23 Feb 2015

Five HBS Faculty Members Win Awards in Global Case Writing Competition

David Yoffie
Photo: Neal Hamberg

BOSTON—Five members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty have won awards in the 2015 Case Centre competition. First presented in 1991, these annual awards, which the Financial Times describes as the “the business school Oscars,” aim to recognize worldwide excellence in case writing and raise the profile of the case method of learning.

The Case Centre (formerly known as the European Case Clearing House) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the case method in business education and sharing world-leading knowledge and expertise in case teaching, writing, and learning, a pedagogy first applied to management education more than 90 years ago at Harvard Business School.

This year's HBS winners are:

Professor David Yoffie for both "Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2010" (coauthored with Renee Kim), which won the Overall Case Award, and “Apple Inc. in 2012” (coauthored with Penelope Rossano), the winner in the Strategy and General Management category;

Professor Thomas Eisenmann for “Dropbox: ‘It Just Works’” (coauthored with Michael Pao and Lauren Barkley) in Entrepreneurship

Professor Carliss Baldwin for “Roche’s Acquisition of Genentech” (coauthored with Bo Becker and Vincent Dessain, executive director of the HBS Europe Research Center) in Finance, Accounting and Control

Associate Professor Benjamin Edelman for “Online Marketing at Big Skinny” (coauthored with Scott Duke Kominers) in Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management

Associate Professor Karim Lakhani for “Open Innovation at Siemens” (coauthored with Katja Hutter, Stephanie Healy Pokrywa, and Johann Fuller) in Production and Operations Management.

Yoffie’s “Cola Wars Continue” examines the industry structure and competitive strategy of Coca-Cola and Pepsi over 100 years of rivalry, while the “Apple” case looks at the challenges facing CEO Tim Cook after the death of iconic founder and CEO Steve Jobs.

Eisenmann recounts Dropbox's history from conception through mid-2010, when founder and CEO Drew Houston had to make strategic decisions about new product features, how to target enterprise customers, and whether to pursue distribution deals with smartphone manufacturers.

Baldwin asks whether or not Franz Humer, CEO of the Roche Group, should mount a hostile tender offer for the publicly-owned shares of Roche's biotechnology subsidiary, Genentech.

Edelman describes a wallet maker's application of seven Internet marketing technologies: display ads, algorithmic search, sponsored search, social media, interactive content, online distributors, and A/B testing.

Lakhani presents Siemens, a Berlin-based multinational conglomerate, and its efforts to develop and commercialize new research and development through open innovation, including internal and external crowdsourcing contests.

The winning case in each category is the one that has achieved the highest growth in popularity worldwide based on sales to individual organizations during the last calendar year. Cases for each category are judged anonymously by expert panels to ensure impartiality.

Last year's HBS winners were Professor V. Kasturi Rangan for "Alpen Bank: Launching the Credit Card in Romania" (coauthored with Sunru Yong), which won in the Economics, Politics and Business Environment category; and Senior Lecturer Jill Avery (coauthored with Thomas Steenburgh and Naseem Dahod) for "HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0," which was recognized in Marketing.

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