Product Number: 9B08M085
Publication Date: 10/24/2008
Length: 6 pages (6 pages of text)
BestSeller: 2017; 2015; 2014
This note details the basic components of case-based learning, a method chosen by professors for its effectiveness. Designed as an introduction, this note outlines the goals of case learning, how to prepare for class discussions and what to expect during group assignments.
Product Number: 9B16A012
Publication Date: 05/09/2016
Length: 15 pages (7 pages of text)
On August 3, 2015, Fitbit, Inc.’s (Fitbit) stock price hit an all-time high of $50.99. A few months earlier, when Fitbit went public on June 18, it had opened on its first day of trading at a price of $30.40 — 52 per cent higher than its initial public offering price. As what appeared to be the most successful initial public offering of the year, Fitbit attracted significant attention and inevitably drew controversy as well. Some investors saw great potential and a promising future for Fitbit. Others were less positive, calling it a fad without any real opportunity for future development. In the face of growing competition from rivals with more extensive consumer bases, Fitbit wanted to ensure that it achieved sustainable growth. What was Fitbit, and what could it become? The question concerned not only potential investors but also the chief executive officer of the high-tech company.
Product Number: 9A98M006
Publication Date: 05/14/1998
Length: 23 pages (16 pages of text)
Starbucks is faced with the issue of how it should leverage its core competencies against various opportunities for growth, including introducing its coffee in McDonald’s, pursuing further expansion of its retail operations, and leveraging the brand into other product areas. The case is written so that students need to first identify where Starbucks competencies lie along the value chain, and assess how well those competencies can be leveraged across the various alternatives. It also provides an opportunity for students to assess what is driving growth in this company. Starbucks has a tremendous appetite for cash since all its stores are corporate, and investors are betting that it will be able to continue its phenomenal growth, so it needs to walk a fine line between leveraging its brand to achieve growth while not eroding it in the process. This is an exciting case that quickly captures the attention of students.
Product Number: 9B18M091
Publication Date: 06/15/2018
Length: 20 pages (10 pages of text)
In January 2017, Groupe PSA (PSA), the France-based automobile manufacturer known for its brands Peugeot, Citroën, and DS Automobiles, announced its partnership with the Indian conglomerate CK Birla Group, which would enable the company to re-enter India after having left in 2012. PSA had entered India twice before, through a joint venture with Premier Automobile Limited in 1994 and again in 2011, but both times had been unsuccessful due to production losses, labour unrest, and pressures related to the financial crisis in Europe. The Indian automobile industry was one of the largest in the world. It contributed 7.1 per cent of India's gross domestic product in 2017 and was expected to contribute 12 per cent by 2026. All major automobile manufacturers had set up base in India, and to be truly global, PSA also needed a presence in India. In its previous attempts, PSA had suffered and failed to build its brand. The re-entry decision therefore raised many questions: Was a joint venture the right entry method, or would an Indian subsidiary have been better? Which segments should PSA target? What should it do with the Ambassador brand it had acquired from CK Birla Group in 2017?
Product Number: 9B13C012
Publication Date: 06/17/2013
Revised Date: 06/14/2002
Length: 7 pages (6 pages of text)
The owner of a small-scale film production company contemplated his next steps in dealing with the newest of his six employees. In the past month, an unpaid intern, hired on a four-month contract, had performed work and exhibited behaviour that was contrary to the company’s culture. The intern had been late to deliver his work and had spoken disparagingly to clients about the company. The owner now had to try to rectify matters.
Product Number: 9B04M082
Publication Date: 01/28/2005
Length: 20 pages (11 pages of text)
The president of Loblaw Companies Limited must decide what to do in response to the rumoured introduction of Wal-Mart's SuperCenters (combining grocery and non-food items) in Canada. The potential launch of SuperCenters in Canada was seen by observers as a threat to Loblaw, the market leader in Canadian grocery. Wal-Mart is a vigorous competitor, and the Every Day Low Prices strategy of Wal-Mart's SuperCenters could wean away traffic from Loblaw's various banners.
