Europe Research Center

The Europe Research Center in Paris (ERC) opened in 2003, and plays an important role in helping HBS develop and strengthen relationships with European business and academic leaders. The ERC enables Harvard Business School faculty to study more effectively one of the world's most important economic regions during a time of significant transformation. The ERC has contributed to more than 260 faculty publications (case studies, research notes, books and articles) and research projects. Research topics range from the challenges of European economic and financial integration, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, international capital flows, investor relations, consumer marketing, to policy-making issues and the impact of new technologies on business.

2013

Sustainability at Siemens

Rangan, V. Kasturi, Amy C. Edmondson, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Emer Moloney
November 2013

Describes sustainability efforts at Siemens since arrival of Chief Sustainability Officer, Barbara Kux, in 2008. Asks students to evaluate success of those efforts and outline what the company should do going forward.

Barclays Bank, 2008

White, Lucy, Steve Burn-Murdoch, and Jerome Lenhardt
October 2013

n the midst of the financial crisis, Barclays (the world's 4th largest bank by assets) is forced by UK regulators to raise more capital. Should it take up the UK government's offer to invest or take funding from investors from the Middle East? Students may price the two deals to determine which is more expensive and must decide whether avoiding the constraints of government ownership is worth the extra cost.

Global Diversity and Inclusion at Royal Dutch Shell (A)

Sucher, Sandra J., and Elena Corsi
October 2013

Royal Dutch Shell has been among the early players to implement diversity and inclusion policies in the 1990s, first in the U.S. and then globally. In May 2009, Peter Voser, CFO and soon-to-be CEO, wants to adjust the company's business, headcount, and cost levels to adapt to changing economic conditions after one of the worst economic downturns in decades. His all-male executive committee has raised eyebrows since it is a step back from that of his predecessor, and he must decide whether to continue to promote the firm's emphasis on global diversity and inclusion while it restructures its business and reduces its managerial workforce.

Germany's Green Energy Revolution

Maurer, Noel, Elena Corsi, Emilie Billaud, and Emer Moloney
August 2013

No abstract available

FX Risk Hedging at EADS

Kester, W. Carl, Vincent Dessain, and Karol Misztal
July 2013

In 2008, EADS, the European aerospace group that owns Airbus, was faced with the decision of how best to hedge a large and growing mismatch between its dollar revenues and its euro manufacturing costs. Specifically, the company needed to decide if it would continue hedging primarily with forward contracts, but in much higher volumes and at increasingly unfavorable rates, or to break with past practice and begin using foreign exchange option contracts. The decision would have consequences for EADS' profitability, cash flow, and its ability to fund strategic investment programs crucial to its ability to remain competitive with Boeing. Students must address questions concerning the proper way to measure foreign exchange exposures, the objectives of a rational risk management policy and program for a company like EADS competing in a duopoly with Boeing, the differences between hedging with FX options versus FX futures, counterparty risk, and hedge accounting, among other considerations.

Persephone's Pomegranate: Crédit Agricole and Emporiki

Roscini, Dante, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Jerome Lenhardt
May 2013

In 2006 the French bank Crédit Agricole bought the Greek Emporiki bank, for €2.8 billion, at the peak of a bull market for bank takeovers. Six years, a major financial crisis, and €5.2 billion of losses later, in a context of great uncertainty in the European banking sector, what decision should Crédit Agricole take regarding Emporiki? Through the example of this European cross-border acquisition the case looks at the Greek banking system before and during the unprecedented Greek sovereign debt crisis; the efforts of Greece and the main actors of the European financial system to prevent the embattled country from having to exit the Euro zone; and the potential scenarios for Greek banks in mid-2012.

Investindustrial Exits Ducati

Brochet, Francois, and Karol Misztal
May 2013

In early 2012, Investindustrial, a European private equity group, publicly announced their intention to sell their 76.7% stake in Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., an iconic Italian producer of sport performance motorcycles. The decision followed a six-year turnaround during which Ducati returned to profitability and significantly expanded its product line. Investindustrial's team had the following exit alternatives: 1) a trade sale to an automotive buyer; 2) a secondary buyout, partial or complete, by a financial investor; 3) a relisting in Hong Kong. Each option had its pros and cons, but all required a careful valuation of Ducati to maximize the investors' return on their flagship investment.

Chef Davide Oldani and Ristorante D'O

Pisano, Gary P., Alessandro Di Fiore, Elena Corsi, and Elisa Farri
April 2013

This case examines the unique business model of Ristorante D'O, a high end gourmand restaurant located near Milan, Italy. Founded by Chef, Davide Oldani, D'O offers meals at approximately one-third the price of other Michelin starred restaurants. Oldani has made this business model profitable by making a conscious set of operating strategy choices (menu, meal design, service process, lay-out, reservation process) that reduce waste and inefficiency, while preserving quality. The case enables students to understand how cost-quality trade-offs can be altered through creative operating strategies, and sufficient data are available to analyze the operating model in depth. A second focal point of the case concerns Oldani's choices for growth. The wait list for D'O is currently 18 months. He can presumably open another D'O at a different location. At the time of the case, however, he is considering opening a new restaurant in the same vicinity as D'O that would operate at an even lower price point. Case debate can center around whether this new restaurant format makes sense from a strategic point of view, and, in particular, whether the capabilities and know-how acquired in operating D'O are applicable to the new restaurant. The deeper issue in the case concerns how businesses based on the creative talent of an individual (like Chef Oldani) can grow, without losing what makes them special.

LEGO (A): The Crisis

Rivkin, Jan W., Stefan H. Thomke,and Daniela Beyersdorfer
April 2013

As this case opens, iconic toymaker LEGO stands on the brink of bankruptcy. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO's young and newly appointed CEO, must size up changes in the toy industry, learn from the company's recent moves, and craft a strategy that will put LEGO back on track.

Entrepreneurial Finance in Finland?

Kerr, William R., Ramana Nanda, and Alexis Brownell
February 2013

This case describes a new venture attempting to bring early-stage entrepreneurial financing to Finland and other Nordic countries. Entrepreneurship is taking off in Finland, an area that historically has had little venture capital or high-growth start-up activity, but a gap remains for seed-stage financing. The founders are evaluating the best way to structure their private equity fund to reflect their own assets and abilities and the needs and resources of the entrepreneurial scene in the Nordics. The case evaluates whether to organize as an accelerator, a micro-VC fund, an incubator, a normal VC fund, or as a hybrid.

The IASB at a Crossroads: The Future of International Financial Reporting Standards (B)

Ramanna, Karthik, Karol Misztal, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
February 2013

In late 2012, IASB chair Hans Hoogervorst, just over a year into his term, must address several serious geopolitical challenges that can derail IFRS growth. The SEC has issued a report outlining why the U.S. should not adopt IFRS. Other major economies such as Japan and India begin to dither on IFRS as well. The EU-the IASB's main backer-is embroiled in a debt crisis that divides it; Britain-the strongest voice for IFRS in the EU-flirts with an EU exit. And China remains silent. Adding to these issues are longstanding concerns about the IASB's legal status and its finances. How can Hoogervorst return momentum to IFRS?

Made in India: Human Capital at the Base of the Pyramid

Anteby, Michel, and Felicia Khan
January 2013

No abstract available

ABB: In China, for China

Trumbull, Gunnar, Elena Corsi, and Elisa Farri
January 2013

ABB, a power and automation Swiss engineering company had to decide if they wanted to be even more integrated into the Chinese economy, ABB's biggest market, or if they should instead increase their presence in other emerging markets such as India and Brazil.

