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
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Sebastian Prim and Mikael Samuelsson

The case is suitable for strategy or entrepreneurship modules. It is designed to teach students about the importance of implementing formal processes when entering a…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case:

The case is suitable for strategy or entrepreneurship modules. It is designed to teach students about the importance of implementing formal processes when entering a growth phase as well as the complexities, unexpected costs, and benefits that growing a business can bring.

Student level:

The case is aimed at MBA or Master-level students or executive education programmes as part of a strategy or entrepreneurship module.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

Lattice Towers is a South African company in the telecommunications infrastructure sector. They are struggling to generate sufficient cash flow to sustain operations as a result of poor strategic decision-making regarding tower-build site acquisition. To compound matters, the owner has been struggling with health issues related to the stress caused by the crises that Lattice Towers is going through. Recently, however, a multinational publicly listed behemoth in the telecommunications industry, Helios Towers, offered to acquire the company. The acquisition offer seems like a saving grace to the owner; however, Lattice Towers is deeply personal to the him and he would not like to lose the brand. Furthermore, there is a tremendous opportunity for business growth due to the imminent increase in demand for tower infrastructure. But based on the challenging financial position the business currently finds itself in, he might not have the option to keep the business.

Expected learning outcomes:

To develop a decision-making framework and strategy to navigate the business life-cycle stages, from survival to growth

Understand the concepts of uncertainty, risk, and liquidity premiums that apply to entrepreneurship

Understand the stress-related implications for entrepreneurs

Understand the psychological costs and benefits of entrepreneurship

Understand the personal financial implications for entrepreneurship

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Rihana Hoosain, Geoff Bick and Mikael Samuelsson

The case is particularly relevant for students studying elements of business strategy with an interest in strategic decision-making, competitive strategy, and growth…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case:

The case is particularly relevant for students studying elements of business strategy with an interest in strategic decision-making, competitive strategy, and growth strategy. The case leverages several strategic frameworks taught throughout business courses and illustrates a real-world application of these frameworks to support sound strategic decision-making. Furthermore, the case examines the relevance of sustainable competitive advantage and the linkages to the appropriate growth strategy for a business. It is recommended that this case be taught once students have covered the applicable theory and frameworks in class.

Student level:

This case is designed for business administration students, in particular MBA, EMBA, speciality Masters, or executive education students.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

MWEB is a leading first-tier South African internet services provider, with an operating history spanning over 22 years. The MWEB brand is a household name across South Africa, seen as one of the pioneers of the internet industry and accredited with bringing the internet to ordinary consumers across the country. The state of competition in the market, however, has intensified and MWEB's traditional operating model has not evolved fast enough to meet the changing landscape. The market is in the midst of a price war, to which MWEB has responded by reducing market pricing and offering attractive deals, undercutting all its competitors. The results have been positive; sales have increased and churn has reduced, but competitors have already started to follow. The dilemma facing CEO Sean Nourse and his management team is how to accelerate growth in a highly commoditised market with intense competition while ensuring the long-term profitability of the business. The case encourages the consideration of the strategic decision-making process by analysing the competitive landscape, evaluating the options, and reaching a decision on the most viable growth strategy for the business.

Expected learning outcomes:

To analyse the competitive landscape and the forces at play

To conduct a competitor analysis, appraise long-term profitability in the industry, identify profitable strategic positions, and determine how MWEB may achieve and protect its competitive advantage

To identify and analyse the key parameters that, in combination, represent a company's business model

To critically analyse the contextual factors that are presented as business challenges, evaluating and understanding the impact and scale of these challenges

To critically assess relevant growth strategy alternatives for MWEB and analyse the viability of the alternatives presented

To conduct an informal valuation to determine a purchase price for an acquisition target for the business

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Patrick Cairns, Sarah Boyd and Kurt April

The values-based leadership (VBL) themes lend the case to use in courses focussed on individual leadership approaches, personal-professional development, personal mastery…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case:

The values-based leadership (VBL) themes lend the case to use in courses focussed on individual leadership approaches, personal-professional development, personal mastery, or individual agency in social change and social justice movements. The emerging market context adds a layer of complexity to the protagonist's journey, which may make the case especially relevant for use among students who work in this context or in courses that deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).

Student level:

The primary target audience for this case is postgraduate students in a management or professional development program.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

This case offers a leadership profile of lawyer Fadzayi Mahere as she pursues social change at the national level by running for political office in Zimbabwe in 2018. The case recounts Mahere's professional journey through human rights law and local activism, which eventually drives her to run as an independent for a position in the national election. She does this as a response to the dire state of the country: economic crisis, social instability, and political corruption that are making life increasingly untenable for most people. In spite of running a strong grassroots campaign, Mahere loses the election and is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to forego independence and join the dominant opposition party. The case therefore centres around the role of values in leadership, the role of narrative in shaping the decision to lead, and how these things impact a leader's strategy for affecting social change and achieving social justice.

