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Case Studies by Charlotte Butler

64 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 23 Feb 2011

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Faced with increasing parallel imports, Pfizer in Europe decides to change its drug distribution strategy. It introduces a 'Direct to Pharmacy' scheme whereby distributors become mere logistics companies. Pfizer also introduces 'dual pricing' to force wholesalers to sell the drugs in the targeted country. The background is a pharmaceutical industry supply chain where prices and profits are under pressure from parallel imports by wholesalers that undermine drug prices in high-price countries.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates the use of distribution strategy to capture value and set prices. It shows how profit pressure in the supply chain (the pharmaceutical industry and the wholesalers) influences the value capture strategies of the key players, how various tactics may be used to enforce different prices in different countries, and how vertical integration may be used to set prices. It also illustrates how cost and profit pressures lead to industry restructuring, and the role of industry leadership.

Keywords:
Price Discrimination, Vertical Integration, Parallel Pricing, Supply Chain Power, Price Regulation, Value Capturing, Health Care, Distribution Strategy, European Competitiveness Initiative, European Competitiveness, Europe, Best Practices

published: 27 Aug 2010

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
A privately owned and internationally acccredited tertiary care hospital located in southern Malaysia, WHC had grown fast and won many awards for excellence since its foundation in 1990. However, in 2006 a confidential national survey revealed high levels of dissatisfation among its patients, notably concerning wait times. The case focuses on management attempts to identify the causes of this.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for an analysis and discussion of quality management and benchmarking issues in the context of a healthcare provider faced by changing industry dynamics and patients becoming more affluent and demanding. Although set in Malaysia, the issues raised are common to any health care provider.

Keywords:
Total Quality Management, Benchmarking, Customer Focus, Tertiary Health Care, Business Process, Wait Time, Monitoring Patient Satisfaction

published: 29 May 2009

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

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Abstract:
The case describes the efforts of Emirates Bank’s HR team to build a performance-oriented culture in order to facilitate growth. To introduce basic HR processes, resistance to change from the established management hierarchy must be overcome. More recently, business segmentation of the bank and an impending merger raise new challenges for the direction of HR.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To address the following issues: How should the HR function go about managing culture change in a Middle East context? How to improve performance orientation. What should be the strategy of HR when it has the personnel basics in place, as a firm expands, merges, segments and grows? Does the HR as ?business partner? concept make sense in the Middle East?

Keywords:
Performance Management, Platform for Growth, Hr Transformation, Job Family Model, Cultural Change, Business Segmentation, Resistance to Change, Adec

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published: 29 May 2009

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

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Abstract:
The case focuses on the recruitment and retention challenges of Emirates Bank and its HR team as the organisation expands from 900 staff to more than 5500. It highlights the challenges of managing expatriates and locals in the context of nationalisation, and those of changing a culture of traditionally managing retention through salary rises alone. A comprehensive talent management programme is developed, while talent spotting by line management is critical.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To address the following issues: How to attract, develop and retain talent in the booming but volatile environment of the Emirates and Gulf region? What are the levers for talent attraction and retention other than financial rewards (exploring the concept of the employee value proposition)? Managing the localisation (nationalisation) of talent. The challenges of job rotation, gender, and building a reputation as an ?employer of choice?.

Keywords:
Recruitment and Retention, Talent Management, Training and Career Development, Cultural Change, Localization of Managementjob Rotation, Gulf Region, Adec

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published: 30 Dec 2008

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Air Cargo Industry
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
MASkargo, the cargo handling arm of Malaysia Airlines, handles the delivery of cargo round the world via its global network of routes. By 2004 it is faced with declining profitability, a high number of customer complaints about mishandled cargo and low staff morale. The senior management team must come up with a new strategy to ensure its survival.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for a detailed analysis of the challenges ? technological, competitive and financial ? facing service companies (in this case an airline cargo handler) in a context of deregulation, innovation and global competitive pressures. For MASkargo these include the measures it should take to overcome financial losses and reduce operating costs, and the strategies it should develop to improve competitive performance.