2012

Automating the Paris Subway (A)

Anteby, Michel, Elena Corsi, and Emilie Billaud
December 2012

In 2001, the head of the Paris Subway reflected on how to transform Line 1 into a driverless line without triggering a social conflict. After the shock of the 2000 Notre Dame de Lorette subway accident, in which a train derailed and caused 25 injuries in a Paris subway station, the state-owned Paris subway operator Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) decided to adopt new security measures and considered the opportunity to automate the oldest and the busiest line of the network. The head of the Paris Subway, Serge Lagrange, believed that automating Line 1 would improve security as well as performance. However, the automation would bring about the downsizing of 219 drivers' positions. Lagrange had to figure out how to get the RATP employees on board, particularly drivers and trade unions. How could he convince them of the necessity to automate Line 1? How could he prevent the potentially major social conflict that might result from downsizing the drivers' positions?

Automating the Paris Subway (B)

Anteby, Michel, Elena Corsi, and Emilie Billaud
December 2012

N/A

Siemens AG: Key Account Management

Steenburgh, Thomas, Michael Ahearne, and Elena Corsi
August 2012

The key account manager of an engineering company has to convince a department to give up important contracts. The German engineering company Siemens had set up a global key account management program since 2010. The key account manager of an emerging account had been asked by his customer to cut the costs of two long-term contracts worth about €300 million that his customer had signed with Siemens. Although legally Siemens could refuse the revision, such an act could jeopardize Siemens' relationship with the customer. At the same time, a change in the contracts would bring about losses for Siemens. How should the key account manager handle this problem? He knew that he would have to be resourceful, given that he had no direct authority in the situation, but this was the nature of his job.

LEGO

Rivkin, Jan W., Stefan Thomke, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
August 2012

LEGO has emerged as one of the most successful companies in the toy industry. The case describes LEGO's gradual rise, rapid decline, and recent revitalization as it is keeping up with a changing market place. Central to LEGO's management model is the ability to find the right balance among growing through innovation, staying true to its core, and controlling operational complexity.

Schuberg Philis

DeLong, Thomas J., and Daniela Beyersdorfer
July 2012

The Dutch professional service firm Schuberg Philis has within a few years grown into a well-known player in the Dutch IT outsourcing market and regularly wins high customer- satisfaction marks. The growing workload and 100% promise to customers have increased the pressure on its non-hierarchical teams of engineers, as well as the hiring speed, which some fear could dilute their corporate culture. The three owner-directors must decide whether it is time to stop customer acquisition for a while to "get their house in order." At that moment, though, one of Shuberg Philis perhaps most important business opportunities so far arises.

Virgin Group: Finding New Avenues for Growth

Pisano, Gary P., and Elena Corsi
May 2012

The head of the branded private investment company owner of the Virgin brand reflected on the group's new pillars of growth. Since the 1970s when Richard Branson created the Virgin record retailing company, Virgin had developed from scratch six companies worth more than $1 billion each and changed their focus from record retailing and music production to a broader one based on airlines, health, financial services, mobile, and media businesses. In addition, Virgin had been able to apply the Virgin brand to several different products without harming the brand. Their challenge had been finding the capital to finance the new ventures rather than the brand. Since 2005, Branson was dedicating more and more time to a charitable organization, Virgin Unite, and had appointed Stephen Murphy the new CEO of the Group. As Murphy contemplated their growth strategy for the next decade, he faced a number of difficult decisions. First, how should he fund new ventures? While growing, the Group had sold stakes in its companies and had signed with them licensing agreements for the use of the Virgin brand name. The Virgin Group was today a loose group of companies some linked to Virgin only by brand licensing agreements. Should they expand by signing new licensing agreements? Second, what kind of opportunities should he seek? Should they keep acting as a venture capital firm, nurturing new ventures as in the past or should they invest in larger and more established companies? What would be the consequences of their choices on the brand and on the Group? Would they always be able to inject the Virgin culture and turn around companies?

DONG Energy: Clean and Reliable Energy

Bower, Joseph L., and Elena Corsi
May 2012

The head of Denmark's largest energy group pondered how to use their limited resources to advance the delivery of clean and reliable energy. The Danish State owned DONG Energy had started life as an importer and trader of gas and oil. Under the leadership of the current CEO, Anders Eldrup, the company had become an energy group, present in all steps of the gas and oil value chain and particular, in the EU market leader in offshore wind energy. As a developer and operator of wind farms, it was one of the world's leaders. In 2011, the company faced several strategic questions including whether and where they should continue investing in offshore wind and how to identify the next key growth businesses of the future.

On Two Wheels in Paris: The Velib' Bicycle-Sharing Program

Coles, Peter A., Elena Corsi, and Vincent Dessain
May 2012

French advertising company JCDecaux and the city of Paris jointly developed Vélib', a wildly popular bicycle sharing system. Despite Vélib's public appeal, vandalism and theft led to ballooning operating costs-costs borne by JCDecaux alone. The two parties opted to renegotiate their contract, which would impact prices, revenue sharing, cost allocation, and the operation of the system as a whole. Could the parties agree on a common strategy that would meet their objectives, while still delivering a first class bicycle sharing service to the city of Paris?

Novozymes: Cracking the Emerging Markets Code

Palepu, Krishna G., and Karol Misztal
May 2012

In 2011, the management of Novozymes, the industrial enzymes leader, reflected on the viability of their positioning in the fast growing, yet increasingly competitive Chinese market. Novozymes, a technological innovation pioneer, was prominent in China's premium enzyme markets but felt pressure from local low-cost rivals in volume-driven, commoditized segments. How should Novozymes relate to local competitors? By competing on technological innovation only in high-margin verticals? Or through a separate subsidiary with a new low-cost business model for commoditized verticals?

On Two Wheels in Paris: The Velib' Bicycle-Sharing Program

Coles, Peter A., and Elena Corsi
May 2012

No abstract available

The Swatch Group

Deshpandé, Rohit, Karol Misztal, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
March 2012

In March 2011, Nicolas Hayek, the CEO of the leading Swiss watch manufacturer, Swatch Group, reflected on the positioning of Omega, its revived flagship brand. Which marketing strategy would best allow it to confront its main competitor, Rolex? And how would potential adjustments to Omega's product, pricing, distribution, and promotion strategies impact the sales of the Swatch Group's other 18 watch brands?

Poles Apart on PZU (A)

Gino, Francesca, Vincent Dessain, Karol Misztal, and Michael Khayyat
March 2012

In October 2008, Andrzej Klesyk, CEO of Poland's largest insurer PZU, reflected on possible ways of resolving a decade-long cross-border shareholder conflict at his company. Owned 55% by the Polish State Treasury and 33% by the Dutch insurer Eureko as of October 2008, PZU was a highly profitable company and Poland's biggest asset holder. Eureko aimed at majority ownership of PZU as the building block of its Eastern European expansion strategy. The Treasury, however, was reluctant to forfeit control of the country's crown jewels. Several rounds of negotiations and international arbitration failed to resolve the conflict, leading to a progressive breach of trust. Was there anything Klesyk could do to break this international and multilateral stalemate?

Poles Apart on PZU (B)

Gino, Francesca, Vincent Dessain, Karol Misztal, and Michael Khayyat
March 2012

In September 2008, the Polish State Treasury and the Dutch insurer Eureko were wondering if they were ready to reach an amicable solution on PZU. If so, for how much and under what conditions should they settle so that they, as well as PZU, are satisfied? If not, what other potential alternatives might exist?

