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Selected Case

published: 18 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

Abstract:
The case explores leadership and professionalization issues at Fibbie Cornuda, an Italian manufacturer of ski boot buckles and automotive parts that utilize metal cold-forming technology. The founder’s daughter has worked in the finance department, but left to do an MBA. Although potentially his successor, she urges Pino to hire professional management for the successful but somewhat disorganized firm, which has been run “from the top down”. Approaching retirement, Pino has unrivalled know-how, charisma, and pride in having built an industry leader in his own image. But with competition rising, the business needs a more formal structure if it is to stay ahead after the succession. Given Pino’s commercial knowledge, strong personality and opinions, there is a risk he’ll interfere in management once he retires. Georgia has her father’s ear, but what exactly should she recommend?

Pedagogical Objectives:
How to build organizational routines and structure in a company where things work well but not well enough to survive a power transition and ensure future growth. How to effectively routinize highly technical knowledge that is possessed by a single (senior) person. How to handle delicate family business successions and transition to a professional CEO. How to manage an organization marked by the founder’s values and traditions to the point where employees may not thrive if the founder is replaced by an outsider. A complementary case entitled “Fibbie Cornuda: Operations and Supply Chain Management” has been written by the authors with entirely different pedagogical objectives. (Note: names have been changed at the request of the family).

Keywords:
Formalizing Organizations, Organizational Structure, Family Business, Leadership, Founder Transition, Organizational Behaviour, Organizational Culture, Organizational Change, Professionalization, Cold-Forming, Metallurgy, Ski-Boot Buckles, Automotive Parts, Italy

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