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Responsibility

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published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Inspired by C.K. Prahalad’s “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, Novartis was exploring ways to build a sustainable business for the BOP in India that would improve access to healthcare for the poor while being financially profitable, unlike Novartis's traditional philanthropic and corporate social responsibility approaches. To succeed, it had to answer a series of strategic questions: Which BOP patients should be targeted to best achieve the social and financial goals of the programme? Which diseases should it cover, and with what types of products (patent-protected, generics, OTC)? Which stages of the patient journey should the programme address? Which stakeholders should be targeted? What communication channels should be used? What should be the programme scale? Where to ‘house’ the social business group in the Novartis organization?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case has been successfully taught in both MBA courses focusing on strategies at the BOP or in emerging markets, and in executive education programmes (senior management) looking at the challenge of developing profitable and scalable businesses for the BOP or emerging markets. It can also be used in the context of a course or module on business model innovation. It easily fills a typical 90 minute MBA session and can be expanded to cover a double session. In an executive education context it can form the basis for a half-day module. The case provides an opportunity to understand the challenges of emerging markets (India specifically) that result from low income, poor education, social stratification and lack of infrastructure. At the same time it highlights the potential opportunity or “Blue Ocean” that exists due to large underserved customer groups. The case enables discussion of all aspects of a business: which segments to target, which specific needs (diseases) to address, which elements of the consumer decision process to focus on, how to execute against these decisions by addressing the entire eco-system, and how to position it within the firm. The case provides sufficient data to undertake a breakeven analysis for the business, which is key to making a successful business case. It includes a spreadsheet so that instructors can walk students through the breakeven analysis, as well as a deck of slides for an extended wrap-up. After discussing the case, students should be able to think through the key elements of setting up a new business in emerging markets or targeting the bottom of the pyramid.

Keywords:
Bop, Strategy, Business Model Innovation, Emerging Market, Healthcare, Sustainability, India, Pharmaceutical, Corporate Social Responsibility, Market Access to Medicine

published: 26 Mar 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Transportation Infrastructure, Hydrocarbons
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Plans for a $3.5 billion crude oil pipeline in 2014-17 from the Bakken formation of North Sakota and Canada to a transfer point near Chicago, linked to an existing pipeline to the major refining and export faculities on the US Gulf Coast, run into trouble when the developer, Energy Transfer Partners, encounters a "roadblock" on a section of federal land that is within a reservation of the Flat Rock Sioux tribe of Native Americans. The case charts how the conflict escalated from the local to the global level.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly important in modern corporations, as they affect cost structures, revenue streams and risk exposure - and therefore valuations by individual and institutional investors and the share prices. The case requires students to analyze a large infrastructure project, pinpoint the key stakeholders and their interests, and identify its key capabilities for dealing with conflicting interests. Ultimately the DAPL was completed on schedule, but it triggered conflicts that started local and ended global. What alternative paths could have been taken by ETP and other parties in the case?

Keywords:
Infrastructure Development, Project Finance & Completion Risk, Human Rights, Environment, Social & Governance (esg), Conflict Management, Build-Operate-Transfer, Regulatory Risk, Global Warming

published: 26 Feb 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Equipment leasing
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
Equity for Tanzania, based in Moshi, a remote area of Tanzania, operates a profitable business model that leases equipment to small businesses. The model could be replicated in other developing markets, including neighbours in East Africa.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understanding the elements of constructing an interface to support formal market exchange and produce positive social impact.

Keywords:
Inclusive Market, Business Development, Formal Market Exchange, Social Enterprise, Equipment Leasing

published: 29 Jan 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Food
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Mrida (Sanskrit for soil), a fledgling social business venture, uses the ‘Earthspired’ brand to sell products made from high-value plants and herbs – sourced sustainably from small farmers in India – to middle-class consumers. Mrida’s founders have ambitions to grow the brand in India and internationally but need to address several interconnected questions: What should the value proposition for Earthspired be and how should it be communicated? What is the most appropriate distribution channel – direct selling, retail, or on-line sales? What should be the business strategy to scale the Earthspired brand in view of the limited resources available?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case has been successfully taught to both MBA and executive audiences. It can be used in courses/modules on doing business at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) to explore the challenges of engaging with the BOP sustainably as a part of the supply chain, by helping BOP members leverage their limited assets more effectively. It also offers an opportunity to think through branding/marketing strategy challenges holistically from a business perspective. The case context – a small and resource-strapped start-up – underlines how branding is not just for large, well-funded companies with large marketing budgets. Branded businesses can be built through the careful deployment of limited resources across business activities.

