Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration
Senior Associate Dean, Chair, MBA Program

Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. A member of the faculty since 2003, Professor Oberholzer-Gee received his Masters degree, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich. His first faculty position was at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches competitive strategy in executive education programs such as the Program for Leadership Development, the Senior Executive Program for China, and in a program for media executives titled Effective Strategies for Media Companies. His course Strategies Beyond the Market is a popular elective class for second-year MBA students. Professor Oberholzer-Gee won numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including the Harvard Business School Class of 2006 Faculty Teaching Award for best teacher in the core curriculum, and the 2002 Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award for best teacher in the Wharton MBA program. Prior to his academic career, Professor Oberholzer-Gee served as managing director of Symo Electronics, a Swiss-based process control company.

Professor Oberholzer-Gee’s research and consulting are centered on competitive strategy, international competition, and non-market strategy, a branch of strategic management that studies how companies best work with government and non-governmental groups. In recent work, he studied how entertainment companies can successfully manage the digital transition. Dating back to a study abroad program as an undergraduate, Professor Oberholzer-Gee has a long-standing interest in the Chinese economy and Chinese companies. In recent academic work, he compared the financial performance of Chinese companies with the performance of multinationals operating in China. In a related study, he explored how and why Chinese companies diversify their activities. Professor Oberholzer-Gee’s academic work has been published in the very best, peer-reviewed journals of his profession, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Financial Economics, and Journal of Law & Economics. His work has been profiled by media outlets around the world, including ABC Nightly News, Financial Times, Guardian, Le Figaro, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, New York Times, Singapore Straits Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Books

Journal Articles

  1. The Limits of Scale: Companies That Get Big Fast Are Often Left Behind. Here's Why.

    The value of many products and services rises or falls with the number of customers using them; the fewer fax machines in use, the less important it is to have one. These network effects influence consumer decisions and affect companies' ability to compete. Strategists have developed some well-known rules for navigating business environments with network effects. "Move first" is one, and "get big fast" is another. In a study of dozens of companies, however, the authors found that quite often the conventional wisdom was dead wrong. And when the rules failed, the reason was always the same: Companies trip up when they try to attract large volumes of customers without understanding (1) the strength of mutual attraction among various customer groups and (2) the extent of asymmetric attraction among them. Looking at examples such as TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, and the New York Times, the authors offer strategies for competing in markets with network effects. New entrants should focus on customer groups that they are uniquely positioned to serve or appeal to the most attractive customers in a market. Incumbents pursuing growth strategies in adjacent markets or new geographies should consider how similar the needs of new customers are to those of existing customers. Offering complements also allows incumbents to reach additional customer groups.

    Citation:

    Halaburda, Hanna, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "The Limits of Scale: Companies That Get Big Fast Are Often Left Behind. Here's Why." Harvard Business Review 92, no. 4 (April 2014): 95–99. View Details
  2. Strategic Management of Intellectual Property: An Integrated Approach

    In many organizations, the R&D, strategy, and legal functions are poorly integrated. As a consequence, firms miss opportunities to create and exploit the value of intellectual property. Functional silos are one reason for the lack of integration. More important, however, is the lack of a common framework and even language that would allow engineers, lawyers, and business executives to manage IP assets better. This article provides such a framework. There is no one best way to manage IP, and many managers overestimate the attractiveness of using IP to exert market power. Rather, the value of the various means to protect and benefit from IP depends on firm strategy, the competitive landscape, and the rapidly changing contours of intellectual property law.

    Keywords: intellectual property; innovation management; strategic management; knowledge management; legal aspects of business; licensing; Law; Innovation and Management; Knowledge Management; Intellectual Property; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Fisher III, William W., and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Strategic Management of Intellectual Property: An Integrated Approach." California Management Review 55, no. 4 (Summer 2013): 157–183. View Details
  3. Truth in Giving: Experimental Evidence on the Welfare Effects of Informed Giving to the Poor

    It is often difficult for donors to predict the value of charitable giving because they know little about the persons who receive their help. This concern is particularly acute when making contributions to organizations that serve heterogeneous populations. While we have considerable evidence that donors are more generous if they know their assistance benefits a preferred group, we know little about the demand for such information. To start closing this gap, we study transfers of income to real-world poor people in the context of dictator games. Our dictators can purchase signals about why the recipients are poor. We find that a third of the dictators are willing to pay a dollar to learn more about their recipient. Dictators who devote resources to acquiring information are individuals whose giving is particularly responsive to recipient type. They use the information mainly to withhold resources from "undeserving" types, leading to a drastic decline in aggregate transfers. With endogenous information about recipients, we find that all types of poor subjects are worse off. Our results suggest that the effects of "truth in giving" policies are highly responsive to recipient heterogeneity and biased against more generous giving.

    Keywords: Giving and Philanthropy; Policy; Information; Knowledge Acquisition; Game Theory; Prejudice and Bias; Poverty; Welfare or Wellbeing;

    Citation:

    Fong, Christina, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Truth in Giving: Experimental Evidence on the Welfare Effects of Informed Giving to the Poor." Special Issue on Charitable Giving and Fundraising Journal of Public Economics 95, nos. 5-6 (June 2011): 436–444. View Details
  4. Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?

    Since the dawn of broadcasting, and especially in the past decade, Americans have turned their attention from local to more distant sources of news and entertainment. While the integration of media markets will raise the private welfare of many consumers, critics of a globalized information and entertainment industry claim that transnational media undermine civic engagement, transforming locally engaged citizens into viewers consuming programming from distant sources. In response to such concerns, many regulatory agencies, including the Federal Communication Commission in the United States, curtail the integration of media markets to promote “localism.” To find the right balance between the private benefits of integrated markets and the public value of civic engagement, evidence on the size of the positive spillovers from local media is needed. To date, such evidence is scant. In this paper, we exploit the rapid growth of Hispanic communities in the United States to test whether the presence of local television news affects local civic behavior. Spanish-language local television news programming was available in 25 U.S. metro areas in 2002, up from only 14 areas in 1994. Our estimates indicate that Hispanic voter turnout increased by 5 to 10 percentage points, relative to non-Hispanic voter turnout, in markets where local Spanish-language television news became available. We conclude that the tradeoff between integrated media markets and civic engagement is real. The results of this study provide a basis for the continued pursuit of regulatory policies that promote localism.