Poles Apart on PZU (C)

Gino, Francesca, Vincent Dessain, Karol Misztal, and Michael Khayyat
March 2012

After a decade-long dispute with the Polish State Treasury, in October 2009 the Dutch insurer Eureko agreed to exit PZU in exchange for compensation. Who was the biggest beneficiary of the settlement: Eureko, the Treasury, or PZU itself?

Fonterra

Bell, David E., Mary Shelman
March 2012

In 2011, Fonterra, the world's largest processor and exporter of dairy products, needed to reposition its business to take advantage of rising demand in emerging markets in Asia.

L'Occitane en Provence

Becker, Bo, Daniela Beyersdorfer, Scott Mayfield, and Mayuka Yamazaki
February 2012

Cosmetics company L'Occitane en Provence must decide if it is the right time to go public, and, if so, where to list. The firm could list on Euronext in Paris, close to the firm's headquarters in southern France, on one of the large exchanges in the U.S., or perhaps in Asia, where much of the firm's future growth is expected. The case provides opportunities to discuss the benefits and costs of going public, including valuation implications, and illustrates the choices faced by a prospective IPO firm that operates in a global setting.

2011

Shelley Capital and the Hedge Fund Secondary Market

Viceira, Luis, Elena Corsi, and Ruth Dittrich
September 2011

An advisory company has to decide how to sell their client's hedge fund holdings in the secondary market, and thinks about their future. Shelley Capital was a European advisory company operating in the hedge fund secondary market, a market that boosted in 2008 with the world financial crisis. Shelley had identified four final bidders for the $84.5 million portfolio of illiquid hedge fund holdings that one of their clients had commissioned them to sell and had now to decide to whom they should sell the holdings, if they should split up the portfolio, or if they should postpone the sale. At the same time, they needed to decide about their future business. The financial crisis was behind the exceptional growth of the hedge funds' secondary market, yet another crisis could follow and boost the secondary market again. What direction should Shelley take once the hedge fund industry fully recovered? But what if a second global crisis threw the hedge fund industry into disarray once again?

Global Knowledge Management at Danone (B)

Edmondson, Amy C., Ruth Dittrich, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
July 2011

The (B) case gives an update on the development of knowledge management at Danone two years after the (A) case: The Networking Attitude spread throughout the company and the question is posed whether Danone should move to virtual networking in addition to face-to-face networking.

Global Knowledge Management at Danone (C)

Edmondson, Amy C., Ruth Dittrich, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
July 2011

The (C) case provides an update on the B-case decision and describes the introduction of Dan 2.0, an internal social virtual network for the purpose of knowledge sharing in a company that was only used to face-to-face networking.

Poweo: David and Goliath in the French Electricity Market

Maurer, Noel, and Elisa Farri
June 2011

Charles Beigbeder, the president and founder of Poweo, an alternative electricity and gas operator in France, needs to decide on the company's strategy in light of electricity deregulation and the dominant position of Électricité de France (EDF) in the French market. Can Poweo successfully compete against EDF, with its giant installed nuclear base, and will competition bring benefits to French consumers?

The Eleganzia Group

Ofek, Eli, Elena Corsi, Bharat Sajnani, Sorina Casian-Botez, and Francesco Tronci
June 2011

Eleganzia Group management faces tough decisions heading into the summer of 2010. With tourism on the decline due to the global economic recession, General Manager Giannuzzi must decide how to set prices at the Forte Village Resort, the Group's most well-known property. His management team is further divided on whether the pricing model at the resort should change to being all-inclusive (as opposed to one where guests are charged for each additional activity or dining option on a pay-as-you-go basis) and whether to convert a large number of the 4-star rooms into 5-star suites. Recently acquired properties, such as the Castel Monastero in Tuscany and the Maddalena Hotel & Yacht Club in north Sardinia, pose a branding challenge. Can all the properties, including the Forte Village, be successfully brought under one umbrella brand, namely, Eleganzia? Moreover, what should the character of each of these new properties be?

Innovation and Growth at Actelion Ltd

Pisano, Gary P., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Ruth Dittrich
May 2011

In late 2010, Jean-Paul Clozel, CEO of the Swiss biotech pharmaceuticals firm Actelion, looks back on a successful decade. The small venture that he had started with a few of his scientist colleagues in the late 1990s to discover novel medicine in a research-driven organisation had grown into one of Europe's largest biotech firms by revenues. Their success was mainly founded on their orphan indication drug Tracleer, which Actelion sold and marketed worldwide. However, Tracleer's looming patent expiry in a few years and recent late-stage pipeline setbacks had put the company under pressure from investors. While Clozel was confident in their ability to deliver future drugs that could secure further growing revenue streams, he wondered how to maintain their entrepreneurial culture that he saw as a prerequisite for this-particularly their lean hierarchy and researchers' freedom to follow innovation where it led them-in a company of more than 2,400 people that continued to grow.

Utilis: Designing, Producing, and Selling Rapid Deployment Shelters for a Troubled World

Leonard, Herman B., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Simon Harrow
May 2011

How can a company that supplies disaster response and humanitarian agencies best handle the intrinsically unpredictable and highly volatile demand for its products? Utilis is a French supplier of rapid-deploy high-end tent solutions for civilian and military uses (such as camps and field hospitals). In 13 years it developed from a start-up garage business into a successful firm of global reach and reputation. In 2010 its founder and CEO Philippe Prévost must decide the product and market strategy for the next phase of development allowing the company to remain competitive in terms of price and cutting edge products. Should they outsource some of their production to Eastern Europe? Market their products to new customers like non-governmental organizations? Diversify into new shelter product areas? So far their small size and nimbleness had allowed the company to thrive-but would their deeper penetration into the market of disaster and emergency response (where contracts were smaller and peaks and troughs in demand larger) still be compatible with their business model?

Shar Matin (A)

Thomas, David A., and Elisa Farri
May 2011

The head of the subsidiary of a U.S. company faced the decision to present an aggressive growth plan despite his CFO's lack of support.

Shar Matin (B)

Thomas, David A., and Elisa Farri
May 2011

Supplements the (A) case

Shar Matin (C)

Thomas, David A., and Elisa Farri
May 2011

Supplements the (A) case

ABICI

Khaire, Mukti, Elena Corsi, and Elisa Farri
May 2011

The co-founder of an Italian design based bicycle manufacturer evaluates if reducing costs by outsourcing would impact its brand. The company was founded in 2005 in Italy by three friends, and in its first five years it had enjoyed steady growth and built a strong reputation for producing high-quality city bicycles, appreciated for their retro look and style. Its country of origin had probably helped them exporting their products as their bicycles were 100% made in Italy, and the Made in Italy label had a reputation for high quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Yet profit margins were relatively low as manufacturing costs were very high. Should they outsource their production? If so, to China or to Eastern Europe? Was there some other way to improve the profitability of the company?

The IASB at a Crossroads: The Future of International Financial Reporting Standards

Ramanna, Karthik, Karol Misztal, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
April 2011

What are the major challenges to the continued growth of IFRS worldwide? Should countries be encouraged to pursue "full adoption" of IFRS, or should each country determine its own IFRS "convergence" strategy? Given the limitations of governance and information-intermediation institutions worldwide, should IFRS limit the use of fair-value accounting? How should the IASB respond to the growing power of emerging markets such as China in international standard setting? What lessons can be learned from the growth and development of IFRS for international harmonization of corporate governance standards more broadly? This case first describes the IASB's major accomplishments over the 2001-2010 period and then outlines the major challenges to the continued growth of IFRS as it enters its second decade.

