Case Studies in Business Management, Strategy, Economics, Marketing, Leadership, CSR, MBA Case Studies

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IBSCDC's Case Catalyst Issue February 2010
Vol. I
February 1st 2010
Course Case Mapping Modules Executive Brief

In the journey of learning with insightful case studies, IBSCDC is back with the next set of Course Case Mapping (CCM) in the five fundamental management subjects for Semester II of an MBA programme.

IBSCDC has developed Course Case Maps in Human Resource Management, Business Research Methods, Macroeconomics and Business Environment, Marketing Management II and Operations Management. The case studies are comprehensive and are accompanied with a teaching note that not only provides a clear teaching plan for the faculty, but acts as a guideline for effective classroom discussion. The case maps include a detailed syllabus and key concepts for each chapter, relevant case studies along with abstracts and even suggest additional readings for the students to expand their academic horizons.

The best features of this Course Case Mapping are Management Classics, Hollywood Classics, useful websites and a must-read article inventory related to the subject in question. An exclusive free case study provided along with the Course Case Map for each of the subjects provides an overview of the topics discussed.

Course Case Mapping for Human Resource Management

Course Case Mapping For Human Resource Management

Time-tested and proven fact that people are the core assets of an organisation. Managing the relation between the employer and employee for building a better organisation is challenging but mandatory. But, why is people management the most important function of any manager? What is the significance of a strategy-driven HR system? Does HRM account for the success of an organisation?

In November 2009, IBSCDC has conducted a video interview with Anjali Mukherjee, Training Leader, Transcend Communications Ltd. This video case study showcases the real-time training problems faced by an experienced executive while highlighting the need for training to be an integral part of every organisation.

Video Interview : Vaatsalya Hospitals (A): The Business Model

In the interview, Anjali discusses the challenge of designing and imparting training in the voice-based business arena. The voicebased process, being a new business vertical both for the company and for the Indian BPO industry, Anjali was apprehensive and uncertain about the future of the process. She even explained how the intensifying competition, attitudinal clash with the business heads and the shrinking talent pool added to her team's woes. This video case study is meant for discussing the concepts of training and development in the Human Resource Management course.

Can employee engagement deliver better results for the firm? Can training programmes serve as effective tools for bridging the skill and knowledge gap in organisations? What factors should be considered while determining the remunerations of managerial and professional jobs? What are the challenges in adopting competency-based pay structures? Can the theoretical HR practices be applied in the practical organisational context?

The above questions can be answered from the case studies developed as a part of the case mapping for Gary Dessler's Human Resource Management. These case studies highlight some challenging situations faced by the companies and pose interesting dilemmas to the reader. CCM broadly captures the Human Resource Planning and Management Techniques, Recruitment, Compensation Management, Training and Development and Performance Appraisal, Collective Bargaining, Trade Unions, Industrial Relations and Grievance Handling, Quality of Work life, Talent Management and Entrepreneurship.

Few case studies like Merge Healthcare Incorporated's Accounting Scandal: Was the Rightsizing Right? focuses on the importance of rightsizing as a substitute for layoffs, while Performance Management System@TCS takes the instance of the appraisal and evaluation mechanism of Tata Consultancy Services. Sears, Roebuck and Company: Operating Performance Turnaround with HR Scorecard explains the importance of strategic HRM. A video case study Executive Brief with Anjali Mukherjee, Training Leader, Transcend Communications Ltd., discusses about the significance of training and development in an organisation and the challenges for the executives.

Course Case Mapping for Business Research Methods

  1. What kind of information is useful to make correct decisions about a product or programme?
  2. Of this information, how much can be collected and analysed in a lowcost and practical manner i.e., using questionnaires, surveys and checklists?
  3. What is the level of accuracy of the information gathered?
  4. Is the information collected appropriate for the methods or techniques adopted?
  5. Does one method of assessment guarantee effective results?

Businesses contemplate on many other similar questions like the above. No business can strategise its future course of action without conducting exhaustive research on its past and present actions that would have an impact on its decisions. The Case Mapping on Business Research Methods provides quantified and concrete facts that entail a better decision by the company. It is mapped for the book Business Research Methods authored by Donald R. Cooper and Pamela S. Schindler. The case studies capture various concepts like Research Process, Research Design and Experimental Research Design, Multivariate analysis, Cluster analysis, Demand Forecasting, Regression Techniques and the likes.

