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Isolated by the KGB in Moscow, Harvard graduate student Bruce Allyn faces high-pressure negotiation tactics to recruit him for the Soviet spy agency. At the tense height of the Cold War, with CIA agents systematically being exposed and executed in Russia, Allyn was participating in an unusual joint U.S.-Soviet study that alternated between the two countries. Going about his doctoral research, meeting and making friends with Russians, he accepted a low-key invitation from a trusted Russian friend to meet for lunch somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. After hours of warm conversation, great food, and endless alcohol with a group of Russians, all but one of this group drifted out of the room. Suddenly the sole remaining man, "Vladimir," looked straight at Bruce and stated: "I am a high-ranking KGB officer. I have been commissioned to make to you a proposal." Drunk, isolated, and highly vulnerable, Allyn must negotiate with this sophisticated KGB counterpart. To recruit Allyn to secretly work for the KGB, the agent tries many approaches: barely veiled threats, offers of money, and the promise of high level access and Soviet documents that would enable Allyn over time to become the top U.S. Sovietologist. Should Allyn accept the offer, the agent stresses how Allyn could have a much better life and far more effectively advance the shared goals of reducing the risks of nuclear war and improving relations between the two hostile superpowers. Allyn must figure out what to do.
This case carefully traces the process by which Stuart Eizenstat handled the negotiation challenges outlined in "Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-Era Asset Restitution (A)". It describes the outcome of the Swiss negotiations and briefly sketches Eizenstat's subsequent involvement in analogous restitution negotiations in Germany, Austria, France, and Israel.
Significant negotiation-related achievements from the career of Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore are highlighted in brief form along with elements of his background and career. In light of these accomplishments, Koh was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award, presented by the Program on Negotiation, an interuniversity consortium of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts that is based at the Harvard Law School. Summaries of several of Koh's negotiations are presented in order to stimulate further research and analysis. Among numerous other activities, the episodes described include his leadership in forging the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), the development and ratification of a charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the resolution of territorial and humanitarian disputes in the Baltics and Asia, and successful chairmanship of two unprecedented global megaconferences: the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit.
Hospital CEO Paul Levy confronts an SEIU unionization drive via a "corporate campaign" aimed at undercutting the hospital's relationships with key internal and external constituencies. Having shepherded one of Boston's top teaching hospitals much of the way through a painful turnaround, but with the hospital still in a fragile financial condition, Levy must formulate a strategy and tactics to deal with the impending initiative by the SEIU, the fastest growing union in the United States with 2.1 million members and a huge organizing budget. The union will likely seek the hospital's agreement to a "neutrality agreement," under which, unlike traditional union processes, management would effectively be silenced during the organizing process. Levy is concerned that the hospital's strategy of innovation and flexibility would be imperiled by an SEIU-unionized workforce.
The case reveals that Ford decided to open its own e-coating plant in Gujarat, India, and details how the decision was made at different organizational levels.
In April 2013, Ford Asia Pacific & Africa (FAPA) was examining its options for e-coating service metal parts for the Ford Customer Service Division in Sanand, Gujarat, India. Randy Creel, Director of Parts Supply & Logistics, FAPA, worked with his colleagues in the US, UK, China, and India to conduct analysis and develop three options: outsourcing e-coating to a third party in Sanand, outsourcing e-coating to a third-party in Chennai and transporting the parts to Sanand, or building a stand-alone facility in Sanand. Factors like cost, quality, speed, and risk needed to be considered for this decision which had impact on profitability and customer satisfaction. Which option should FAPA choose?
Morning Star, a collection of affiliated companies, had grown steadily since 1970 when Chris Rufer, president and founder, started the business hauling tomatoes to processing plants in a truck. The company's main products continued to be tomato-based, including a 40% share in the tomato paste and diced tomato market in 2013. Different from traditional manufacturing companies, Morning Star relied on self-management to execute the work in any part of the organization. The company was built on individual freedom, with the expectation that employees would take responsibility for holding their peers accountable and address performance failures directly. The case explores how the company can establish a compensation model that fairly compensates employees for their performance and provides a broad incentive to hold others accountable, while being consistent with self-management. This case includes color exhibits.