    Keywords: Voting; Ethnicity Characteristics; Behavior; Local Range; Journalism and News Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Joel Waldfogel. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?" American Economic Review 99, no. 5 (December 2009). View Details
  5. Fairness in Extended Dictator-Game Experiments

    We test the robustness of behavior in dictator games by offering allocators the choice to play an unattractive lottery. With this lottery option, mean transfers from allocators to recipients substantially decline, partly because many allocators now keep the entire endowment for themselves (without playing the lottery). In our standard dictator game, the median transfer amounts to 41% of the dictators' endowment. Once the lottery option is present, the median transfer falls to zero. Introducing an additional unattractive choice thus leads subjects to violate the weak axiom of revealed preference (WARP).

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Fairness; Game Theory; Risk and Uncertainty; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Reiner Eichenberger. "Fairness in Extended Dictator-Game Experiments." Art. 16. B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 8, no. 1 (July 2008). View Details
  6. Nonemployment Stigma as Rational Herding: A Field Experiment

    Long spells of unemployment are known to reduce the likelihood of re-employment, but it is difficult to discern the reasons for this observation. Using an experimental method that controls for search intensity and possible discouragement of job applicants, I document that job market opportunities for the nonemployed diminish rapidly over time. In this experiment, duration dependence is solely due to firm perceptions. Why do firms view long spells of nonemployment as negative signals? Rational herding is one important factor. Managers believe that unemployed applicants were previously interviewed, and if the applicants were productive, they would have been hired.

    Keywords: Job Search; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Employment; Cognition and Thinking; Perception; Creativity; Human Needs; Job Interviews; Selection and Staffing; Recruitment; Managerial Roles; Judgments; Employment Industry;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Nonemployment Stigma as Rational Herding: A Field Experiment." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 65, no. 1 (January 2008): 30–40. View Details
  7. Diversification of Chinese Companies: An International Comparison

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic comparison of the level of business diversification in China and eight other large economies for the 2001-2005 period. The reasons why publicly listed Chinese firms are more diversified than companies elsewhere are investigated.

    Keywords: Business Ventures; State Ownership; Diversification; China;

    Citation:

    Fan, Joseph P.H., Jun Huang, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Troy D. Smith, and Mengxin Zhao. "Diversification of Chinese Companies: An International Comparison." Chinese Management Studies 2, no. 1 (2008): 3–13. View Details
  8. Political Relationships, Global Financing and Corporate Transparency: Evidence from Indonesia

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Relationships; Financing and Loans; Business Ventures; Indonesia;

    Citation:

    Leuz, Christian, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Political Relationships, Global Financing and Corporate Transparency: Evidence from Indonesia." Journal of Financial Economics 81, no. 3 (September 2006): 411–439. View Details
  9. Pricing Road Use: Politico-economic and Fairness Considerations

    Keywords: Price; Government and Politics; Economics;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Hannelore Weck-Hannemann. "Pricing Road Use: Politico-economic and Fairness Considerations." Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 7, no. 5 (September 2002): 357–371. View Details
  10. Fair Siting Procedures - An Empirical Analysis of Their Importance and Characteristics

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Fair Siting Procedures - An Empirical Analysis of Their Importance and Characteristics." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 15, no. 3 (summer 1996). (Winner of Raymond Vernon Prize For the best research article published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management presented by Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.) View Details

Working Papers

  1. No News Is Good News: CSR Strategy and Newspaper Coverage of Negative Firm Events

    One of the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, it has been argued, is that they build up a reservoir of public good will, shielding companies in times of trouble. In this paper, we test the view that CSR provides protection from public ire by analyzing the media's response to corporate crises. Our application is spills in the oil industry. We find the media far more likely to report accidents if they occur at a company with a superior CSR record. Rather than acting as an effective form of insurance, our results suggest that a strong CSR record can be a liability. Moreover, the tone of coverage is no less critical for organizations with a greener reputation. At the same time, firms with substantial past environmental problems are also more likely to find their corporate failings broadcast in the news. Companies hoping to minimize the risk of media attention to accidents need to be careful not to place their organizations at the very top or the very bottom of CSR rankings. This result has important implications for thinking about CSR and the privately optimal level of such activities.

    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Crisis Management; Media; Newspapers; Business and Community Relations; Corporate Strategy;

    Citation:

    Luo, Jiao, Stephan Meier, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "No News Is Good News: CSR Strategy and Newspaper Coverage of Negative Firm Events." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-091, April 2012. View Details
  2. Earnings Management from the Bottom Up: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives Below the CEO

    Performance-based pay is an important instrument to align the interests of managers with the interests of shareholders. However, recent evidence suggests that high-powered incentives also provide managers with incentives to manipulate the firm's reported earnings. The previous literature has focused primarily on Chief Executive Officers, but managers further down in the firm hierarchy—division managers and Chief Financial Officers—are likely to have similar incentives, and perhaps even greater opportunity to influence reported earnings in a manner that maximizes these managers' personal income. Moreover, previous research focuses on equity incentives and largely ignores other elements of incentive pay. We contribute to this literature by analyzing all forms of incentive pay for several types of managerial positions and include additional measures of earnings manipulation—end-of-year excess sales and class action litigation—in addition to the standard measure of discretionary accounting accruals. We find that the association between high-powered incentives and earnings manipulation varies by both type of incentive pay and position. Our findings have important policy implications and suggest that compensation committees should review pay policies of other managerial positions in addition to CEOs. Importantly, if the committees wanted to weaken incentive pay to get more truthful reporting, diluting the CFO's bonus and stock options would be one place to start.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Interests; Business and Shareholder Relations; Motivation and Incentives; Earnings Management; Performance Evaluation; Stock Options;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Julie Wulf. "Earnings Management from the Bottom Up: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives Below the CEO ." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-056, January 2012. (Revised August 2012.) View Details