Product Number: 9B10M039
Publication Date: 07/05/2010
Length: 14 pages (8 pages of text)
Porter Airlines is a regional airline operating out of Toronto City Airport on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Porter operates only Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 turboprop aircraft and has flights to destinations in Canada and the United States. Porter targets business passengers who find the Toronto International Airport unattractive. Since its inception, Porter Airlines disproved many who thought it was doomed to failure by successfully navigating the first few years of its existence. It tapped into unmet customer needs with a unique strategy. However, a critical question that needed to be addressed was whether this particular business model, so successful thus far, would remain valid. Additionally, Porter needed to decide how it planned to expand and how aggressive it should be when entering new, highly competitive markets.
Product Number: 9B18A025
Publication Date: 04/24/2018
Length: 12 pages (6 pages of text)
In February 2018, Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon) was tackling what seemed to be the most challenging problem in grocery retailing—how to efficiently and effectively deliver groceries to customers—known generally as the last-mile challenge. Seattle-based Amazon, which had 22 years of experience delivering goods such as books, apparel, and electronics sold on its website, had already proven that it could efficiently deliver general merchandise to customers. Yet, groceries presented a unique challenge because they were perishable and customers paid more attention to getting them in a timely fashion. After all, it was food that was being carried to the consumer’s home. Amazon’s efforts to solve the last mile challenge for grocery delivery had not thus far been successful. In November 2017, it shut down its AmazonFresh delivery service in five states but claimed this was unrelated to its purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. Could Amazon successfully overcome the challenge of last-mile grocery delivery? If so, what were the implications for Amazon and other retailers?
Product Number: 9B07A010
Publication Date: 05/01/2007
Length: 16 pages (8 pages of text)
Dove is one of Unilever's better-known personal care brands. It has significant top-of-mind awareness among women in many countries. In an attempt to increase sales volume by 80 per cent, Unilever re-launched Dove in 2004. The campaign asks the question What is real beauty? and attempts to redefine it in ways that challenge commonly portrayed stereotypes. This case examines the re-launch of Dove, Unilever's well-known international personal care brand, and the marketing issues behind its phenomenal success. It also raises questions about how to maintain the brand's momentum as the next phase unfolds. In 2007, Dove products are still well thought of by consumers and the campaign has attracted imitators, including brands outside the cosmetics and beauty care sector.
Product Number: 9B11M086
Publication Date: 09/13/2011
Length: 12 pages (10 pages of text)
BestSeller: 2015; 2014; 2013
The world famous toymaker, The LEGO Group, assembled an internal management team to create a strategic report on LEGO’s different product lines and business operations. In recent years, numerous threats to LEGO had emerged in the toy industry. The acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by The Walt Disney Company created major implications for valuable toy license agreements. LEGO had also recently lost a long legal battle with major competitor MEGA Brands, makers of MEGA Bloks, with a European Union court decision that removed the LEGO brick trademark. Furthermore, the second-largest toymaker in the world, Hasbro, was preparing to launch a new rival product line called Kre-O. It was critical for the management team to identify where to expand LEGO’s product lines and business operations, in order to develop a competitive strategy to continue the organization’s recent years of financial success and dominance in the building toy market.
Product Number: 9B14M039
Publication Date: 03/17/2014
Length: 13 pages (11 pages of text)
Vice Media has gone from a startup in Canada to landing in New York City and assiduously building a global youth brand through unique and seemingly inimitable competitive advantages. While globalizing its operations, Vice Media appears to have developed expertise in standardizing certain aspects of its business, adapting others to local context and, increasingly, building a global chain. Given Vice Media’s explosive growth, how can its global value chain be structured to maintain the carefully cultivated emotional connection the company has created with its audience?
Product Number: 9B14M114
Publication Date: 11/10/2014
Length: 15 pages (10 pages of text)
In 2014, Tim Hortons Inc., a powerhouse in the Canadian quick service restaurant industry for 50 years, has a number of strategic choices to make if it is going to address increasing competition and shifting consumer trends. To have an international presence, it needs the financial resources, organizational capabilities, store saturation, product innovation and brand recognition to compete with Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, the world’s largest and best known providers of fast food such as coffee, donuts and sandwiches. However, while the brand is almost synonymous with Canada, it is far less known beyond that country’s borders. In mid-August, the company announced its potential acquisition by 3G Capital, the Brazilian parent of Burger King, but this still has to be approved by its shareholders and likely by Canadian and U.S. regulators. The potential merger might help the company move forward, but will it be enough to create a competitive advantage on a global scale?
