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After widely-publicized complaints of destructive guests and unreliable hosts, online apartment rental site Airbnb explores mechanisms to facilitate trust between guests and hosts. Flexible online reputation systems can collect and share information with ease, but Airbnb must decide which information guests and hosts should have to provide and how much flexibility each should have in selecting whom to do business with. A full-featured system could provide all the information users have been requesting, but would it be too complicated for routine use?
After a decade-long dispute with the Polish State Treasury, in October 2009 the Dutch insurer Eureko agreed to exit PZU in exchange for compensation. Who was the biggest beneficiary of the settlement: Eureko, the Treasury, or PZU itself?
In September 2008, the Polish State Treasury and the Dutch insurer Eureko were wondering if they were ready for reaching an amicable solution on PZU. If so, for how much and under what conditions should they settle so that they, as well as PZU, are satisfied? If not, what other potential alternatives might exist?
In October 2008, Andrzej Klesyk, CEO of Poland's largest insurer PZU, reflected on possible ways of resolving a decade-long cross-border shareholder conflict at his company. Owned 55% by the Polish State Treasury and 33% by the Dutch insurer Eureko as of October 2008, PZU was a highly profitable company and Poland's biggest asset holder. Eureko aimed at majority ownership of PZU as the building block of its Eastern European expansion strategy. The Treasury, however, was reluctant to forfeit control of the country's crown jewels. Several rounds of negotiations and international arbitration failed to resolve the conflict, leading to a progressive breach of trust. Was there anything Klesyk could do to break this international and multilateral stalemate?
Birchbox offers trial-sized beauty products delivered monthly by mail -- attracting rave reviews. Seeing the success of this model, numerous "copycat" clones seek to offer the same service. Many of these copycats focus on non-U.S. countries, but others are challenging Birchbox on its home territory. Can Birchbox defend its position? How?
This brief note introduces to the student the challenges and rewards of learning to be a more skilled negotiator. Negotiation requires the integration of keen analytic insight with emotional intelligence capabilities.
In 2007, the Dow Chemical Company and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation announced plans to launch a multibillion-dollar joint venture. Later known as K-Dow Petrochemicals, it would be one of the largest manufacturers of chemicals and plastics in the world. Analysts widely hailed the planned joint venture as a game-changing deal for both companies. Shortly after the announcement, cable network CNBC requested an interview with Andrew Liveris, Dow's CEO, about this massive transaction. Liveris needed to decide how to respond. This case provides a brief background on the industry, both companies, and plans for the joint venture as of January 2008.
The CIO addresses a decision to replace salesmen netbook PC's with iPhones, including converting the company's sales and customer applications to the iPhone platform
The case provides students with (1) an understanding of the essence of long-term financial health; (2) familiarity with the calculation and meaning of various financial ratios; and (3) an understanding of the influence of a company's operating and competitive characteristics on its investment in various type assets, on the profitability of these investments, and on the financial structure of its balance sheet. The case also allows a discussion of (1) the incomplete and lagging nature of financial measures; (2) the influence of financial measures on behavior; and (3) the reality that financial analysis often results in better, more focused questions to be asked of management, not conclusive answers.
How did a Chinese state-owned construction company strike one deal after another in South Carolina despite political backlash and in New York where well-established competitors dominate? The case examines the U.S. market entry strategy of the CSCEC, China's leading state-owned construction company. It does so by way of the CEO of its U.S. subsidiary and his challenge to sustain the company's exceptional growth in the face of an unprecedented slowdown in the U.S. construction industry. The case also offers a window into the processes and related issues associated with the accelerated overseas expansion of Chinese state-owned businesses.
Today technology is creating greater customer choice, and choice is altering the marketplace. Six principles define the new marketing: marketing is a way of doing business that pervades the entire company; companies must dispel their limiting market-share mentality; programmable technology promises to open up almost limitless choice for customers; a feedback loop is making advertising's one-way communication obsolete; the line between services and products is eroding; and the marriage of marketing and technology is inevitable.
The Arck Systems series of cases describes the dilemmas faced by a senior sales manager in determining a sales compensation plan at an enterprise software company. The existing compensation plan is aggressive and highly rewards "star" performers. The cases track a series of changes the manager makes to the sales compensation plan in response to negative and unintended consequences of the existing system. The cases illustrate the tradeoffs inherent in incentive plans (even outside of sales environments) and presents a framework for the design and management of incentive systems. It also is useful in addressing employee response to incentive system change.