My column in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung's Equity Magazine [in German]

Book Chapters

  1. Social Pressures in Siting Conflicts: A Case Study of Siting a Radioactive Waste Repository in Pennsylvania

    Keywords: Wastes and Waste Processing; Civil Society or Community; Social Issues; Conflict and Resolution; Local Range;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Howard Kunreuther. "Social Pressures in Siting Conflicts: A Case Study of Siting a Radioactive Waste Repository in Pennsylvania." In Managing Conflict in Facility Siting, edited by S. Hayden Lesbirel and Daigee Shaw. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005. View Details
  2. Arbeitslosigkeit und Beschäftigungschancen—Ein Feldexeperiment [Unemployment and Labor Market Opportunities—A Field Experiment]

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Arbeitslosigkeit und Beschäftigungschancen—Ein Feldexeperiment [Unemployment and Labor Market Opportunities—A Field Experiment]." In Jahrbuch Normative und institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik, Band 2: Experimente in der Ökonomik, edited by Martin Held, Gisela Kubon-Gilke, and Richard Sturn, 169–190. Marburg: Metropolis-Verlag, 2003. View Details
  3. Your Contribution Counts! An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Support Solar Energy

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Your Contribution Counts! An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Support Solar Energy." In Environmental Contracts: Comparative Approaches to Regulatory Innovation in the United States and Europe, edited by Eric Orts and Kurt Deketelaere, 425–434. London: Kluwer Law International, 2001. View Details
  4. Intrinsisch motivierte Fairneß: Experimente und Realität [Intrinsically Motivated Fairness: Experiments and Reality]

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Reiner Eichenberger. "Intrinsisch motivierte Fairneß: Experimente und Realität [Intrinsically Motivated Fairness: Experiments and Reality]." In Institutionen prägen Menschen: Bausteine zu einer allgemeinen Institutionenökonomik, edited by Martin Held and Hans G. Nutzinger, 148–170. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1999. View Details
  5. Moralische Erwägungen in der Demokratie: Der Streit um lokal unerwünschte Anlagen [Moral Considerations in a Democracy: The Debate on Locally Unwanted Facilities]

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Moralische Erwägungen in der Demokratie: Der Streit um lokal unerwünschte Anlagen [Moral Considerations in a Democracy: The Debate on Locally Unwanted Facilities]." In Angewandte Ethik in der pluralistischen Gesellschaft, edited by Klaus Peter Rippe, 37–52. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz, 1999, German ed. View Details
  6. Natural Environment: Fair Siting Procedures

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Natural Environment: Fair Siting Procedures." In Economics as a Science of Human Behavior: Towards a New Social Science Paradigm. Extended 2nd ed. by Bruno S. Frey, 23–48. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999. View Details
  7. Public Choice, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the Evaluation of Cultural Heritage

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Public Choice, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the Evaluation of Cultural Heritage." In Does the Past Have a Future? The Political Economy of Heritage, edited by Alan Peacock, 27–53. London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1998. View Details
  8. Zum Konflikt zwischen intrinsischer Motivation und umweltpolitischer Instrumentenwahl [The Conflict Between Intrinsic Motivation and the Choice of Environmental Policy Instruments]

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Zum Konflikt zwischen intrinsischer Motivation und umweltpolitischer Instrumentenwahl [The Conflict Between Intrinsic Motivation and the Choice of Environmental Policy Instruments]." In Elemente einer rationalen Umweltpolitik: Expertisen zur umweltpolitischen Neuorientierung, edited by Horst Siebert, 207–238. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 1996, German ed. View Details
  9. Voluntary Siting of Noxious Facilities: Additional Thoughts and Empirical Evidence

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Voluntary Siting of Noxious Facilities: Additional Thoughts and Empirical Evidence." In Fairness and Competence in Citizen Participation: Evaluating Models for Environmental Discourse, edited by Ortwin Renn, Thomas Webler, and Peter Wiedemann, 297–304. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995. View Details
  10. Fairness in Decisions on Siting Noxious Facilities: Theory and Empirical Results

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Bruno S. Frey. "Fairness in Decisions on Siting Noxious Facilities: Theory and Empirical Results." In Environmental Standards in the European Union in an Interdisciplinary Framework, edited by Michael Faure, John Vervaele, and Albert Weale, 183–196. Antwerp: Maklu, 1994. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Intellectual Property Strategy at North Technology Group—Sailing Downwind

    North Sails is the world's leading sailmaker. The company commands a global market share of more than 50% and is largely responsible for the rapid technological progress in the sailmaking industry over the past 30 years. CEO Tom Whidden needs to consider how to best defend the company's leading position. Specifically, North currently uses neither patents nor copyright to protect its technology. The company even allows its designers to use its software when they do independent work. The case encourages a discussion of the role of intellectual property rights in safeguarding technology and know-how. By highlighting the costs and benefits of patents and copyright, the case points to a challenge that is common across many companies: Their most valuable assets are largely intangible, and these assets cannot easily be pinned down and protected. North's solution to this challenge is highly unusual and creative.

    Keywords: intellectual property; technology; competitive advantage; Technology; Competitive Advantage; Intellectual Property;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and William W. Fisher III. "Intellectual Property Strategy at North Technology Group—Sailing Downwind." Harvard Business School Case 714-403, May 2014. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  2. Doing Business in Cambodia

    This case examines the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Cambodia. It highlights Cambodia's economic transformation in the decades leading up to 2013 in the context of its history, culture, and politics.