Expected learning outcomes:

Appreciate the systemic nature of social problems in an emerging market context and how this creates different opportunities for a leader to act on a problem

Understand how a leader's identity, in terms of values and experiences, shapes their motivations and informs their strategy for leading a change effort

Understand the dimensions of values-based leadership (VBL) – transformational, authentic, accountability, and ethical leadership – and how the actions of a values-driven leader reflect these

Identify the mechanisms that aspiring leaders practicing VBL can use to build an authentic narrative for key stakeholders to accept and embrace them

Recognise the different strategies a leader can adopt to achieve values-driven outcomes, while maintaining alignment with the different dimensions of VBL

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Gareth Harrington and Mikael Samuelsson

The case can be used in the subject area of strategy particularly with a focus on emerging markets.

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case:

The case can be used in the subject area of strategy particularly with a focus on emerging markets.

Student level:

This case is aimed at use in MBA- or Masters-level courses, or executive education programmes in strategy, entrepreneurship or business modelling. It will also provide insights into small to medium enterprises operating in emerging markets.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

Devil's Peak is the largest craft beer brewer in South Africa. This case provides context to the craft beer market in South Africa, a highly fragmented and diverse yet dynamic market. The case further explores the business strategy behind Devil's Peak's success, the importance of strategic decisions, growth decisions, and product portfolio selections' impact on business strategy. Devil's Peak experienced rapid growth phases that have come with various trials and tribulations and the case explores the issues and decisions around rapid growth businesses.

Expected learning outcomes:

– To analyse a market before entering it using Porter's Five Forces or other tools.

– To assess, as well as understand, the complexities and issues arising from rapid growth in entrepreneurial operations.

– To evaluate different growth strategies — organic growth versus inorganic growth, like acquired growth.

– To make product portfolio selection decisions and the strategic importance of which products to invest in and grow, using tools like the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) growth-share matrix or other tools.

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 3 August 2020

Hendrik Jacobus Haasbroek, Geoff Bick and Stephanie Giamporcaro

The case can be used in the subject areas of finance and in particular investments, corporate governance, ESG, or responsible investments. It is suitable for students from…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case:

The case can be used in the subject areas of finance and in particular investments, corporate governance, ESG, or responsible investments. It is suitable for students from all financial backgrounds, from a novice in the financial markets to an expert in finance. It is, however, expected that the class should have a sound fundamental grounding in financial analysis and valuations. The purpose of this case is to prepare students for future investments they would make in whatever capacity – whether in private or listed companies – and to prepare them for future roles on boards of directors. The examples of real-life events in this case study are used to prepare students for future similar situations in which they might find themselves.

Student level:

This teaching case is aimed at postgraduate students pursuing an MBA or a specialist Masters in a finance programme. This case can be used as a master class in corporate governance, investments, or responsible investments. This case is also suited for an executive education class in management. It is particularly relevant to a module that focusses on investments, corporate governance, ESG, or responsible investments.

Brief overview of the teaching case:

The case study chronicles meetings held on 8 November 2017 at a fictional South African asset manager, Active Investment Management (AIM). These meetings discuss the firm's investment in JSE-listed Steinhoff International Holdings. The case deals with the questions that active fund managers need to address when balancing financial analysis; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis; portfolio management; and the need to comply with their fiduciary duty to clients. It also looks at the need for responsible investing in decision-making.

Expected learning outcomes:

The understanding of the assessment around the complexities of asset management when it comes to responsible investment.

To determine why institutional investors should apply responsible investment principles when making investment decisions.

An understanding of the evaluation of the unique roles of the three pillars of corporate governance, namely asset managers, auditors, and the board of directors.

The ability to assess how to integrate financial analysis and ESG principles in making investment recommendations.

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Alexander St Leger Moss, John Luiz and Boyd Sarah

The subject area is international business and strategy. The case allows scope for the following areas: internationalisation, market strategy, emerging market…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case

The subject area is international business and strategy. The case allows scope for the following areas: internationalisation, market strategy, emerging market multinational companies, and doing business in Africa.

Student level

The primary target audience for this teaching case is postgraduate business students such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), or postgraduate management programmes. The case is primarily designed for use in courses that cover strategy or international business.