Keywords:
Cargo Operations, Productivity, International Competitive Environment, Deregulation, Technological Change, Customer Orientation, Service Excellence, Contract Workers

published: 30 Nov 2008

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Auto industry supplier - car seat covers
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Set up in 1997 as a joint venture with a leading Swedish auto fabric designer and manufacturer to transfer technology know-how, Malaysian SME ABSB aimed to become the leading ASEAN supplier of seat covers, using the state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment acquired from its partner. However, in 2004 it was under pressure to meet tight delivery requirements and meet demands to improve productivity and the quality of its products.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case encourages an analysis of manufacturing and quality problems (specifically in the car seat cover industry) and discussion of the processes and systems a firm needs to put in place to ensure the correction of defects and production efficiency in the future.

Keywords:
Product Quality, Limited Capacity, Delivery Requirements, Defective Products, Joint Venture, Technology, Transfer

published: 30 Nov 2008

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Health care
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
NSC is a subsidiary of Malaysia’s leading healthcare provider, NCH, listed on the KL stock exchange. The case focuses on the declining performance of the Support services department which, under a new leader, is showing signs of low morale and high staff turnover.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for an analysis and discussion of different leadership styles and their potential impact on staff performance in the context of a hospital support services department. Although set in Malaysia, the issues raised are common to any health care provider.

Keywords:
Leadership Style, Hospital Management, Support Services, Cultural Change, Wait Times, Absenteeism, Teamwork and Harmony

published: 30 Nov 2008

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Plastic parts, components manufacture
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Founded by Noraini, a young Malaysian entrepreneur, by 2005 SIPRO Plastics is a leading manufacturer and assembler of plastic parts and components for the Malaysian auto and electronics industries. With sales growth (27% per annum between 1996-2005) expected to slow, she is looking to expand into the region in an effort to double exports to 14% and increase turnover to US$12.3 million over the next two years. But are product and quality standards high enough for overseas markets, and which countries offer the best growth potential?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for an analysis of the strategic choices open to a successful entrepreneur in an emerging country seeking to expand but facing a saturated home market. The region offers a variety of opportunities, but which country would be the best fit, and are all the necessary product and quality processes in place?

Keywords:
Business Development, Entrepreneur, Regional Expansion, Kaizen, Smes, Technical Alliances, National Policy Framework, Strategic Planning

published: 30 Nov 2008

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Local government
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Set in 2004, the case looks at the challenges facing Kuantan Municipal Council, a leading Malaysian local government institution with a reputation for delivering efficient, high-quality services. The city is expected to play a vital role as a major tourist centre and investment hub for East Malaysia, but given its limited human resources and the heavy financial requirements, how can it maintain a motivated workforce able to maintain the current high standards?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for an examination and discussion of key human resource issues such as workforce engagement. In particular, it promotes discussion of the problem of motivating and training a local government workforce to maintain high levels of performance in the face of a restricted budget and increased work burdens.

Keywords:
Quality Control Activities, Benchmarking, Training and Motivation, Empowerment, Workplace Engagement

published: 31 Oct 2008

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Pulp & Paper
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Trata-se de um caso imaginário, estabelecido no Sudeste da Ásia, e que introduz alguns dos dilemas éticos e morais que podem encontrar os gerentes expatriados que trabalham na região.

Pedagogical Objectives:
O presente caso pretende ilustrar os problemas relacionados com a gestão de equipas multiculturais no ambiente da Ásia-Pacífico. Mais concretamente, abrange situações nas quais se encontraram tanto os gerentes expatriados como as corporações responsáveis pela gestão de projectos num país em desenvolvimento, isto é., dilemas éticos e morais, normas ambientais e de segurança, subornos e corrupção.

Keywords:
Dilemas Éticos, Normas Ambientais, Corrupção, Valores Do Ocidente E Do Oriente

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