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Case Studies

The Center for Global Leadership has produced numerous case studies that are used in Tuck's MBA and executive education courses. The following links provide access to cases authored by members of the Center for Global Leadership.

The Trustees of Dartmouth College hold the copyright to all of the cases listed below. For permission to reproduce multiple copies, please contact us by email at glcenter@dartmouth.edu or by phone at 603-646-0898.

EXCELLENCE IN STRATEGIC INNOVATION SERIES

Managing innovation within global organizations is the area of focus for this series of case studies. Our current research is focused on this topic and additional cases may have been written that are not (yet) available in this format. Please contact the center directly for more information. These cases are most appropriate for courses in Implementing Strategy, Strategy and Technology, and Managing Corporate Entrepreneurship.


Analog Devices, Inc.: Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Chris Trimble; Julie Lang
Length: 26 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0018

In the late 1980s, Analog Devices, Inc., a semiconductor company, developed a technology known as Microelectromagnetic Machines, or MEMS. The technology allows tiny moving parts to be embedded within traditional silicon chips. The potential applications are widespread. This case study chronicles the commercialization of MEMS technology for use in airbag actuation systems, and details the tensions that developed within ADI as the new venture failed to meet initial expectations.


Capston-White's Document Management and Production Services
Chris Trimble; Julie Lang
Length: 23 pages
Publication date: 2003
Case No. 2-0017

The development of multi-function devices that could copy, print, fax, and scan created a convergence in the markets for these devices. Copiers and printers had previously purchased and managed in very different manners by large organizations. Facing an uncertain future that could threaten its profitable printing franchise, CW launched an experimental venture offering new services to help large organizations more effectively manage there fleets of printing and copying assets.


Cisco Systems (A)
Philip Anderson; Vijay Govindarajan; Chris Trimble; Katrina Veerman
Length: 25 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 1-0001

Cisco Systems prides itself as an "end-to-end networking company." The phrase describes not only their product line but the way they run their business. They created many of the e-business practices that later became cornerstones of the software packages used throughout industry to make businesses more efficient. Those case reviews their accomplishments and their method.


Cisco Systems (B)
Philip Anderson; Vijay Govindarajan; Chris Trimble; Katrina Veerman
Length: 6 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 1-0002

As of March 2001, Cisco Systems enjoys a reputation as the most sophisticated e-business in the world. For its executives, the question of how to maintain this leadership position is paramount. Funding mechanisms, organizational models, and measures of successful innovation are just some of the issues that become increasingly complex as Cisco grows.


Technology Note: Internetworking Products
Philip Anderson; Vijay Govindarajan; Chris Trimble; Katrina Veerman
Length: 8 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 1-0005

Intended as background reading for students unfamiliar with internetworking products and markets, this Technology Note can be used alongside the two Cisco Systems cases described above.


Corning Microarray Technologies
Chris Trimble; Gautam Bellur
Length: 25 pages
Publication date: 2003
Case No. 2-0020

In mid-2000, the scientific community reached a momentous milestone -- the complete mapping of the human genome. Researchers in the field of genomics were anxious to dig into a tremendous array of newly possible scientific inquiries, and needed efficient experimental apparatus for doing so. Building on its expertise in manufacturing processes requiring control of tiny quantities of fluid, Corning created a new venture to meet this need, offering reliable and low-cost DNA microarrays.


Encyclopedia Britannica (A)
Vijay Govindarajan; Praveen Kopalle
Length: 8 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 2-0007

Two Scotsmen, Colin Macfarquhar, a printer, and Andrew Bell, an engraver, formed a partnership in 1768 to publish a "Dictionary of Arts and Sciences." The initial three-volume set was published as Encyclopedia Britannica. By 1990, consumers were purchasing the volumes at $1500-$2000/set and the company's sales hit a new high of $650 MM. And then along came Microsoft.


Encyclopedia Britannica (B)
Vijay Govindarajan; Praveen Kopalle
Length: 3 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 2-0008

In response to the threat from Encarta (Microsoft), Encyclopedia Britannica (EBI) published its text on a two-CD set that was offered free to consumers who purchased the print set and charged $995 if the consumer wanted solely to purchase the CD. By 1996, the company was in trouble and a Swiss businessman, Jacob Safra, acquired it for a fraction of its book value.


Encyclopedia Britannica (C)
Vijay Govindarajan; Praveen Kopalle
Length: 4 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 2-0009

In October of 1999, EBI offered a new Internet service at www.britannica.com. EBI provided access to the entire text and graphics of Encyclopedia Britannica absolutely free of charge. Its revenues came from on-line advertising, sponsorships, and a percentage of good sold through e-commerce.


Hasbro Interactive
Chris Trimble
Length: 16 pages
Publication date: 2004
Case No. 2-0021

In the mid 1990s, Hasbro created Hasbro Interactive, a new business unit chartered to develop video games for PCs and other gaming systems based on Hasbro's many toy and game brands. After a few successful years, ambitions for Hasbro Interactive escalated dramatically. Would all games in the future be interactive?


Hindustan Lever
Chris Trimble
Length: 15 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0011

Hindustan Lever, Ltg (HLL), the Indian subsidiary of Unilever PLC, is one of the most respected multinationals operating in India and one of the first multinationals to recognize that the poor in developing countries represent an untapped growth opportunity. They developed innovative approaches to product development, sales, and marketing that were suitable for India's rural poor. Recognizing that most consumption in India was staple foods, HLL created and branded Kissan Annapurna Iodized Salt.