Vestas' World of Wind

Steenburgh, Thomas, Elena Corsi
March 2011

The wind turbine manufacturer Vestas launched the industry's first highly localized and customized new product launch campaigns which used also new tools such as web 2.0 platforms. Used to operate in a market where demand exceeded supply, Vestas had lost contact with its customer base and had a limited marketing budget, mainly used to finance global media advertisement campaigns. The world economic downturn which followed the U.S. credit crunch crisis of 2008 and the increased competition in the wind turbine market had brought about a sudden drop in Vestas orders of new turbines. Vestas thus decided to focus more on marketing and developed a new department, Global Marketing and Customer Insights. Morten Albaek was hired to manage and develop the department and to transform Vestas into the undisputed most customer focused company in the industry by 2012 and among the most customer centric B2B brand by 2015. He tested his new approach for the first time with the launch of their new V112 turbine for which he developed 72 customized campaigns targeting its main existing and potential customers and major stakeholders. Yet, had the campaign been effective in bringing Vestas closer to its customer base? Were they using the right tools?

Oriflame S.A. (A)

Hawkins, David F., Karol Misztal, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
February 2011

A direct-selling cosmetics company involved in emerging markets exhibits significant foreign exchange risk exposure and profitability swings in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Students must review the company's use of derivative instruments and other hedging techniques to establish whether it pursues the right FX risk mitigation strategy.

Oriflame S.A. (B)

Hawkins, David F., and Karol Misztal
February 2011

Exercise for recording derivative hedging transactions, accompanied by a technical note on IFRS derivative accounting.

BonneSante S.A.

Hawkins, David F.
February 2011

IASB and FASB propose new lease accounting rules, and the owner of a French chain of fast food outlets is concerned about the impact on his company's balance sheets.

Oriflame S.A. (C)

Hawkins, David F., and Karol Misztal
February 2011

Notes from Oriflame's 2009 annual report relevant to the assessment of the monetary impact of Oriflame's FX risk-management actions.

2010

Hôpital de Pontoise

Bohmer, Richard, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Simon Harrow
December 2010

In 2010, Andre Razafindranaly, managing director of a large French public hospital, considers which organizational structure will help them adjust to the changing health sector environment. The move from global budget to activity-based funding has led his and many other public hospitals to suffer losses in recent years. Appointed two years previously, Razafindranaly introduced increasing financial control and encouraged organizational changes such as multidisciplinary wards differentiated by patients' lengths of stay. To what extent should he (and can he) reinforce these measures, which have increased efficiency and reduced the deficit but also generated push-back from his doctors and staff?

Santander Consumer Finance

Trumbull, Gunnar, Elena Corsi, and Andrew Barron
December 2010

A Spanish company has to decide if they should expand into the fragmented European consumer finance market and has to make important organizational strategy decisions in the midst of the world economic downturn that followed the 2007 U.S. credit crunch. Since 2002, the consumer finance branch of the Spanish banking Grupo Santander, Santander Consumer Finance (SCF), had grown into one of the largest European consumer finance companies capturing the recent growth in Europe of the consumer finance market. Against a background of growing concern about the sustainability of household debt levels in Europe and the United States, in 2008 the new CEO, Magda Salarich Fernández de Valderrama, had to decide if this was the right time to expand or, if instead, she should focus on consolidation. She was also facing important organizational strategy decisions. Which functions should be left to national affiliates to decide, and which should be centralized at headquarters? What processes should be standardized, and which left to local initiatives?

Société Générale (A): The Jerome Kerviel Affair

Brochet, François
September 2010

This case illustrates the tension/balance that firms with complex and risky business models must consider in designing their internal controls. It describes the environment in which a derivatives trader engaged in massive directional positions on major European stocks and indexes without being detected for over a year. Although the case could be used to teach the basics of internal controls, it is likely to be more effective by eliciting a debate about how predictable the incident was, and whether or not there was anything fundamentally flawed about the company's choices in terms of strategy, control systems, and culture. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the challenges of dealing jointly with a market-wide crisis (subprime) and a company-level crisis.

Société Générale (B): The Jerome Kerviel Affair

Brochet, François
September 2010

Supplements the (A) case

Central Europe after the Crash: Between Europe and the Euro

Comin, Diego, Dante Roscini, and Elisa Farri
July 2010

This note briefly reviews the financial crisis in central Europe in late 2008 and summarizes how four central European countries-Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia-have coped with the economic downturn.

Roche's Acquisition of Genentech

Baldwin, Carliss Y., Bo Becker, and Vincent Dessain
July 2010

Franz Humer, CEO of the Roche Group, must decide whether to mount a hostile tender offer for the publicly owned shares of Roche's biotechnology subsidiary, Genentech. The case provides opportunities to analyze Roche's strategy with respect to Genentech, the pros and cons of merging the two companies with different cultures, the value of Genentech, and the tactics of a hostile tender offer.

Dassault Systèmes

Thomke, Stefan, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
June 2010

Dassault Systèmes, a leader in product lifecycle management software, has enjoyed a very profitable business model in 3D engineering design. In the past, it has successfully managed market disruptions and opportunities through acquisition and organic innovations. Its latest brands, 3DVIA, offers 3D models and lifelike experiences to a new non-professional client category, the consumer. In November 2009, President and CEO Bernard Charlès has to decide how to best address this new market segment, characterized by rapidly expanding open communities and new pricing models. What is the right business model for the new brand, and how will it affect the future of Dassault Systèmes?

Global Diversity and Inclusion at Royal Dutch Shell

Sucher, Sandra J., and Elena Corsi
June 2010

Royal Dutch Shell has been among the early players to implement diversity and inclusion policies in the 1990s, first in the U.S. and then globally. In May 2009, Peter Voser, CFO and soon-to-be CEO, wants to adjust the company's business, headcount, and cost levels to adapt to changing economic conditions after one of the worst economic downturns in decades. His all-male executive committee has raised eyebrows since it is a step back from that of his predecessor, and he must decide whether to continue to promote the firm's emphasis on global diversity and inclusion while it restructures its business and reduces its managerial workforce.

Mercadona

Ton, Zeynep, and Simon Harrow
May 2010

This case presents the predicament of a company trying to do right by its customers and its employees as the economic crisis of 2008 hits home. Fifteen years earlier, this Spanish supermarket chain had adopted its own version of total quality management, called the Total Quality Model, switching from the industry's traditional high-low pricing to "always low prices" and continuous improvement. These changes called for a well-trained, empowered, and enthusiastically engaged workforce dedicated to providing the best products and service to their customers, who were always and seriously referred to as "the Bosses." The Total Quality Model had been a success in terms of company growth and profitability, sustained by the success of Mercadona's unusually high investment in employee training and satisfaction. Nevertheless, when sales growth slowed down in 2008, CEO Juan Roig concluded that Mercadona had let its customers down by not keeping prices low enough for such hard times. Mercadona set about lowering its prices, reducing product variety, and lowering its financial targets for 2009. Of the 9,200 SKUs in an average store, the company decided to eliminate 1,000. But Roig still had to decide what to do about employee bonuses. Since Mercadona did not meet its 2008 targets, the company policy was that no one-not even top management-would get a bonus. But Roig knew that his employees worked hard and well in 2008 and could not be held totally responsible for the downturn or for management's failure to react quickly enough.

Barclays Wealth: Reignite WAR or Launch AlphaStream?

