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Subject(s)
Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s)
Cross-unit collaboration, lateral change, leading change from the middle, stakeholder management, power and politics in organizations, emotional intelligence, leading change as part of a digital transformation process, diversity

Lucia Fargolo is a dynamic high potential who joined FoodCo – a global fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company at the beginning of their digital transformation journey. After a promotion to department head, Lucia is preparing the global Social Media Marketing strategy. The implementation should start be piloted with a few brands. While Lucia is planning for the launch of the pilot with the brand category managers, there is however a hiccup: one seasoned brand manager seems to be totally off-board with Lucia’s plan. He doesn’t even show up for the strategy workshop she organized. What should Lucia do now?
ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-421-0191-1
Bianca Schmitz, Ulf Schäfer
Subject(s)
Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s)
Culture, organizational culture, organizational structure and design, leadership styles
At the end of 2008, the founder and employees of MEG - an insurance brokerage firm active in the market since 2003 - were looking forward to a promising future. Having achieved sales of €33 million in 2007 and just short of €54 million in 2008, the company was aiming to hit the €100 million mark in the next financial year. Within a very short time, the firm founded by Mehmet E. Göker as “insurance specialists” had established itself as the second-most successful insurance broker in Germany. Its rapid rise to the top was thanks to a business model that consistently identified and supported customers interested in insurance products - and also thanks to a particular corporate culture at MEG.
Key teaching/learning objectives:
- Introduction to corporate culture
- What is a corporate culture?
- How to establish and change corporate culture?

ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–322–0195–1
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management
Keyword(s)
General managers, middle management, digital strategy, call centers
The case tells the evolution of the call center transformation at Frontelco (a major telecom company in disguise). “Digital” and “agile” approaches to changing the way how call centers operate seem to produce different results. Debate between proponents of alternative approaches takes place across three levels of organizational hierarchy: the Managing Director seems to prefer “agile”, those close to operations in VP ranks seem to prefer “digital”, while three “managers in the middle” following each other in Senior Vice President rank seem to follow different strategies as to how to align the top and the bottom. To settle the debate, evidence-based clarity is being sought and the protagonist is tasked to design an appropriate performance measure to show the real impact of competing approaches.
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ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–322–0196–1
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management
Keyword(s)
General managers, middle management, cross-functional teams, digital strategy, disruptive business model
The case tells the story of a project at Frontelco (a major telco company in disguise) aiming at defining and piloting a business model (Network as a Service, NaaS) in response to the advancement of a new technology (5G). It is written from the perspective of a “trusted advisor” who had been invited by the protagonist to provide methodological support to the project team. The team, which primarily represents the perspective of product management, spends significant time and effort on developing a methodical approach to their own work, leaving the substantive issue (business model innovation) to be defined only vaguely, under the dominant influence of a few team members. In the follow up to the case we learn that by the time concerns emerge that the team does not seem to have developed any presentable output, they find out that their key competitor has already made significant progress and the technology department, their “internal rival”, has also moved ahead with a concept that allows them to claim ownership for a major corporate-level project.
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ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-321-0193-1
Claire Cardy, Bianca Schmitz, Olaf Plötner, Johannes Habel (2022)
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management
Keyword(s)
Corporate strategy, global trends, organizational structures,
strategic change management
Wilo SE, headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, was a leading supplier of pumps and pump systems for the building services, water management and industrial sectors, which was doing business in more than 50 countries. Based on current global developments in politics, economy, and society, Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of Wilo Group, saw a de-coupling of three tectonic plates centered in China, USA, and Western Europe. At the Wilo management conference in September 2020 Hermes informed stakeholders about the decision to establish a 2nd headquarters in Beijing within the next few months, and possibly to open a 3rd headquarters in the following year in the USA. He stated:

“With the opening of a 2nd headquarters I want to set a sign. Wilo has to keep up with current global developments – whether we like them or not. A stronger regionalization of Wilo is necessary to continue our global success.”