Hindustan Lever (Abridged)
Chris Trimble
Length: 10 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0011A

This abridged case includes only what HLL did without describing their approach to implementation. It has been used effectively to spur discussion about the role of business in society and corporate social responsibility.


New York Times Digital
Chris Trimble
Length: 21 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0006

In 1995, the New York Times, launched New York Times Digital, a new venture dedicated to building a profitable business focused on distributing news context in multimedia format online. In implementing the venture, the company created a unit that was quite distinct organizationally. Many challenges followed.


Stora Enso North America (SENA)
Jesse Johnson; Chris Trimble
Length: 23 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0001

Robert Leach, VP of information technology for SENA had a vision of building an IT infrastructure that connected all of the participants in the paper supply chain and launching new service businesses enabled by the new infrastructure. Through a detailed description of the first two years of this effort, this case highlights many internal and external barriers. A good case to illustrate the specific operational reasons why some expectations formed in the dot.com bubble were unrealistic.


Universitas 21 Global
Chris Trimble
Length: 20 pages
Publication date: 2003
Case No. 2-0019

In a move that could redefine the future of higher education, Thomson Learning, in partnership with a worldwide consortium of universities, created a new institution of higher education, Universitas 21 Global (U21G), that had no campus, and no classrooms. It existed only on the Internet. At launch, U21G offered only an MBA program, and marketed only in a few cities in Asia. But founders intended to add additional degrees and expand cross the continent.

MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS

MINI-CASES
For his course on Implementing Strategy: Management Control Systems, Vijay Govindarajan uses mini-cases to illustrate how the design and implementation of ongoing management systems are used to plan and control a company's performance.


3M Corporation
Vijay Govindarajan; Julie Lang
Length: 4 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0002

3M's strategy was rooted in innovation. 3M's 30 Percent Rule, where 30 percent of revenues must come from products introduced in the last four years, clarifies and drives its innovation mentality. Selected policies and philosophies helped to institutionalize a corporate culture of intrapreneurship and innovation.


Dell Computer Corporation
Vijay Govindarajan; Julie Lang
Length: 4 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0014

The world's largest direct-selling computer company grew from its philosophy that customers know what they want and Dell can deliver it through custom assembly of outsourced components. Through a combination of financial and non-financial measures, Dell turned itself from a product business into a service industry.


Southwest Airlines
Vijay Govindarajan; Julie Lang
Length: 4 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0012

Southwest used its shorthaul and point-to-point strategy to achieve the lowest operating cost structure in the domestic airline industry. Flexible contracts and a rigorous peer recruiting process aligned its 35,000 employees with this strategy.


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Vijay Govindarajan; Julie Lang
Length: 4 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0013

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart in 1962, had the vision for his store to sell low cost, branded products. By setting up its own distribution system and truck fleet, and evaluating retail stores as separate investment centers, Wal-Mart's control systems helped to build and entrench its competitive advantage.

MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS

TEACHING CASES
In his course on Implementing Strategy: Management Control Systems, Vijay Govindarajan uses his textbook entitled Management Control Systems, (with Robert N. Anthony), Eleventh edition, 2003, in addition to the following cases.


Analog Devices (A)
The first Analog Devices case can be found in VG's book, Management Control Systems.

Analog Devices, a leading semiconductor manufacturer designed performance measurement systems that provided far more than just a financial view. As their system evolved, it incorporated more measures designed to reflect growth, rather than just operational efficiency. A similar approach later was popularized as the "Balanced Scorecard."


Analog Devices (B)
Chris Trimble; Vijay Govindarajan; Jesse Johnson
Length: 9 pages
Publication date: 2001
Case No. 2-0003

In 2000, ADI posted an unprecedented 78 percent growth rate. Their particpation was growing in new consumer markets (electronics and communications) with shorter life cycles and high volatility. ADI had to rethink their scorecard for more dynamic environments.


Crown Point Cabinetry
David VanderSchee; Vijay Govindarajan; Julie Lang
Length: 8 pages
Publication date: 2002
Case No. 2-0010

In 1993, Brian Stowell, CEO of a family-owned cabinet manufacturing business, created a vision for his 85 employees that focused on high quality products with less rework and wasted material. Eliminating production line managers and adopting a team-based management approach was a risky proposition, but one that paid off in increased sales and margins.


Nucor Corporation (A)
Vijay Govindarajan
Length: 15 pages
Publication date: 1998
Case No. 2-0015

Under the leadership of CEO Ken Iverson, Nucor thrived. Nucor's structure was decentralized, with only four management layers. Only 22 employees worked at the corporate headquarters; plants were located in rural areas across the US and the general manager of each plant was granted considerable autonomy and encouraged to take reasonable risks. Employee relations stressed pay for productivity and took an egalitarian approach toward employee benefits. Under Ivenson's leadership, Nucor pioneered the mini-mill concept, built new plants from scratch, promoted from within, and remained a domestic company.


Nucor Corporation (B)
Vijay Govindarajan
Length: 3 pages
Publication date: 1999
Case No. 2-0016

In January, 1999, Ken Iverson, the thirty-year leader of Nucor Corporation, was forced into retirement. Five months later, his successor, John Correnti, was asked to leave. The board of directors wanted fundamental shifts in Nucor's strategy and organization that Iverson and Correnti resisted. The board's considerations included pursuing acquisitions, expanding into global markets and adding new organizational layers.

View our current research case studies »


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