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3 case studies

published: 23 Jun 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Gold mining
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This case is about a gold mining company that seeks to practice “responsible mining” by addressing environmental and stakeholder concerns, but which nevertheless attracts protests. Barrick Gold Corporation has invested $4.8 billion developing the Pascua Lama gold mine in a glacial region of South America, but opposition has blocked the project.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows students to examine a situation where CSR and sustainability may seem in conflict with the core business operations of the company, and challenges them to develop creative solutions. It introduces the concept of having a 'social license to operate' and explores how much societal acceptance is needed.

Keywords:
Gold Mining, License to Operate, Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement, Enviromentalism, Indigenous Peoples, Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Mining

Prizes won:
- Runner Up at 2014 Oikos Case Writing Competition, Corporate Sustainability Category

published: 06 Dec 2002

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Automotive components
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Gold Seal Engineering Products Pvt. Ltd is an Indian, 44-year old second generation family firm, manufacturer of rubber and polymer extruded and moulded seals for the automobile industry. For more than three decades, the company grows undisturbed in a protected environment with limited foreign competition. In the early 1990s, with the liberalization of the automobile market and the passenger cars segment in particular, the company faces new market opportunities and challenges. The company views the arrival of a horde of automobile manufacturers and automotive component suppliers as a growth opportunity as well as a menace to its survival. The case describes the company’s situation and reactions to the radical shift that takes place in its external environment.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used to discuss the issues faced by developing country SMEs confronted, overnight, by the challenges of globalization and the demanding requirements of multinational corporations. Given the complexity of issues and decisions at hand – strategic choices, owner-manager constraints, obsolete technology, poor production systems and working practices – the case provides a real-life example of the challenges facing family-run businesses in fast changing environments.

Keywords:
Family Firm, Sme, Globalisation, Expansion, Automotive Components Industry

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Abstract:
The case focuses on the challenges facing Arenga Rainforest Sugar, a non-profit organization in Indonesia, as it re-thinks its business model. The product (rainforest sugar) supports sustainable agriculture, unlike traditional plantation-driven models (for palm oil and rubber). In response to growing demand in developed markets for sustainable food products, senior management is keen to deploy the new business model across all aspects of the business. The case describes the context, current strategy, operations and financials. It allow for a forward-looking analysis (less common than ‘with hindsight’) where students assess the current context and recommend strategies with actionable plans. The multi-disciplinary approach brings in issues related to strategy, building a new supply chain and distribution model, creating new brand and product categories, adopting a results-oriented marketing and pricing model or implementing a sound operational model while supporting rainforest conservation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This is potentially a “capstone” case for many courses, where students apply the learning from the course to develop recommendations going forward (strategies with actionable plans). For example, at the end of a course on distribution channels, students need to conceptualize a distribution plan that allows the company to capture more value (most of which is currently captured by retailers).

Keywords:
Strategy, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Operations, Marketing, Branding, Business Model Innovation, Cost Structure Analysis, Social Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Alleviate Poverty, Economic Growth, Responsible Production, Pricing


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