Just as Duke Energy and Progress Energy announce their merger-forming the largest utility company in the United States, to be led by the current Progress CEO-a nuclear reactor owned by Progress suffers major damage and must be taken offline. While Progress grapples with the scope of the repairs and an increasingly skeptical insurance provider, the Duke board begins to doubt their choice for the leader of the combined companies.
Altius Golf is the clear leader in the golf ball market despite a long-term decline in the number of golfers and a drop in sales following the financial crisis. The firm has maintained its position by introducing generations of advanced, super-premium golf balls that allow their customers to emulate professional golfers. The company has been losing market share to lower-priced competitors and the CEO wants to introduce a new program called Elevate to foster the next generation of golfers. With Elevate, the firm will introduce a ball that is more forgiving and easier to drive for distance and offer it at a price 40% below the company's flagship brand. Elevate will be available through "off-course" channels such as golf specialty stores and big box retailers instead of "on-course" pro shops where the firm typically sells its products. The board of directors is divided on whether to support the decision. Students must perform a quantitative analysis of the CEO's proposal to understand the potential risks and gains before making a final recommendation.
Pemberton Products is a U.S. market leader in the cookie and bakery snacks segment of the sweet snack market. Looking to expand into the salty snack market, the company acquires Krispy Inc., a maker of salty snack crackers located in the southeastern U.S. To compete with premium cracker brands, Pemberton plans to reformulate and re-launch the Krispy brand as "Krispy Natural," which offers natural ingredients, improved taste, and revised packaging. Market tests in Columbus, Ohio show market share results that are double the company projections while results in 3 cities in the southeastern U.S. fall well below expectations. The marketing director must interpret the market test results, consider possible competitive responses to the new brand, and present his recommendation for a national rollout to the VP of sales and marketing.
Mitchell Memorial Hospital is a 750-bed regional academic medical center in Ohio. Andy Prescott, Chief of the Cardiovascular Center, is reviewing the performance evaluations of his star vascular surgeon Ron Ventura. The evaluations, the result of a 360-degree performance review cycle the hospital had recently put in place, were much more critical than he had anticipated. Ventura, with a national reputation as an accomplished vascular surgeon, had improved the vascular surgery practice enormously in his short tenure at Mitchell Memorial and generated much new case flow for the hospital. Ventura is also, as the evaluation packet made clear, sharp-tongued, impatient, and abrasive. Prescott knows that the Cardiovascular Center needs team players, but he also has a responsibility to improve the performance of the vascular surgery practice, and Ventura is critical to that effort. Now Ventura's contract is up for renewal. Although Prescott recruited Ventura and gave strong support in his first months, other surgeons are now considering leaving the hospital, HR is getting complaints from the nursing staff and the residency programs, and many point to Ventura's behavior as the cause. Prescott wonders whether Ventura's actions violate Mitchell Memorial's cultural norms focused on teamwork and collaboration and whether or not his contract with the hospital should be renewed. Students must consider approaches to the upcoming performance feedback interview between Prescott and Ventura.
The marketing and operations managers for Olympic Rent-A-Car meet to decide how to respond to changes in the loyalty rewards program at the market-leading competitor. The competitor's program gives awards based on dollars spent instead of days rented and eliminates blackout dates. Olympic expects the program to capture more of the valuable business traveler segment, which rents cars more frequently and generally pays higher premiums than the leisure traveler segment. At the meeting, the team reviews the financial performance of the firm and the firm's reward program, called Olympic Medalist. They consider whether they can afford to match the competitor's loyalty program terms as they have done in the past and also consider how the competitor's actions will affect the entire car rental industry. Ultimately, they must respond with a truly distinctive strategy. Students must perform a quantitative analysis of each possible response and consider the value of customers in loyalty programs.