The case text introduces the key measures to establish the 2nd headquarters in China.
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ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-421-0190-1
Urs Müller, Ulf Schäfer, Nora Grasselli (2021)
Subject(s)
Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s)
Initiating change, implementing change, change management, communication of change, lateral change, leading change from the middle, influencing, persuading, stakeholder management, power and politics in organizations, change in a global matrix organization, digital strategy, Generation Y
Lea Block has tried to initiate digital transformation at Seuzach AG, a large global provider of medical devices for the health care industry. As marketing director, she has identified major shifts in German health care that demand that Seuzach changes its ways of approaching customers. Instead of targeting the specific needs of doctors in hospitals, Seuzach should rather address the new decision makers: the CEOs, CFOs, or CIOs of hospitals, who have a different buying logic. Seuzach should also leap into the future players in the industry through the application of digital innovations which allow for data driven, cloud-based digital services and business models that integrate data across the whole product range. In Seuzach's matrix organization (global product responsibility, supported by regional sales) Lea wants to convince the heads of marketing for the different product businesses to change. She seems to be able to quickly convince her colleagues of what she calls 'digital C-level marketing.' However, as soon as work is supposed to start, she realizes that commitments were less strong than she assumed. A few weeks later, Lea is clearly told that there will be no support for her. The short case study is set when Lea realizes the failure of her digital transformation initiative.
The case discussion allows analyzing and discussing various mistakes in the areas of: (1) defining an attractive vision and strategy; (2) reading and playing the organizational culture, power and politics; (3) leading from a peer-position, with a diversity profile (gender and age); (4) communicating a digital transformation initiative successfully; and (5) managing the stakeholders.

Key teaching/learning objectives:
(1) defining an attractive vision and strategy for a digital transformation initiative
(2) reading and playing the organizational culture, power and politics
(3) leading from a peer-position, with a diversity profile (gender and age)
(4) communicating a digital transformation initiative successfully
(5) managing stakeholders
This case is an update of the case Anna Frisch at Aesch AG: Initiating lateral change, a sanitized case that was set in 2007, in response to demands from students to have more up-to-date case as a basis for classroom discussions. As compared to the original case, this case provides an update of the developments in the German healthcare sector and puts stronger emphasis on the technology-related aspects of the proposed changes.

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Case
INSEAD Case Study
2021 Case Writing Award EFMD Case Writing Competition 2020: Women in Business
Lara Bekhazi, Martin Schweinsberg, Horacio Falcao, Eric Luis Uhlmann (2021)
Keyword(s)
Dual careers, gender negotiation, stereotyping, work-family conflict, diversity, inclusion, equity, family roles, civil engineering
The Dual Career Negotiation is a two-party, multi-issue role-play based on the true story of a real couple. Alma and Pierre (not their real names) are employed by the same company, Rikoff Projects, a French firm specializing in the design and construction of large-scale infrastructure. When Alma is assigned to a major project in Kuala Lumpur, Pierre seeks a position with Rikoff in Malaysia to support her career progression and enable them to live together. Then her project is cancelled. The company no longer has a job for Alma in Kuala Lumpur, only for Pierre. It can offer her a position in Dubai at a higher rank and higher pay – equivalent to their current earnings combined – but can’t offer Pierre a job there. If they stay in Kuala Lumpur, Alma has no job so their income will be halved. If they move to Dubai, Pierre has no job but Alma’s new salary will almost double what they currently make. The couple need to discuss what to do about their respective careers and their future together.
Teaching objectives

The role-play enables students to practice managing interpersonal relationships while simultaneously handling the substance of a negotiation. The teacher should cover the following points when de-briefing the class: • How traditional gender roles and family responsibilities intersect with professional careers • The unequal division of labour – unpaid in the home – within dual-income couples • A gender gap in expectations and perceptions of careers and family responsibilities • The importance of clarifying unstated assumptions regarding career prioritization • Managing the substance, the relationship, and the process of communication in a negotiation. The case comes with PowerPoint slides. The script to accompany the slides and supporting references can be found in the notes underneath each slide.

