Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1999

Hans Fritz at Novartis Thailand (A): The First Month

by Michael Y. Yoshino and Carin-Isabel Knoop


Dr. Hans Fritz is 37 years old when he arrives in Bangkok on March 1, 1998 to assume his position as general manager of Novartis Thailand. Novartis is the world's largest pharmaceutical company. He had lobbied to transition from a staff position to this line management assignment. He encounters an organization in chaos, a demoralized staff, and a market in crisis. The case describes his first month in this new position. His most important task at this stage is to set priorities when everything needs to be done at once. He has to decide whom to trust on his team and what to do in the short, medium, and long term.

Keywords: Management Teams; Organizational Structure; Transition; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Working Conditions; Organizational Culture; Growth and Development Strategy; Crisis Management; Decision Making; Pharmaceutical Industry; Thailand;


Yoshino, Michael Y., and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Hans Fritz at Novartis Thailand (A): The First Month." Harvard Business School Case 399-123, March 1999.