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Award Winning & Best Selling Cases

Did you know that INSEAD wrote 6 of the 10 best-selling cases distributed by the Case Centre in the past 40 years? That INSEAD cases were the Overall Winner of 5 of the last 10 Case Centre Global Case Awards? And that INSEAD cases are used in more than 100 business schools and universities around the world?

178 case studies

published: 29 May 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Public transportation/Taxi
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case explores the changes wrought by the “sharing economy”, examining the innovations and controversies surrounding the online ride-hailing service Uber. It provides a unique overview of the challenges posed by new business models like Uber’s, which use the internet to link individual providers of goods and services to customers. Raising significant economic, social and environmental sustainability issues, it asks: what are the responsibilities of “sharing economy” companies? More specifically, are they merely “technological platforms” facilitating transactions for private individuals or do they have the same responsibilities as real-world companies such as transportation businesses, hotels and employment agencies?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To explore the societal changes brought about by the “sharing economy” model and examine the role of corporate social responsibility and sustainability in developing that new economy. 2. To examine the difficulty of defining the “sharing economy” and explore how various possible definitions influence such companies’ responsibilities and how they are regulated. 3. To facilitate discussion of issues such as labour relations and regulatory oversight of companies created by emerging technologies. 4. To explore the potential for greater sustainability through the adoption of “sharing economy” business models. 5. To encourage discussion of positive and negative strategies that technology companies can use to engage with regulators when introducing new platforms and business models.

Keywords:
Sharing Economy, Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital Economy, Digital Disruption, New Business Models, Labour Rights, Consumer Safety, Business Regulation, Taxi Companies, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Ethics and Social Responsibility
- Second Prize in the Corporate Sustainability track of oikos Case Writing Competition 2017

published: 26 Aug 2016

  • Industry: Retail, Technology, eCommerce
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
After 18 months of attempting to transition the company to holacracy, Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ celebrity CEO, decided it was time to make the change happen. In March 2015, he sent an email to all Zappos employees offering them 3 months’ severance pay if they felt that self-management was not for them. One month later, 14% of the workforce had quit, including 20% of the tech department, potentially putting at risk a complex transition to a new online platform mandated by parent company Amazon. The case recounts how Tony Hsieh financed, championed, and ultimately became CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos. A passionate entrepreneur who made millions at a young age, Hsieh was known for his penthouse parties, for what he referred to as his “tribe”. He brought the same sense of community to Zappos, which he moved from San Francisco to Las Vegas where employees could “be like family”. Despite the company’s unabashedly weird culture, it had the lowest employee turnover rate in the industry. Widely admired for its outstanding customer service, Zappos was repeatedly listed among Fortune’s “Best Places To Work.” When in 2009 Amazon acquired Zappos for $1.2 billion, it promised to preserve its management and culture. But Hsieh’s decision to implement holacracy – a form of organizational self-management that replaces job titles and hierarchy with “circles” that employees step in and out of according to their preferences and skills – was less popular than hoped. Hence his “rip the Band-Aid” approach, to ensure that only employees committed to the change remained at the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
- Analyzing the role of culture in developing an organization’s competitive advantage - Discussing the purpose and impact of structure on those within an organization - Understanding the emotional experience of organizational change - Evaluating leadership in the context of radical change

Keywords:
Organizational Culture, Structure, Organizational Change, Leadership, Leading Change, Management, Holacracy

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2018 Case Awards Winner, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category, Case Centre
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour

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published: 26 Aug 2016

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Abstract:
Read a related Knowledge article "Lessons in Digital Transformation from the Hotel Industry" by David Dubois.

