodless succession coup that was over within weeks following the death of the founder of one of the largest conglomerates in Taiwan. In January 2016, Chairman Chang Yung-fa, 88, founder of Evergreen Group, died, leaving a handwritten testament disinheriting his three sons from his first deceased wife. All of his assets, plus the position of Chairman, were supposed to go to his only son from his second wife. Did that happen as the founder thought it would? Absolutely not. He had apparently overlooked the majority shareholdings of his first three sons, which made his will not worth the paper it was written on. The three sons voted, with their majority shareholdings, their half-brother out of the family-run business altogether. For one or two weeks, the young man nursed his ejection, literally—he had been CEO of Eva Airways, a key division of the conglomerate, and a respected pilot. But it soon dawned on him that his remaining assets—the modest sum of €1.5 billion—could be used to launch a new airline company in Taiwan. This is where the cases leaves the four Chang brothers. The case brings into sharp relief what can happen when no long-term planning is put in place by even the most respected of founders.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case focuses the attention of students, execs, family leaders, next gens and all those interested in family business, on the critical importance of long-term planning. One of the biggest challenges facing owner-managers in family firms is the design and implementation of a long-term plan that will ensure the sustainability of their firms for decades to come. To this end, owner-managers will learn to go beyond the day-to-day activities to consider a diverse range of strategic questions that will come up in 10 or 20 years’ time. They will create a transparent system of rules and procedures so that the possible roles of individual family members are communicated well in advance of retirement, health problems or death. Owner-managers who have the courage to confront difficult and emotionally charged issues that arise in family businesses can thus avoid the type of breakup of a family-run business as happened to the Evergreen Group following the death of its founder.

Keywords:
Evergreen Group, Chairman Chang, Eva Airways, Starlux, Chang Yung-Fa Foundation, Yang Ming, Evergreen Line, Family Succession, Taiwanese Conglomerate, Family Business, Chang Yung-Fa, Chang Kuo-Wei, Bronson Hsieh, Transasia Airways

published: 29 Jan 2018

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case examines the reforms to the French labour code made by President Emmanuel Macron after his election in April 2017, essentially designed to loosen restrictions on hiring and firing. The new laws gave smaller companies more flexibility in negotiating wages and conditions directly with employees (rather than being bound by industry-wide collective deals negotiated by trade unions) and the right to lay off workers in periods of economic difficulty. In the context of an upturn, Macron was hoping the reforms would encourage foreign investment such as financial institutions relocating in response to Brexit. He resorted to issuing executive decrees (ordonnances) to avoid the massive street protests typically sparked by macro-economic adjustments in France, ultimately consolidating his leadership at home and in the larger European Union.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is ideal for economic and political science instructors for a discussion of labour reform in a country reputed for rigid regulations, highlighting the role of the executive in pushing through macro-economic changes after decades of stubbornly high unemployment. At the regional level, Macron has shifted the balance of power in the European Union by aligning himself with the German Chancellor both in approach and level of influence, in a combined effort to strengthen the European bloc in the face of Brexit and the rise of populist movements in Austria, Poland and Hungary.

Keywords:
Emmanuel Macron, Labour Reforms, Thomas Piketty, Jean Tirole, Eric Cohen, Judith Krivine, Myriam El Khomri, French Economy, Flexicurity, Francois Hollande, Prud’hommes, Unemployment, Trade Unions, Negotiations

