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Leadership & Organisations

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published: 22 Aug 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Retail, Technology, eCommerce
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
After 18 months of attempting to transition the company to holacracy, Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ celebrity CEO, decided it was time to make the change happen. In March 2015, he sent an email to all Zappos employees offering them 3 months’ severance pay if they felt that self-management was not for them. One month later, 14% of the workforce had quit, including 20% of the tech department, potentially putting at risk a complex transition to a new online platform mandated by parent company Amazon. The case recounts how Tony Hsieh financed, championed, and ultimately became CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos. A passionate entrepreneur who made millions at a young age, Hsieh was known for his penthouse parties, for what he referred to as his “tribe”. He brought the same sense of community to Zappos, which he moved from San Francisco to Las Vegas where employees could “be like family”. Despite the company’s unabashedly weird culture, it had the lowest employee turnover rate in the industry. Widely admired for its outstanding customer service, Zappos was repeatedly listed among Fortune’s “Best Places To Work.” When in 2009 Amazon acquired Zappos for $1.2 billion, it promised to preserve its management and culture. But Hsieh’s decision to implement holacracy – a form of organizational self-management that replaces job titles and hierarchy with “circles” that employees step in and out of according to their preferences and skills – was less popular than hoped. Hence his “rip the Band-Aid” approach, to ensure that only employees committed to the change remained at the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Analyzing the role of culture in developing an organization’s competitive advantage - Discussing the purpose and impact of structure on those within an organization - Understanding the emotional experience of organizational change - Evaluating leadership in the context of radical change

Keywords:
Organizational Culture, Structure, Organizational Change, Leadership, Leading Change, Management, Holacracy

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published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Digital design consulting
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
How can an organization help its employees’ creativity thrive? When Rokey Zhang and Ricky Xu founded Eico in 2004, no one could predict the scale of China’s mobile and e-commerce revolution. Fourteen years later, they have ridden that wave of change to play a key role in designing some of the most influential and popular digital services in China. But it has not been easy. Charting the cultural, organizational, and business-related issues they encountered as the firm grew, the case explores the changes made to its structure , how systems and processes are designed to overcome national and cultural impediments to the creative process, and why Eico is able to work in an environment which other design agencies have found particularly challenging.

Pedagogical Objectives:
- Explore the ways processes can be used to foster and sell creativity and innovation. - Analyze the role of culture in establishing an organization’s competitive advantage. - Consider the similarities and differences between driving innovation in China compared to the West. - Understand the experience of the entrepreneurial process.

Keywords:
China, Creativity, Organizational Design, Organizational Culture, Digital Design, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Design Thinking, Organizational Routines, Management, Innovation

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • 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

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case accounts for the gender pay gap in companies and industries around the world. In Europe, women earn on average 84 cents per hour for every euro men make. In the United States, they earn between 80 and 82 cents per hour for every dollar made by a man. The gap widens further after women have children. Iceland is a rare exception; companies in Iceland are under a legal obligation to prove that they offer equal pay. Elsewhere, the under-representation of women in leadership roles in government, industry, the boardroom and c-suite means a dearth of role models for girls. The case shines a spotlight on ingrained behaviours and perceptions that condone the gender pay gap on the grounds that men have more responsible jobs and hold more senior positions.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed for MBA participants and senior executives entering the labour force at management level or returning to the job market (female and male employees alike). It focuses on a key public policy issue that is present at all levels in the public and private sectors. Without seeking to present instant solutions to one of the thorniest problems facing organizations, it gives instructors the opportunity to demonstrate concern about gender-related issues and flexibility in handling classroom discussion on this hot topic.

Keywords:
Gender Pay Gap, Job Discrimination, Pay Data, Childbirth, Senior Positions, Low-Paid Work, Government Intervention, Women’s Work, Gender Segregation, Female Earnings, Pay Difference, Career Choices, Status Quo, Public Policy

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations

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Abstract:
A participant in an executive education leadership course decides the material is irrelevant and repeatedly disrupts the classes during the week-long programme. Other participants become somewhat resigned, cease to engage and effectively “check out”. While they criticize him behind his back, they do nothing to make a positive change in the classroom. The case illustrates a common situation in which people fail to show leadership and thus allow themselves and others to be harmed. It also raises questions about the ethical obligations of a critic.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case illustrates a common type of situation in which people fail to show leadership and thus let themselves and others be harmed. It also raises questions about the ethical obligations of a critic. The main objective is to make plain that leadership failures occur in everyday social situations.