Keywords:
Social Venture, Sustainability, Bop, Bottom of the Pyramid, Branding, India, Entrepreneurship, Business Model Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Business Strategy, Emerging Markets, Start-Up, Sme, Small Business

published: 30 Oct 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Management Consulting
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
After getting his MBA, Gib Bulloch pursues a conventional management consulting career with Accenture for seven years. Concerned that he is not contributing enough to society in his everyday work, he is given leave to work on a development project with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Macedonia. The experience strengthens his resolve to transition to a career with social impact. He wonders if he could build a development consulting business within Accenture, but struggles to come up with a business model that could yield a favorable return for the company. What should Gib do?

Pedagogical Objectives:
It is common for people on seemingly successful career paths to have doubts about whether they are making a positive difference to society. Gib Bulloch’s dilemma provides a platform to discuss how people evaluate the societal impact of work, how each person defines career success and finds their own unique path to happiness in professional life. It can be used to debate whether and when maximizing societal impact requires giving up a corporate career and joining an impact-focused organization instead (e.g., a non-profit or social enterprise). This idea can be developed to explore the potential to bring about significant positive change from within a traditional company (e.g., an “intrapreneur” who triggers corporate social initiatives).

Keywords:
Social Impact, Careers, Impact-Driven Business, Corporate Social Responsibility, Creating Shared Value, Social Innovation, Sustainable Development, Sustainability, Corporate Intrapreneurship, Corporate Social Enterprise, Effective Altruism, Management Consulting, Development Consulting, Corporate Philanthropy

published: 30 Oct 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Education
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This case describes a policy maker who is reviewing evidence on the financial and social impact of giving low-income families access to high-quality preschools. In doing so, the case presents details of the oft-cited Perry Preschool study, which used a randomized experiment design for impact evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of one such programme.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case sheds light on impact evaluation, focusing on how to use a rigorous randomized experiment approach (also called randomized control trials or RCTs). It also serves as a basis for discussing cost-benefit analysis and social returns on investment for interventions like high-quality preschools. It is suitable for courses on public policy, sustainable development, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, impact investing and research design.

Keywords:
Impact Evaluation, Social Impact, Public Policy, Social Returns on Investment, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Preschool Education, Outcome Measurement, Social Inclusion, Randomized Control Trials (rcts), Experiment Design, Sustainable Development, Nonprofit Management, Theory of Change, Impact Investing

published: 28 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Financial Services, Venture Capital, Private Equity
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case describes how an intrapreneur helped Credit Suisse launch a commercially viable impact investing business in Asia. It specifically details the investment strategy and process for a new impact fund aligning social impact objectives with commercial goals of the bank. It also presents two new investment opportunities needing evaluation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is perfect for teaching about impact investing, sustainable investing or responsible finance. It can also be used more generally for topics related to social impact or base of the pyramid in emerging markets – for example, as part of a course on economic development, entrepreneurship, strategy, social entrepreneurship, private equity or venture capital.

Keywords:
Impact Investing, Social Impact, Sustainable Investing, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Sustainability, Base of the Pyramid, Emerging Market Strategy, Creating Shared Value, Responsible Investing, Economic Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion, Intrapreneurship