Vijay Govindarajan on Reverse InnovationVijay Govindarajan

An interview with Vijay Govindarajan (Govindarajan), Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, author of more than 70 research articles and seven books including international best seller Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators. Govindarajan talks about the criticality of reverse innovation and its role in the success of companies in both domestic and emerging markets. He also emphasises on the fact that emerging countries like India and China will be the next destinations provided they concentrate on innovation.

lan R Beckenstein on Government and BusinessLord ord Meghanad Desai An interview with Lord Meghanad Desai (Lord Desai), Indian-born British economist and Labour politician and author of Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism. Lord Desai in his interview speaks on the cause and impact of US Financial Crisis on the global economy and the possible lessons that can be learnt. He also talks on what kind of regulations can best avoid crisis.

David Conklin on Government and BusinessDavid Conklin An interview with David Conklin (Conklin), Professor of Business Environment and Political Science at the Richard Ivey School of Business, author of more than 90 business cases and 10 books including Soviet Profit Reforms, Comparative Economic Systems, etc. Conklin shares his perspectives on the causes for the US Financial Crisis and the need for global regulation. He further warns of another crisis if the governments do not curb legal frauds and take necessary measures.

Macro Economics and Business Environment Course Case Mapping

Course Case Mapping for Macroeconomics and Business Environment

How many Indian rupees is equal to one US dollar? A numerical denomination seems very easy to remember. But arriving at that equivalent value needs a thorough understanding of inflation and currency depreciation of one’s country, the import and export transactions, purchasing power parity, etc.

Mapped for Samuelson Nordhaus' Macro Economics and Business Environment, this module covers topics like business, government and the international economy that is a requisite for understanding macroeconomics. This case mapping explores fundamental concepts and tools for measuring national economic phenomena of various nations like Bhutan, China, Ghana and Ireland. The case studies examine the fiscal and monetary policies, economic restructuring of various governments, the equation between demand and supply and its impact on GDP, employment and inflation.

Marketing Management - II Course Case Mapping

Course Case Mapping for Marketing Management - II

As Peter F. Drucker said, the main motto of any company should be to create a customer. The question arises - How do companies create customers? With an emphasis on global consumer, how is the face of marketing changing in a globalised economy, where the products reach beyond the borders to every nook of the hinterlands rejuvenating it with ethical insights? What are the strategies adopted by the companies to sell the products to the customers, retain them and build trust?

Designed to serve busy executives, academia and would-be-managers, this course focuses on strategic marketing issues that marketing managers face every day. The case studies carry useful insights of various experts and are backed by interesting articles published by elite institutions and Hollywood movies. Mapped based on Marketing Management authored by Philip Kotler, Abraham Koshy, et al., the case mapping sheds light on happening topics like brand management, CRM, digital marketing, international marketing, rural marketing – to help managers keep pace with this rapidly changing field.

Operations Management Course Case Mapping

Course Case Mapping for Operations Management

Mapped for Operations Management for Competitive Advantage authored by Richard B. Chase, et al., this course is an introduction to Operations Management. It provides an understanding of how to set up, maintain and reengineer the processes that organisations use to provide services of value. The course covers useful topics like operations strategy and competitiveness, total quality management, process flow and process design, systems dynamics, just-in-time and lean manufacturing. The course is process-oriented and encourages students to wrestle with the details of how to get things done. By the end of the course, students should be in a position to: understand and analyse an organisation’s process flow; manage the process to improve the quality and manage time through apt scheduling.

new Case Studies India’s Best Marketers: Consumer Psychologists or Marketing Wizards? | Consumer Behaviour Case Study

The premise for this case study is a simple, yet challenging question: what is the relationship between a Best Marketer and Consumer Behaviour? What is even more intriguing is, what does 'best marketer' mean - for the companies and for the individuals conferred with this award? In the backdrop of these questions, the case study navigates through India's best marketers over the last 5 years and what they are recognised for. Given the changing consumer behaviour and heightened competition from other players, these marketers changed the rules of marketing and attained the accolades of 'Best Marketers'. Now, are they credited for their street smart marketing skills or is it for their extraordinary ability to get through the Indian consumer's psyche?

Dynamic Management: Better Decisions in Uncertain Times

The global financial crisis has sent shock waves to the companies who are unable to chart out what the future would be. The prevailing uncertainty has juddered the morale of many business leaders. Still, companies, however must rebuild their organisational structures, shape up an efficient team of leaders who can withstand any weather. Those organisations that become flexible and nurture skill at making critical decisions at the right time become profitable and tune themselves well despite unpredictable circumstances. Yet, are there any techniques or tools that ensure apt decision making during uncertain times?


