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75 case studies

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published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
WeWork has seen a decade of growth with a disruptive new service business model in a rapidly transforming industry: shared office space for start-ups (and increasingly for big companies) thanks to its understanding of workplace trends such as the ‘gig’ economy, the rise of millennials and Generation Z in the workforce, more collaborative office work and tech-enabled mobility of employees. It caters to freelancers and multinationals alike, all members of the ‘co-working’ community, as well as an ecosystem of likeminded entrepreneurs. The case allows discussion of customer-centricity in a B2B service context, and of how companies optimize – digitalize – the customer experiences by leveraging data. WeWork relies on analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to mine data from its global customer base for insights and deep learning that feed into next-gen office design and usage. Customers perform a job-to-be-done analysis using a means-end ladder to understand how WeWork creates an outstanding customer experience in a competitive, commoditized market. The case offers learning about service blueprinting and customer journey mapping when designing new services and/or improving existing ones. To deliver on its customer promise WeWork integrates the key building blocks of a superior business model, for example, alliances with strategic partners secure unique resources and distinctive competences, achieving cost-effective service excellence. Discussion culminates in future growth avenues following a corporate rebranding and reorganization into three business units under the umbrella “We” brand.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Participants can reflect upon the following: . Disruption and transformation by new business models in a B2B service industry, such as shared office space . Arrive at ‘customer centricity’ by shifting from an inside-out focus (‘We rent office space’) to an outside-in perspective (i.e. ‘Space-as-a-Service’ model) . Turn a ‘data exhaust’ from the customer base into deeper insights and understand the job-to-be-done . Craft value propositions that resonate with different customer segments . Design an outstanding customer experience vs a cookie-cutter experience? (or move “from plain vanilla to wow!”) in a market threatened by commoditization and price competition . Map the critical steps of the customer journey, visualize key customer actions and use service blueprinting to design service processes in such a way that they create a memorable customer experience . Design a service business model around the customer experience to deliver on the customer promise and implement a “service factory” . Leverage acquisitions and strategic alliances to secure unique resources and distinctive competences for better business model execution . Develop the right mindset and culture in an agile, digital world . Instill and maintain an entrepreneurial service-centric startup culture in a organization growing “at warp speed” . The pros and cons of rebranding under the “We” umbrella . What are promising growth avenues for WeWork? . What insights can be applied to customer experiences in other service industries and companies?

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy (bos), Business Model Innovation, Customer Centricity, Customer Experience, Service Design, Service Innovation, Servitization, Customer Insights, Job-To-Be-Done Analysis, Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Cost-Effective Service Excellence, Umbrella Branding

published: 25 Apr 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In 2013, India passed a law to make corporate social responsibility mandatory for large companies. The case examines the context in which the CSR legislation was introduced and how Tata Motors Ltd (TML) responded to it. Case (A) explores the meaning of corporate social responsibility and the question of whether a company should put community projects before profits. Case (B) examines Tata Motors’ CSR programmes in depth and provides an opportunity to consider their impact. Students are challenged to come up with their own ideas for how the philosophy of “more from less for more” can be used to address issues related to poverty and lack of education in India.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Explore the meaning and practice of corporate social responsibility and the normative (moral) and instrumental (business case) motivations for companies to engage in it as a voluntary activity. 2. Understand why the Indian government mandated CSR (by the Companies Act 2013) and its implications for companies and their stakeholders, in response to pressing social needs. 3. Consider the impact of CSR programmes, how it can be increased, and ways it can be measured using a Social Return on Investment methodology. 4. Explore the benefits of board involvement in CSR policy-making and reporting. 5. Encourage students to come up with their own ideas about how to do “more from less for more” in India and elsewhere.

Keywords:
Corporate Social Responsibility, India, Government Regulation, Csr Mandate, Social Return on Investment, Corporate Governance, Poverty, Skills Training, Motor Industry, Board of Directors, Kpmg

Prizes won:
- Winner 2018 EFMD Case Writing Competition

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published: 25 Apr 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In 2013, India passed a law to make corporate social responsibility mandatory for large companies. The case examines the context in which the CSR legislation was introduced and how Tata Motors Ltd (TML) responded to it. Case (A) explores the meaning of corporate social responsibility and the question of whether a company should put community projects before profits. Case (B) examines Tata Motors’ CSR programmes in depth and provides an opportunity to consider their impact. Students are challenged to come up with their own ideas for how the philosophy of “more from less for more” can be used to address issues related to poverty and lack of education in India.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Explore the meaning and practice of corporate social responsibility and the normative (moral) and instrumental (business case) motivations for companies to engage in it as a voluntary activity. 2. Understand why the Indian government mandated CSR (by the Companies Act 2013) and its implications for companies and their stakeholders, in response to pressing social needs. 3. Consider the impact of CSR programmes, how it can be increased, and ways it can be measured using a Social Return on Investment methodology. 4. Explore the benefits of board involvement in CSR policy-making and reporting. 5. Encourage students to come up with their own ideas about how to do “more from less for more” in India and elsewhere.