Goldberg, Lena G., and Elisa Farri
February 2010

In late January 2009, Thomas Fekete, Managing Director at Barclays Wealth in London, redeemed the most illiquid positions in the so-called Wealth Absolute Return Fund (WAR), one of Barclays Wealth's most promising offshore funds of hedge funds, and halted the Fund's investment activities. For Fekete, the decision to declare the WAR funds a ''failed experiment" marked a turning-point. In May 2009, money from the redeemed underlying funds would become available, and by that date, he had to develop a new investment strategy. Fekete faced two options. Option one was to revive the WAR Fund. Option two was to shelve the WAR Fund and launch a new fund of UCITS regulated funds domiciled in Europe with UCITS qualification. Which strategy would be the best way to invest during this period of crisis, to the benefit of both Barclays Wealth and its clients?

Barclays Wealth: Reignite WAR or Launch AlphaStream?

Goldberg, Lena G., and Elisa Farri
February 2010

In late January 2009, Thomas Fekete, Managing Director at Barclays Wealth in London, redeemed the most illiquid positions in the so-called Wealth Absolute Return Fund (WAR), one of Barclays Wealth's most promising offshore funds of hedge funds, and halted the Fund's investment activities. For Fekete, the decision to declare the WAR funds a ''failed experiment" marked a turning-point. In May 2009, money from the redeemed underlying funds would become available, and by that date, he had to develop a new investment strategy. Fekete faced two options. Option one was to revive the WAR Fund. Option two was to shelve the WAR Fund and launch a new fund of UCITS regulated funds domiciled in Europe with UCITS qualification. Which strategy would be the best way to invest during this period of crisis, to the benefit of both Barclays Wealth and its clients?

Zara: Managing Stores for Fast Fashion

Ton, Zeynep, Elena Corsi, and Vincent Dessain
February 2010

Pablo Isla, the CEO of Zara, wanted to improve operational efficiencies in managing its store network. In particular, he wanted to improve labor productivity at the stores. He considered outsourcing certain store operations to third parties, changing the way store managers were compensated, and creating formal operating procedures for store operations. But he knew he had to be careful. Could an emphasis on improving labor productivity hurt other aspects of store operations?

2009

Tenova: Mining for Growth in an Economic Crisis

Pisano, Gary P., Elena Corsi, and Elisa Farri
October 2009

In December 2008, Gianluigi Nova, CEO of Tenova SpA, a technology and equipment supplier to the metals and mining industry, had to choose between two options. The first was to continue growing in the company's core business: equipment for the steel production. The second option offered growth in a related, but nearly new business for Tenova: the equipment for mining, mineral processing, and extractive metallurgy. They only had a small presence in this market. Yet, Nova had to cope with the worldwide economic crisis whose destructive power hit every area of the metals and mining industry. Nova had to decide which option offered the best opportunity to grow in the worst economic crisis since 1929.

Gucci Group: Freedom within the Framework

Martinez-Jerez, F. Asís, Elena Corsi, and Vincent Dessain
October 2009

Gucci Group's CEO had to decide if his decentralized management style was the most effective philosophy in an economic downturn. The sharing of customer information across units and its use in the creative process are key initiatives analyzed in the case. CEO Robert Polet joined the high-end fashion Gucci Group in 2004, after 26 years at one of the largest consumer goods companies. Since his arrival, the Group had grown both in revenues and profitability. Part of his secret was his decentralized and empowering management style. In 2008, in the midst of the economic downturn following the credit crunch crisis, Polet learned that after four years of growth the Gucci brand-the Group's largest business-would report a slowdown for the year's first semester. He knew that according to his management philosophy he should leave the primary decisions for the Gucci brand to Gucci's CEO. Yet, given the urgency of the situation, Polet wondered if it would be more effective to become directly involved in the brand's decision-making process. To anchor the discussion on Polet's management style, the case discusses how customer information is used in the creative process and whether it would be beneficial for the group to share customer information across stores, regions, and brands.

Generation Investment Management

Sucher, Sandra, J., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Ane Damgaard Jensen
May 2009

Examines the investment process of Generation Investment Management, a "sustainable" investing firm established in 2004 by David Blood and U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Places students in the position of David Lowish, director of global industrials, who must decide whether to recommend an investment in ABB India. The decision pits economic development-supplying energy to impoverished rural areas in India, against environmental damage-caused by the use of coal-fired power plants.

Orange: Read&Go

Eisenmann, Thomas, Toby Stuart, Bhaskar Chakravorti, Vincent Dessain, Simon Harrow, and Elena Corsi
April 2009

In late 2008, Orange (aka France Telecom) must decide if launching Read&Go, an electronic newsstand built around an e-paper reader, would be successful. The case describes (1) Orange's strategy; (2) the company's new product development process; (3) e-paper technology, which simulates the appearance of printed paper on a screen; (4) consumer demand for e-paper services; (5) potential competitors, including Amazon's Kindle; (6) business model options for Orange's service; and (7) the reactions of French newspapers-crucial content partners-to Orange's proposal.

VOSS Artesian Water from Norway

Moon, Youngme E., Gail McGovern, Daniela Beyersdorfer and Vincent Dessain
April 2009

VOSS is a Norwegian bottled water company that produces one of the world's purest drinking waters, sold at an ultra-premium price in a sleek cylindrical glass bottle of minimalist design. In the U.S. (the company's primary market), VOSS's high-end brand presence is strongest in on-premise locations-specifically, top-of-the-line restaurants, hotels, and clubs. The brand has only recently begun penetrating the off-premise channel. In June 2007, Ole Christian Sandberg, VOSS's founder and head of U.S. operations, is considering how to grow the brand. The key question is whether VOSS should increase its distribution in the off-premise channel. Will this diminish VOSS's high-end brand cachet? A related question is whether VOSS should begin expanding its portfolio by offering, for example, flavored water for the rapidly evolving U.S. bottled water market.

Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. (A)

Gilson, Stuart C., Dessain Vincent, Sarah Abbott
April 2009

In the summer of 2006, the chairman and CEO of Eurotunnel Group is faced with the decision whether to file for bankruptcy protection, after having failed to gain creditor approval of an ambitious out-of-court restructuring plan. The company, which has been attempting to restructure its debt and operations for the last ten years, faces a number of daunting challenges. Eurotunnel is jointly listed in the U.K. and France, and its shareholders, who are largely based in France, face the prospect of significant dilution under any restructuring plan. The current chairman and CEO has been with the company for only a year and a half, following a decade of senior management turbulence in which the company has seen nine different CEOs and chairmen. Eurotunnel's capital structure is staggeringly complex, and a large fraction of its debt has come to be held by U.S.-based hedge funds that specialize in investing in distressed companies. Finally, Eurotunnel's business is extremely challenging to value and is faced with significant competition. If the current chairman/CEO decides to file for bankruptcy, he faces the additional choice of whether to file for bankruptcy in the U.K. or in France, which take quite different approaches to restructuring troubled companies.

Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. (B): Restructuring Under the Procedure de Sauvegarde

Gilson, Stuart C., Dessain Vincent, Sarah Abbott
April 2009

In mid-2007 the chairman and CEO of Eurotunnel Group, having elected to file for bankruptcy under a newly-enacted French insolvency law, awaits the outcome of a vote by creditors and shareholders. At least 50% of the shareholders must approve the plan, however they face significant dilution of their ownership interests in Eurotunnel. If the vote fails to pass, the possibility that the company may have to be liquidated becomes increasingly likely.