    Keywords: Cambodia; economic growth; economic stability; economic development; emerging markets; Economic Growth; Southeast Asia;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Dawn H. Lau. "Doing Business in Cambodia." Harvard Business School Case 714-429, November 2013. (Revised September 2014.) View Details
  3. FIELD 2—Working with Global Partners

    Most FIELD 2 teams develop great working relationships with their Global Partner. But managing Global Partner expectations can be challenging. This note describes three scenarios with which FIELD teams struggled in the past and asks the reader to make decisions about how to respond in each situation.

    Keywords: fieldwork; partnerships; global; collaboration; global business; global collaboration; Partners and Partnerships;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "FIELD 2—Working with Global Partners." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 713-443, October 2012. View Details
  4. Doing Business in Turkey

    In a rather flat international business environment characterized by shrinking markets and economic turmoil, Turkey promoted itself as one of the safe havens for investments. Led by the strong domestic demand of a young population, the country had tripled its GDP between 2002 and 2011, and had kept growing by 8.6% in 2011. Thanks to its central location "between the East and the West" and its access to 1.5 billion customers in its region, as well as to its "healthy" state of public finances and reduced government debt, Turkey had by 2012 become the 13th most attractive investment country in the world. As a result, many foreign companies considered setting up shop in Turkey, weighing whether the opportunities would outweigh the difficulties that doing business in emerging markets sometimes brought with it, such as an unpredictable regulatory and tax environment or the presence of a large informal sector. London-based beverages firm Diageo had been facing that same debate in February 2011 when it had to decide whether or not to buy Turkey's leading spirits producer and distributor Mey Icki. The deal would establish Diageo as a leading industry player, but it also bore risks. The case describes Turkey's economy, history, political context, and its business culture, and discusses some of the key opportunities and challenges for foreign players in the Turkish market.

    Keywords: emerging market finance; emergent countries; strategy; business history; Economic History; fieldwork; Emerging Markets; Business Ventures; Strategy; Turkey;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Robin J. Ely, Daniela Beyersdorfer, Emilie Billaud, and Cigdem Celik. "Doing Business in Turkey." Harvard Business School Case 713-433, September 2012. (Revised July 2013.) View Details
  5. Doing Business in Argentina

    An imaginary oil company is invited to participate in a potentially lucrative investment in a large oil field just as the Argentine government is taking actions that seem to jeopardize private property rights within its borders. This case highlights the risks and opportunities of the proposed investment in the context of a country with plentiful natural resources that has experienced both booms and busts.

    Keywords: business evaluation; fieldwork; emergent countries; emerging market finance; strategy; Emerging Markets; Business Ventures; Strategy; Argentina;

    Citation:

    Abdelal, Rawi, Amy C. Edmondson, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar. "Doing Business in Argentina." Harvard Business School Case 713-425, September 2012. (Revised September 2014.) View Details
  6. Doing Business in China

    This case examines the challenges and opportunities of doing business in China. It highlights China's remarkable economic transformation in the decades leading up to 2012 in the context of its history, culture, and politics. The case summarizes the main obstacles faced by businesses operating in the country—rising costs, human resource constraints, and increasing competition—with examples provided by HBS alumni working in Greater China. These lessons are brought home in the experience of one alumnus who is looking to expand his cosmetics company in China's rapidly changing business environment. Among other pressures he must manage intense competition, restrictions on access to capital, and product safety and quality concerns.

    Keywords: emerging market finance; emergent countries; strategy; business history; Economic History; Emerging Markets; Business Ventures; Strategy; China;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Michael Shih-ta Chen, Nancy Dai, and G.A. Donovan. "Doing Business in China." Harvard Business School Case 713-428, September 2012. (Revised September 2014.) View Details
  7. Doing Business in Ghana

    An entrepreneur considered investing in tomato paste manufacturing in Ghana, an emerging economy, and pondered the opportunities and challenges of investing here. Ghana's economy had been growing over the last decade, reaching a peak of 14.4% growth rate in 2011. Now a low middle-income country of the Sub-Saharan region, it was also known for its stable political situation. The country offered several business opportunities. Nevertheless, it was still not that easy to set up and manage a business in Ghana, compared to Western countries. The entrepreneur had decided to invest in tomato paste production. Ghana was the second largest consumer of tomato paste in the world in per capita terms, but imported most of its tomato paste, despite the fact that the country produced tomatoes. In addition, its neighboring country Nigeria was also a strong consumer, and importer, of tomato paste. The case describes Ghana's economy, its political context, and its business culture as well as the main opportunities Ghana offered and the main challenges entrepreneurs faced when doing business in Ghana. It also describes in more detail Ghana's tomato paste industry and the challenges the entrepreneur would face while setting up her own plant.

    Keywords: emergent countries; emerging markets; strategy; opportunity cost; Emerging Markets; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Ghana;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Elena Corsi. "Doing Business in Ghana." Harvard Business School Case 713-429, September 2012. (Revised September 2014.) View Details
  8. Ringier - Building a Digital-Age Media Company

    Overview of the strategic re-orientation and diversification of Ringier, a Swiss based media company, as they confront the challenges of staying competitive and profitable in the new and increasingly digital media landscape.

    Keywords: media; media and publishing; publishing; diversification; Media; Organizational Structure; Strategy; Diversification; Publishing Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Switzerland;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Ringier - Building a Digital-Age Media Company." Harvard Business School Case 713-423, September 2012. View Details
  9. The New York Times Paywall

    On March 28, 2011, The New York Times website became a restricted site where most of the content was protected behind a "paywall." Users who exceeded the limit of 20 free articles per month were required to pay for either a digital or print subscription. The newspaper industry had been suffering from revenue declines over the past decade, and the transition to digital media was difficult to navigate. Revenues from online advertising were not sufficient to replace the loss of print revenue, and many publishers had explored charging readers for content, with mixed success, where specialized sources like The Wall Street Journal were successfully using the model, but several other general news sites had failed. Newspapers and content creators in general were very interested in understanding whether transitioning to the paywall at the most popular news website would succeed, and whether it could become a blueprint for future success as a sustainable business model. There were several difficult issues to examine in determining the digital strategy for The Times. Would consumers remain as engaged with a site protected by a paywall? Would advertisers react positively to such a move that walled off readers? Would readers value both the print and digital versions of the content, or would it become necessary to create new content? The Times had several choices in designing the paywall, including determining the digital content, pricing, as well as how to interface with readers of secondary news websites like blogs that posted links to news articles. Should they design a "leaky" paywall where determined users could easily slip through, or a "bulletproof" paywall like the Financial Times had done, where users had to pay before they could access any content? What choices would provide the foundation for a successful business model?