Case
INSEAD Case Study
2021 Case Writing Award EFMD Case Writing Competition 2020: Women in Business
Lara Bekhazi, Martin Schweinsberg, Horacio Falcao, Eric Luis Uhlmann (2021)
Keyword(s)
Dual careers, gender negotiation, stereotyping, work-family conflict, diversity, inclusion, equity, family roles, civil engineering
The Dual Career Negotiation is a two-party, multi-issue role-play based on the true story of a real couple. Alma and Pierre (not their real names) are employed by the same company, Rikoff Projects, a French firm specializing in the design and construction of large-scale infrastructure. When Alma is assigned to a major project in Kuala Lumpur, Pierre seeks a position with Rikoff in Malaysia to support her career progression and enable them to live together. Then her project is cancelled. The company no longer has a job for Alma in Kuala Lumpur, only for Pierre. It can offer her a position in Dubai at a higher rank and higher pay – equivalent to their current earnings combined – but can’t offer Pierre a job there. If they stay in Kuala Lumpur, Alma has no job so their income will be halved. If they move to Dubai, Pierre has no job but Alma’s new salary will almost double what they currently make. The couple need to discuss what to do about their respective careers and their future together.
Teaching objectives

The role-play enables students to practice managing interpersonal relationships while simultaneously handling the substance of a negotiation. The teacher should cover the following points when de-briefing the class: • How traditional gender roles and family responsibilities intersect with professional careers • The unequal division of labour – unpaid in the home – within dual-income couples • A gender gap in expectations and perceptions of careers and family responsibilities • The importance of clarifying unstated assumptions regarding career prioritization • Managing the substance, the relationship, and the process of communication in a negotiation. The case comes with PowerPoint slides. The script to accompany the slides and supporting references can be found in the notes underneath each slide.

ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-820-0186-1
Nagola Re
Jens Weinmann, Martin Kupp, Hans Rüdiger Lange (2020)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship; Ethics and social responsibility; Health and environment
Keyword(s)
Ecosystems, environmental protection, economic development, family businesses, small & medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, entrepreneurs, green marketing, green business, business-to-business, sales strategy, business model innovation, business plans, product change
The case “Wild Herbs Grow Tall – Mastering Structural Change in Lusatia” describes how entrepreneur Christina Grätz carves out a niche in the re-cultivation of landscapes in post-mining areas in her native region of Lusatia in Eastern Germany. After having established a thriving B2B business with wild herbs, she explores the possibility of entering the B2C market with a new business line. After several iterations and pivoting, she and her partners set up an online platform for direct web-based sales of organic herbal salts. However, the new company shows a lackluster performance – potentially due to the lack of experience in the online B2B marketing strategy.
Key teaching/learning objectives:

The case illustrates how it is possible for a new business to emerge against the backdrop of macroeconomic decline and structural changes in the economy. It provides insights on the complex endeavor by a fledgling company to transit from the B2B to the B2C market. The case details up-to-date methodologies for classroom discussions, including Saras Sarawathi's effectuation, Jake Knapp's Google Design Sprint, as well as the basic principles of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup.
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ESMT Case Study
ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-820-0187-1
Lusiza
Jens Weinmann, Martin Kupp, Hans Rüdiger Lange (2020)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship; Ethics and social responsibility; Health and environment
Keyword(s)
Ecosystems, environmental protection, economic development, family businesses, small & medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, entrepreneurs, green marketing, green business, business-to-business, sales strategy, business model innovation, business plans, product change
The case “Wild Herbs Grow Tall – Mastering Structural Change in Lusatia” describes how entrepreneur Christina Grätz carves out a niche in the re-cultivation of landscapes in post-mining areas in her native region of Lusatia in Eastern Germany. After having established a thriving B2B business with wild herbs, she explores the possibility of entering the B2C market with a new business line. After several iterations and pivoting, she and her partners set up an online platform for direct web-based sales of organic herbal salts. However, the new company shows a lackluster performance – potentially due to the lack of experience in the online B2B marketing strategy.
Key teaching/learning objectives:

The case illustrates how it is possible for a new business to emerge against the backdrop of macroeconomic decline and structural changes in the economy. It provides insights on the complex endeavor by a fledgling company to transit from the B2B to the B2C market. The case details up-to-date methodologies for classroom discussions, including Saras Sarawathi's effectuation, Jake Knapp's Google Design Sprint, as well as the basic principles of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup.
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