News & Highlights

  • September 2019
  • Working Knowledge

Cold Call Podcast: At Booking.com, Innovation Means Constant Failure

In this podcast, Professor Stefan Thomke discusses the subject of a new Harvard Business School case study, co-authored by Daniela Beyersdorfer of the ERC. Professor Thomke explains how past experience and intuition can be misleading when launching a new product, service, or process. Instead, Booking.com embrace a culture where testing, experimentation, and even failure are at the heart of what they do.
  • September 2019
  • Working Knowledge

HBS Working Knowledge: Germany May Have the Answer for Reducing Drug Prices

In Germany, drugmakers must prove that a new medication’s benefits merit a higher price than existing drugs. In this article, Professor Ariel Dora Stern asks whether "value-based pricing" should become the standard elsewhere.
  • July 2019
  • MBA Experience

MBA Voices: A Greek Student’s Experience—Meet Aspa Lekka, MBA Class of 2020

MBA Voices is Harvard Business School’s admissions blog. A collection of community perspectives on the blog provide prospective students with insight into life at HBS. In this interview, Greek student Aspa Lekka, MBA 2020, explains her journey to become one of the applicants admitted to the school.

New Research on the Region

  • December 2019
  • Case

The Dutch East India Company in 1612 (A)

By: Lynn S. Paine and Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

The Dutch East India Company’s board of directors must decide what to do about an impending legal requirement to liquidate the company’s assets and return to shareholders their capital and any profits earned during a ten-year lock up period. The charter granted to the company in 1602 by the Dutch Estates General (legislature) required the liquidation and accounting to shareholders after the initial ten-year period and again at the end of a second ten-year period. However, the company’s directors believe that more time is needed to reap the benefits of shareholders’ initial investments and that liquidating the company’s assets after the initial ten-year lock-up would make it impossible to raise capital for the second ten-year term. The case describes the origins of the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first publicly-traded multinational company, and traces key aspects of the company’s governance and development during its first ten years, including the emergence of disagreement among shareholders about corporate strategy and dividend policy.

  • December 2019
  • Teaching Material

The Dutch East India Company in 1612 (B)

By: Lynn S. Paine and Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

The case relates the decision made in the A case and what happened in the aftermath.

  • November 2019
  • Case

Hapag-Lloyd AG: Complying with IMO 2020

By: Benjamin C. Esty, Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej and Emer Moloney

A new environmental regulation known as IMO 2020 was creating what one industry analyst called “the biggest shakeup for the oil and shipping industries in decades.” According to the new regulation, all ocean-going ships would have to limit their sulfur emissions by January 1, 2020. Senior leaders at Hapag-Lloyd, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, were evaluating three ways their ships could comply with the new regulation: use low-sulfur fuel, use high-sulfur fuel but install scrubbers to clean the exhaust, or convert ships to use liquid natural gas (LNG) as fuel. Each of the options had its advantages and disadvantages, and the most attractive option depended on not only the values of key parameters (e.g., future fuel prices and equipment costs), but also the strategies adopted by the owners of the other 60,000 ocean-going ships subject to the regulation. For the industry as a whole, annual compliance could cost as much as $60 billion; for Hapag-Lloyd, annual compliance might cost as much as $1 billion or more. For a company with net income of $34 million ( 28 million) in the prior year, and losses in two of the past four years, getting this decision right was of the utmost importance. Senior executives at Hapag-Lloyd had created a proposed compliance plan and were scheduled to present it to the firm’s supervisory board for approval in June 2018. Whether the team had the right plan and whether the board would approve it are the key questions in the case.

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Paris Staff

Vincent Dessain
Executive Director
Daniela Beyersdorfer
Senior Associate Director, Research and Administration
Emilie Billaud
Assistant Director
Giulia Bussoletti
Executive Assistant
Elena Corsi
Assistant Director
Federica Gabrieli
Research Associate
Mette Hjortshoej
Research Associate
Tonia Labruyere
Research Associate
Emer Moloney
Senior Researcher
Jan Pianca
Associate Director, Educational Programs
Oksana Sichi
Assistant Director, Administration