Southfield Packaging provides packaging materials and services to medical device manufacturers. The case examines the relationship between a corporate vice president, Mark Sanders, and one of his direct reports, Regional Manager Frank Belby. Sanders' preparation for Belby's annual performance review provides a foundation for discussing the common challenges and difficulties associated with performance reviews. Specific issues include the need to clearly define criteria for evaluation and the question of whether Belby's physical health should play a role in his performance review. Overall, is Southfield's appraisal process a fair and effective way of evaluating employee potential?
Wendy Peterson was recently promoted to Vice President of Sales at the Plano, Texas, office of AccountBack, an accounting software and services company. To penetrate a perceived market niche, Peterson hires Fred (Xing) Wu, whose familiarity with and access to Chinese business leaders in Plano is valuable. Wu was born and raised in China, partly educated in the U.S., and immigrated to the U.S. in 2005. Within 12 months, he had signed his regional team's largest client, but Peterson has reservations about Wu's performance and is uneasy about their working relationship. Wu has requested an assistant-unprecedented within AccountBack's flat organizational structure. Peterson reflexively perceives the request as unreasonable, but in responding she must take into account the implications her decision will have on the rest of her sales team, as well as her own career. This case is ideal for courses on managing performance, managing conflict, leadership, cross-cultural differences, conflict and negotiation, employee development, and performance evaluation.
Sterling Household Products manufactures and markets a broad line of consumer goods from laundry soap and cosmetics to cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing products. The company has many highly regarded brand names and consistently reports impressive sales and profits to the investment community. Despite a record of success, a deeper analysis of financial measures reveals that growth rates for unit volumes, sales, and profits are low. Looking to expand into new markets with strong growth potential, the company considers acquiring the germicidal, sanitation, and antiseptic product unit from Montagne Medical Instruments, a company in the health care industry. This acquisition seems like a natural extension of Sterling's experience and expertise in the market for household cleaning supplies. Both parties reach a tentative agreement on price and Sterling considers whether the proposed investment adds value given the risks involved. Students must perform a comprehensive investment analysis and examine both the qualitative and quantitative issues associated with evaluating a strategic acquisition before making a final recommendation.
Robin Ash has just been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Printzhof Press and Vice President of its parent company, Education and Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Her first objective is to create an action plan that will achieve two seemingly contradictory corporate objectives: transform Printzhof into an aggressively competitive 21st century educational publisher while maintaining its close-knit and collaborative culture. Because of new technologies changing how information is delivered and used in higher education, the need for the company to evolve along with the publishing industry is obvious to Ash and other company leaders. However, Printzhof's history of success has resulted in resistance to organizational change among many longtime employees and senior managers. Still, Ash must revitalize Printzhof without destroying employee morale and loyalty. How far and how fast should she move on the critical priorities she has identified?
An aftermarket brake component manufacturer, VC Brakes, is bought out by a global automotive parts corporation after the 2008 financial crisis. Unlike its previous parent company, the new owner attempts to change VC Brakes' autocratic management style and finger-pointing culture with a Total Quality Management (TQM) program. Andrew Ryan is a senior manager at VC Brakes. With the guidance of a strong mentor and a reputation as a successful change agent, he is selected as a TQM site instructor. His initial excitement turns to concern when organizational challenges cause the quality initiative to falter. A subsequent restructuring puts Ryan on the wrong side of politics, and he must decide whether to leave VC Brakes or stay with the losing initiative.
New Earth Mining is one of the largest producers of precious metals in the U.S. While the firm operates mines primarily in the U.S. and Canada, it has also made substantial investments in gold exploration projects in Australia and Chile. New Earth has been very successful and has a large amount of cash on the balance sheet, a simple debt structure, and a reasonable leverage ratio with liquidity risk. With a strong financial position, the firm considers reducing its dependence on precious metals by diversifying into base metals and other minerals. An investment opportunity for mining iron ore in South Africa looks promising but still carries substantial risk. A high risk of civil war in neighboring countries along with strong fears that the South African government will nationalize mining operations combine to create an unstable political environment. The tentative financing package is complex and creates challenges for determining a value for the project. Students must complete a quantitative analysis of 4 proposals with different valuation methods before making a final recommendation.
