Case studies

Teaching cases offers students the opportunity to explore real world challenges in the classroom environment, allowing them to test their assumptions and decision-making skills before taking their knowledge into the workplace.

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Case study

Ameet Morjaria and Charlotte Snyder

Roger Cagle, the co-founder and deputy CEO of SOCO International, watched the dreary London rain outside his office window one February morning in 2015. Never had SOCO…

Abstract

Roger Cagle, the co-founder and deputy CEO of SOCO International, watched the dreary London rain outside his office window one February morning in 2015. Never had SOCO, the oil-and-gas exploration and production player that ranked among Britain’s top 200 companies, experienced such a public backlash against its operations. For nearly 20 years, Cagle had helped steer his company’s projects around the world—often in volatile regions where others feared to tread, such as Vietnam, Russia, and Yemen—while delivering significant returns to investors. But the international uproar surrounding SOCO during the past year had been nothing short of mind-boggling.

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Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Case study

Mohanbir Sawhney and Pallavi Goodman

After the successful release of the first Hunger Games film in 2012, the film's distributor, Lionsgate, was preparing to release the next movie in the series, Hunger

Abstract

After the successful release of the first Hunger Games film in 2012, the film's distributor, Lionsgate, was preparing to release the next movie in the series, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Fan expectations had grown after the success of the first film, and Lionsgate faced the challenge of keeping moviegoers interested and engaged in another Hunger Games movie. In an era marked by the rising popularity of digital and social media, Lionsgate knew that attracting fans to a sequel meant pushing the boundaries of traditional marketing tactics.

Digital brand storytelling is about using digital media in a holistic way to tell a brand story and build excitement for an audience. Brand storytelling seeks to make a connection with the audience by giving them an emotional experience that resonates with them. While Lionsgate was aware that traditional marketing would need to be blended with a digital campaign to bring in moviegoers, it also needed to strike a careful balance between the two and choose the appropriate platforms to tell a cohesive story. Should Lionsgate launch a brand storytelling campaign to appeal to fans? Lionsgate's comparatively small marketing team gathered to brainstorm about how to execute such a campaign and position the film for another big success.

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Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Case study

Robert N. Boute and Jan A. Van Mieghem

John Dong, the founder and CEO of Kaffee Kostuum developed the idea of Kaffee Kostuum in his own MBA capstone project five years ago. Shortly after graduation, he received…

Abstract

John Dong, the founder and CEO of Kaffee Kostuum developed the idea of Kaffee Kostuum in his own MBA capstone project five years ago. Shortly after graduation, he received seed money from business angels, as well as a favorable bank loan. His value proposition was clear from the beginning: “Be a provider of an unlimited variety of affordable suits, directly available from stock.” The idea sprang from his frustration with two less-than-ideal circumstances: He either had to wait four weeks to get a pricey tailor-made suit or purchase from among the limited selection of affordable suits in his local department store. To keep his company's prices down, Dong worked with a production unit in Vietnam.

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Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Case study

Craig Furfine

32-year-old Heather Wilson was about to become a property investor. After years of painstaking savings, she had finally reached agreement to purchase her first buy-to-let…

Abstract

32-year-old Heather Wilson was about to become a property investor. After years of painstaking savings, she had finally reached agreement to purchase her first buy-to-let property, a 1 bedroom flat in London's sought-after Kensington and Chelsea neighborhood. She looked forward to a lifetime of building wealth through property investments. Of course, some of the income the property would generate would be owed to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). But such was the nature of life. Unfortunately, the tax laws had only recently become less favorable for property investors, but Wilson expected to negotiate a lower purchase price as a result and so she felt confident that her investment remained solid.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Case study

Masahiro Toriyama, Mohanbir Sawhney and Katharine Kruse

In late 2019, Dr. Hiroaki Kitano, the president and director of research at Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL), had decided he would be stepping down from his…

Abstract

In late 2019, Dr. Hiroaki Kitano, the president and director of research at Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL), had decided he would be stepping down from his position soon. Sony CSL, a small blue-sky fundamental research facility funded by Sony, had always operated on the strength of the trust between Sony's CEO and the lab's director. Sony had been hands-off in its management, leaving Kitano to hire, fire, fund, and evaluate the lab's researchers and project portfolio at his own discretion. Now that he was stepping down, however, he worried that Sony CSL could not withstand his departure. Kitano wanted to make a transparent plan for the organization's future before he handed off Sony CSL to his successor. That plan involved three key decisions. First, what should be the optimal structure and governance of Sony CSL? Should it maintain its independence and autonomy, or should it align more closely with Sony's business priorities? Second, how could Sony CSL scale its impact on Sony and society at large, given its small size? Finally, should Sony CSL establish some standard methods of measuring project success and strength of the portfolio? In making these decisions, Kitano wanted to ensure that he preserved the unique culture that had allowed Sony CSL to pursue path-breaking research and innovation.