Casebook:Case Studies on New Age Marketing– Vol. I

Marketing strategies serve as the fundamental underpinning of marketing plans designed to attain marketing objectives that have measurable results. A sound marketing strategy integrates an organisation's marketing goals, policies and tactics into a cohesive whole. The objective of a marketing strategy is to provide a foundation from which a tactical plan is developed that enables the organisation to implement its mission effectively and efficiently. Every marketing strategy is unique, but discerning from individual strategies, each can be reduced to a generic marketing strategy. While few companies pioneer in developing new business models, others try to seek a sustainable competitive advantage either by diversifying their core businesses or by adopting aggressive marketing strategies. The case studies featured in this book provide insights into understanding the marketing strategies adopted by various companies and the efforts made by them to overcome these challenges. Besides, it also helps in bridging the gap between theory and practice by facilitating an understanding of when and how to apply concepts and techniques of the management curriculum.

Casebook:Case Studies on Higher Education Vol.I


Set in the late Bronze Age in Greece, 'Troy', movie starring Brad Pitt and Rose Byrne is loosely based on Homer's Iliad and is directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Troy, though a story of love and hatred, effectively establishes different leadership styles. The movie can be used to discuss the leadership traits (Behavioural Leadership model) of the characters depicted in the movie. The character of Achilles, the leader of Myrmidons is respected for his skill. His leadership style can be categorised into team management, whereas Agamemnon, king of Mycenae who likes to be called as the 'king of kings' belongs to the category of authority and compliance. The king of Troy, Priam and his son Hector depict the leadership traits that belong to paternalistic and country club management respectively. All the leadership traits are established through the movie. The movie has a clear view of ethics too. While the story of Troy might look like an epic story retold, the movie is all about different leadership styles and the management abilities of leaders.

Management Classic
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, is an entertaining, informative and challenging book. The book takes its title from the story of the discovery of the Australian black swan, when everyone in the world assumed that all swans are white. Prediction has its own limitation as humans often cannot fail to fathom the unforeseen. Taleb proclaims that the unexpected is the key to understanding not just financial markets but history itself. He observes: "We attribute our successes to our skills, and our failures to external events outside our control." The book takes a critical stance on the society for failing to gauge extreme outcomes. The author backs his argument by using examples from stock markets and finance to history in general – Black Monday, the Lebanese civil war, the Cuban revolution, the Iranian revolution, the Internet, new pharmaceuticals and many scientific discoveries are notable. Nevertheless, the book at least prepares people to prepare themselves well from future uncertainties.

Indian Consumer Market: India Emerges, Indian Consumers Surge | Consumer Behaviour Case Study

Interspersed with the story of the growth of a fledgling Indian economy since 1947, the case study provides the economic and social backdrop that had a significant impact on the consumption pattern of Indian consumers - nature and variety of products available, disposable personal incomes, choice of stores, choice of the mode of payment, etc. In 1991, India witnessed legacy-breaking changes in the form of sweeping Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) policies that altered the course of Indian economy forever, of course, for the better.

In the backdrop of these changes, the case study enables an interesting discussion on the issues - What paradigm shifts have occurred in the Indian consumer market after 1991, especially during 1996–2009? What is the best way to know the behavioural patterns of underlying buying motivations of the new-age Indian consumers? What does it take to be successful in cracking the DNA of the new Indian consumer?

Indian Automobile Industry: Is it Going to be the ‘Global Small Car Hub’? | Macroeconomics Case Study

The year 2009 proved to be the year of small cars in India, for, apart from the historical launch of world's cheapest car - Tata's Nano - the year also saw the launch of 40 new models of small cars. The global automobile industry on the other hand was compelled to reorient itself thrusting quite a few strategic redirections amongst many global auto majors - one being manufacturing of small cars. Added to that, almost all the companies stated the intent of making India as their production base for small cars. All these developments lead to an important question: Can India be the hub for small cars? This case study deals with the opportunities available to the Indian automobile industry and all the enabling factors available that could transform India into a global small car hub. It also discusses the challenges which need to be addressed, quickly, if India has to become the global small car hub.

