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14 case studies

published: 30 Oct 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Bakery products
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case highlights a failed attempt to ‘liberate’ management and employees from traditional business practices at a factory in France. It closely follows the events that took place at Poult during a 10-year period that began in 2006. It draws on the astute reflections of the last CEO at Poult, who, until his dismissal in 2017, was actively engaged in building an alternative culture among the firm’s 800 factory workers, machine operators and technicians. Thanks to detailed analysis, the case offers insight into the matrix of activities that constitute a ‘liberated enterprise’, from building autonomous teams to driving innovation from the bottom up.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers instructors a rare opportunity to discuss an alternative approach to traditional top-down management techniques. With a neutral voice, the case recounts a 10-year experiment in organizational design that changed the behaviour of hundreds of factory employees in France. Students may be surprised to learn that the main protagonist ultimately lost his job as CEO as a result of his commitment to the employees, who had embraced the radically new organizational design he had introduced 10 years earlier. The case serves to inspire students to align their beliefs with their career aspirations.

Keywords:
Entreprise Libérée, Poult, Semco, Ricardo Semler, Charles Van Der Haegen, Mehdi Berrada, Carlos Verkaeren, Banketgroep, Panier-Tanguy, Michel Et Augustin, W.l. Gore, Liberating Leadership, Isaac Getz, Biscuits

published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Marketing
  • Industry: Wholesale-Beer, Wine & Distilled Alcoholic Beverages
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case goes back in time to the ‘golden age’ of Absolut when contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring painted the unusual bottle to the amazement of the global arts community. The nearly accidental collaboration with artists in the glorious years turned the brand into a must-have aspirational drink to be consumed at chic bars and art fairs. Based on the vivid recollections of Vadim Grigorian (INSEAD MBA ‘00J), the case uncovers the awakening of new paradigm, the brand as acultural agent of contemporary art in consumer society. In his retelling of these events, hitherto unknown, the marketing executive recaptures the essence of Absolut during its hey day from the mid-1980s to 2011 in an exquisitely told and unusual account of cultural engagement.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used by instructors teaching specialized courses in marketing and communication, and marketing research. By focusing on the engagement of Absolut with contemporary art and culture, the case prompts discussion of the role of brands as cultural agents. It draws students into a discovery process, tracing the relationship that Absolut, acquired by the global drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard in 2008, developed with young artists, fashion photographers, musicians, and even designers of art bars and cocktail recipes. It can start a conversation about the future of cultural engagement strategies that many brands have embarked on, for example, when a brand needs to move on from a wildly successful personality to a more nuanced image that appeals to a broader customer base. The short case is a page-turner that will satisfy a broad range of intellectual interests.

Keywords:
Absolut, Keith Haring, Vadim Grigorian, Documenta, Venice Biennale, Michel Roux, Spirits, Andy Warhol, Pernod-Ricard, Arts and Culture, Tbwa, Grey Goose, Grey Goose, Bottle

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Retail trade
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case follows the career path of Megha Malagatti, from her humble Indian origins as a member of the Dalit caste (known as “untouchables”) to a senior management position in a French luxury goods company – an improbable journey that speaks to her personal strengths, skills and qualifications, as well as the possibilities open to young women to make a career in the luxury goods industry irrespective of their background. It opens a window on gender diversity in the executive suite, highlighting the company culture of S.T.Dupont and the CEO who mentored her.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Gender diversity in the workplace and the executive suite.

Keywords:
Career, Luxury, India, Emotional Intelligence, Hindu, Mentor, Hr Professionals, Comité Colbert, S.t.dupont, Alain Crevet, Untouchables, Coach, Sharon Flood

published: 29 Oct 2018

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Abstract:
For over 60 years, Bluebell, a major actor in the luxury B2B ecosystem, has been helping Western luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Davidoff, Moschino, Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo enter key Asian markets. However, the luxury industry is experiencing digital disruption and increased competition fuelled by the rise of online e-commerce and international travel, along with increasingly connected consumers. While Bluebell’s role as a link between the brand and the local consumer is still vital, it needs to alter its business model to remain in the game. Its adaptability has been the reason for its success so far, but to add value in the future it needs to evolve from a predominantly transactional role centred around distribution to one with greater connectedness, integrating new channels such as social commerce, and anticipating evolving customer tastes.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case discusses the transformation of B2B intermediaries operating in the luxury, fashion and premium goods industry in response to novel challenges brought by digital gamechangers that have enabled brands to directly reach end-consumers (cutting out the middleman), put power in the consumer’s hands, reduce prices, and increase the number of brands while shortening their lifespan. In a sector characterized by (a) an increasing reliance on digital tools – both as ways to talk about and buy luxury products, and (b) emerging marketplaces (more brands, more tiers, more status products), the case articulates the threats and opportunities associated with these game-changers and the issues Bluebell must address to deliver long-term value to its partners, notably: • How digital disruption challenges B2B ecosystems and traditional business models • How incumbent B2B players respond to and integrate digital game-changers and re-legitimise themselves by redefining where and how they add value • How digital channels redefine the role of curator and require stakeholders to acquire new skills and develop digital capabilities • How to design a digital transformation (where to start and how to prioritize) • The role of digital disruption in shifting the dynamics between brands, retailers and consumers in B2C markets • The evolving role of B2B players between brands and consumers in luxury markets • How luxury brands implement successful strategies to attract the Asian consumer (today and tomorrow)

Keywords:
Luxury, Digital Disruption, Social Media, S-Commerce, Omni-Channel, Marketing, Distributor, Digital Transformation, Brands


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