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published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
This case puts participants in the shoes of the directors of Barry Callebaut (BC), a cocoa-sourcing and chocolate manufacturing company. Chairman Andreas Jacobs is passionate about cocoa sustainability in West Africa – ensuring the cocoa crop (endangered by poor farming and climate change) and the farmers who grow it will survive and thrive. However, in response to a falling share price, the BC board has shifted strategy to achieve cost leadership. Moreover, customers have been unwilling to pay a premium for sustainable cocoa beans. Given the scale of the problem, the company cannot ‘go it alone’. Nonetheless, when the CEO steps down in 2008, Jacobs sees an opportunity for BC to embrace sustainability and urges the board to go beyond goodwill gestures – like its earlier building of schools in Ivory Coast – and take “real action”. Should the board follow his lead? What would “real action” mean?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. How business should be involved in sustainability and the challenges involved in taking real, impactful action (not simply paying lip-service). 2. Consider sustainability challenges in the context of business challenges – seen through the eyes of the board – and the role of the board in driving sustainability initiatives. 3. Evaluate the extent to which board members should follow the lead of a strong chairman pursuing a personal passion. 4. Identify solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by Barry Callebaut.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Boards, Cocoa, Chocolate, Supply Chains, Côte D’ivoire, Africa, Child Labour, Poverty

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published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

Show details ...

Abstract:
This case puts participants in the shoes of the directors of Barry Callebaut (BC), a cocoa-sourcing and chocolate manufacturing company. Chairman Andreas Jacobs is passionate about cocoa sustainability in West Africa – ensuring the cocoa crop (endangered by poor farming and climate change) and the farmers who grow it will survive and thrive. However, in response to a falling share price, the BC board has shifted strategy to achieve cost leadership. Moreover, customers have been unwilling to pay a premium for sustainable cocoa beans. Given the scale of the problem, the company cannot ‘go it alone’. Nonetheless, when the CEO steps down in 2008, Jacobs sees an opportunity for BC to embrace sustainability and urges the board to go beyond goodwill gestures – like its earlier building of schools in Ivory Coast – and take “real action”. Should the board follow his lead? What would “real action” mean?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. How business should be involved in sustainability and the challenges involved in taking real, impactful action (not simply paying lip-service). 2. Consider sustainability challenges in the context of business challenges – seen through the eyes of the board – and the role of the board in driving sustainability initiatives. 3. Evaluate the extent to which board members should follow the lead of a strong chairman pursuing a personal passion. 4. Identify solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by Barry Callebaut.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Boards, Cocoa, Chocolate, Supply Chains, Côte D’ivoire, Africa, Child Labour, Poverty

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published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In December 2015, barely one year into his tenure as the head of the Paris Opera Ballet (POB), celebrity dancer, choreographer, and entrepreneur Benjamin Millepied was caught in a storm of controversy. Hired to bring energy and modernity to one of France’s oldest artistic institutions, Millepied laid out an inspiring vision of renewal and a strategy focused on developing new talent and enhancing the POB’s social relevance and global visibility. In the process, however, he created turmoil. Promoting younger dancers in defiance of the established hierarchy, advocating diversity and social engagement, presenting the work of American choreographers instead of French classics, and openly criticizing the POB’s restrained style pit Millepied against the established order . The case chronicles Millepied’s efforts to transform the POB, focusing on the interplay between responsible leadership and organizational culture. Most organizations seek to balance business goals with social impact, urging employees to be inspiring and innovative, and bringing in outsiders with a “global” outlook to shake up “local” mind-sets. The case explores a fundamental issue for such endeavors to succeed: Responsible leadership entails more than a compelling vision. It also means sustaining a strong institutional culture while fostering diversity and innovation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. The role of a ‘strong culture’ in defining and sustaining an organization. Students are challenged to consider the impact of a strong culture, which most will consider a positive feature of an organization, on employees’ experiences and on the organization’s development. 2. Responsible leadership in the context of dual aims. Students must consider what ‘responsible’ leadership entails in organizations that strive to pursue both commercial success and social impact, and that value tradition while clamouring for change. 3. The purpose and impact of organizational transformation. Organizational change is difficult, especially if it involves the defining aspects of an organization’s culture—its systems, norms, and signature style. The benefits of disruption are often taken for granted, but this case requires students to consider whether disruption is always desirable, valuable, or even necessary. 4. Talent management as a lever for cultural change. Students will likely be instrumental in identifying, managing, and promoting talent in their future firms. The case helps them realize the centrality of deciding who is called “talent” and how, to the replication or change of a firm’s culture. The case illustrates the contrast between opposite approaches, one based on formalized rules and processes and the other on a case-by-case assessment.