Columbus Tubing: Steel Is Real

Snow, Daniel C., Gary P. Pisano, Elena Corsi, and Gudrun Urfalino Kristinsdottir.
February 2009

Columbus Tubing must choose to improve an old technology (steel) or to develop a new material (carbon fiber). The decision must take into account a complicated context: increased demand for the "old" steel products made in Italy, increasing power of carbon fiber manufacturing partners in Asia, growing wage rates in Asia, and high wage rates in Italy. Two plans have been presented to the CEO, Antonio Colombo. The first is to push development of all of the company's technologies, perhaps even seeking new markets for them. The second is to rationalize operations and to redirect R&D resources to marketing of stylish, lower-tech bicycles. The company's future hangs in the balance.

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2008

Iceland (A)

Musacchio, Aldo
October 2008

In May of 2008, a team of sovereign debt analysts at Moody's had to decide whether to downgrade the country's sovereign long-term debt from Aaa to Aa1 or lower. Investor sentiment toward Iceland had changed radically in March, and the Moody's team was fearful that the situation could spiral out of control. The Moody's team knew that carry traders increased Iceland's vulnerability to a confidence crisis because they were quick to liquidate their holdings at the first sign of distress. The plunge in the Icelandic Krona since the beginning of 2008 also forced the Icelandic people to confront a decision: would joining the European Union (EU) protect Iceland from capricious swings in investor sentiment? What, if anything, should Iceland do to avoid a future crisis?

Iceland (B): Redefining Aaa-Rated Sovereigns

Musacchio, Aldo
October 2008

Supplement to the (A) case

North Goes East

Retsinas, Nicolas P., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Elena Corsi
September 2008

In August 2006, Magnus Lofgren and Robert Provine, managing directors and co-founders of the "North Real Estate Opportunities Fund," need to decide which real estate investment the Fund should pursue as its first project. The Fund's target region, Central and Eastern Europe, was changing rapidly and returns in some of the more developed regions started to resemble those generated in Western Europe. Yet, the two partners had managed to identify several projects in different countries that promised to generate the Fund's targeted Internal Rates of Return at or above 20% annually. They now had to decide which opportunity was the best match to the Fund's investment profile and showed the highest economic promise.

AREVA T&D

Raman, Ananth, Vincent Marie Dessain, Ane Damgaard Jensen, and Gudrun Urfalino Kristinsdottir
September 2008

The case explores the rapid and highly effective turnaround at AREVA's transmission and distribution (T&D) business by focusing on the division's operations. The division was struggling in 2004 when newly-appointed CEO Philippe Guillemot and his team improved performance substantially by focusing on four levers- industrial footprint realignment, competitive sourcing, process efficiency, and a competitive product offering. In 2008, the case challenges students to identify the best path forward. How can the progress achieved from 2004 to 2007 be sustained? AREVA T&D hopes to surpass ABB and Siemens in sales and profitability by focusing on superior product offerings, through "customer intimacy" (e.g., involving customers in new product development) and developing a reputation for environmentally friendly behavior. What is the role of operations management in this context?

The European Union in the 21st Century

Trumbull, Gunnar
July 2008

Focuses on the challenges facing the European Union in 2006. Following the French and Dutch referendums in 2005, the fate of the European Constitution is in jeopardy. Ten new accession countries have just joined the EU, with Turkey in the beginning stages of the accession process. New member states and additional future members have provoked widespread debate on financial, political, and social issues. Growth within the EU has been sluggish, with high unemployment and low investment in R&D. The EU has launched a set of reforms to create a "single passport" system of mutual recognition within the EU for capital, services, and people. Still, terrorist attacks, an upsurge in domestic violence, budgetary problems, and foreign policy, enlargement, and immigration issues plague the EU. In light of these problems, what will be the future of the EU and its constitution?

Spiegel-Verlag Rudolf Augstein GmbH & Co. KG.

Villalonga, Belen, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Vincent Dessain
April 2008

Der Spiegel is Germany's most influential political news magazine. In the 1970s, its founder Rudolf Augstein gave a 50% ownership stake to his employees and sold another 25% to rival publisher Gruner+Jahr, but retained significant control during his lifetime by stipulating in the bylaws that every important business decision would require a 76% shareholder approval. When Augstein died in 2002, however, his co-owners exercised the option the same bylaws gave them to buy a 0.5% stake each from Augstein's heirs, who thus lost their veto rights. In September 2007, the benefits and costs of sharing ownership with employees became particularly salient when the employees block the CEO's proposal to acquire 50% of the Financial Times Deutschland. Faced with the new balance of power, Rudolf's eldest son Jakob Augstein is forced to rethink the role that his family can play in Spiegel going forward. Should he try to buy back the pivotal stake? Sell the family stake altogether? But to whom, and at what price?

Indesit Company: Does Global Matter?

Bower, Joseph L.
April 2008

In 2007, the leadership of the Indesit Company is focused on long-term corporate strategy. After three decades, the company has emerged as the number two home appliance producer in greater Europe. Should they invest further to be number one, or should they now focus on the global market, and if so, which part of the world? A subordinate issue is what to do with their multiple brands. Should they consolidate? This case has extensive data on global markets.

Moët Hennessy España

Casciaro, Tiziana, Vincent Dessain, and Elena Corsi
April 2008

Since being appointed CEO of Moët Hennessy España (MHE), the Spanish subsidiary of the wine & spirits business of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the world's leading luxury products group, Ramiro Otano had overseen a spectacularly successful run at the company by any financial measure. Despite the company's growth, some of the employees who had been at the company for years were complaining that the company had lost its "human touch" in the process of professionalizing and modernizing to capitalize on the fantastic market opportunities that had opened up in Spain. Some felt that the work was now too structured and interpersonal relationships too dry. Otano acknowledged that the financial success had happened on the expense of the informal and relational atmosphere that used to characterize the company. But did it matter, Otano wondered? How should he go forward?

Global Knowledge Management at Danone

Edmondson, Amy C., Bertrand Moingeon, Vincent Dessain, and Ane Damgaard Jensen
February 2008

The case explores French consumer goods company Danone's novel approach to knowledge management. Through informal knowledge marketplaces and sharing networks, Danone had helped managers connect with each other and share good practices peer-to-peer, rather than relying on traditional hierarchical lines of communication or IT repositories. From 2004 to 2007, the president of human resources and his team had found that 5,000 Danone managers around the world had shared about 640 now-documented good practices. In 2007, the strategic importance of saving time in a decentralized organization through adoption of colleagues' good practices was put to a test. The case illustrates Danone's options on taking knowledge management into the future of Danone.

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2007

Silic (A): Choosing Cost or Fair Value on Adoption of IFRS

Hawkins, David F., Vincent Dessain, and Andrew Barron
September 2007

This case addresses the implementation of International Reporting Standards (IFRS) at Silic, a publicly-listed real-estate company in France. The A case focuses on how Silic should implement International Accounting Standard 40 (IAS 40, Investment Properties). Students assume the role of CEO Dominique Schlissinger and must decide whether the company should report its primary asset (investment property) using either the historical cost or fair-value accounting method. The B case exposes the accounting methods eventually chosen by Silic and other publicly-quoted real-estate companies in France. It gives Silic the opportunity to explain the reasons behind and effects of it choice, and encourages students to reflect on whether Silic made the right decision.

Silic (B): Choosing Cost or Fair Value on Adoption of IFRS

Hawkins, David F., Vincent Dessain, and Andrew Barron
September 2007

Supplements the (A) case.

