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This case details the sexual harassment case brought against Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America by nearly 300 female employees in April 1996. The recommendations developed for the company by former U.S. Labor Secretary Lynn Marten are presented. In response to the harassment controversy, Marten was asked to review the plant's policies and to formulate a plan for a "model workplace."
Describes the new divisional vice president's decisions and strategies in his first full year of management there. His influence style and tactics are demonstrated.
Presents a new divisional vice president's entry into a well-established and still successful manufacturing organization which is nevertheless facing an impending competitive crisis. Demonstrates his challenge and his efforts, under pressure from corporate headquarters, to convince his staff that the crisis is real and to make changes in the organization's family culture and practice, in order to better position them to face the onslaught of price wars and new technology. Concludes with several complex choices facing the new vice president as he considers whether or not to replace some key but problematic senior managers, and what strategy to adopt in his relations with the retired but still visible descendant of the firm's founder.
State Street Corp. reports a 13% gain in EPS in 2008 amidst a global financial crisis. The stock price declines 59% on the day of the earnings report. This one day decline was exceeded in the prior 12 month period by only one non-bankrupt S&P 500 company. That company was AIG, Inc. which declined 61 % on the day Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. While State Street reported $5.0 billion in profits over the 4-year period 2005-2008, the company also sustained $10.0 billion in after tax mark-to-market losses on its "available for sale" investment portfolio and the investment portfolios of its conduits. The question is, how has the firm performed over the past four years? Has it earned $5.0 billion or lost $5.0 billion? Fair value accounting plays a key role in the dilemma. How should a financial services firm measure and report income in the face of disorderly and illiquid markets for its principal assets? The case also examines how management at State Street responded to the deterioration in its capital ratios generated by "fair value" accounting.
Analyzes the results of the Thomas Cook turnaround plan after the first year under Harriet Green's leadership (November 2013).
Describes a small, luxury retail chain's operational sophistication achieved through the use of technology and "high-touch" customer service. A family-run business, Mitchells has built its success with a customer service strategy known internally as "hugging." The term is deceptively simple. The firm's true success lies in its blend of a warm, other-oriented corporate culture, sophisticated information technology, and an effective family business structure. It is currently considering further expansion for future generations. A rewritten version of an earlier case.
After years of rapid growth, Peru's economy had recently slowed. Mineral prices were down and the current President, Humala, had only a year remaining in office before the next election. And he could not run again. While the country had many strengths, especially in minerals, natural resources and tourism, infrastructural problems, corruption, drugs, and inequality continued to plague its growth. The next election would help determine Peru's future growth.
UAL is a large air transportation company with roots that go back to the 1920s. As a legacy carrier, going back to before the 1978 deregulation of air transportation markets, United Airlines is burdened with cost structures that make it difficult to compete with newer competitors. In addition, UAL has the burden of $7.6 billion in unfunded pension obligations and $2 billion in unfunded retiree health obligations. In June 2004, UAL is still operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which began December 2002. It has needed extensions of the exclusivity period from the bankruptcy court. UAL's plan of reorganization is predicated on receiving $1.8 billion in loan guarantees from the Air Transport Stabilization Board (ATSB). But its request for loan guarantees from the ATSB was recently rejected. The company must decide what to do next and how to emerge from bankruptcy.
The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity." For many Americans, the World Health Organization's definition of true health seems unattainable, given the multitude of complex problems plaguing the U.S. health system. The United States over the last 50 years has focused most of its health resources on providing medical care for individuals after they fall ill. It has placed far less emphasis on the non-medical determinants of health and the prevention of disease for the lives of its citizens. The result: an infamously expensive "sick care system" that does not perform as well as other wealthy countries across key measures. Americans of all socioeconomic stripes experience poorer health outcomes than their rich country peers. Such trends undermine U.S. international competitiveness. This background note digs deeper into these trends and their origins, the barriers hindering change, and past and current reforms, including the 2010 Affordable Care Act. If fully implemented, the controversial act will help the United States push beyond its myopic sick care focus towards the WHO's true health vision by creating a health system that integrates medical care with public health and prevention for all Americans.
Harriett Green, the newly appointed CEO of Thomas Cook Group, faces a daunting set of business and financial challenges at the 171-year old UK travel services company. The company has lost almost 600 million in the last three-quarters; has seen its stock price fall from 230 pence to a low of 8.8p in the past two years; and had seen its bonds trade down to as little as 40% of face value. In just a few weeks the company's license to operate is to be reviewed by the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority, competitors are publicly questioning the company's viability, and seasonal working capital needs are about to peak. With the company's very survival at stake, Green must devise a turnaround plan that will return the company to financial health. Any plan must address the company's high-cost structure, raise substantial new capital, fix the balance sheet, create a profitable growth strategy, and build a more effective organization and culture. But achieving all of these objectives within the short time available will be a major challenge.
In March 2009, the U.S. economy was in a severe recession not seen since the Great Depression after the subprime mortgage crisis had spiraled out of control. The situation had dramatically changed in one year since the Federal Reserve Board had helped to bailout investment bank Bear Stearns. Deflation, not inflation, had become a top concern. Interest rates were near zero percent. Five million jobs had been lost. The new Barack Obama administration had pushed forward with a $787 billion stimulus package, coupled with various programs to address the frozen credit markets and depressed investors' confidence. Yet the burning question in every policymakers' mind was--how effective would the various plans work to revive the U.S. economy?
Even the most rock-solid case will fail to persuade without a winning presentation. Emotions, perceptions, and predispositions also play major roles in how people make business decisions. To persuade others, you thus need to address your listeners' minds and their hearts. This chapter focuses on strategies for winning both.