Keywords:
Corporate Social Responsibility, India, Government Regulation, Csr Mandate, Social Return on Investment, Corporate Governance, Poverty, Skills Training, Motor Industry, Board of Directors, Kpmg

Prizes won:
- Winner 2018 EFMD Case Writing Competition

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published: 05 Apr 2019

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This two-part case collection presents the profiles of 39 family-run firms that are 'Hénokiens', a French association whose members have survived for more than two centuries. The oldest member, a hostel in Japan named Hoshi Ryokan, has been in business for 1,300 years over 46 generations. The family business narrative is based on five analytical pillars: family assets, roadblocks, succession planning, professionalization and innovation. Instructors can take a single profile of a member firm and use it to illustrate one or more of the five themes. The cases highlight the key people and events that have marked economic history over the centuries, making for a fascinating read as well as offering an alternative business model of leadership and longevity.

Pedagogical Objectives:
i) To evaluate the role of such families in building multi-generational businesses. ii) To understand the assets that such families contribute to their firms, the various obstacles faced over the centuries and different ways that they have overcome them. iii) To learn about family succession and the dangers and opportunities presented by an ever-growing number of family members. iv) Why family firms bring in professionals to run them. v) The role of innovative leaders and entrepreneurs in family businesses.

Keywords:
Hénokiens, Family Business, Family Assets, Family Roadblocks, Family Succession, Family Innovation, Multigeneration, Next Generation, Strategy and General Management

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The board of directors of a charity has to decide whether to give the acting CFO a permanent appointment. The decision is not a vital one but is so poorly managed that it leads to a blowout between the board members, such that the charity ultimately has to be wound up. The case thus illustrates the vital importance of maintaining positive dynamics among board members.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to demonstrate the negative consequences of poor handling of a board discussion. The case analyses the shortcomings of the vice-chair of the board using a framework called Fair Process Leadership (FPL), asking participants to estimate how far the precepts of FPL are adhered to. An interesting dimension is to illustrate the fundamental asymmetry of FPL whereby we minimize the unfair way in which we impose leadership on others, while magnifying the unfairness of their leadership when we have to submit to it. The case is typically used as a “practice” case on FPL before turning to more complex settings.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Board Dynamics, Fair Process Leadership, Group Decision Making, Not-For-Profit Organization, Non-Executive Directors

published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case represents a role-play simulation in which a team of up to 6 participants acts as a board of directors of a privately-owned automotive lighting products manufacturer. At a regular meeting, the board has to make two decisions: 1) define growth targets for the next eight years; 2) decide the fate of a newly appointed CEO whose style has created a wave of uproar at the company. The board consists of two shareholders, chairman of the board, two independent directors and employee representative. After the two-hours meeting, the participants will have time to reflect on their experience and exchange views within their groups.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The simulation is designed to serve as a basis for class discussion in the format of a board meeting, for which students are expected to use all the knowledge gained during the programme. The learning objectives are: 1) to experience the dynamics of a board of directors, 2) to understand the systemic nature of boards and board-management interaction, 3) to use different approaches to decision making, 4) to lead a board (for the chair), 5) to collaborate with people with different backgrounds and agendas.

Keywords:
Board of Directors, Management, Board Process, Chair of the Board, Ceo, Strategy, Ceo Succession, Automotive Industry

Related:

published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case represents a role-play simulation in which a team of up to 6 participants acts as a board of directors of a privately-owned automotive lighting products manufacturer. At a regular meeting, the board has to make two decisions: 1) define growth targets for the next eight years; 2) decide the fate of a newly appointed CEO whose style has created a wave of uproar at the company. The board consists of two shareholders, chairman of the board, two independent directors and employee representative. After the two-hours meeting, the participants will have time to reflect on their experience and exchange views within their groups.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The simulation is designed to serve as a basis for class discussion in the format of a board meeting, for which students are expected to use all the knowledge gained during the programme. The learning objectives are: 1) to experience the dynamics of a board of directors, 2) to understand the systemic nature of boards and board-management interaction, 3) to use different approaches to decision making, 4) to lead a board (for the chair), 5) to collaborate with people with different backgrounds and agendas.

Keywords:
Board of Directors, Management, Board Process, Chair of the Board, Ceo, Strategy, Ceo Succession, Automotive Industry

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published: 25 Mar 2019

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

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Abstract:
Five high school students are lured into working at a logistics warehouse for what they consider a high salary for their first job. After they start, their dreams are shattered. Over the next four months the workplace reality transforms into a nightmare.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Analysis of psychological biases which influence career choices . Identification of burnout potential due to motivated reasoning and the sunk-cost fallacy . Importance of information gathering for negotiation effectiveness . The self-fulfilling prophecy of Theory X and its effects on workforce motivation and productivity

Keywords:
Organisational Behaviour, Group Dynamics, Work-Life Balance, Motivation and Stress, Social Psychology, Career Management, Recruitment, Human Resources, Decision Making and Biases

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