The soup division at Brannigan Foods contributes over 40% of the firm's revenue. The general manager is concerned that the soup industry is declining and that the soup division shows declining profits and market share, especially among the important baby boomer segment. Hoping to reverse these trends, he asks four key managers to review a consultant's analysis of the soup industry and recommend a turnaround strategy. Each manager presents a different plan, from investing in core market segments and products to acquiring new product lines and customers. Students must perform a quantitative analysis of each proposal while considering the feasibility and risks associated with each option before making a final recommendation.
Delwarca Software provides business software to large corporate clients around the world. The firm serves customers who prefer to assemble corporate solutions using a combination of software programs from various suppliers rather than implementing a single enterprise resource planning system. Consequently, Delwarca must provide telephone support services for complex software-hardware interaction and performance problems in addition to the typical software support issues around software installation and upgrades, malware attacks, and processing failures. The manager of the remote support unit implemented a new triage program for customer calls hoping to reduce customer wait time, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. After one year, customer dissatisfaction is at an all-time high and he must perform a quantitative analysis of the current process, considering wait times for customers as well as cost per call, before making a final recommendation. This case can be used in a first-year MBA course in Service Management or Operations Management or a course in industrial engineering. It can also be used to introduce simple queuing theory.
Shelby Givens, a recent business school graduate, returned home to Raleigh, North Carolina to help rescue her family's ailing and outdated bowling alley, Westlake Lanes. Although she cut costs and addressed inefficiencies, moving the business from near-bankruptcy to profitability in nine months, market conditions threatened the long-term viability of the business. Givens then sold her family on a new, more youth-oriented concept, an urban lounge called Sugar Bowl that could generate sizable revenues from the food and beverage businesses already embedded in Westlake Lanes. The case follows Givens as she builds Sugar Bowl into a turnaround story through shrewd decision-making in finance, operations, and marketing while contending constantly with challenging surprises and disappointments. The case also captures Givens's reflections on how the entrepreneurial drive that has motivated her. Sugar Bowl may be taught alone or after "Westlake Lanes" (4431), which follows Givens through the initial turnaround process.
The general manager of Luotang Power, a coal-fired power plant located in central China, reviews annual results before a meeting with the board of directors. He thought the company performed well during the year and both plant availability and fuel economy had improved over the previous year. However, the positive performance does not show in the financial results and he must investigate before presenting to the board. He considers performing a variance analysis to better understand plant performance compared to the previous year. He also examines the contractual arrangement the plant has with the provincial power company for a minimum purchase of electricity to supplement regional demand. The company had been successful at selling excess electricity to the power plant but over the past 12 months, demand has decreased. Students must complete a quantitative analysis of the plant's performance and prepare recommendations to improve reporting and evaluation of the plant's performance. This case can be used in an introductory managerial accounting course to explore variance analysis and incentives in contracts.
A small, publicly traded company specializing in non-hazardous waste management considers a major acquisition in the Midwestern U.S. The acquisition can provide entry into the region, help the firm compete in a competitive industry, and improve its cost position. The company has a long-standing policy to avoid long term debt and until now has made a series of small acquisitions using only internal financing. The chief financial officer wants the board of directors to reconsider the policy and suggests funding the acquisition through a bond issue. Several company directors disagree and prefer that the firm issue common stock. Students must analyze the costs of issuing either a bond or common stock before making a final recommendation for financing the acquisition.
Jess Westerly is the assistant product owner of CRM applications for computer and office supply wholesalers and retailers at Kauflauf, a fast-growing provider of subscription enterprise software headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany. Only months into her job, outsider Westerly tries and fails to implement a change in field consultants' sales call patterns. Westerly had introduced the changes to the sales organization via a memo that outlined her directive and explained the reasons behind it. Field consultants immediately complained about the infringement on their decisions about how to spend their time and the insensitivity to the relationship-oriented nature of developing business. Three months later, sales statistics show little difference in calling patterns. After explaining, defending, and reshaping her stalled initiative, Waverly presents her amended proposal to key senior executives and is given three weeks to produce an implementation plan. If the plan is deemed acceptable, she will be asked to implement it.
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Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.
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