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Newfield Energy

by Wei Wang William E. Fruhan

In September 2013, Miles Griffin, CEO and chairman of the board of Newfield Energy, prepares to present financial proposals to the board of directors for approval. Newfield (based in Houston, Texas) was a large independent energy company primarily engaged in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. It had experienced declines in earnings and cash flows in recent years because of the decline of natural gas prices and asset write-downs. The proposals to the board, prepared by the CFO, included (1) a press release outlining that the company was planning to divest several natural gas projects immediately, probably at significant book losses; (2) a significant reduction of common stock dividends; and (3) an exchange offer under which the company would exchange up to 20% of its common stocks into newly issued preferred stocks. Griffin was concerned that the breadth and complexity of the proposals might cause investors to worry. This case is ideal for use in first- or second-year MBA courses in corporate finance or capital markets or in a finance course for advanced undergraduates.

CleanSpritz

by John A. Quelch Alisa Zalosh

Sales of CleanSpritz all-purpose cleaning spray have been steadily declining for the past five years, and management believes the decline correlates to a growing environmental concern among U.S. consumers. CleanSpritz's management is considering several options to address the environmental concerns in hopes of reversing the decline in revenue: re-launching the current product; adding a new product that includes stronger concentrate in a recyclable pouch; adding a new stronger concentrate in a dissolvable packet; or keeping the business status-quo. Students must present their recommendations for the most effective strategy, keeping in mind the potential risks of each alternative. Students learn to demonstrate the importance of packaging in the marketing mix, analyze the costs and benefits of being a first mover, and learn about the decision-making process for a product extension that represents a creative attempt to rejuvenate a mature brand. This case can be used in courses on marketing management, product management or new product development, or marketing and social responsibility.

In a Bind: Peak Sealing Technologies' Product Line Extension Dilemma

by Robert J. Dolan Heather Beckham

Peak Sealing Technologies (PST), a manufacturer of premium carton sealing tapes, stresses technological innovation as the company's core value. But when a new regional competitor introduces a less expensive and inferior product, PST is faced with a decision that could conflict with their values. Product manager Emma Taylor must decide if the company should augment its existing high-quality product line with a cheaper, less effective product to compete with their competitor. However, this decision could cannibalize PST's premium line. Emma is faced with a key issue in product line management--determining the variety of products in the line that serve the same function. Students are introduced to the problems of "trading down" the product line and must consider whether the company's corporate values are a strength or liability. This case can be used effectively in a first-year MBA course on marketing management to illustrate concepts associated with the risk and strategy of introducing a product line extension. It also allows for more complex analysis that would be appropriate in an Executive MBA program or advanced MBA elective courses in Product Management, Business to Business Marketing, Sales Management or New Product Development.

Clique Pens: The Writing Implements Division of U.S. Home

by Frank V. Cespedes James Kindley

The Clique Pens Writing Implements division of U.S. Home is a manufacturer of a full line of pens, pencils, markers, and art supplies. Despite solid sales, division president Elise Ferguson has seen gross margins drop from 42% in 2010 to just over 36% in 2012 as a result of various discounts, allowances, and other off-invoice deals. She is now considering a move away from these discounts in favor of Market Development Funds (MDF), which would be used explicitly to promote retail merchandising activity for Clique and in theory provide the company with more control of trade promotional dollars to influence consumer behavior. Along the way, Ferguson must consider the structure and problems of various trade promotions and the conflicting needs of her sales and marketing departments. This case introduces basic elements of promotion and pricing policy and the challenges of marketing through major mass retailers.

Martin Blair

by Michael J. Roberts Howard H. Stevenson

Martin Blair is a first-time entrepreneur who draws on his experience in the food service industry to develop two different restaurant concepts almost simultaneously. In relating his experiences, he reveals several important concerns of the thoughtful entrepreneur, ranging from securing financing to building out physical spaces. Both restaurants are successful, and Blair now wants to grow the business. In particular, he must decide whether to grow one or both of the concepts, and whether to use franchising as a growth strategy for either, or potentially both. He must consider the pros and cons of franchising, which apply differently to each of his restaurant brands.