The case focuses on AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. Responding to a powerful wave of digital disruptions in the hospitality ecosystem, from the emergence of review websites, online travel agents and active forums to the rise of new competitors such as Airbnb, the transformation entailed: (1) designing and implementing an innovative content marketing strategy (including online content creation or co-creation, curation and dissemination) (2) incorporating e-reputation as a core business objective, and (3) creating and/or adapting organizational structures – from management to operations – to support this new dynamic and maximize value creation.
The case starts in Fall 2015, when Olivier Arnoux, SVP Customer Satisfaction at AccorHotels, and his team, are asked to devise an ambitious plan to address the new challenges facing major players in the hotel industry brought about by digital disruptions. It follows the decision-making process step by step, from (1) understanding the nature and impact of online content in the customer journey, to (2) building a strategic plan to integrate online insights into AccorHotels’ core business objectives (in particular the importance of e-reputation), (3) redefining where and how value is created, and creating incentive structures aligned with the new objectives. Participants have multiple opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists so as to understand the logic behind the decisions taken.
What is novel is the systematic articulation of how digital and social media impact the customer journey, as well as the integration of online content into marketing strategy (i.e., content marketing) and organizational design (i.e., team structure, incentive system), underlining how embracing the digital revolution entails breaking traditional silos between functions such as marketing, strategy, finance and human resources.
Detailed information on the consumer, the ecosystem, the firm, marketing and financial indicators is provided. Teaching notes and accompanying PowerPoint presentations suggest appropriate classroom exercises and include supplemental material and databases for group exercises. Videos provide insight on what drove the digital transformation and vividly illustrate its implementation and initial impressive results. They include interviews with Emilie Couton (Vice President Digital Marketing Asia Pacific), a video-recorded session of Olivier Arnoux on the digital transformation at AccorHotels, as well as examples of content created or co-created by AccorHotels.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation in order to foster customer-centricity. A discussion of the nature and role of online content in shifting consumer behavior in the hoteling industry serves as a basis to explore how companies can create value at different points of the customer journey and what these steps entail. The case also touches on a variety of important strategic, organizational and operational decisions that the company must undertake to fully leverage online content and can be used to address the following broad questions (Specific questions are available in the teaching note): 1) How does online content stemming from digital and social media create value in the hoteling industry? 2) How can a company actively manage online content and implement a content strategy? and 3) What aspects of its organizational design a company need to remodel in order to maximize value creation through digital and social media.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Content Marketing, Customer Centricity, Hoteling & Tourism, Social Media Marketing, Customer Journey, Consumer Experiences, Digital Disruptions e-Reputation, Reputation Management, Accorhotels Booking Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Online Reviews, Social Media Listening, Digital Organizational Integration, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2018 Case Awards Winner, Marketing Category, Case Centre
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2017 AFM-CCMP Award for the Best case study in Marketing, Finalist

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published: 23 Jun 2014

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Abstract:
The case focuses on an innovative social media strategy by L'Oréal Paris to "listen" to consumers, then develop a product to meet consumer needs and market it. First, the company partnered with Google to track emerging styles and determine which (if any) would endure. Then it leveraged social media when deciding how to position, name and launch the product.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access video interviews and other support material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The following objectives can be pursued individually or in combination: 1) How to harness social media buzz to uncover a consumer need 2) How social media fosters market learning ; Google and YouTube's role in identifying trends 3) How to identify fads versus enduring trends 4) New Product Development using social media 5) Marketing implementation

Keywords:
Social Media, Listening Strategy, New Product Development, Consumer Trends, Strategic Marketing, Online Trends, Google, Youtube, Big Data, Advocacy Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Marketing Research, Fashion Trends, Community Strategy, Search Engine, Social Media Listening, Marketing Strategy, New Technologies, Community Marketing

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2017 Case Awards Winner, Marketing Category, Case Centre
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2015 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- Runner Up for 2015 AFM-CCMP Best Marketing Case

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published: 28 Apr 2014

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Manufacturing, Tech, Banking, Education, Hotel
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
The case follows the story of Brazilian business leader, Ricardo Semler, who took the family marine-pump business, Semco, to multi-national, multi-sector success. To do so, Ricardo Semler dramatically changed his own leadership style by relinquishing control and working less hard, and subsequently transformed the culture at Semco via a radical process of workplace democratisation. Finally, he applied the same leadership principles successfully to other industries: hotels, education, and banking.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Highlight the effects of different leadership styles in different situations; the organizational consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and different types incentive systems; the self-fulfilling effects of leadership behavior; and how leaders can use the change process to transform an organisation's culture

Keywords:
Leadership, Motivation, Organisational Change, Incentive Systems, Organizational Culture, Transformational Leadership, Iaf, Wicfe, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- Winner of 2016 Case Centre Awards, Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour category

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published: 25 May 2011

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Multiple
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This is an international version of the classic ratio detective exercise that is found in many US-based textbooks and other case series. The objective is to initiate students into balance sheet analysis via the use of common-size balance sheets. The case helps students to understand how the economics of the firm are revealed in the firm’s financial statements. Effectively employed, it can also teach students to think about the links between asset composition and financial structures, and how these relate to industry economics.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to initiate students into balance sheet analysis via the use of common-size balance sheets. The case helps students to understand how the economics of the firm are revealed in the firm’s financial statements. Effectively employed, it can also teach students to think about the links between asset composition and financial structures, and how these relate to industry economics.