Product Number: 9B06B010
Publication Date: 01/30/2007
Length: 13 pages (7 pages of text)
Students are asked to assess a potential purchaser's personal goals and skills, as well as: financial feasibility, operating capacity and current promotional strategy to determine if a legal courier company should be purchased. Students are expected to develop detailed cash budgets, evaluate current pricing and promotional strategies, and to make recommendations about financing and the number of employees to hire under different volume assumptions.
Product Number: 9B04M016
Publication Date: 05/14/2004
Length: 18 pages (12 pages of text)
Eli Lilly and Company is a leading U.S. pharmaceutical company. The new president of intercontinental operations is re-evaluating all of the company's divisions, including the joint venture with Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, one of India's largest pharmaceutical companies. This joint venture has run smoothly for a number of years despite their differences in focus, but recently Ranbaxy was experiencing cash flow difficulties due to its network of international sales. In addition, the Indian government was changing regulations for businesses in India, and joining the World Trade Organization would have an effect on India's chemical and drug regulations. The president must determine if this international joint venture still fits Eli Lilly's strategic objectives.
Product Number: 9B05M037
Publication Date: 06/14/2005
Length: 13 pages (6 pages of text)
Harlequin Enterprises is a well-known publisher of series romantic fiction. The company is facing threats to its leading position as the world's largest romance publisher. While Harlequin was the dominant and very profitable producer of series of romance novels, research indicated that many customers were reading as many single-title romance and women's fiction as series romances. Facing a steady loss of share, Harlequin convened a task force to study the possibility of re-launching a single title women's fiction program. Students must analyze the organization's capabilities and resources as it considers the launch of this new business line.
Product Number: 9B11M072
Publication Date: 09/19/2011
Length: 21 pages (10 pages of text)
In July 2004, Bombardier Aerospace announced its intention to develop a new family of aircraft called CSeries. In May 2007, three years after the initial announcement, the final decision on whether to proceed with the initiative was still pending. Moreover, during this period, the company released several confusing announcements that raised concerns among investors and industry analysts regarding the sustainability of the company’s long-term strategy. In the meantime, Brazilian Embraer had invested heavily in research and development and had taken the leadership position in the regional aircraft segment from Bombardier. Consequently, Bombardier was faced with a serious dilemma of whether or not to launch the CSeries project. The decision was expected to have a major impact on the future market positioning of Bombardier.
Product Number: 9B16D026
Publication Date: 12/21/2016
Length: 8 pages (6 pages of text)
In 2016, blockchain, the technological innovation behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin, was gaining traction as companies began to integrate blockchain-based technology into their existing business models. While blockchain technology was still in its infancy, it could potentially transform the US$40 trillion global supply-chain industry. Ultimately, the emergence of blockchain would challenge market positioning in established businesses. Some advantages would become obsolete with the introduction of blockchain into the supply-chain network. How would vertically integrated companies compete with multiple participants that specialized in a particular task linked by blockchain? Would the key to future businesses be providing value-added services rather than seeking information asymmetry in the market? What kinds of firms could leverage this technology to better position their brands and value creation?
Product Number: 9B03C010
Publication Date: 05/31/2003
Length: 7 pages (7 pages of text)
Elise Smart must decide what performance assessment to give one of her employees who has, uncharacteristically, failed to meet one of her key objectives for the year. The situation is difficult for several reasons; the causes of the unacceptable performance are not clear; the employee has previously received excellent appraisals, including a recent one by the vice-president; and the employee was absent for a good part of the year on maternity leave. The various factors that influence sustained performance (ability, motivation, resources, role clarity, reinforcement) are examined, as well as steps leaders can take in improving performance of those for whom they are responsible.