    Keywords: Newspapers; Strategy; Journalism and News Industry; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Kumar, Vineet, Bharat Anand, Sunil Gupta, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "The New York Times Paywall." Harvard Business School Case 512-077, February 2012. (Revised January 2013.) View Details
  10. Calvin Klein and Warnaco Group: Negotiating a Trademark License

    Keywords: Trademarks; Negotiation; Apparel and Accessories Industry;

    Citation:

    Fournier, Susan, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, William W. Fisher III, and Robert Mnookin. "Calvin Klein and Warnaco Group: Negotiating a Trademark License." Harvard Business School Case 712-458, January 2012. View Details
  11. Immersion Experience Program Note: Brazil

    Companies visited: Allied Advanced Technologies, BrasilAgro, Clearsale, Dafiti.com.br, Globo, Groupon Brazil, Insper, JGP Investimentos, LIGHT, Maracana Stadium, Petrobras S.A., Vale S.A.

    Keywords: Brazil;

    Citation:

    Musacchio, Aldo, Thales S. Teixeira, Stephanie Galloway, Cassie Bordeau, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Immersion Experience Program Note: Brazil." Harvard Business School Publishing, 2011. View Details
  12. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey - Managing in the Shadow of Health Care Reform

    Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which President Obama signed in 2010, states would be required to create state-wide health insurance marketplaces - the Health Benefit Exchanges (HBEs) - in which individuals and small employers could choose from a set of easy-to-compare, tightly regulated health plans. This case explores how Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey would have to decide whether and how to compete in New Jersey's HBEs.

    Keywords: Insurance; Health Care and Treatment; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Emerging Markets; Risk and Uncertainty; Health Industry; Insurance Industry; New Jersey;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Raffaella Sadun, and Richard G. Hamermesh. "Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey - Managing in the Shadow of Health Care Reform." Harvard Business School Case 711-403, March 2011. (Revised March 2011.) View Details
  13. The Economist

    In 2009 the Economist continued to experience impressive growth and operating margins while many of its peers reeled from both a cyclical downturn and structural threats to print publishing. The case describes the history, organization, and business model of the Economist, and describes three issues confronting Andrew Rashbass, the group's chief executive: first, reevaluating the magazine's digital strategy; second, preparing for e-readers; and, third, positioning the company to exploit what the Economist described as an era of "Mass Intelligence" where more readers sought out sophisticated and challenging information sources.

    Keywords: Business Model; Journals and Magazines; Growth and Development Strategy; Strategic Planning; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Publishing Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Bharat N. Anand, and Lizzie Gomez. "The Economist." Harvard Business School Case 710-441, March 2010. (Revised July 2010.) View Details
  14. Alibaba's Taobao (A)

    Examines the decision of Alibaba Group to diversify from an international business-to-business (B2B) exchange (Alibaba.com) into a B2C and C2C exchange (Taobao.com) for Chinese retailers and consumers. In China, Taobao had managed to displace the once dominant eBay, the world's largest consumer marketplace. However, the company had little revenue because it offered services free of charge.

    Keywords: Business Model; Demand and Consumers; Market Transactions; Service Operations; Diversification; Web; China;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Julie M. Wulf. "Alibaba's Taobao (A)." Harvard Business School Case 709-456, January 2009. (Revised July 2009.) View Details
  15. Metro International S.A.

    Explores the business model of Metro International, a company publishing 70 editions of its free newspaper in 20 countries. Metro had been a pioneer in the free newspaper market, fighting incumbent publishers distributing traditional paid-for newspapers. Looks at the decision facing top management of Metro International in 2007 regarding the future strategy of the company. The company had become profitable after years of losses, but other problems had surfaced; competition had increased heavily in many markets and advertising--the free newspapers only source of income--was quickly shifting from newspapers to the Internet. Spain was a particular case in point. What had Metro International learned from experiences elsewhere on the globe and would they allow the company to make the Spanish unit profitable? What strategy should the Spanish country manager adopt?

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Online Advertising; Advertising; Expansion; Globalized Firms and Management; Journalism and News Industry; Spain;

    Citation:

    Khanna, Tarun, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Vincent Marie Dessain, Ane Damgaard Jensen, and Anders Sjoman. "Metro International S.A." Harvard Business School Case 708-429, September 2007. View Details
  16. Lobbying for Love? Southwest Airlines and the Wright Amendment

    The fall of 2004 brought exciting news to Love Field, the Texas headquarters of Southwest Airlines. Delta Airlines, one of Southwest's main competitors, had announced that it would dramatically decrease service from the nearby Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) airport, cutting the number of daily flights from 250 to a mere 21. Gary Kelly, Southwest's newly minted CEO, thought about what appeared to be a golden opportunity. How could Southwest best capitalize on Delta's withdrawal? As Kelly saw it, Southwest had several options to pursue the new business opportunities. A first was to service the canceled Delta routes from Love Field. A second possibility was to encourage members of Congress to repeal the Wright Amendment, which limited Southwest's flight offerings from Love Field. An alternative to fighting for the repeal of the Wright Amendment was for Southwest to lease the 18 gates that Delta had left at DFW. Kelly carefully considered his options. Was now the time to call his lobbyist?