Using Investor Relations Proactively

Miller, Gregory S., Vincent Dessain, and Daniela Beyersdorfer
August 2007

Investor relations has a delicate balancing act. It communicates with stakeholders, of course, but can also help employees take a step back and analyze their firm as outsiders do. Harvard Business School's Gregory S. Miller, Vincent Dessain, and Daniela Beyersdorfer explain where IR is going, with energy giants BP and Total leading the way.

HBS Working Knowledge

Moulin Rouge (A)

Edmondson, Amy C., Bertrand Moingeon, Vincent Dessain, and Ane Damgaard Jensen
September 2007

The case explores the Parisian cabaret following its bankruptcy in 1998. Under court supervision, the family-owned cabaret was forced to let an outside person step in to supervise the company. Set in 2004, the A case follows the new CEO in his attempts to turn the company around and asks participants to consider how leaders can effectively motivate employees to create a successful business in an old, well-known entertainment company. The B case brings the Moulin Rouge turnaround story up to the year 2007 and illustrates the collaboration between external managers and the family and describes the continuous empowerment of the employees.

Moulin Rouge (B)

Edmondson, Amy C., Bertrand Moingeon, Vincent Dessain, and Ane Damgaard Jensen
September 2007

Supplements the (A) case.

Metro International

Khanna, Tarun, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Anders Sjoman, Ane Damgaard Jensen, and Vincent Dessain
September 2007

The case explores the business model of Metro International, a company publishing 70 editions of its free newspaper in 20 countries. Set in 2007, the case looks at the decision facing top management regarding the company's future strategy. A pioneer in the free newspaper market, Metro had fought incumbent publishers distributing traditional paid-for newspapers, but while the company had also generated profits, new challenges had surfaced; competition had increased and advertising-the free newspaper's only source of income-was shifting from newspapers to the internet.

PlaNet Finance: Broad Scope in Microfinance

Hagiu, Andrei, and Elena Corsi
August 2007

PlaNet Finance was a French NGO providing technical support and training services to microfinance institutions (i.e., institutions providing financial services to the poor) and other microfinance actors, ratings and management and advisory services to microfinance investors and investment funds. It was also creating a network of microfinance banks through a microfinance holding company. Yet, in a context of rapid change and explosive growth of the microfinance sector, Jacques Attali, the founder and president, wondered whether PlaNet Finance's scope was sufficiently broad to fulfil its mission or, on the contrary, whether it needed to be narrowed in order to eliminate organizational challenges and external perceptions of conflicts of interest.

Ericsson: Leading in Times of Change

Das Narayandas, Daniela Beyersdorfer, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
August 2007

After its dramatic corporate turnaround, the Swedish telecom infrastructure company Ericsson hires a new CEO to bring the former Swedish flagship company back on track. Puts students in the shoes of Carl-Henric Svanberg, an industry outsider and CEO of locks group Assy Abloy, who does not hesitate a moment when he gets the call in early 2003. Looks back on the reasons for Ericsson's current situation and the recent restructuring programs that cut the company's staff and operating expenses in half. Presents Svanberg's vision for how to re-energize the ailing company and reach profitability once again, and gives students the opportunity to debate these issues.

Reinventing Ericsson

Narayandas, Das, Daniela Beyersdorfer, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
August 2007

Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of the Swedish telecom infrastructure company Ericsson, has to reorganize the recovering company in late 2003 after a major industry downturn. He is convinced that only a more market-orientated and customer-focused organization will be able to remain competitive in this maturing, high-technology focused industry. Presents his change project, in which the sales and marketing structure play a central role. Will his ideas allow the company to keep its customers and successfully go after new markets?

Rovná dan: The Flat Tax in Slovakia

Alfaro, Laura, Rafael Di Tella, Ane Damgaard Jensen, and Vincent Dessain
July 2007

Explores the tax policy choices made by Slovakia and the impact of reforms. Set in 2006, looks at the decision facing new Prime Minister Robert Fico as he faces the public's "reform fatigue." Traces the development of tax and fiscal policies since Slovakia's independence in 1993, focusing on the 2004 implementation of the rovna dan, or "equal tax," a drastic simplification of the tax system. A major theme is the impact of labor market and welfare reform, as well as the effective tax rates of both investors and workers. Another important theme relates to Slovakia's desire to join the EU and adopt the Euro.

SAP: Industry Transformation

Hagiu, Andrei, Pai-Ling Yin, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Vincent Dessain
June 2007

SAP seeks growth in the small- and medium-sized enterprise market. To do so, it has created a platform strategy with SAP Netweaver. What are the advantages and challenges for an incumbent entering a new market? What are the benefits and challenges of implementing a platform strategy?

Fritidsresor Under Pressure (A): The First 10 Hours

Margolis, Joshua, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
May 2007

When a tsunami hit Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004, the leadership team at a Swedish tour company must manage a devastating crisis affecting thousands of its customers and employees in Thailand. Documents the challenges the company faced in the first ten hours of the crisis. Amid the uncertainty of those first hours, the leadership team must make a range of decisions to orchestrate the company's response and manage the rest of its business. Describes the chaotic environment of a crisis, especially when the normal course of business is interrupted, and puts students in the shoes of a range of managers, each having to make decisions on his/her own, while coordinating with one another to enable the company to respond effectively.

Fritidsresor Under Pressure (B): The First Week

Margolis, Joshua, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
May 2007

Supplements the (A) case.

Fritidsresor Under Pressure (C): After the Tsunami

Margolis, Joshua, Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
May 2007

Supplements the (A) case.

French Unemployment: The Crisis Continues

Alfaro, Laura, Patrick Vachey, and Vincent Dessain
May 2007

Supplements the (A) case.

Common Agricultural Policy and the Future of French Farming

Trumbull, Gunnar, Elena Corsi, and Vincent Dessain
March 2007

Presents the history and evolution of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, from early price supports to the 2003 decision to "decouple" payments to European farmers. Explores the logic behind agricultural supports, with a focus on the economic, political, and cultural context of French farming. Discusses efforts to reform the CAP in the context of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations against the backdrop of European enlargement.

Navigating Turbulent Waters: Glitnir Bank's Communication Challenge during a Macroeconomic Crisis

Kimbrough, Michael D., Gregory S. Miller, Vincent Dessain, and Ane Damgaard Jensen
March 2007

Glitnir Bank is an Icelandic company following an aggressive growth strategy that relies heavily on foreign debt. Access to such debt is suddenly curtailed when there is a downturn in market sentiment regarding the Icelandic economy as a whole. Students will reflect on the essential elements of a communications strategy, including the role of the media and analysts. Class discussion will focus on creating infrastructure that will increase the bank's ability to communicate effectively in an environment of macroeconomic uncertainty.

Vipp A/S

Austin, Robert D., and Daniela Beyersdorfer
February 2007

Rapidly growing Vipp sells highly differentiated (and expensive) "designer" versions of a product that most buyers think about in purely functional terms: Trash bins. Examines how the company successfully produces and positions a trash bin so that it is regarded as an "art object" (and which has been displayed as such as the Paris Louvre). Though it is a tangible product, a Vipp bin's price cannot be even remotely justified by its functional features; customers, rather, pay dearly for the intangible aspects of the product, which the firm works very hard to keep integrated with the physical product. Deals with a range of issues confronting creative economy companies, such as how to produce products with very important intangible components, how to assure and manage the design integrity of a family of products, how far to extend a brand, how to manage creative employees, and where to source creative work.

