On March 17, 2010, Greenpeace launched a new campaign against the conversion of tropical rainforest to industrial palm oil plantations. The campaign directly attacked Nestle because its supply-chain included palm oil from alleged unsustainable sources. The campaign began with a 60 second video clip. Although Nestle was directly targeted by the campaign, other actors such as companies in the same sector, the suppliers and marketers of palm oil, and NGOs protecting the rainforest were also affected. The video went viral within a few days and Greenpeace followed up with other actions. The case is set up as a role play in two rounds. In round 1, students are invited to consider how the Greenpeace campaign might affect each of a set of five actors (but not Nestle). The five actors present their responses to the campaign and this provides a context to round 2. In round 2, students take on the role of managers at Nestle who have to decide what the company should do next. This role play is about better understanding the impact of organisations on society in a dynamic context shaped by the unfolding positions and actions of a number of organisations. It involves comprehending organisations and their actions in a more systemic perspective than usual; seizing on the complexity and context dependent nature of sustainability. At the same time the case introduces the phenomenon of targeted social activism; and the question of change not only by an organisation but also at the field level. The case study can also be used to critically assess the value of a range of management concepts such as stakeholder theory and creating shared value as well as exploring the business contribution to sustainable development in developed and developing countries.
This is part of a case series. Food@Home is a Belgian online consumer food brand specialised in the home delivery of boxes containing recipes and ingredients. In two years, Food@Home created a new market and became the market leader. While at the end of 2015, Food@Home reported a negative operating income margin of 30%, the goal for 2016 was to was to break-even. To achieve this goal, Food@Home needed to upscale sufficiently and further successfully execute its strategy. To help with the execution and management of that strategy, John C, the financial director of Food@Home, needed to develop a budget. The CEO of Food@Home, Charles M, asked John to present an operating income and cash budget for the year ahead.
Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
This is part of a case series. The Food@Home (B) case presents all the information available to Charles, the CEO, to evaluate the performance of Food@Home in 2016. It involves analysing the difference in original budgeted and actual financial results, including the profit impact of various sources of strategic profitability, and preparing a comprehensive reconciliation of actual and planned operating profit.
The case study is set at the end of the year 2014. At that time, Truvo, a traditional yellow pages industry player in Belgium, has already made a number of important steps in its transition from a print directory company to a digital marketing agency for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Different strategic options have been explored, implemented and / or abandoned, illustrating the continuous approach to the company's strategic transformation. In 2014, Truvo's management had to decide on two important next steps in the company's transformation: 1) Should Truvo further accelerate the full exit from print business? 2) Should Truvo extend its digital marketing offering by creating a full-service agency targeting larger clients? In addition to a reflection on Truvo's transformation journey overall, these two concrete questions offer an opportunity to expose students and executives to the difficulty of strategy making when a company needs to radically rethink its existing business model in a context of rapid but also uncertain market developments.
Eneco Group, the second largest utility company in the Netherlands, launched a smart thermostat, Toon, that served as a platform for energy management services. Toon quickly became the gold standard for smart homes in the Netherlands. In January 2017, top management needed to discuss the strategic priorities to keep Toon’s lead and hold off the competition.
This case could be taught in a course of operations management or technology management. It leads to some solutions to the difficulties that Eandis was facing during its smart meter installation projects: uncertainty of the link between smart meter installation and energy saving; users were not taking efforts in energy saving; customers were challenging these projects with regards to security, privacy and trust to the system, and so on. The case gives suggestions in Eandis’ possible further actions, by applying the UTAUT (Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology) framework in the field of social psychology. The case discussion will be directed to analysing the challenges during smart meter installation rollout within the UTAUT framework. There are a number of discussion topics: what should Eandis do in order to raise the concern of energy saving? How to overcome customers’ privacy concerns regarding smart meter installation? How can Eandis analyse based on current data on hand and what further analysis Eandis should perform? What is currently missing in the UTAUT framework and what actions should be taken in the future? These points come together providing an integrated solution as a whole to increase customers’ acceptance of smart meter technology.
At the end of 2012, the chief information officer (CIO) at UCB, a global pharmaceutical company based in Brussels, started to implement analytics as a service. Between 2012 and 2016, he put this vision into practice, introducing agile sprints and proving the competence of analytics within the organization, and at the beginning of 2016, he felt the company was ready to upgrade its analytics capability. As he prepared to meet with UCB’s chief executive officer in March 2016, the CIO considered how to advise the board as the organization worked to make an impact with analytics and big data against the backdrop of digital turbulence in its strategic environment. How could UCB balance empowerment and bottom-up experimentation with enterprise focus and control? What was the best location for analytics roles and responsibilities within the organization?
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