Keywords:
Leadership, Ethics, Group Dynamics

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: 25 Jun 2018

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Abstract:
Her Opponent is a video case available on the dedicated case website. Actors of the opposite gender portray Clinton (played by a man) and Trump (played by a woman), replicating every word, intonation, facial and non-verbal expression of the candidates. Her Opponent stemmed from a thought experiment: What if Donald Trump had been a woman, and Hillary Clinton had been a man? How would the debates have unfolded and what difference might there have been? The audience experiences first-hand a counterfactual reality as the basis for discussing how it affects perceptions of the speakers.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is a unique opportunity for students to experience how their perceptions of others – and what they communicate – can change based on surface-level characteristics. It opens up a broader discussion on what shapes our perceptions of others, and their perceptions of us. In watching a debate between two public figures (Clinton and Trump) portrayed by actors of the opposite gender, students experience the way their perceptions of the person and the message can shift as a function of seemingly irrelevant factors. The aim is to enable students to: • Understand the factors that shape their perceptions of others; • Experience how their impressions of the message may change as a function of the person delivering the message; • Reflect on how they may be perceived by others based on surface-level characteristics; • Understand what they can do (as the perceivers and the perceived) to guard against perceptual bias.

Keywords:
Perception, Bias, Gender, Leadership, Politics, Debate, Experiment, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Rhetoric, Unconscious Bias

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations

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Abstract:
This exercise can be used to illustrate challenges in implementing evidence-based hiring practices. Should screening procedures that are self-evidently valid be subjected to empirical scrutiny? What obstacles exist to challenging longstanding procedures? What is the cost of experimenting? What is the (opportunity) cost of not experimenting?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate the challenges of testing ideas that seem self-evident.

Keywords:
Evidence-Based, Experimentation, Consulting

published: 05 May 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Pharma
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This two-party negotiation is an ideal introductory negotiation role-play to raise issues of assumptions, win-win/win-lose, competition/collaboration, interests/positions, single-/multi-issue, positions/options. Two companies, SuperPharma and PharmaCaring, both want to buy 10,000 rare Oxipouco fruits, which contain different compounds. Students tend to focus on the fruits rather than on the compounds.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Win-lose vs. win-win assumptions (or zero-sum vs. positive sum or integrative vs. distributive or competition vs. collaboration) 2. Interests vs. position 3. Single-issue vs. multi-issue negotiations (options) 4. Communication/preparation vs information asymmetry 5. Risk/reward analysis

Keywords:
Win-Lose Vs. Win-Win Assumptions, Zero-Sum Vs. Positive Sum, Integrative Vs. Distributive, Competition Vs. Collaboration, Interests Vs. Position, Single-Issue Vs. Multi-Issue Negotiations (options), Communication/preparation Vs Information Asymmetry, Risk/reward Analysis

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published: 05 May 2018

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Pharma
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
This two-party negotiation is an ideal introductory negotiation role-play to raise issues of assumptions, win-win/win-lose, competition/collaboration, interests/positions, single-/multi-issue, positions/options. Two companies, SuperPharma and PharmaCaring, both want to buy 10,000 rare Oxipouco fruits, which contain different compounds. Students tend to focus on the fruits rather than on the compounds.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. Win-lose vs. win-win assumptions (or zero-sum vs. positive sum or integrative vs. distributive or competition vs. collaboration) 2. Interests vs. position 3. Single-issue vs. multi-issue negotiations (options) 4. Communication/preparation vs information asymmetry 5. Risk/reward analysis

Keywords:
Win-Lose Vs. Win-Win Assumptions, Zero-Sum Vs. Positive Sum, Integrative Vs. Distributive, Competition Vs. Collaboration, Interests Vs. Position, Single-Issue Vs. Multi-Issue Negotiations (options), Communication/preparation Vs Information Asymmetry, Risk/reward Analysis

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