Keywords:
Leadership, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Talent Management, Digital Transformation, Responsible Leadership, Leadership Succession, National Culture, Diversity, Hybrid Organizations, Outsider Ceo, Globalization, Benjamin Millepied, Paris Opera Ballet

published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case follows Mina Radharkrishnan’s career as a product manager and product executive in various digital environments. She launches her own start-up in 2016 and reflects on the lessons she has primarily learned at Uber, and earlier on at Google, Goldman Sachs, and ModCloth. Beyond leveraging technology to the benefit of potential customers, Mina would like to use her experience to build a team of product managers, facilitate collaboration between different stakeholders, and set priorities accordingly. The discussion explores the challenges that product managers and executives typically face and possible solutions.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Analyse, understand and start to develop the leadership skills to scale and organise work for successful product management teams. 2. Lead and influence without formal authority, particularly in the realm of social capital. 3. Recognise the importance of trade-offs, communicating and navigating relationships with other stakeholders—particularly for people working in product [what? Marketing? Management?] 4. Understand how a product team evolves as a company scales up globally, expanding its product portfolio 5. Comprehend the structure and complexities of a stakeholder network from a product executive’s perspective in the context of a fast-growing tech company.

Keywords:
Product Management, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Informal Leadership, Uber, Stakeholder Management, Digital Disruption, Female Protagonist, Management, Scaling

published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how a loss-making ferry company was brought back to financial health, modernised and recapitalised in less than two years, amidst a context of political pressure, stakeholder hostility and a €600 million fine from the European Union. The Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM) was sinking under the weight of French blockades and belligerent unions. Ferries were hijacked and a million people took to the streets to protest against potential job losses, disrupting passenger services to/from Corsica at the peak of the summer season. In May 2014, Guillaume de Feydeau was appointed CEO to devise a turnaround plan to save the former state-owned company from bankruptcy. The new management team not only had to master the political and social intricacies of the situation, but time was of the essence: the majority shareholder wanted out and cash was running dangerously low.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case focuses on: • How to develop a turnaround plan. • How to analyse stakeholders’ positions. • How to navigate through a politically sensitive environment. Key takeaway: • Aligning all stakeholders around a common objective is vital to succeed with a turnaround plan, as well as ensuring on-going, open and transparent communication.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Restructuring, Bankruptcy, Nationalisation, Trade Unions, Corsica, Local Government, European Commission/union, Privatization, State Aid, Eu Regulation

published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Operations
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case showcases how access- and ownership-based business models segment the market based on useage heterogeneity, and how pricing equilibrium emerges from the resulting duopoly. It also shows, counter-intuitively, that access-based entrants may intentionally benefit from choosing “inferior” technology to soften price competition from ownership-based incumbents, even when the cost of technology is ignored.