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government Legislation; Business and Government Relations; Opportunities; Competitive Advantage; Air Transportation Industry; Texas;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Dennis A. Yao, Libby Cantrill, and Patricia Wu. "Lobbying for Love? Southwest Airlines and the Wright Amendment." Harvard Business School Case 707-470, January 2007. (Revised August 2007.) View Details
  17. Clear Channel Communications, Inc.

    Discusses the rise of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (CC) as the most important radio broadcasting company in the United States. While CC can look back on a glorious past, it faces a multitude of business issues: radio listenership is in decline, media deregulation has come to a halt, and the company's public image is less than favorable.

    Keywords: History; Media; Performance Effectiveness; Public Opinion; Business and Government Relations; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Carole Winkler. "Clear Channel Communications, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 707-523, January 2007. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  18. Free the Grapes--Direct-to-Consumer Shipping in the Wine Industry

    While wine tourism in the United States was booming, the majority of consumers who tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon in one of Napa Valley's tasting rooms were not permitted to ship the wine directly to their home. In 2002, direct-to-consumer shipping was either banned or overly cumbersome in 37 states. W. Reed Foster, president of the Coalition for Free Trade, was determined to remove these obstacles. Would he be able to free the grapes?

    Keywords: Business Conglomerates; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Lawsuits and Litigation; Agreements and Arrangements; Business and Government Relations; Corporate Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Dennis A. Yao, Patricia Wu, and Libby Cantrill. "Free the Grapes--Direct-to-Consumer Shipping in the Wine Industry." Harvard Business School Case 707-472, May 2007. View Details
  19. Note on Lobbying

    Describes how companies engage the political and legal system and the rules and ethics associated with doing so. Focuses on the U.S. political and legal system, but also seeks to familiarize readers with lobbying norms and structures in the European Union and Japan.

    Keywords: Business and Government Relations; Ethics; Labor Unions; Public Administration Industry; Legal Services Industry; United States; Japan; European Union;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Libby Cantrill, and Patricia Wu. "Note on Lobbying." Harvard Business School Background Note 707-471, January 2007. (Revised April 2007.) View Details
  20. Lobbying for Love? Southwest Airlines and the Wright Amendment (TN)

    Teaching note to 707470.

    Keywords: Business Headquarters; Competition; Opportunities; Law; Business and Government Relations; Air Transportation Industry; Texas;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Lobbying for Love? Southwest Airlines and the Wright Amendment (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 707-536, March 2007. View Details
  21. UBS and Climate Change--Warming Up to Global Action?

    Marco Suter, Executive Vice-Chairman, UBS Board of Directors, carefully studied the chart on his desk. It showed the public commitment of major financial institutions to help mitigate global warming. Evidently, UBS lagged behind its competitors. The graph was part of a report that environmental specialists and senior executives at UBS had compiled. It suggested the company adopt a more progressive policy on climate change. Suter thought about the options that the working group had generated. These ranged from stabilizing the company's current carbon emissions to complete carbon neutrality. The UBS Corporate Responsibility Committee would meet early next week. Suter wondered which option he should support.

    Keywords: Weather and Climate Change; Energy Conservation; Cost vs Benefits; Law; Financial Institutions; Environmental Sustainability; Corporate Accountability; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Forest L. Reinhardt, and Elizabeth Raabe. "UBS and Climate Change--Warming Up to Global Action?" Harvard Business School Case 707-511, February 2007. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  22. Production I.G: Challenging the Status Quo

    In July 2006, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa wondered how he could further enhance the success and visibility of his animation production company headquartered in Tokyo, Production I.G. For the year ended May 2006, Production I.G. had sales of 5,439 million yen ($47.3 million), operating profit of 404 million yen ($3.5 million), and 184 employees. Its recent film Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2 competed at Cannes Film Festival in 2004, and the company had gone public in December 2005. These were no small accomplishments for a Japanese animation production company. Indeed, despite the global success of Japanese animation, the industry was fragmented with about 430 animation production companies and dominated by distributors--TV stations, movie distributors, DVD distributors and advertising agencies, which held the lion's share of content copyrights. Distributors controlled the funding and contracted the production out to animation production companies. As a result, most of the latter were small companies laboring in obscurity. As such, no Japanese animation production company came even close to the size of Walt Disney Co.: in 2005 Disney had revenues of $32 billion, whereas Toei Animation, the largest animation production company in Japan, had revenue of only 21 billion yen ($175 million). To Ishikawa's mind, one of the key decisions concerned the mix of the "contents garden" that his company should aspire to. Should he increase the share of animation productions based on manga (comics and print cartoons) relative to original-productions (i.e. animation stories created entirely by Production I.G.)?

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Competitive Advantage; Markets; Animation Entertainment; Going Public; Growth and Development Strategy; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; Tokyo;

    Citation:

    Hagiu, Andrei, Tarun Khanna, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Masako Egawa, and Chisato Toyama. "Production I.G: Challenging the Status Quo." Harvard Business School Case 707-454, October 2006. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  23. eDonkey--Deciding the Future of File Sharing

    Sam Yagan, CEO of the upstart MetaMachine, Inc., received a letter from the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) asking him to shut down eDonkey, MetaMachine's popular file-sharing system. In September 2005, more than 30 million users relied on eDonkey to share digital files, making MetaMachine's software the most popular file-sharing client in the world. But now the end seemed close. Was there a way to save eDonkey? Was it time for Yagan to get out? He had little time to figure out his next move.