Brief overview of the teaching case

This case centres on the international growth strategy of FMBcapital Holdings Group (FMB), the Malawian commercial banking firm. The case finds the founder and current group chairman, Hitesh Anadkat, in 2016, as he and the FMB board are about to decide on the next move in their Southern African strategy. Since opening the first FMB branch in Malawi and becoming the country's first commercial banker in 1995, Anadkat and his team have ridden a wave of financial deregulation across the region to successfully expand into neighbouring Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. Now, an opportunity to gain a foothold in Zimbabwe means the leaders must decide (1) whether they want to continue to grow the FMB footprint across the region, or focus on their integration and expansion efforts within existing markets; and (2) how they will realise this strategy.

Expected learning outcomes

International expansion – identifying the need to expand into new markets; identifying the combination of internal strengths and external conditions that make international expansion viable; and identifying and analysing each possible new market(s) and the decision-making process involved.

Political, social and economic factors in Africa – understanding how these external institutional factors present constraints, risks and opportunities for internationalisation and hence shape strategy; understanding that these factors may vary significantly across countries on the continent (in spite of their geographic proximity) and in some cases, within a single country; and understanding that by selecting markets with extreme socially and politically volatile contexts, the risk of a worst-case scenario transpiring (in which institutional forces trump business strategy) is appreciable.

Combination of resource- and institutional-based approaches – recognising that successful internationalisation requires capitalising upon both internal resources and institutional mastery.

Choosing expansion strategies – assessing the type of new market entry (e.g. greenfield or acquisition of existing operations) and its adequacy for penetrating a new market.

Using networks and local partners – to substitute and enhance the benefits that originally flow from a small (and sometime family-established) business, with an emphasis on acquisition of skills and networks in foreign countries.

Regional integration – optimising business operations through a sharing or pooling of resources and improved capital flow between subsidiaries, in some instances by taking advantage of economies of scale (this extends to enhancing the reputation and awareness of a brand across a wider region).

Family businesses – identifying the value that can be gained through establishing a family business with the support of many “close” stakeholders while also noting the limitation that exist as expansion and growth is required.

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 1 February 2020

Gareth Brauteseth, Johannes Schueler and Geoff Bick

The case can be used in the subject areas of marketing, strategy, business model innovation, and general business growth, particularly those with a focus on emerging markets.

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case

The case can be used in the subject areas of marketing, strategy, business model innovation, and general business growth, particularly those with a focus on emerging markets.

Student level

This case can be used in postgraduate and post-experience business courses such as Master's degrees in Business Administration, postgraduate diplomas, executive education, or specialist Master's degrees.

Brief overview of the teaching case

This case looks at craft beer business Jack Black's Brewing Co. started in 2006 in Cape Town. After humble beginnings, protagonist McCulloch grew the company rapidly with a focus on the strategic “tap” market across the country. After systematically working with a number of contract brewers the company finally invested in their own, industrial-scale brewery and brewpub. The dilemma facing McCulloch and Jack Black's Brewing Co. is one of cash flow. In order to generate cash flow, the management team needs to drive sales so that the brewery operates at full capacity. While it strives to attain this goal, there are considerable cash flow and liquidity challenges.

Expected learning outcomes

The development of an understanding of an effective marketing mix to position a niche and young brand.

An understanding of the concept “co-opetition” and how it works in a growing market.

The ability to assess the various growth stages of a business.

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 1 February 2020

Shelley de Reuck and Geoff Bick

The case can be used in the subject areas of marketing, strategy, business model innovation in an emerging market. The case introduces a practical example of brand…

Abstract

Subject area of the teaching case

The case can be used in the subject areas of marketing, strategy, business model innovation in an emerging market. The case introduces a practical example of brand extension as a growth strategy employed by an existing brand to secure additional revenue channels and customer touch points.

Student level

This teaching case is aimed at postgraduate business students such as Master's degrees in Business Administration degrees, postgraduate diplomas, executive education, or specialist Master's degrees.

Brief overview of the teaching case

Kauai is a health restaurant with 150 stores across South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, more than 50% of which are franchise-owned. An acquisition of the original Kauai quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain by Real Foods in 2015 leads to a complete rebrand and overhaul of its product offering and store experience. Since the acquisition, the business operates as a startup with few formal processes and KPIs in place to drive performance. Despite the obvious success the team is battling with the factors that need to be considered to ensure that they can scale adequately to realise full potential. Plus how should they position the existing brand effectively within the FMCG space to maximise the contribution of brand equity to its success?

Expected learning outcomes

–The understanding around the business model of a strong, existing brand entering a highly competitive and price-sensitive FMCG.

–Analysing the marketing strategy and brand identity approaches that could be used.

–An understanding of the brand extension strategy that could be implemented in light of various challenges.

–Understanding how retail marketing works in an emerging market context.

Details

The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, vol. 2020 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2633-8505
Published by: The Case Writing Centre, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business

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