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Case study

David Austen-Smith, Adam Galinsky, Katherine H. Chung and Christy LaVanway

Dove and Axe were two highly successful brands owned by Unilever, a portfolio company. Dove was a female-oriented beauty product brand that exhorted “real beauty” and not…

Abstract

Dove and Axe were two highly successful brands owned by Unilever, a portfolio company. Dove was a female-oriented beauty product brand that exhorted “real beauty” and not the unachievable standards that the media portrayed. In contrast, Axe was a brand that purportedly “gives men the edge in the mating game.”□ Their risqué commercials always portrayed the supermodel-type beauty ideal that Dove was trying to change. Unilever had always been a company of brands where the consumer knew the brands but not the company, but recently there had been the idea to unify the company with an umbrella mission for all of its brands. This would turn Unilever into a company with brands, potentially increasing consumer awareness and encourage cross-purchases between the different brands. However, this raised questions about the conflicting messages between the brands' marketing campaigns, most notably between Unilever's two powerhouse brands, Dove and Axe. The case begins with COO Alan Jope anticipating an upcoming press meeting in New York City to discuss Unilever's current (i.e., 2005) performance and announce Unilever's decision to create an umbrella mission statement for the company. This case focuses on the central question of whether or not consistency between brand messages is necessary or inherently problematic.

The Unilever's Mission for Vitality case was created to help students and managers develop an appreciation for how the values underlying a marketing campaign can affect and alter an organization's culture. The case focuses on how two products and marketing campaigns that express conflicting underlying values (as reflected in the Dove Real Beauty and the Axe Effect campaigns) within the same corporation can give rise to a number of unintended organizational and marketing complications.

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

David Austen-Smith and Jeffery C. Burrell

In July 2010 Robert Drake, senior director at Micawber Capital, one of India's largest microfinance organizations, needed to recommend a corporate structure and…

Abstract

In July 2010 Robert Drake, senior director at Micawber Capital, one of India's largest microfinance organizations, needed to recommend a corporate structure and organization for Micawber after its scheduled IPO in August 2010.

The IPO would bring to Micawber new stakeholders, primarily financial institutions. Drake was skeptical that the new investors shared Micawber's commitment to help alleviate poverty in rural India through microcredit loans; he assumed their primary interest was a good return on their investments. The two objectives–increasing ROI and meeting the financial needs of the poor–seemed at odds with each other.

Drake had to consider how the interests of clients and investors would be represented in strategic decisions so that they balanced the conflicting values of the stakeholders.

  • Balance stakeholder commitments to business objectives and social mission

  • Understand the expectations of both commercial investors and mission-conscious investors in social enterprises

  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities of structuring an organization and key partnerships based on a long-term values strategy

  • Identify organizational policies and business processes that can be changed to encourage an appropriate balance of values-based and financial-based decisions

Balance stakeholder commitments to business objectives and social mission

Understand the expectations of both commercial investors and mission-conscious investors in social enterprises

Discuss the challenges and opportunities of structuring an organization and key partnerships based on a long-term values strategy

Identify organizational policies and business processes that can be changed to encourage an appropriate balance of values-based and financial-based decisions

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

David Austen-Smith, Daniel Diermeier and Eitan Zemel

In late 2009 Toyota became the subject of media and U.S. government scrutiny after multiple deaths and injuries were attributed to accidents resulting from the unintended…

Abstract

In late 2009 Toyota became the subject of media and U.S. government scrutiny after multiple deaths and injuries were attributed to accidents resulting from the unintended and uncontrolled acceleration of its cars. Despite Toyota's voluntary recall of 4.2 million vehicles for floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal and a later recall to increase the space between the gas pedal and the floor, the company insisted there was no underlying defect and defended itself against media reports and regulatory statements that said otherwise. As the crisis escalated, Toyota was further criticized for its unwillingness to share information from its data recorders about possible problems with electronic throttle controls and sticky accelerator pedals, as well as braking problems with the Prius. By the time Toyota Motor Company president Akio Toyoda apologized in his testimony to the U.S. Congress, Toyota's stock price had declined, in just over a month, by 20 percent---a $35 billion loss of market value.

Understand the strategic and reputational nature of crises Recognize the challenges of managing a crisis Learn the requirements for building trust in a crisis Understand the challenges of managing a crisis that may not be the company's fault Identify the strategic business problem in a crisis Understand how corporate structure may help or hinder effective crisis management Understand the media landscape and its impact on crisis management

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Book part

Rui J. P. de Figueiredo and Geoff Edwards

We show that, in the US telecommunications industry, market participants have a sophisticated understanding of the political process, and behave strategically in their…

Abstract

We show that, in the US telecommunications industry, market participants have a sophisticated understanding of the political process, and behave strategically in their allocation of contributions to state legislators as if seeking to purchase influence over regulatory policy. We find that interests respond defensively to contributions from rivals, take into account the configuration of support available to them in both the legislature and the regulatory commission, and vary their contributions according to variations in relative costs for influence by different legislatures. This strategic behavior supports a theory that commercially motivated interests contribute campaign resources in order to mobilize legislators to influence the decisions of regulatory agencies. We also report evidence that restrictions on campaign finance do not affect all interests equally. The paper therefore provides positive evidence on the nature and effects of campaign contributions in regulated industries where interest group competition may be sharp.

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Book part

David Dunning

To thrive, any individual, organization, or society needs to separate true from false expertise. This chapter provides a selective review of research examining self and…

Abstract

Purpose

To thrive, any individual, organization, or society needs to separate true from false expertise. This chapter provides a selective review of research examining self and social judgments of human capital – that is, expertise, knowledge, and skill. In particular, it focuses on the problem of the “flawed evaluator”: most people judging expertise often have flawed expertise themselves, and thus their assessments of self and others are imperfect in profound and systematic ways.

Methodology/approach

The review focuses mostly on empirical work specifically building on the “Dunning–Kruger effect” in self-perceptions of expertise (Kruger & Dunning, 1999). This selective review, thus, focuses on patterns of error in such judgments.

Findings

Because judges of expertise have flawed expertise themselves, they fail to recognize incompetence in themselves. Because of their flaws, most people also fail to recognize genius in other people and superior ideas.

Practical implications

The review suggests that organizations have trouble recognizing those exhibiting the highest levels of expertise in their midst. People in organizations also fail to identify the best advice and correct flawed ideas. Organizations may also rely on the “wisdom of crowds” strategy in situations in which that strategy actually misleads because too few people identify the best idea available.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-076-0

Keywords

Abstract

Details

The Political Economy of Policy Reform: Essays in Honor of J. Michael Finger
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44451-816-3

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