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Case study

Neal J. Roese and Alexander Chernev

Harley-Davidson's first-ever chief marketing officer has his work cut out for him as the classic American motorcycle manufacturer seeks to curb slowing sales from aging…

Abstract

Harley-Davidson's first-ever chief marketing officer has his work cut out for him as the classic American motorcycle manufacturer seeks to curb slowing sales from aging customers. The dilemma: what to do with its less known and unprofitable Buell brand, which has a younger customer base? Which of five options continue its dual-brand strategy, double down on Buell, operate Buell as an endorsement brand, sell it, or discontinue the brand entirely will best attract younger buyers without alienating current diehard customers?

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Case study

Craig Furfine

In January 2019, Benedict Clarke needed to address the vacancies at retail shopping center Tulaberry Plaza. The rise in online shopping forced Tulaberry's anchor tenant…

Abstract

In January 2019, Benedict Clarke needed to address the vacancies at retail shopping center Tulaberry Plaza. The rise in online shopping forced Tulaberry's anchor tenant into bankruptcy and weakened the outlook for retail more generally. Clarke must devise a plan that presents the most logical and profitable way forward for the shopping center. The case asks students to make leasing decisions from the perspective of the property owner, Clarke, giving them an appreciation for both the quantitative and qualitative factors that influence optimal leasing decisions.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Case study

Craig Furfine

In early 2018, Diana Mulhall was undertaking a career change that would eliminate the need for frequent business trips to Toronto. As a result, she wondered whether she…

Abstract

In early 2018, Diana Mulhall was undertaking a career change that would eliminate the need for frequent business trips to Toronto. As a result, she wondered whether she should sell her condo in the heart of the Canadian city or keep it as a rental property to generate income for herself. The housing market in Toronto was booming, so Mulhall believed that the condo would fetch top dollar as a sale. She also thought it would be easy to attract tenants if she kept it as a rental. She had invested in rental property before but never outside of her hometown of Chicago, so Mulhall needed to identify the key risks associated with being a landlord in Toronto.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

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Case study

Mohanbir Sawhney, Birju Shah, Ryan Yu, Evgeny Rubtsov and Pallavi Goodman

Uber had pioneered the growth and delivery of modern ridesharing services by leveraging the explosive growth of technology, GPS navigation, and smartphones. Ridesharing…

Abstract

Uber had pioneered the growth and delivery of modern ridesharing services by leveraging the explosive growth of technology, GPS navigation, and smartphones. Ridesharing services had expanded across the world, growing rapidly in the United States, China, India, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Even as these services expanded and gained popularity, however, the pickup experience for drivers and riders did not always meet the expectations of either party. Pickups were complicated by traffic congestion, faulty GPS signals, and crowded pickup venues. Flawed pickups resulted in rider dissatisfaction and in lost revenues for drivers. Uber had identified the pickup experience as a top strategic priority, and a team at Uber, led by group product manager Birju Shah, was tasked with designing an automated solution to improve the pickup experience. This involved three steps. First, the team needed to analyze the pickup experience for various rider personas to identify problems at different stages in the pickup process. Next, it needed to create a model for predicting the best rider location for a pickup. The team also needed to develop a quantitative metric that would determine the quality of the pickup experience. These models and metrics would be used as inputs for a machine learning.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Case study

David Stowell and Alexander Katz

This case considers the buyout of Panera Bread from the perspective of a private equity fund. In early 2017, KLG Managing Director Tom Denning is considering a leveraged…

Abstract

This case considers the buyout of Panera Bread from the perspective of a private equity fund. In early 2017, KLG Managing Director Tom Denning is considering a leveraged buyout of Panera Bread, a rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant company. A surprising Bloomberg News story signals that the deal process is broadening and KLG will have to act quickly if it hopes to buy Panera Bread. Students assume the role of Tom Denning as he prepares an investment recommendation for KLG's investment committee. In doing so, students are required to consider a very large and expensive investment. Students are challenged to create an investment recommendation by performing due diligence, determining additional questions to ask, and pricing a buyout bid that incorporates an optimal capital structure and meets KLG's return requirements. The Panera Bread case is designed to give students insight into the private equity investment process.

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