Larry Steffen: Valuing Stock Options in a Compensation Package

by William E. Fruhan Craig Stephenson

New MBA graduate Larry Steffen has accepted an attractive job offer from Athena Global Technology but must now choose one of two alternative compensation plans. The first compensation plan option includes a base salary plus a $25,000 cash bonus, and the second includes the same base salary plus employee stock options. In order to evaluate and decide on one of these plans, Larry must estimate the value of the offered stock options and consider several complicating factors, including whether he will remain at Athena for the five-year vesting period necessary to receive the options. This case introduces students to option valuation and facilitates a discussion about the effectiveness and potential benefits and problems associated with the use of stock options in compensation packages.

SafeBlend Fracturing

by Frank V. Cespedes Benson P. Shapiro Alisa Zalosh

The CEO of SafeBlend Technologies must set a price for the company's environmentally friendly fracturing fluid additive. The firm is negotiating a new contract with its biggest client, Bristol Natural Gas. For the past two years, SafeBlend has been the sole provider of additives to Bristol due to aggressive negotiation and limited competition. New competitors are entering the market, and the CEO believes one competitor is prepared to offer Bristol a chemical-free additive for 50% less per gallon than SafeBlend. Anticipating lower bids from competitors, he considers reducing the price in the new contract to maintain the relationship with Bristol-despite the impact on revenue. However, the competition may not be able to supply enough additive to meet all of Bristol's needs, so he also considers the impact of setting a more competitive and profitable price that assumes losing only a portion of Bristol's business.

StepSmart Fitness

by Robert J. Dolan Benson P. Shapiro Alisa Zalosh

StepSmart Fitness, a manufacturer of exercise equipment, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization. The new CEO has terminated the District Sales Director and Regional VP and promoted 30-year-old Benjamin Cooper to manage the underperforming New England district. A first-time manager with no one to train him or explain the causes of the district's underperformance, Cooper has 10 weeks to diagnose the problems and make recommendations that will ensure a turnaround in the territory in less than 16 months. Left to his own devices, Cooper must review the sales data, the incomplete notes left by his predecessor, and his own thoughts after spending a day in the field with each sales person. Then he must make decisions about termination or probation for current employees, the hiring of additional salespeople, ways to increase productivity, and potential new methods of evaluating salesperson performance. He is set to present his conclusions to his also-newly-appointed manager, the Regional VP for the Northeast, in a few days.

Jackson Automotive Systems

by Wei Wang William E. Fruhan

Jackson Automotive Systems produces automotive parts for advanced heating and air conditioning systems, engine cooling systems, fuel injection and transfer systems, and various other engine parts, and it supplies them to the automotive industry primarily in Michigan. Like many OEM suppliers for the automotive industry, Jackson cut back production following the financial crisis in 2008. By 2013, the firm is back to operating at capacity. The company experiences a bottleneck in production of some key electronic components and, as a result, is unable to repay its outstanding debt to the bank. In addition, the firm delayed replacing equipment during the downturn and now must replace aging equipment to avoid future production delays. The president approaches the bank for an extension to repay a loan and for an additional loan to cover the new equipment purchase. Before meeting with the loan committee, the president must prepare a presentation on the firm's financial position.

Montreaux Chocolate USA: Are Americans Ready for Healthy Dark Chocolate?

by John A. Quelch Diane Badame

Andrea Torres, director of new product development at a high-end chocolate confectionery company, leads her team through a carefully sequenced program of market research to support the development and launch of a new product, healthy dark chocolate with fruit. This is the first time Montreaux USA, an offshoot of a Swiss confectioner, has created a product specifically for U.S. chocolate consumers. The case explains the steps Torres and her NPD team have completed and describes the decisions that lie ahead, a few months in advance of the anticipated launch. A challenging situation is intensified by a competitor also having tested a dark-chocolate-with-fruit product that was likely to be introduced into the U.S. marketplace in the near future. Students must perform a quantitative analysis as part of their work.