    Keywords: Software; Crisis Management; Music Entertainment; Legal Liability; Copyright; Information Technology Industry; Music Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "eDonkey--Deciding the Future of File Sharing." Harvard Business School Case 707-482, November 2006. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  24. Goodyear and the Threat of Government Tire Grading

    In the spring of 1977, Goodyear CEO Charles J. Pilliod Jr. was looking at an internal report on government and legal events relevant to the tire industry. Two items caught his attention. First, he noticed that an industry suit to block the government's proposed system to rate tires on tread wear, traction, and temperature resistance had been rebuffed by a U.S. appeals court. Although the court found fault with the government's proposals, the ruling could mean that the tire grading system was close to becoming a reality. Second, Joan Claybrook, a former Nader consumer interest group lobbyist, had just become head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency within the government that was in charge of producing the rating system. Pilliod wondered if the regulatory events might affect Goodyear's ability to maintain its world leadership in the tire industry.

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Lawsuits and Litigation; Auto Industry; Rubber Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Dennis A. Yao, and Elizabeth Raabe. "Goodyear and the Threat of Government Tire Grading." Harvard Business School Case 707-494, November 2006. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  25. Lifan Group - Automobile Production in China

    Lifan Group, one of China's premier motorcycle companies, considers entering automobile production. The company plans to assemble a midsize sedan, hoping it will be able to sell this car to affluent families in China and to export it. Domestic demand for cars is growing rapidly in China, but car prices have been falling, at times quite dramatically. Allows analysis and discussion of Lifan's decision.

    Keywords: Product Development; Decision Making; Demand and Consumers; Price; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry; China;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Tarun Khanna, and Elizabeth Raabe. "Lifan Group - Automobile Production in China." Harvard Business School Case 707-443, November 2006. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  26. Wal-Mart's Business Environment

    In 2004, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. proposed to build a new supercenter in Inglewood, a low-income community near Los Angeles. The proposal was a part of Wal-Mart's strategy to bring its supercenter format to California. Introduced in the late 1980s, supercenters added a full line of groceries and specialty departments to Wal-Mart's traditional assortment of general merchandise. Wal-Mart's planned entry into California caused problems even before the discounter opened a single supercenter. To compete with Wal-Mart, supermarkets in California cut grocery workers' health benefits and wages. The unions ordered a strike against the supermarkets. The labor unrest lasted five months and involved 70,000 workers. In the meantime, Inglewood's city council rejected Wal-Mart's request to build a supercenter. The retailer took its expansion plans directly to the voters of Inglewood. With the help of the California initiative process, Wal-Mart forced a public vote on the proposed 60-acre development. Will Inglewood's voters dampen the shine of "America's most admired company?"

    Keywords: Goals and Objectives; Expansion; Market Entry and Exit; Corporate Strategy; Labor Unions; Conflict and Resolution; Retail Industry; Los Angeles;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix. "Wal-Mart's Business Environment." Harvard Business School Case 706-453, January 2006. (Revised December 2006.) View Details
  27. Canyon Johnson Urban Fund

    Basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson and K. Robert Turner, managing partner of Canyon Johnson Urban Fund (CJUF), raised $271.7 million for investments in urban real estate. The fund considered two projects, both located in Hollywood, CA. The first was located on Hollywood and Highland. Proposed by a reputable developer who wanted to restore Hollywood and Highland to its former glory, the development included a 640,000 square-foot retail complex, a hotel, and the Kodak Theatre, the future home of the Academy Awards. The second project was a mixed-use development, located on Sunset and Vine. This property had suffered a bad run of previous development attempts, and the community had been highly critical of past projects, feeling high rental prices would lock local residents and businesses out of the market. Hollywood and Highland or Sunset and Vine? Turner planned to make his decision soon. Details the economics of both projects.

    Keywords: Investment; Projects; Business and Government Relations; Public Opinion; Urban Development; Real Estate Industry; Los Angeles;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Alexa Arena. "Canyon Johnson Urban Fund." Harvard Business School Case 706-442, December 2005. (Revised September 2007.) View Details
  28. Apollo Hospitals--First-World Health Care at Emerging-Market Prices

    The Apollo Hospitals Group, one of Asia's premier health care organizations, had come to rival the best health care organizations on the globe. Apollo offered advanced medical procedures, such as cardiac surgery using the beating heart technique, at very high levels of quality but at a fraction of the cost of hospitals in the West. Apollo's managers must decide how best to capitalize on the group's remarkable medical capabilities. One option was to bet on global medical tourism by trying to attract patients from Asia and worldwide needing advanced medical procedures. Thailand had set the example for medical tourism and attracted more than one million patients a year, most of them undergoing plastic surgery. Another option Apollo considered was to build and manage hospitals abroad.

    Keywords: Vertical Integration; Decision Choices and Conditions; Health Care and Treatment; Global Strategy; Developing Countries and Economies; Health Industry; Thailand; United States; India;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Tarun Khanna, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Apollo Hospitals--First-World Health Care at Emerging-Market Prices." Harvard Business School Case 706-440, October 2005. (Revised June 2007.) View Details
  29. Game Theory and Business Strategy

    Provides a brief introduction to the application of game theory to business settings. Sets up and analyzes a minicase involving commitment.

    Keywords: Game Theory; Trust; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Dennis A. Yao. "Game Theory and Business Strategy." Harvard Business School Background Note 705-471, January 2005. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  30. Brighter Smiles for the Masses--Colgate vs. P&G

    In 2000, Procter & Gamble Co. introduced Crest Whitestrips, a new, revolutionary product that allowed consumers to whiten their teeth at home. With Whitestrips, P&G created an entire new category in oral care, worth $460 million in 2002. Whitestrips sent P&G's main competitor in oral care, Colgate Palmolive Co., scrambling because several patents protected the strips, making it difficult for Colgate to copy the invention. But in September 2002, the tables turned. Colgate introduced Simply White, a favorably priced whitening product that consumers could simply paint on their teeth. One month after its introduction, Simply White had captured one half of the market, and Crest Whitestrips lost more than 50% of its share. However, P&G's tests of Simply White indicated that Colgate's new product was largely ineffective. Had Colgate just committed a major strategic blunder by introducing a product that did not work? And, if so, how could P&G best take advantage of the situation?