Product Number: 9B11C016
Publication Date: 09/09/2011
Length: 4 pages (3 pages of text)
The vice president of communications of Domino’s Pizza International faced a significant threat to his company’s reputation due to negative social media exposure. A video had been posted on YouTube two days earlier by a Domino’s employee that showed two Domino’s employees at a North Carolina franchise tampering with customers’ pizza and sandwich orders. The employee stuck cheese up his nose, sneezed on the food prior to boxing it up, and could be overheard in the video admitting that the orders would soon be delivered to unsuspecting customers. The video went viral; it had been reposted to Twitter and Facebook, and received almost a million views and many comments on YouTube. It was also receiving attention from both local and national media channels. The senior executive team of Domino’s was meeting with the vice president in a matter of hours, and Domino’s social media team would need to devise a plan to respond to the video to protect Domino’s strong brand image before it was too late.
Product Number: 9B18M126
Publication Date: 08/31/2018
Length: 13 pages (8 pages of text)
In June 2013, the general manager of the Banff Aspen Lodge in Alberta, Canada, had to decide how to use the space previously vacated by a gift shop that had been housed in the lobby of the hotel. With high occupancy rates and no immediate pressure to add significantly to the hotel’s bottom line, the general manager had the luxury of testing new services that could help deliver on the hotel’s mission to provide every guest with an exceptional experience. However, he had to work within the hotel’s footprint at the time. He was considering using the prime storefront space to add a restaurant or a café. He also knew, however, that complementary service offerings could pull resources away from the hotel’s core lodging offering and pull him away from crucial long-term business development.
Huayi Compressor Barcelona, S.L. was founded in 2013 when Huayi Group (Huayi), a Chinese state-owned enterprise, acquired Cubigel Compressors, S.A., a bankrupt Spanish industrial enterprise. While labour complications and other difficulties developed during the acquisition process, Huayi successfully managed the transition in May 2013. Despite this initial achievement, challenges related to the recovery of productivity, markets, and profitability continued. In January 2014, the general manager of Huayi Compressor Barcelona, S.L., who managed the transition, received a request to return to Huayi headquarters in Sichuan, China. From his Barcelona office, he grew concerned about several challenges: Who would be the right successor for his position? What strategy did Huayi need to consolidate its internationalization process? What knowledge could he transfer to China for future international strategies?
Product Number: 9B18MC001
Publication Date: 01/31/2018
Length: 10 pages
By 2015, China had one of the world’s largest and most complex healthcare industries. This industry had been undergoing unprecedented change in diverse areas, from policies to technologies. Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, China’s second-largest pharmaceutical company, spanned the entire pharmaceutical value chain, from product research and development to sales. The company’s core competency was in drug distribution, which generated 70 per cent of the firm’s revenue. The company’s leadership in distribution was enabled by its information technology infrastructure and data. However, with the Internet and digital technologies becoming key drivers of China’s healthcare sector, the company needed to rethink its business and develop a future strategy to sustain its success in the age of digital disruption.
Product Number: 9B16MC169
Publication Date: 01/27/2017
Length: 11 pages
In June 2014, Hisense of China and Hitachi of Japan were considering whether their 11-year-old joint venture (JV) should once again assume responsibility for its international sales. After developing a solid central air-conditioner market share in China, in 2009, the JV began to sell in various overseas regions but struggled. In April 2012, the partners agreed to have a Hisense subsidiary (the HIMC) assume full responsibility for selling the JV’s products overseas. However, over the next two years, HIMC’s performance in selling the JV’s products overseas was unsatisfactory. In response, the partners began to discuss whether they should have the JV sell its own products again overseas. Of immediate interest was the Southeast Asian market.
Product Number: 9B16EC036
Publication Date: 12/06/2016
Length: 11 pages
Alibaba Group (Alibaba) had grown from its founding in 1999, in an effort to help Chinese manufacturers and exporters reach global markets, to become a global leader in e-commerce, big data, and cloud technology. The company’s 2014 initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange had been the largest to date. The company’s founder and chairman, Jack Ma, had used the funds to globally expand Alibaba’s operations and its hold on diverse markets. Ma’s aim was to have Alibaba exist in three centuries and to not only generate profits but also improve lives and societies in China and beyond. How could Ma ensure long-term success for shareholders and prosperity for China and the world?