Keywords:
Common Size Balance Sheet, Financial Statement Analysis, Ratio Analysis

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Finance, Accounting and Control
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Finance, Accounting and Control
- 2016 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Finance, Accounting and Control
- 2015 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Finance, Accounting and Control

published: 25 Jan 2011

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Banking
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In January 2008, Société Générale, revealed that trader Jerome Kerviel had exposed the bank to 50 billion euros in apparently unhedged and unauthorized trades, resulting in 4.9 billion euros of losses when his positions were unwound. This case provides an opportunity to explore the motivations underlying Kerviel’s conduct and the failure of the bank’s internal controls as well as other organizational and sociological factors in this incident and the broader 2008 financial crisis.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To explore the motivations underlying individual unethical conduct - including, specifically, the motivations of "rogue traders" - and the role of rationalisations used by individuals to attempt to justify their unethical conduct. 2. To examine the role of organisational factors in facilitating or constraining unethical conduct. 3. To explore the strengths and weaknesses of compliance and control systems intended to prevent individual unethical conduct and rogue traders more specifically. 4. To consider arguments that, in part, attribute the 2008 financial crisis to the role of banks in encouraging high risk behaviour by traders.

Keywords:
Banking, Finance, Ethics, Financial Crisis, Control and Compliance Systems, Rogue Traders, Fraud, Rationalisations for Unethical Conduct

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Ethics and Social Responsibility

published: 31 Jan 2009

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Tires
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
A French executive with Michelin is expatriated from Clermont-Ferrand to South Carolina. Initially confident in his leadership skills, the protagonist learns quickly that many aspects of leading a team are quite different in the American environment. Although he ultimately succeeds, Chalon initially struggles to understand the different culture in which he is working and adapt his style accordingly.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Help participants of any nationality understand the complexity of leading in a multi-cultural environment. 2. Establish that ideas about key leadership elements such as providing constructive feedback and motivating employees may vary dramatically from one cultural environment to another. 3. Identify and develop strategies for maximising success when leading in a cross-cultural environment.

Keywords:
Cross-Cultural, Intercultural/inter-Cultural, Multicultural/ Multi-Cultural, Performance Feedback, National Culture, Leadership, Global Leadership, International Human Resources

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2015 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2014 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2013 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2012 ecch Best Selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- 2011 ecch Best Selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
- Winner of 2010 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category

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published: 02 Jan 2004

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Abstract:
Unilever is a solid leader in the Brazilian detergent powder market with an 81% market share. Laercio Cardoso must decide (1) whether Unilever should divert money from its premium brands to target the lower-margin segment of low-income consumers, (2) whether Unilever can reposition or extend one of its existing brands to avoid launching a new brand, and (3) what price, product, promotion, and distribution strategy would allow Unilever to deliver value to low-income consumers without cannibalizing its own premium brands too heavily.
Instructors can access video interviews with the managers mentioned in the case, television commercials, and PowerPoint presentations to be used in the classroom or as handouts on the dedicated case website using the login and password mentioned in the teaching note.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case deals with the question of whether marketing and branding create value for really poor consumers. It can therefore be used in an MBA, executive education or undergraduate core course on marketing management to illustrate the value of marketing and the marketing approach, or in a brand management course to explore the frontiers of branding. This case can also be used in a consumer behaviour course to examine the motivations and decision-making process of low-income consumers. Alternatively, it can be used in a global marketing or global strategy and management course to study the way multinational companies adapt their strategy to compete in emerging countries.

Keywords:
Media Support, Branding, Low-Income Consumers, Marketing, Poverty, New Product Introduction, Break-Even Analysis, Advertising, Pricing, Poor, Distribution, Promotion, Product, Powder, Detergent, Guimaraes, Brazil, Unilever

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2015 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2014 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Marketing
- 2013 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Marketing
- 2012 ecch Best Selling Case in Marketing
- 2011 ecch Best Selling Case in Marketing
- 2010 ecch Best Selling Case in Marketing
- 2009 ecch Best Selling Case in Marketing

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published: 02 Jul 2002

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Retail – Textile Apparel
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case was written to illustrate the importance of business process design as a basis for competition in the textile industry. The case illustrates the impressive performance of Zara, the new fashion player from Spain, which has innovated in process design so as to deliver new collections in its stores with a lead-time of 5 to 7 days. The more traditional approach in textile retailing is illustrated here by Marks & Spencer (M&S), the well-known UK retailer. Notwithstanding M&S’s current problems, the case does not fall into an overly simple comparison between a young, innovative competitor and an aging glory.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The authors have taught this case both in executive education and in the MBA core class on process and operations management. There are four important concepts that we typically stress, more or less, depending on pedagogical objectives: - Newsvendor losses in the textile industry - The role of postponement in final design - The "lean enterprise" aspect of Zara - Process competition and innovation, embedded in technology evolution

Keywords:
Singapore, Process Competition, Operations Management, Supply Chain, Retail Apparel, Delayed Customisation, Delayed Customization, Time-Based Competition, Newsboy Model, Innovation, Services, Disruptive Technologies

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2016 Best Selling Cases In France, Production / Logistique
- 2016 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2015 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2014 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2013 Case Centre Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2012 ecch Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2011 ecch Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management
- 2010 ecch Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management

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