Prizes won:
- Winner 2018 EFMD Case Writing Competition

published: 29 May 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
This case examines how a drug price increase by one small company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, became the focal point of a controversy that engulfed the entire drug industry. Turing’s decision to raise the price of its anti-infection drug Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 per dose, is emblematic of the debate about the responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies and business more generally. The case asks: Do pharmaceutical executives have a responsibility to patients when setting drug prices, or are they beholden only to their shareholders? More broadly, what are the responsibilities of companies to shareholders relative to other stakeholders? And what role should be taken by public policy makers in this domain? While set primarily in the United States, the case raises questions of corporate social responsibility and public policy for the global healthcare industry and business more generally. It provides an opportunity to explore the potentially conflicting demands of shareholders and stakeholders, the limits of industry self-regulation and the need for government-imposed price controls, notably in the context of patent monopolies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To explore the nature of corporate social responsibility and its role in business decision-making, especially when the interests of different stakeholders are potentially in conflict. 2. To debate the responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies and other firms providing lifesaving products and services in relation to decisions about price and profitability. 3. How managers can strike a balance between obligations to different stakeholders, applying considerations of profitability, social responsibility, moral obligation, protecting corporate reputation and enlightened self-interest in the context of a life-threatening human need. 4. To identify the limits to corporate social responsibility in answer to the question: How much is enough? 5. To discuss how industries can police themselves, and the role of public policy interventions and industry regulation when they cannot. 6. To highlight the new challenges posed by public dissatisfaction with questionable company practices as expressed via social media, and the implications for business.

Keywords:
Corporate Social Responsibility (csr), Stakeholders, Shareholder Primacy Norm, Drug Prices, Fairness in Pricing, Price Gouging, Government Regulation, Industry Self-Regulation, Patent Monopolies, Industry Reputation, Social Media, Pharmaceutical Industry, Valeant Pharmaceuticals

published: 29 May 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Public transportation/Taxi
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case explores the changes wrought by the “sharing economy”, examining the innovations and controversies surrounding the online ride-hailing service Uber. It provides a unique overview of the challenges posed by new business models like Uber’s, which use the internet to link individual providers of goods and services to customers. Raising significant economic, social and environmental sustainability issues, it asks: what are the responsibilities of “sharing economy” companies? More specifically, are they merely “technological platforms” facilitating transactions for private individuals or do they have the same responsibilities as real-world companies such as transportation businesses, hotels and employment agencies?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To explore the societal changes brought about by the “sharing economy” model and examine the role of corporate social responsibility and sustainability in developing that new economy. 2. To examine the difficulty of defining the “sharing economy” and explore how various possible definitions influence such companies’ responsibilities and how they are regulated. 3. To facilitate discussion of issues such as labour relations and regulatory oversight of companies created by emerging technologies. 4. To explore the potential for greater sustainability through the adoption of “sharing economy” business models. 5. To encourage discussion of positive and negative strategies that technology companies can use to engage with regulators when introducing new platforms and business models.

Keywords:
Sharing Economy, Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital Economy, Digital Disruption, New Business Models, Labour Rights, Consumer Safety, Business Regulation, Taxi Companies, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

Prizes won:
- Winner of the 2019 Case Centre Awards, Ethics and Social Responsibility Category
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Ethics and Social Responsibility
- Second Prize in the Corporate Sustainability track of oikos Case Writing Competition 2017

published: 21 Apr 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Non-profit sector (education)
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In the eight years since doing his MBA, John Wood has had a stellar career with Microsoft, where he is considered a rising star. But John feels a sense of purpose is missing from his corporate career. When he comes face to face with poverty in remote villages in Nepal, he contemplates quitting his prestigious job and starting a non-profit venture setting up libraries to educate underprivileged children in poor countries. However, he is unsure whether such a drastic step would be a smart move. What should John do?

Pedagogical Objectives:
It is common for people with seemingly successful corporate careers to have doubts about whether they are ‘making a difference’. John Wood’s dilemma is designed to launch a discussion on how people evaluate the societal impact of their work, how they come to define ‘career success’, and how they find a unique path to happiness in their professional life. The mini-case can also be used to debate whether and when maximizing one’s societal impact requires giving up a corporate career and making significant financial sacrifice (e.g., by joining a non-profit organization or a social enterprise). This idea can be developed further to examine how one may be able to bring about significant positive change from within a traditional company, e.g. as an “intrapreneur” driving corporate social initiatives.

Keywords:
Social Impact, Careers, Non-Profit Ventures, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Sustainable Development, Sustainability, Corporate Intrapreneurship, Asia, Nepal, Education, Charity, Philanthropy

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