In 2012, Germany-based Putzmeister was acquired by China-based SANY, the largest concrete machinery manufacturer in the world. By early 2015, the degree and extent of integration was still incomplete, which put pressure on SANY’s management. SANY focused mainly on the Chinese domestic market, whereas Putzmeister had an established brand and good experience in international markets. Should the acquisition integration focus only on Putzmeister, or should it be tied more closely to SANY’s strategic renewal? SANY and Putzmeister had launched a “double-brand strategy” in specific markets, but was it the appropriate strategy?
In 2015, Didi and Kuaidi, the two leading players in China’s Internet-based ride-hailing industry, merged to form Didi Kuaidi. The combined firm represented one of the world’s largest Internet- and smartphone-based transport service companies, valued at about $6 billion. In its home market of China, Didi Kuaidi left its biggest competitor, Uber, a distant second. Meanwhile, Didi Kuaidi actively pursued global growth. For example, it invested in and partnered with Lyft, Uber’s major competitor in the United States. However, the business and policy environment of the Internet transport service market was constantly evolving. The merged Didi Kuaidi needed to carefully create a portfolio of strategies to sustainably compete in both local and global markets.
Can be used in conjunction with 9B16M059.
Product Number: 9B16M059
Length: 10 pages
In 2014, China’s leading domestic Internet-based ride-hailing company, Didi, claimed more than 50 per cent of the Chinese ride-hailing market, followed closely by a major local competitor, Kuaidi. As Didi and Kuaidi actively competed against each other, U.S.-based Uber entered the battle with a different strategy. In the face of the increasingly complex and constantly changing landscape of China’s ride-hailing market, Didi’s founders wondered what their next steps should be. What should the company do to sustain and strengthen its leadership in the nascent ride-hailing market? Can be used in conjunction with 9B16M060.
Product Number: 9B15MC099
Publication Date: 10/21/2015
Length: 16 pages
This case describes how General Electric has developed its China Technology Center over the past decade. The case also elaborates on the changing role of the China Technology Center in General Electric’s global research and development strategy. In 2000, General Electric set up its China Technology Center in Shanghai after bringing its technologies and products to China. In the first few years, the focus of the China Technology Center was to build local engineering teams, learn about customer needs, determine successful marketing strategies, and to develop relationships with local suppliers in order to reduce costs. Over time, the China Technology Center developed its “In China for China” strategy by adjusting its own products and designs to adapt to the local market, while still developing innovative technologies and products to address China’s toughest challenges — such as those encountered in the healthcare industry. This strategy was very successful; some innovations from the China Technology Center were used in other emerging markets as well as in U.S. and European markets — a process that is known as reverse innovation.
Product Number: 9B15E015
Publication Date: 08/13/2015
Length: 20 pages
A nascent women’s apparel online store on Tmall, China's largest business-to-consumer retail platform operated by Alibaba Group, was just beginning to establish itself on the online market utilizing the tools and services provided by Tmall to develop and operate its business. Within four months after the business was launched, Tmall unexpectedly released a new policy which significantly increased the annual service fee and cash deposit for individual stores. This new policy, which was to come into effect in less than three months following the announcement, could render the business of small- and medium-sized e-commerce stores, such as the newwomen’s apparel start-up, on Tmall unprofitable. The management team of the fledgling clothing business had to reconsider whether to renew their contract with Tmall or transfer their store to one of the alternative online platforms, such as Alibaba Group's Taobao Marketplace, Tencent Group’s Shop.QQ or Amazon.com’s Amazon.cn.
Product Number: 9B14CC054
Publication Date: 06/24/2015
Length: 10 pages
In September 2008, the CEO of Rainbow Group, a Chinese group of companies specializing in environmental protection services, was in Beijing, China, thinking about his experience that evening. A few hours ago, eight senior executives from Rainbow Group’s subsidiary in Hangzhou had come to Beijing requesting that the CEO fire their general manager, who had been appointed by the CEO only six months ago. This manager had taken control of the Hangzhou subsidiary with ambitious efforts to implement lean management and better cost control, but had met resistance from the other managers. The CEO was reviewing this appointment and thinking hard. What was the problem? What should he do?
