Case Studies

Case Studies 2017-12-11T19:06:08+00:00

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Nuria Chinchilla: The Power to Change Workplaces
Nuria Chinchilla is a professor at the Spanish business school IESE who has had enormous influence on work-family conciliation policies. The case describes her strategies for building influence to drive social change.

Kent Thiry and DaVita: Leadership Challenges in Growing and Building a Great Company
Kent Thiry and DaVita describes a turnaround that resulted in a very strong culture kidney dialysis company. The case highlights the various management practices that build employee engagement and success.

Dr. Laura Esserman (A)
is an M.D./MBA working as a breast cancer surgeon at the University of California and seeking to change many things in her bureaucratic, highly politicized environment. The case describes her personal challenges in dealing with power.

The Fresh Choice Company: Acquiring and Transferring Knowledge
The Fresh Choice company, a salad buffet restaurant chain, bought another company, Zoopa, in order to revitalize the concept and learn from this smaller, successful competitor. But in a short time, the Zoopa people were gone. The case focuses on why capturing and transferring knowledge is so difficult.

Gary Loveman and Harrah’s Entertainment
Gary Loveman was a 38 year-old untenured Harvard Business School professor when he was chosen to become COO of Harrah’s. An outsider in an insider’s industry, the case describes what he did to gain credibility and influence, eventually becoming CEO.

Holy Cross Hospital: The Road to a New Culture
Holy Cross Hospital, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, implemented a set of high-performance work practices to become more effective with its employees and patients. The case describes the organizational transformation.

Keith Ferrazzi
Keith Ferrazzi, best-selling author and marketing maven, is a very skilled networker. The case describes his career up until 2003 and his approach to building influence.

Kimberly-Clark Andean Region: Creating a Winning Culture
The case on Kimberly-Clark details the creation of a new culture in this South American subsidiary that resulted in doubling sales and tripling profits in four years.

The Men’s Warehouse: Success in a Declining Region
The Men’s Wearhouse details the culture, values, and management practices of this retailer of off-price tailored men’s clothing. The company is often on the best places to work list and has succeeded in a declining industry.

SAS Institute (A): A Different Approach to Incentives and People Management Practices in the Software Industry
SAS Institute is the largest privately-owned software company in the world.  The case describes its people management practices, many of which (such as not offering stock options or sales commissions) seem quite unconventional.

Incentive Problems in a Software Company
A software company decided to tweak its incentive system to use more variable pay to drive higher levels of performance.  The move didn’t work and the case describes, from the perspective of the co-founder and CEO, what happened.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (A): The Fall from Grace
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, at the time a professor at Emory Business School, was forced to resign in late 1997 over allegations of vandalism.  The case describes what happened to him as he faced a devastating career problem—from which he ultimately recovered.

Willamette Industries’ “No Pay at Risk” Compensation Practices
Willamette Industries was, at the time of the success, the highest performing integrated forest products company.  It eschewed any annual performance bonuses or other short-term incentives as it built a culture focused on the long-term.

Zia Yusuf at SAP: Having Impact
Zia Yusuf, a Pakastani educated in America, joined SAP, the large German software company, and in 9 years rose to a very senior executive position even though he was not a software developer or engineer. The case describes his path to power.