Keywords:
Pricing, Access Versus Ownership, Segmentation, Servicization

published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Personal navigation devices
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Garmin 2019 is the second in a two-part case. Case A reviews the history of Garmin from 1991 to 2008, when the personal navigation device (PND) industry is disrupted by the entry of smartphones with mapping applications. Garmin 2019 covers the decade until 2019, describing how Garmin and other major players responded to shifting consumer preferences, new developments in digital mapping and satellite networks, and the race to develop self-driving cars. In the face of a massive decline in the PND market in this period, Garmin staged a remarkable recovery, shifting focus to spread over diverse products segments, each with its own threats and opportunities. The core of the case is management’s reassessment of corporate strategy across the portfolio of businesses.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Whereas Case A offers a close-up view of an industry moving from growth to maturity to decline in a short timespan, forcing incumbents to reanalyse their strategy, Garmin 2019 (Case B) explores how companies faced with disruption respond according to their capabilities, their respective choices, and the role of corporate strategy in securing competitive advantage. It generates discussion of the influence of strategic repositioning on a firm’s scope, the need to reassess that scope and then decide whether its business units remain integrated or seek alternatives like strategic alliances and long-term contracts.

Keywords:
Garmin, Industry Decline, Smartphones, Smartwatch, Disruption, Global Positioning, Gps, Digital Maps, Hd, Repositioning, Corporate Advantage, Corporate Strategy, Satellite Network, Wearables, Outdoor, Fitness

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published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
In less than five years The Global Informality Project evolved from a one scholar's dream to a global network-based research exercise uniting hundreds of people across the world. It produced two volumes of The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, published by UCL Press in early 2018, a wiki-site and dozens of events around the globe. Within a year, the books were downloaded 40,000 times from 156 countries. Work on the first two volumes had been intuitive, experimental, and conducted without major funding. Editor-in-chief Alena Ledenva must now decide how to organize work on the third volume, form the team, secure funding, and re-define her own role.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers a comprehensive description of how a global non-profit project is designed, planned and implemented, the challenges to overcome, the leadership practices used, and the role of networks in the project's implementation.

Keywords:
Leadership, Network Leadership, Project Management, Informal Networks, Teams and Teaming, Global, 'slow-Cooking' Method, Bottom-Up Management

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published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
In less than five years The Global Informality Project evolved from a one scholar's dream to a global network-based research exercise uniting hundreds of people across the world. It produced two volumes of The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, published by UCL Press in early 2018, a wiki-site and dozens of events around the globe. Within a year, the books were downloaded 40,000 times from 156 countries. Work on the first two volumes had been intuitive, experimental, and conducted without major funding. Editor-in-chief Alena Ledenva must now decide how to organize work on the third volume, form the team, secure funding, and re-define her own role.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers a comprehensive description of how a global non-profit project is designed, planned and implemented, the challenges to overcome, the leadership practices used, and the role of networks in the project's implementation.

Keywords:
Leadership, Network Leadership, Project Management, Informal Networks, Teams and Teaming, Global, 'slow-Cooking' Method, Bottom-Up Management

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published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case explores how an Indian firm breaks into a product category dominated by international players. Titan, a Tata Group subsidiary and leading jewellery firm, wants to enter the fragrance category and challenge established foreign brands. To do so requires a branding strategy that encompasses evolving economic, social, cultural and psychological trends in the vast emerging market, and a strategic approach to compete with the incumbents’ heritage and cachet. Titan must first identify its target customer segment(s) and develop a positioning that can accommodate a portfolio of products and sub-brands, and then devise an implementation plan for product development, advertising/promotion, pricing and distribution.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be taught in a broad range of courses in undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, and executive education programmes. It fits well with courses such as Principles of Marketing, Marketing Management, Marketing Strategy, Brand Management, Branding Strategy, Emerging Markets Strategy, and other strategy-, marketing- and branding-related courses. The case can be used to illustrate: - How strategy flows from insights about customers—how economic, social and cultural changes shape customer psychology and behavior and how brand strategies should fulfil target customers’ needs. - How to craft effective brand positioning and translate this into concrete marketing mix actions. - How a new entrant can successfully compete with existing dominant players by leveraging its strengths and circumventing its weaknesses. - How domestic incumbents can effectively rival major multinationals (and vice versa. - How firms address challenges in rapidly changing emerging market contexts.

Keywords:
Branding, Perfume, Fragrance, India, Emerging Market, Marketing Strategy, Branding Strategy, Strategy, Marketing Management, Brand Management, Market Entry, Luxury, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Behaviour

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