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Competitive Strategy; Advertising; Product Launch; Patents; Price; Performance Effectiveness; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Dennis A. Yao, and Filipa Jorge. "Brighter Smiles for the Masses--Colgate vs. P&G." Harvard Business School Case 706-435, December 2005. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  31. Red Flag Software Co.

    In 2005, just five years after its formal launch, Beijing-based Red Flag Software was the world's second-largest distributor of the Linux operating system and was expecting its first annual profit. On a unit basis, Red Flag led the world in desktops (PCs) shipped with Linux and was No. 4 in installed servers. On a revenue basis, Red Flag was fourth overall. Within China, Red Flag held just over half of the Linux market and ran key applications for the postal system, large state-owned enterprises, and more than a million PCs. The Chinese government supported Linux as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows operating system to avoid royalty payments to foreign firms and dependence on foreign technology. Even so, Red Flag President Chris Zhao felt the same pressure many start-ups faced: How could Red Flag compete against a giant like Microsoft? And what competitive advantages could Zhao bring to bear against an experienced Linux veteran like Red Hat, a U.S.-based software company that had just announced its plan to invest to capture market share in China? Zhao worried that government support would evaporate if Red Flag performed poorly.

    Keywords: Technology Platform; Competitive Advantage; Software; Business Startups; Globalized Markets and Industries; Information Technology Industry; Distribution Industry; Beijing; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Tarun Khanna, David Lane, and Elizabeth Raabe. "Red Flag Software Co." Harvard Business School Case 706-428, October 2005. (Revised February 2007.) View Details
  32. Amgen Inc.'s Epogen--Commercializing the First Biotech Blockbuster Drug

    Amgen Inc.'s Epogen was the first biotech blockbuster drug. Epogen helped prevent anemia, a condition that leads to severe fatigue, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and even death. At the time, the market for Epogen, which included dialysis patients and persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, was estimated to be a $1 billion opportunity. After a critical scientific breakthrough, which allowed Amgen to identify the EPO gene, the company applied for a number of patents to protect its achievement. However, much to its surprise, Amgen learned that EPO had already been patented. Genetics Institute, the holder of the patent, demanded a royalty-free cross-license. Amgen's manager needed to decide how best to compete with its rival.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Strategic Planning; Competition; Patents; Innovation and Invention; Pharmaceutical Industry; Biotechnology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Dennis A. Yao. "Amgen Inc.'s Epogen--Commercializing the First Biotech Blockbuster Drug." Harvard Business School Case 706-454, December 2005. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  33. Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer

    The Dutch "Verenigde Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer Cooperative" (VBA) was on of the world's largest flower exchanges. Around 6,300 flower growers, one half of them located in the Netherlands, used the auction to sell cut flowers and plants to more than 1,000 wholesalers. In 2004, the value of the flowers and plants traded at Aalsmeer exceeded 1.6 billion euros, representing 36% of the world's trade in cut flowers. Every morning, VBA held 55,000 Dutch auctions to match buyers and suppliers. While formidable in size, VBA management worried about the future of the exchange because direct sales between growers and buyers had started to bypass the auction. Kenyan growers, for instance, often shipped roses directly to wholesalers. VBA's management considered a number of strategic initiatives and tactical moves in response to the growth in direct sales. Should the exchange allow non-Dutch growers to become members? Would it make sense to have the wholesalers bear a larger fraction of the trading cost? Philip Smits, CEO of VBA, knew that expanding VBA membership and adjusting trading commissions were guaranteed to be hotly contested topics at the upcoming general meeting.

    Keywords: Auctions; Bids and Bidding; Trade; Market Entry and Exit; Financial Markets; Segmentation; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Netherlands;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Vincent Marie Dessain, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Anders Sjoman. "Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer." Harvard Business School Case 706-441, December 2005. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  34. TCL Multimedia

    TCL considers the underlying logic behind the globalization of one of China's most prominent companies. TCL, and similarly prominent companies in China, are in the forefront of China's emergence as one of the world's preeminent economic powers. Allows a discussion of how TCL's approach to globalization compares with those of other Chinese companies and those of companies from other developing countries. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Globalized Firms and Management; Success; Business Strategy; Developing Countries and Economies; China;

    Citation:

    Khanna, Tarun, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, and David Lane. "TCL Multimedia." Harvard Business School Case 705-502, June 2005. (Revised February 2006.) View Details
  35. Yamato Transport: Valuing and Pricing Network Services (A)

    Yamato Transport is the leading Japanese parcel delivery company and has dominated its industry for more than two decades. In response to new competitive challenges, Yamato must decide how to reposition itself in the industry and optimize the size of its network. The recently corporatized Japan Post is the only company that can deliver personal mail

    Keywords: Value Creation; Competition; Transportation Networks; Monopoly; Shipping Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Tarun Khanna, and Masako Egawa. "Yamato Transport: Valuing and Pricing Network Services (A)." Harvard Business School Case 704-475, January 2004. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  36. Yamato Transport: Valuing and Pricing Network Services (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Transportation Networks; Value; Price;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Tarun Khanna, and Masako Egawa. "Yamato Transport: Valuing and Pricing Network Services (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 704-477, February 2004. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  37. Principles of Microeconomics for Strategists

    Reviews microeconomic principles from a business strategy perspective, using the digital music industry as context. Contains three modules: demand, supply, and equilibrium. The demand module discusses the willingness to pay, market demand, price elasticity, and marginal revenue. The supply module explains elements of concern to a Sony manager producing hard drives for MP3 players--fixed, variable, marginal, and average costs; and short-run and long-run elasticity of supply. The third module discusses equilibrium and market power, optimal pricing, and price discrimination. Includes several exercises to test learning.

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Supply and Industry; Demand and Consumers; Microeconomics; Balance and Stability; Price; Cost; Revenue; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Pai-Ling Yin, and Elizabeth Raabe. Principles of Microeconomics for Strategists. Harvard Business School Tutorial 705-801, November 2004. View Details

Other Publications and Materials