Unilever's Lifebuoy in India: Implementing the Sustainability Plan

by Christopher A. Bartlett

Unilever's new Global Brand VP must not only revitalize Lifebuoy soap's sagging market performance, but simultaneously impact the health of one billion people worldwide. The latter challenge comes from Unilever's new CEO who has introduced the Unilever Sustainable Living Program (USLP), a set of bold environmental and social objectives that he has integrated into the heart of the company's global strategy. In contrast to most corporate social responsibility programs, USLP's quantified objectives are clearly defined, tightly specified, and independently audited. And managers are held strictly accountable for their achievement. After describing the background of the 100 year old Lifebuoy soap brand which is now sold primarily in developing country markets, the case outlines the steps taken by Samir Singh, Lifebuoy's newly appointed Global Brand VP as he tries to reverse its declining sales and profit performance. The case then focuses on Singh's relationship with Sudir Sitapiti, the category manager for Lifebuoy in India, the brand's largest market worldwide. Although Sitapiti has done a creditable job in turning around sales and profitability, he has fallen behind on his USLP challenge to bring handwashing behavior change to 450 million people in poor, remote Indian villages. The case concludes with some specific marketing investment decisions that Sitapati is considering and that Singh hopes to influence.

Oceanbulk Maritime S.A.

by Andre F. Perold

Case

Beidahuang

by David Lane Ray A. Goldberg

Beidahuang is a major new Chinese player in global grain trading that in 2013 is seeking access to grain both to help assure China's food security and in pursuit of its own commercial goals. Focusing on potential trade in Brazilian soybeans, the case asks students to re-evaluate the role of agricultural cooperatives in the global trading system and to assess what sort of model Beidahuang can create to capitalize on current industry trends while remaining true to its character as a leading Chinese agricultural grower and distributor.

IdentiGEN

by Matthew Preble Ray A. Goldberg

Ciaran Meghen and Ronan Loftus, co-founders of IdentiGEN (an Irish company that had created a unique service called DNA TraceBack to help customers identify and trace meat products), were discussing the company's future. The recent crisis over beef products being contaminated with horsemeat in Europe had generated strong demand for IdentiGEN's services. But more than this, DNA TraceBack gave customers strong insight into their operations to ensure product was genuine, and helped facilitate a continuous feedback loop between all players of the supply chain to deliver a high quality product to consumers. In light of strong demand, how should IdentiGEN proceed in terms of which customers to work with, and which products should it support?

Boston Children's Hospital: Measuring Patient Costs (Abridged)

by Robert S. Kaplan

The case describes a pilot project on applying activity-based costing to measure the cost of treating patients. After an overview of Boston Children's Hospital and its local health care market environment, the case presents process maps and financial data relating to patients making office visits to a plastic surgeon for three different diagnoses. Students use the hospital's existing cost system and a proposed new system, based on time-driven activity-based costing, to calculate and compare costs and margins of the three types of office visits.

Amul Dairy

by Ian Mckown Cornell Ray A. Goldberg

In 2013, Rahul Kumar, the managing director of Amul dairy, India's leading dairy firm, had to decide how to position his firm for the future in light of India's growing population and demand for dairy. How could he maintain the firm's cooperative structure, address the nutritional needs of all Indians, make use of emerging technology, and navigate the country's dairy policies in the coming years?

Case of the Unequal Opportunity

by Mary Gentile

Laura Wollen, group marketing director for ARPCO, was about to recommend her best product manager, Charles Lewis, for a position in the London office. Yet David Abbott, Wollen's counterpart in the United Kingdom, admitted that Lewis looked good on paper, but doubted he would fit in with the team and adjust to the British market. Wollen finally understood that Abbott's reservations were because Lewis was black. Wollen was wary of promoting Lewis into the London job only to have him fail there because of racism. Four experts analyze her alternatives.

The Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation

by Brian J. Hall Caren Kelleher Aaron Chadbourne Vibha Kagzi

This case is about the response of the US government to the excessive compensation of executives following the market collapse of 2008. In particular, the case focuses on the special committee that was formed to oversee and regulate any financial companies that had borrowed money from the US government to stay afloat. The protaganist is Kenneth Feinberg, who is appointed as Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation and who has the challenging task of negotiating compensation amidst all of the many competing interests.