An equity research analyst is preparing to attend a road show presentation by WH Group Limited, the world’s largest pork company headquartered in Hong Kong, concerning its upcoming initial public offering. She is reviewing the preliminary prospectus as well as other publicly available background information on the company and its two core subsidiaries, Shuanghui International Holdings Inc. and Smithfield Foods Inc., whose recent acquisition was the largest by a Chinese company of a U.S. firm. She wants to assess the prospects for the company as a whole and arrive at her own independent valuation to support a buy or no buy recommendation for her fund. Her analysis includes assessments of economic conditions and the pork industry in the United States and China and the perceived strengths and weaknesses of WH Group, including the issue of large bonuses to corporate executives and the benefits or risks of the recent acquisition.
Kevin Au, Andrew C.F. Chan, Howard Lam, Cinty Li
Product Number: 9B15M017
Publication Date: 2/24/2015
Length: 13 pages
Following a leadership crisis, the chairman of Tse Sui Luen Jewellery (TSL) had revitalized the company and now wondered which initiatives TSL should tackle next. An event showcasing TSL’s newest designs had been the latest push in her campaign to renew the family business, which was renowned for its entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. With the upcoming year promising to be a busy one, the chairman and her management team must plan and implement new strategies to capture opportunities while maintaining TSL’s core values and capitalizing on its revitalized brand.
Xiaosong Lin, Christopher Williams, Zhirong Mu
Product Number: 9B14M113
Publication Date: 9/09/2014
Length: 11 pages
The Hongxin Entrepreneur Incubator, located in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China, has experienced tremendous growth between 2001 and 2013. Its founder and president has received widespread acclaim as he has helped to launch and turn around more than 100 local companies, both start-ups and more developed enterprises. He now plans to develop and grow the incubator by setting it up as an online platform that would connect and support an alliance of entrepreneurs on a scale never seen before in China. As he looks forward to taking it in this new direction, he wonders how he can ensure continued success and maintain his philosophy of caring for the community of entrepreneurs while maximizing profits.
Wang Ting, Paul W. Beamish, Zhou Liman, Luo Jingjing
Product Number: 9B14C009
Publication Date: 2/14/2014
Length: 10 pages
In February 2012, a human resources appointment attracted wide attention from China's domestic lubricating oil industry. The iconic general manager of Shell Tongyi (Beijing) Petroleum Chemical Co., Ltd. officially took the position as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Huo's Group, thus returning to work for his former boss, the founder of the former Tongyi Lubricating Oil. Before the merger between Tongyi and Shell in 2006, the private entrepreneur and the professional manager had jointly created the well-known Tongyi Lubricating Oil and were renowned as "perfect partners" by many in the business media. In 2012, their hope was to achieve glory again on this wider business platform - Huo's Group. Was this likely?
- Glenn Rowe, Yeh-Yun (Carol) Lin
Product Number: 9B11M016
Publication Date: 6/28/2011
Length: 14 pages
In 1985, the president and founder of New Deantronics (ND) launched her sales office in San Francisco, California, and then set up a factory in Taiwan in 1987. With no technical background or prior experience, the president used her system of management strategy and philosophy and built ND’s reputation as a trusted manufacturer and developer of medical devices. All of ND’s products were directly exported to large global health-care companies, including Philips Medical Systems, Johnson & Johnson, and Covidien. With the rapid increase in business, the need for expanding production capacity became increasingly urgent. Sitting in her office in early 2009, the president knew that she could no longer postpone her decision to relocate. Several options were presented to her, and the factors that influenced her decision included considerations about the supply of quality human resources, geographical convenience, the willingness of her current employees to relocate, affordability, and the possibility for future expansion. The president pondered what would be the best bet.
Product Number: 9B11M038
Publication Date: 6/22/2011
Length: 10 pages
This case examines the family business constitution created by Dawu Group’s founder, Sun Dawu. It was the only such system in China to date, and made it possible for the group to survive near-fatal challenges. The case starts with problems Sun Dawu encountered, such as a salary-rise request from a recently elected board member; managers’ doubts about the constitution system; and the suspicion of external experts and journalists regarding the group’s elections. The case examines the history of Dawu Group, the family business constitution system, and the approach Sun Dawu took to address succession. One of the issues the family business owner faced was whether it was possible to solve the internal challenges and external doubts about family business succession and governance and, if so, how.