This case describes a wallet maker's application of seven Internet marketing technologies: display ads, algorithmic search, sponsored search, social media, interactive content, online distributors, and A/B testing. It provides concise introductions to the key features of each technology, and asks which forms of online marketing the company should prioritize in the future. Also discusses similarities and differences between online and offline marketing, as well as issues of marketing campaign evaluation.
Lindsay Ronga and Gary Vaynerchuk are launching Cork'd, an online social network for wine lovers. Despite Gary's status as a celebrity wine connoisseur, the team faces a significant challenge: several other wine social networks are well established and already have large user bases. How can Cork'd gain traction in this crowded space?
The case profiles OPOWER, an energy efficiency software company that applies Cialdini's principles of social influence to successfully encourage consumers to reduce their energy usage. OPOWER was co-founded in 2008 by two young Harvard graduates, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, who were inspired by Robert Cialdini's behavioral science research showing that people's normative beliefs - and messaging tailored to those beliefs - had a powerful and measurable impact on their energy-conserving behaviors. Yates and Laskey redesigned the home energy bill to include normative messaging, including feedback on how consumers' energy usage compares to their neighbors' usage. Through early trials of the program, the electrical utilities began seeing 1.5% to 3.5% savings in energy usage, almost immediately. After the rapid success of OPOWER's first three years, Yates and Laskey wondered whether their approach would produce sustainable results: what strategy should they pursue to ensure that consumers continue to read and respond to the normative messaging in the "Energy Bill 2.0"?
This case describes barriers to adoption of malaria rapid diagnostic tests in Zambia and highlights the importance of understanding end users in promoting product adoption. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are simple, easy-to-use tools that provide a relatively reliable, inexpensive way to confirm diagnoses of malaria. In addition to ensuring that patients' febrile illnesses are properly diagnosed and treated, confirming malaria diagnoses has broader public health benefits, including promoting the efficient use of limited malaria medications and preventing increased resistance to first-line malaria treatment. However, despite the evident potential benefits of RDTs, many clinicians in Zambia do not use them or simply ignore their results. Why don't they trust these tools, and what can be done to improve adoption? Various barriers to uptake and methods to overcome these challenges are explored, with broad implications for technology adoption and health policy. A particular emphasis is placed on the role of behavioral preferences.
This is the fourth in a 35-year series of HBS cases on an organization that has changed the rules of the game globally for an entire industry by offering both differentiated and low-price service. The focus of the case is on whether Southwest Airlines should buy gates and slots to initiate service to New York's LaGuardia airport, which does not fit the airline's profile for cost, ease of service, and other factors. The bigger issue is how the organization should deal with competition that has successfully emulated more and more of what it does in an operating environment that has changed significantly. Hence the subtitle, which was suggested by Herb Kelleher, Southwest's Chairman and CEO, Emeritus.
The case captures the challenges Komatsu, the second largest manufacturer of the earth moving equipment faced during the past five decades as it sought to globalize its operations. By 2007, it had become the second largest manufacturer of the earth moving equipment with more than 80% of its sales coming from outside of Japan. It has built a network of plants, distributors and service centers around the world. Senior management is convinced that a major reason for its success is its culture, recently articulated as the Komatsu Way. The central issue in the case is how to transmit and embed it to its far flung operations throughout the world.
Describes the development of the global strategies and organizations of two major competitors in the consumer electronics industry. Over four decades, both companies adapt their strategic intent and organizational capability to match and counter the competitive advantage of the other. The case shows how each is faced to restructure as its competitive advantage erodes.
Genzyme, a global biotechnology company, launches a program to develop therapies for neglected diseases, (e.g. malaria, TB), giving away the intellectual property. This case focuses on the decision of which diseases, which partnerships, and which markets should management decide to fund. But the bigger issue is how this program developed under the umbrella role Genzyme's corporate social responsibility fits into its global competitive strategy.
A major sports sponsor must decide on new, renewal, or withdrawal from significant relations with teams/leagues/events, using a distinctive approach to assessment.
The case contrasts the tradition-bound Old World wine industry with the market-oriented New World producers, the battle for the US market, the most desirable export target in 2009 due to its large, fast-growing, high-priced market segments. The case allows analysis of the way in which newcomers can change the rules of competitive engagement in a global industry. It also poses the question of how incumbents can respond, especially when constrained by regulation, tradition, and different capabilities than those demanded by changing consumer tastes and market structures.