The Marketing of Barack Obama | Brand / Marketing Communication Strategies and Advertising and Promotional Strategies Case Study

Barack Obama realised the power of marketing. Obama's unlikely victory in the 2008 US presidential election was the result of a comprehensive marketing effort that set benchmarks in the marketing of individuals. The marketing campaign was planned and executed with clinical perfection by one of the best campaign teams ever in the history of politics. Obama team's strategic planning was far superior to that of its rivals and proved to be a decisive factor in Obama's victory. Obama set a trend by applying concepts like brand leadership, positioning and communication strategies and other tools of online marketing for the first time in a presidential campaign. In short, the Obama campaign provides a classic framework for analysing the effectiveness of strategic planning, market segmentation and market targeting, branding and online marketing in the marketing of individuals. This case provides a framework for understanding the key challenges in the marketing of individuals.

Forthming Business Management Case studies Forthcoming Case Study:US’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 1977: Governance Musings on US-Listed Companies?

Corruption, across the world, has been identified to be a detrimental factor for multinational companies and thus was touted an issue that needs to be dealt at the earliest. Despite efforts of all major governments the number of corruption cases has been increasing leaps and bounds. With globalisation, the multinational companies are showing urgency to set up their subsidiaries in the developing and underdeveloped nations, which, by definition, have weaker regulations on business ethics. With this, the number of cases of corruption from the US listed companies has been ever growing, draining billions of dollars into parallel economies. To tackle this issue, the US government enforced the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) during 1977. Though the law has been instrumental in unearthing corrupt activities of global companies such as Dow Chemical, AT Kearney, Xerox Corporation, etc., it has proven to be rather ineffective. This case study is primarily targeted to ignite a debate on whether it is fair to penalise a particular company, for corrupt practices, when the business environment itself nurtures rampant corruption. This case can also be used to discuss the correctness of the formulae that are used to calculate the penalty and which country should impose such penalties – the country to which the company belongs to or the country where it had indulged in corrupt activities.

Forthcoming Case Study:Marico, the Indian MNC’s Global Foot Prints: The 3L Strategy?

Marico has doubled its turnover in 3 years and has been able to achieve what only a few Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies would have been able to pull off - it has transformed from a pure oil player to a major in beauty and wellness segment and from a purely Indian firm to a global entity. Their 'Uncommon Sense' approach has helped them push beyond the existing boundaries. The case study brings to light the transformation of the company from a commodity company to India’s largest FMCG company. It highlights the strategy of Marico: following consumer preferences and catering to their needs. The case study also focuses on Marico’s future expansions plans. Towards the end, the case study discusses the following questions – How important is it for a company to adapt and learn the local culture to sustain in the international markets? Why Egypt was considered as the manufacturing hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region?

Forthcoming Case Study:The Oprah Winfrey Network: Will ‘Celebrity Branding’ Work Wonders for this New Venture?

The immensely popular Oprah Winfrey Show (OWS) shall come to an end in September 2011.With tearstrained eyes Oprah Winfrey (Oprah) announced her retirement, marking the end of the 26-year old, day-time television show, which catapulted her to worldwide fame. Having figured in the Forbes list of the 'Richest People in the World', Oprah has come a long way in life. Parting ways with OWS, Oprah plans to launch a television-channel named the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in 2011. Over the years, Oprah had ventured into a variety of businesses including the 'O' magazine and her radio shows. However, during the inception of all these ventures, the star, Oprah, was always present through the OWS. But with the OWS nearing its end, would Oprah be successful in re-creating history with her new network? Is Oprah trying to over-stretch her brand power? Will Oprah be successful in her future ventures without the OWS?

Forthcoming Case Study : Kaya’s Expansion Spree: Taking Toll on Profits?

There runs a cliché - the absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw. It is very rare to see people who are attractive without any flaw. But, many on the earth desire to be beautiful and for this they embrace different means. While some try out home remedies, few seek the help of professional beauty services. In India, the beauty services market is projecting a good growth rate, with a steady shift from unorganised players to organsied ones. The Indian beauty market is witnessing the growth of brands like Lakme Beauty Salons, Shahnaz Herbals Inc. and CavinKare's LimeLite and Green Trends. Kaya Skin Clinic is one such cosmetic dermatology chain, which is banking on the opportunities offered by Indian beauty services market. The company, by offering advanced skin care services is expanding its presence both nationally and internationally. Kaya is opening company-owned outlets and is planning to add few more outlets in the coming years. However, in the year 2009, Kaya's skin business reported a loss of INR 1.6 crore, which is attributed to new outlets that did not break-even. Despite the loss, the company is continuing with its expansion spree. Hence, is Kaya's expansion strategy of company-owned outlets a right move or should the company opt for other modes of operating its clinics?

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