YAAS's Service Center (C)

by Brian J. Hall Sara Del Nido

This case is about a compensation change at an automotive service company in the Middle East. The case allows investigation and analysis of many issues related to compensation design and human resource management, and even change management. The focus of the case is all the ways in which bad incentive design leads to dysfunctional behavior. In particular, a crucial issue is whether individual incentives are best or whether team incentives are best, and why. In the B and C cases, the case rolls out in sequence as more and more information is revealed to students so the unfolding of events keeps students interested and engaged in how to solve the various problems that arise, including a near mutiny.

YAAS's Service Center (B)

by Brian J. Hall Sara Del Nido

This case is about a compensation change at an automotive service company in the Middle East. The case allows investigation and analysis of many issues related to compensation design and human resource management, and even change management. The focus of the case is all the ways in which bad incentive design leads to dysfunctional behavior. In particular, a crucial issue is whether individual incentives are best or whether team incentives are best, and why. In the B and C cases, the case rolls out in sequence as more and more information is revealed to students so the unfolding of events keeps students interested and engaged in how to solve the various problems that arise, including a near mutiny.

YAAS's Service Center

by Brian J. Hall Sara Del Nido

This case is about a compensation change at an automotive service company in the Middle East. The case allows investigation and analysis of many issues related to compensation design and human resource management, and even change management. The focus of the case is all the ways in which bad incentive design leads to dysfunctional behavior. In particular, a crucial issue is whether individual incentives are best or whether team incentives are best, and why. In the B and C cases, the case rolls out in sequence as more and more information is revealed to students so the unfolding of events keeps students interested and engaged in how to solve the various problems that arise, including a near mutiny.

Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Casey Clark

by Ian I. Larkin Karen Huang

The "Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" set of cases explores the roles of general and firm-specific human capital in employee performance measurement, feedback, and promotion/compensation decisions. In the cases, a leading law firm must decide whether to match an outside partnership offer to one of its leading litigators, when the litigator is not yet eligible for partnership according to the existing rules by which the firm elects partners. A second non-litigator at the firm has performed just as well as the star litigator, but has no outside partnership offer, because her role and skills are specific to the firm, and not as valuable to the outside market. The case can be taught via a role play, where one student plays the role of the non-litigator, and a second student plays the role of a formally-assigned mentor from the law firm's partnership group. (If using the role play option, instructors should use the general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP," 914-044, and the roles: "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Jordan Ramirez," 914-046, and "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Casey Clark," 914-047.) It can also be taught as a traditional case, without a role play, by using general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" (914-044) and "Chung and Dasgupta: Supplemental Information on Jordan Ramirez and Casey Clark" (914-045). The cases provide a rich backdrop to explore issues around firm-specific human capital, and can also be used to discuss subjective performance evaluation, best practices when giving employee feedback, and careers at professional service firms.

Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Jordan Ramirez

by Ian I. Larkin Karen Huang

The "Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" set of cases explores the roles of general and firm-specific human capital in employee performance measurement, feedback, and promotion/compensation decisions. In the cases, a leading law firm must decide whether to match an outside partnership offer to one of its leading litigators, when the litigator is not yet eligible for partnership according to the existing rules by which the firm elects partners. A second non-litigator at the firm has performed just as well as the star litigator, but has no outside partnership offer, because her role and skills are specific to the firm, and not as valuable to the outside market. The case can be taught via a role play, where one student plays the role of the non-litigator, and a second student plays the role of a formally-assigned mentor from the law firm's partnership group. (If using the role play option, instructors should use the general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP," 914-044, and the roles: "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Jordan Ramirez," 914-046, and "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Casey Clark," 914-047.) It can also be taught as a traditional case, without a role play, by using general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" (914-044) and "Chung and Dasgupta: Supplemental Information on Jordan Ramirez and Casey Clark" (914-045). The cases provide a rich backdrop to explore issues around firm-specific human capital, and can also be used to discuss subjective performance evaluation, best practices when giving employee feedback, and careers at professional service firms.

Showing 5,826 through 5,850 of 16,322 results

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