published: 27 Nov 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Radio, Television, Consumer Electronics
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This three-part case covers the history of Samsung from its origins as a small trucking company to one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. Part A, “Drivers of Success, Family Assets and Business Strategy”, charts the growth of Korea’s the export-led economy after the end of Japanese occupation in 1945, driven by a handful of family-owned ‘chaebols’. Founder Lee Byung-chull’s trucking business, set up in 1938, diversified in the aftermath of the Korean War, as he forged a strong political network that enabled him to embed his family’s influence and assets in the business strategy. Part B, “Heart Attack Puts Succession Planning at Risk”, describes how the ill health of the second-generation leader Lee Kun-hee deprived the firm of a clear succession plan. As the de facto leader of Samsung, his son had to build up his power base to assume the role in the context of a complex ownership structure. Part C, “Court calls time out on Lee Jae-yong”, examines how the de facto heir was convicted of bribery and given a five-year prison sentence, prompting speculation that he would run the Samsung empire from his cell.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The three parts can be used together or as stand-alone cases in the classroom. Part A (16 pages) explores the success of a family business with modest beginnings, transformed within a generation into a major conglomerate; the role of the second-generation leader who transformed the export-driven firm into a global company with factories and R&D facilities all over the world; and the role of family relationships that enabled the Lee clan to retain ownership over the sprawling enterprise. Instructors can use the shorter Part B (11 pages) to look at the Lee family and the choices available to the de facto heir after his father’s heart attack; the tax avoidance measures he must have taken (in view of Korea’s hefty 50% tax on estates of this size); and the much publicized merger of two Samsung affiliates that was clearly not in the interests of minority investors. Part C (10 pages) enables discussion of the legal ramifications of illegal behavior and the possibility of reforming aspects of the family-run chaebols, which critics blame for the state of the economy today.

Keywords:
Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, Korea, Lee Byung-Chull, Chaebol, Lee Kun-Hee, Lee Boo-Jin, Lee Seo-Hyun, Paul Elliott Singer, Elliot Management, Park Geun-Hye, Park Chung-Hee, Samsung Electronics, Conglomerates

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published: 27 Nov 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Radio, Television, Consumer Electronics
  • Region: Asia

Show details ...

Abstract:
This three-part case covers the history of Samsung from its origins as a small trucking company to one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. Part A, “Drivers of Success, Family Assets and Business Strategy”, charts the growth of Korea’s the export-led economy after the end of Japanese occupation in 1945, driven by a handful of family-owned ‘chaebols’. Founder Lee Byung-chull’s trucking business, set up in 1938, diversified in the aftermath of the Korean War, as he forged a strong political network that enabled him to embed his family’s influence and assets in the business strategy. Part B, “Heart Attack Puts Succession Planning at Risk”, describes how the ill health of the second-generation leader Lee Kun-hee deprived the firm of a clear succession plan. As the de facto leader of Samsung, his son had to build up his power base to assume the role in the context of a complex ownership structure. Part C, “Court calls time out on Lee Jae-yong”, examines how the de facto heir was convicted of bribery and given a five-year prison sentence, prompting speculation that he would run the Samsung empire from his cell.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The three parts can be used together or as stand-alone cases in the classroom. Part A (16 pages) explores the success of a family business with modest beginnings, transformed within a generation into a major conglomerate; the role of the second-generation leader who transformed the export-driven firm into a global company with factories and R&D facilities all over the world; and the role of family relationships that enabled the Lee clan to retain ownership over the sprawling enterprise. Instructors can use the shorter Part B (11 pages) to look at the Lee family and the choices available to the de facto heir after his father’s heart attack; the tax avoidance measures he must have taken (in view of Korea’s hefty 50% tax on estates of this size); and the much publicized merger of two Samsung affiliates that was clearly not in the interests of minority investors. Part C (10 pages) enables discussion of the legal ramifications of illegal behavior and the possibility of reforming aspects of the family-run chaebols, which critics blame for the state of the economy today.

Keywords:
Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, Korea, Lee Byung-Chull, Chaebol, Lee Kun-Hee, Lee Boo-Jin, Lee Seo-Hyun, Paul Elliott Singer, Elliot Management, Park Geun-Hye, Park Chung-Hee, Samsung Electronics, Conglomerates

Related:

published: 27 Nov 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Radio, Television, Consumer Electronics
  • Region: Asia

Show details ...