The MIT Mystery Hunt is an annual puzzle-based scavenger hunt at MIT. It is run every year by a different team, and every year is slightly different as teams try new ideas and decide whether to keep or ignore new ideas from previous years. As the Mystery Hunt has grown, organizers face the challenge of balancing efficient administration while keeping it free of excessive administration.
This case presents the managerial dilemma faced by the treasurer of South Carolina in 1998. Until last year, the South Carolina state pension fund (with over $17 billion in assets) was barred by the state constitution from investing in equities. After the constitution was amended, the state government had to decide how much to invest in equities and what assets to choose. Using domestic and international data, the concepts of standard deviation, correlation, covariance, diversification, and risk are introduced. Additionally the case looks at the equity premium from a global setting. This case covers two days and will be used early in the Risk and Return module, just before the introduction of the CAPM.
By March 2008, the U.S. Government and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had taken various policy measures over the last few months to tackle the subprime mortgage crisis that threatened to drag the economy into a recession. The Bush administration approved a fiscal stimulus package exceeding $150 billion. Interest rates had been repeatedly cut at the fastest pace in decades, to 2.25% as of March 2008. The Fed, in an unprecedented move, helped JPMorgan Chase to take over Bear Stearns, which was on the brink of collapse. Yet as the global economy faced slower growth stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis, policy makers were caught in an intense debate over what the 'right' solution would be, and the implication of these policies on global imbalances.
The days of executive command-and-control have given way to a world increasingly characterized by cross-functional teams of peers, joint ventures, and intercompany partnerships. Persuasion has four elements: credibility, understanding of an audience, a solid argument, and effective communication. This chapter gives you steps for strengthening all of these aspects, building your power of persuasion.
February 2011: O.P. Bhatt reflected contentedly on his five-year term as Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest commercial bank. He had led SBI on a journey of transformation from an old, hierarchical, transaction oriented, government bank to a modern, customer focused, and technologically advanced universal bank. In 2006, when Bhatt assumed leadership, SBI had been losing market share for over two decades to private and foreign banks. Analysts and industry observers had predicted that at the prevailing growth rates ICICI Bank, a private bank launched in 1994, would overtake SBI in terms of deposits in four years. However, by 2010, SBI had more than doubled its profits, deposits and advances; regained market share and won the Asian Banker Achievement award for the strongest bank in the Asia Pacific region.
Beginning less than a decade ago, the U.S. shale revolution began transforming the nation's energy outlook. Technological advances in horizontal drilling and "fracking" facilitated access to substantial new reserves of natural gas and light oil, imbedded in shale formations thousands of feet beneath the earth's surface. With gas reserves up by more than 47%, natural gas prices fell from $12 to $3 per thousand cubic feet. Tight oil production in North Dakota and Texas soared to more than 500,000 barrels daily. Because government policy directly controlled gas exports (as LNG), oil exports, and pipeline imports, public policy became the object of intense disputes among oil and gas producers, manufacturing and petrochemical interests, utilities, and environmentalists. Exporting gas (or oil) could affect higher prices in the United States but yield significant revenues, jobs, and balance-of-payments benefits. Refraining from exporting, however, would help consumers, reduce coal combustion, and attract energy-intensive businesses to the United States. And by reducing imports, America's foreign policy interests in the Middle East could also change. It remained to be seen what U.S policy would ultimately imply for the world economy.
As the leading distributor of fresh avocados in the U.S., Mission Produce was at a crossroads in late 2013. Avocado consumption was booming and CEO Steve Barnard wanted to acquire additional land in Peru and develop new avocado farms to help fill a projected supply gap. Mission could also buy avocado farms in other countries, expand its international marketing efforts, invest in brand building in Asia, and/or add processed avocado products. This strategy case describes Mission's growth, entrepreneurial leadership, future opportunities, and financing alternatives.
In 2006, Citect Corporation, a publicly traded Australian software company, was the target of a takeover battle between a financial sponsor and a strategic buyer. Thoma Bravo, the US-based private equity firm, had to decide on its acquisition strategy in the face of competition from Schneider Electric, a large French multinational. The case allows for a thorough analysis of buyer types (financial vs. strategic), deal strategy and valuation. Among other topics covered in the case are the importance of due diligence, the potential for value creation by private equity firms through operational improvements, the use of footholds in deal strategy and the challenges of cross-border acquisitions.
Once you've learned the basic principles that govern effective written communication, the writing can actually begin. This chapter examines the difficulties you may encounter when beginning a writing task--writer's block, lack of inspiration, or simply the frustration associated with crafting a simple, effective message.
Beginning in 1992, "Beavis and Butt-head," an animated series on MTV about two uncivilized teenaged misfits, became both a runaway popular sensation and the symbol of a heated national debate about violent and inappropriate programming on television. Especially after the show was blamed for inspiring a five-year-old to set a fire that killed his younger sister, the controversy posed difficult decisions both for MTV's parent company, Viacom, and for advertisers, including some of America's biggest.
Prejudgments influence decisions because of the way we tag our thoughts with emotions. In decision making, it is the emotional tags that help us sort through the many possible interpretations we could make of a given situation and the many possible courses of action we could take. If the new situation is different from previous situations, prejudgments can inappropriately anchor our thinking, disrupt our objectivity, and make it hard for us to think things through afresh when circumstances change. Spotting prejudgments is critical to preventing flawed decision making, and in this chapter, the authors show you how to identify situations in which prejudgments might interfere with your assessment capabilities. This chapter was originally published as chapter 6 of "Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It From Happening to You."
This chapter provides an overview of how case-based instruction is used in business and professional school settings, and introduces a new approach to case study that will help students gain a quick and constructive understanding of cases and more effectively employ business concepts that are already part of their working knowledge.