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2006

Marketing Chateau Margaux

Deighton, John A., Vincent Dessain, Leyland Pitt, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Anders Sjoman
December 2006

Chateau Margaux, luxury brand or connoisseur brand? Although France is awash with unsold wine, demand has never been stronger for the very finest Bordeaux. How should Margaux sustain and grow its business? The Chateau management team is wondering if it can take more control of distribution instead of leaving it to the Bordeaux wine merchants. Also, can the Chateau build marketing and sales capabilities on its own? Who is the target market, wine connoisseurs or the newly rich? Corinne Mentzelopoulous, who took over the estate from her father in 1980, wonders whether a new lower-priced wine should be added to the portfolio.

Bang & Olufsen: Design Driven Innovation

Austin, Robert D., and Daniela Beyersdorfer
October 2006

A successful company, recognized worldwide for exquisite design of consumer electronics products, strives to better integrate software design into its traditional physical product design processes to meet the demands of a post-iPod world. Details the Bang & Olufsen "design driven innovation" process, that works very differently than many companies' product development processes, but allows this company to produce very high profit margin products that retain their margins for a very long time in an industry in which products come and go very quickly. The case helps students understand processes and practices that support the creation of highly differentiated products. It also deals with issues of change in an already successful context, and of managing highly creative staff who are vital to a company's business model.

IR at BP: Investor Relations and Information Reconnaissance

Miller, Gregory S., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Anders Sjoman
October 2006

BP's IR director has begun a program to use information regarding external views of BP and the industry as part of the firm's planning and operational activities. This information is generated as a portion of their award winning investor relations program, and had previously been used only to enhance communications. Allows a discussion of the relative merit of more formally including this information in BP's planning and operations. Also provides "best practices" insights into IR.

IKEA's Global Sourcing Challenge: Indian Rugs and Child Labor (A)

Bartlett, Christopher A., Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
September 2006

Traces the history of IKEA's response to a TV report that its Indian carpet suppliers were using child labor. Describes IKEA's growth, including the importance of a sourcing strategy based on its close relationships with suppliers in developing countries. Details the development of IKEA's strong culture and values that include a commitment "to create a better everyday life for many people." Describes how, in response to regulatory and public pressure, IKEA developed a set of environmental policies that grew to encompass a relationship with Greenpeace and WWF on forest management and conservation. Then, in 1994, Marianne Barner, a newly appointed IKEA product manager, is surprised by a Swedish television documentary on the use of child labor by Indian carpet suppliers, including some that supply IKEA's rugs. She immediately implements a strict policy that provides for contract cancellation if any IKEA supplier uses child labor. Then Barner is confronted by a German TV producer who advises her that he is about to broadcast an investigative program documenting the use of child labor in one of the company's major suppliers. How should she react to the crisis? How should the company deal with the ongoing issue of child labor in the supply chain?

RFID at the METRO Group

Ton, Zeynep, Vincent Dessain, and Monika Stachowiak-Joulain
June 2006

Introduces radio frequency identification (RFID) as the next generation of automatic identification technologies that is expected to improve the performance of retail supply chains through reduced shrink, increased product availability, and improved labor productivity. Showcases the implementation of the technology by the METRO Group, the world's third-largest retailer. Places students in the position of Dr. Gerd Wolfram, managing director of METRO's internal IT service group, and Zygmunt Mierdorf, the company's chief information officer, who, in mid-2005, evaluate the results of the RFID rollout and decide on the next stage in the implementation.

Blogs at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (A)

McAfee, Andrew P. and Anders Sjoman
June 2006

In May 2005, JP Rangaswami, the chief information officer at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW), wonders how to extend the bank's use of blogs. Corporations are now increasingly using these tools to diffuse news, opinions, and knowledge and improve collaboration. At DrKW, there are already over 300 internal blogs and Rangaswami now wants to encourage their internal spread. He has to make a compelling case for using blogs as well as make them easy to use. In addition, Rangaswami wants the bank to allow external blogs that others can view on the Internet. However, given the strict disclosure regulations that govern the bank's operations, Rangaswami wonders whether there are any safeguards that would help convince the bank's executive staff to allow external blogs.

Deutsche Borse and the European Markets

Crane, Dwight B., and Monika Stachowiak-Joulain
May 2006

Introduces radio frequency identification (RFID) as the next generation of automatic identification technologies that is expected to improve the performance of retail supply chains through reduced shrink, increased product availability, and improved labor productivity. Showcases the implementation of the technology by the METRO Group, the world's third-largest retailer. Places students in the position of Dr. Gerd Wolfram, managing director of METRO's internal IT service group, and Zygmunt Mierdorf, the company's chief information officer, who, in mid-2005, evaluate the results of the RFID rollout and decide on the next stage in the implementation.

Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Vincent Dessain, Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Anders Sjoman

April 2006

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.

Fraikin SA

Kester, W. Carl, Vincent Dessain, and Monika Stachowiak-Joulain
April 2006

Provides an example of a so-called "whole business" securitization. In early 2004, Fraikin, France's leading industrial vehicle rental company, compares several alternatives for refinancing a large bridge loan within a year. Presents three primary options: a classic leveraged buyout, an asset-backed loan, and a loan based on securitizing Fraikin's truck rental contracts. Asks students to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option, particularly the securitization. Elicits discussion about why securitization appears to be the least cost financing alternative and whether it is worth the high transaction costs involved.

Wikis at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein: (A)

Anders Sjoman, McAfee, Andrew
March 2006

In October 2005, Myrto Lazopoulou, head of user centered design at the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW), contemplates how to spread the usage of wikis inside the company. As a "social software" like chats and blogs (both already in use at DrKW), wikis facilitate collaboration. At its barest, a wiki is a Web site that anybody visiting could edit without having to know HTML or Web-authoring tools. The IT department at DrKW had decided to experiment with the technology in late 2004, and now, soon a year later, it had to decide whether and how to roll out the tool for widespread use at the investment bank. Is DrKW ready for such technology?

Migros

Reinhardt, Forest L., Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
March 2006

In October 2005, Urs Riedener, head of marketing at Swiss retailer Migros, is contemplating the company's competitive position. Primarily a retailer for foods and near-foods products, the cooperative Migros, with close to 600 retail outlets in Switzerland (but only four outside its domestic market), is facing stiffer competition, both from existing competitors (such as Coop) and new arrivals (such as hard discounters Lidi and Aldi). Riedener and Migros management have so far always had faith in Migros' position in the marketplace, built around its governance structure (the customers were also the owners, creating a close link between the retailer and the market) and its emphasis on never selling harmful products. Socially, ecologically, and ethically produced products were key aspects of Migros' product offering. Riedener knows that Migros benefited from a unique position--and he wants to make sure that Migros defends it from both new and old competitors.

Investor Relations at TOTAL

Miller, Gregory S., Vincent Dessain, and Anders Sjoman
January 2006

Examines investor relations and financial communications in a large company with a diverse group of financial stakeholders. Total is an "energy major" based in Paris, France. The importance of its product and its impact on economies and environments combine with the size of the company to make Total highly visible to investors, governments, environmental groups, and other shareholders. The highly technical nature of Total's many internal activities and the breadth of its complex operations further impacts communication efforts. In addition, as a Continental European firm (in particular, French), Total has strong societal expectations regarding its interactions with employees/citizens vs. shareholders. Examines how Total creates a consistent and clear financial communication that provides information to these diverse stakeholder bases and their different desires for the company. Also asks students to consider how this communication strategy will need adjustment due to a period of high oil prices and a resulting windfall profit during 2005.

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