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Leadership & Organisations

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published: 31 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case describes the Tata Group’s governance and the role it played in overseeing 150 years of growth of the Tata empire of companies. The Tata Group is one of India’s premier and oldest industrial and services conglomerates in India. The Tata Trusts (charitable foundations) own two thirds of the Group; private investors own the rest of it. The Mistry family is the largest individual private shareholder. This case describes the evolution of the group’s governance and businesses leading up to the 2012 appointment of Cyrus Mistry, the first non-family group chairman, and the transformations he attempted during his four-year reign before he was suddenly fired by the previous group chairman, Ratan Tata, who continues to be chairman of the Tata Trusts.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case illustrates how a business is affected and shaped by its governance, whether by family owners, and family or charitable trusts. It shows how owners define and intervene forcefully in governance for better or for worse. The owners’ primary responsibility is to establish clearly articulated and understood mission, values and governance procedures. Any ambiguity in these vital issues presents a “governance risk” and potential value destruction. This case emphasizes the degree to which key family members, rather than the board, play a decisive role in governing family-run businesses.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Industrial Groups, Ownership, Value Creation, Governance Risk, Reputation Risk, Internationalization, M&a, Leadership

published: 22 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the education, career and political strategy of Emmanuel Macron in his ascent to the French presidency.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Discuss the careers of change agents that aim to substantially disrupt the status quo of a system – be it political, organizational or business.

Keywords:
Careers, Leadership, Change Agents, Developmental Relationships, Networking, Power and Influence, France, Emmanuel Macron

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published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Digital transformations require foundations. Placing advanced technologies on top of poor organizational structures and processes is not likely to work. Digital transformation may involve long-term strategic and organizational development to create a solid foundation that can properly absorb and develop digital initiatives. The case describes the Italian insurance company Generali Italia’s digital journey, from integrating its fragmented offering to transforming the company based on three pillars: discipline, simplicity and focus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To understand the wider work that may be required as part of digital transformation.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Digital Transformation, Organization Culture, Retooling / Training, Insurance

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: 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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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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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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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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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Imagine a high-tech environment which is a hive of creativity and collaboration, where people think in terms of platforms and ecosystems, and are asked to provide a rapid response in pursuit of a goal. While a start-up setting in a tech hub will likely come to mind, such a setting is typical of a more traditional (yet advanced) organization – the military. What makes the military context different is the role of discipline. While the word discipline conjures up an image of repetitive behaviour – the opposite of creativity – it is key to the way a modern air force copes with the need for creative responses, adaptation, and the integration of digital technologies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To understand the roots of creative action and effectiveness in organizations that are traditionally typecast as hierarchical.

Keywords:
Discipline in Organizations, Organization Culture, Creativity, Decision Making, Judgement

published: 18 Feb 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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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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