Abstract:
This three-part case covers the history of Samsung from its origins as a small trucking company to one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. Part A, “Drivers of Success, Family Assets and Business Strategy”, charts the growth of Korea’s the export-led economy after the end of Japanese occupation in 1945, driven by a handful of family-owned ‘chaebols’. Founder Lee Byung-chull’s trucking business, set up in 1938, diversified in the aftermath of the Korean War, as he forged a strong political network that enabled him to embed his family’s influence and assets in the business strategy. Part B, “Heart Attack Puts Succession Planning at Risk”, describes how the ill health of the second-generation leader Lee Kun-hee deprived the firm of a clear succession plan. As the de facto leader of Samsung, his son had to build up his power base to assume the role in the context of a complex ownership structure. Part C, “Court calls time out on Lee Jae-yong”, examines how the de facto heir was convicted of bribery and given a five-year prison sentence, prompting speculation that he would run the Samsung empire from his cell.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The three parts can be used together or as stand-alone cases in the classroom. Part A (16 pages) explores the success of a family business with modest beginnings, transformed within a generation into a major conglomerate; the role of the second-generation leader who transformed the export-driven firm into a global company with factories and R&D facilities all over the world; and the role of family relationships that enabled the Lee clan to retain ownership over the sprawling enterprise. Instructors can use the shorter Part B (11 pages) to look at the Lee family and the choices available to the de facto heir after his father’s heart attack; the tax avoidance measures he must have taken (in view of Korea’s hefty 50% tax on estates of this size); and the much publicized merger of two Samsung affiliates that was clearly not in the interests of minority investors. Part C (10 pages) enables discussion of the legal ramifications of illegal behavior and the possibility of reforming aspects of the family-run chaebols, which critics blame for the state of the economy today.

Keywords:
Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, Korea, Lee Byung-Chull, Chaebol, Lee Kun-Hee, Lee Boo-Jin, Lee Seo-Hyun, Paul Elliott Singer, Elliot Management, Park Geun-Hye, Park Chung-Hee, Samsung Electronics, Conglomerates

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published: 06 Nov 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Bakery products
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case highlights a failed attempt to ‘liberate’ management and employees from traditional business practices at a factory in France. It closely follows the events that took place at Poult during a 10-year period that began in 2006. It draws on the astute reflections of the last CEO at Poult, who, until his dismissal in 2017, was actively engaged in building an alternative culture among the firm’s 800 factory workers, machine operators and technicians. Thanks to detailed analysis, the case offers insight into the matrix of activities that constitute a ‘liberated enterprise’, from building autonomous teams to driving innovation from the bottom up.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers instructors a rare opportunity to discuss an alternative approach to traditional top-down management techniques. With a neutral voice, the case recounts a 10-year experiment in organizational design that changed the behaviour of hundreds of factory employees in France. Students may be surprised to learn that the main protagonist ultimately lost his job as CEO as a result of his commitment to the employees, who had embraced the radically new organizational design he had introduced 10 years earlier. The case serves to inspire students to align their beliefs with their career aspirations.

Keywords:
Entreprise Libérée, Poult, Semco, Ricardo Semler, Charles Van Der Haegen, Mehdi Berrada, Carlos Verkaeren, Banketgroep, Panier-Tanguy, Michel Et Augustin, W.l. Gore, Liberating Leadership, Isaac Getz, Biscuits

published: 25 Sep 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Retail trade
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case documents the emergence of Artsy, a digital solution to the sale of artwork. Once the preserve of the elite, the art market has been democratized by the founder Carter Cleveland, who in 2012 created an online catalogue of painting, photography, sculpture, film and video, and design. The curated platform features works by 70,000 artists, including Pablo Picasso and even a drawing by Vincent Van Gogh. How the young Princeton graduate became the go-to art player for museums and major auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s is attributed to a business model based on a network of gallery owners, museum curators, art fair organizers and auctioneers, and the creation of a unique database that renders artwork accessible. A truly global powerhouse, Artsy offers art lovers a secure portal to the world’s leading purveyors of art.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be taught in executive education seminars and elective MBA courses in the following courses: luxury management, art history, e-commerce, digital marketing, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. It allows instructors to focus on a wide range of issues related to the sale of artwork—e.g., as a means to discuss the power and diversity of e-commerce solutions, a way to look at innovation in entrepreneurship, the methodology of forging powerful alliances, and the need to offer continuous education to customers.

Keywords:
Artsy, E-Commerce, Carter Cleveland, Artwork, Art Dealers, Sebastian Cwilich, Online Platform, Auctionata, Auction Houses, Museums, Larry Gagosian, Art Genome Project, Christie’s, Sotheby’s

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