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Case study
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Carolin Berlich, Felix Daut, Anna C. Freund, Andrea Kampmann, Benedict Killing, Friedrich Sommer and Arnt Wöhrmann

Deutsche Bahn AG (Deutsche Bahn hereafter) was the former German railroad monopolist until deregulation in 1996. It was a well-known company that operated in worldwide markets for…

Abstract

Synopsis

Deutsche Bahn AG (Deutsche Bahn hereafter) was the former German railroad monopolist until deregulation in 1996. It was a well-known company that operated in worldwide markets for transport and logistics at the time of the case (late 2013). The case “Deutsche Bahn AG: a former monopoly off track?” focuses on the opportunities and challenges faced by Deutsche Bahn with regard to its position in the German individual transportation market. On the one hand, Deutsche Bahn is facing external problems. Increasing competition in short- and long-distance traffic threatens its strong business position. The competition emerged from a growing long-distance bus market and the increase in private railway companies. During the last few years before 2013, Deutsche Bahn has lost several public tenders for individual passenger travel in Germany. On the other hand, Deutsche Bahn has internal problems that endanger its image as a service company. A lack of service quality and the technical condition of its trains has led to rising numbers of customer complaints. In addition, staffing and punctuality problems have exacerbated the situation. One of the main technical issues the company faces is that ordered trains have not been delivered on time. Given the focus on Deutsche Bahn’s domestic challenges, its international business activities are tackled only briefly. While regulatory and political events have an impact on Deutsche Bahn, these are not the main subjects of the case.

Research methodology

This case has been written from public sources. Consequently, no company release is provided. None of the information has been disguised in any way.

Relevant courses and levels

The case is intended for use in a 90-minute strategic management class attended by students at the end of their undergraduate studies or in postgraduate study. Although the case relates to issues in strategic management, the special regulatory environment and some of the issues covered could make the case a useful complement in other classes as well, such as classes in supply chain management (procurement) or the management of public companies. Therefore, students should have basic knowledge in developing strategies, management, marketing, human resource management, and finance.

Theoretical bases

Strategic Analysis and Strategic Management, Railroad Logistics, Deregulation of a former Monopoly, Stakeholder Theory.

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Ivo Schedlinsky, Friedrich Sommer and Arnt Wöhrmann

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the influence of competitive compensation systems on employee risk taking has gained increasing attention. As the renouncement of such…

Abstract

Purpose

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the influence of competitive compensation systems on employee risk taking has gained increasing attention. As the renouncement of such incentive schemes might entail severe disadvantages regarding employee motivation, standard setters have proposed adding nonmonetary instruments of control. This paper aims to examine the influence of two of the most common instruments: a risk-sensitizing code of conduct and justification.

Design/methodology/approach

A laboratory experiment with 136 business students is conducted to test the hypotheses and answer the research question. The presence and absence of a risk-sensitizing code of conduct and a justification system is manipulated between subjects. The experiment consists of ten rounds, with round as the third factor manipulated within subjects.

Findings

Consistent with the paper’s hypothesis and the underlying theory, both instruments are found to offset higher risk taking. The paper shows that the motivation of individuals triggered by justification depends on a risk-sensitizing code of conduct, and insights into the psychological mechanisms behind the findings are provided.

Practical implications

As justification is considered more costly than a risk-sensitizing code of conduct, establishing the latter instead of the former seems preferable in most situations. However, if organizational citizenship behavior is unlikely to evolve, justification can substitute it for managing employee risk taking.

Originality/value

This paper identifies the risk-sensitizing code of conduct as an informal instrument of control for managing risk taking. Prior research mainly focuses on potentially more costly formal instruments of control.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely…

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Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Thorsten Knauer and Friedrich Sommer

The tax advantage of debt is considered an important motivation for highly leveraged transactions. The German government limited the tax deductibility of interest expenses to 30.0…

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Abstract

Purpose

The tax advantage of debt is considered an important motivation for highly leveraged transactions. The German government limited the tax deductibility of interest expenses to 30.0 percent of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (the interest barrier rule) in 2008 to reduce the tax incentives for debt financing. This study aims to evaluate the impact of the introduction of the interest barrier rule.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the changes in the value of the tax shield for German leveraged buyouts as a result of the promulgation of an interest barrier rule. Tax shields are computed to quantify the wealth transfer from taxpayers to corporations.

Findings

Prior to the 2008 tax reform, tax shields contributed 8.4 percent to the transaction price, thereby raising the equity value by 33.0 percent on average. With the introduction of the interest barrier rule, the value of tax shields is reduced by 35.1 percent. Affecting more than 75 percent of buyouts, the rule significantly lessens the tax incentive for high levels of debt. The reduction of the corporate tax rate from 31.7 percent to 26.3 percent further lowers the value creation potential. The limited interest deductibility may therefore reduce the number of leveraged buyouts and hence economic growth, unless other non‐debt forms of financing can fulfill the need for capital.

Originality/value

As the first continental European study, this research concentrates on the impact of the German interest barrier rule on value creation in highly leveraged transactions. Conclusions can be drawn in a broader European context.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

Content available
Case study
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Rebecca J. Morris

Abstract

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Martin Hiebl

Abstract

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 42 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2013

David Norman Smith

The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the “recognition” of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the “recognition” of the followers than from the “magnetism” of the leaders. I contend further that a close reading of Max Weber shows that he, too, saw charisma in this light.

Approach

I develop my argument by a close reading of many of the most relevant texts on the subject. This includes not only the renowned texts on this subject by Max Weber, but also many books and articles that interpret or criticize Weber’s views.

Findings

I pay exceptionally close attention to key arguments and texts, several of which have been overlooked in the past.

Implications

Writers for whom charisma is personal magnetism tend to assume that charismatic rule is natural and that the full realization of democratic norms is unlikely. Authority, in this view, emanates from rulers unbound by popular constraint. I argue that, in fact, authority draws both its mandate and its energy from the public, and that rulers depend on the loyalty of their subjects, which is never assured. So charismatic claimants are dependent on popular choice, not vice versa.

Originality

I advocate a “culturalist” interpretation of Weber, which runs counter to the dominant “personalist” account. Conventional interpreters, under the sway of theology or mass psychology, misread Weber as a romantic, for whom charisma is primal and undemocratic rule is destiny. This essay offers a counter-reading.

Details

Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-219-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 December 2021

Christian Schnieder

This paper provides an overview of the empirical findings on how relative performance information (RPI) affects employee behavior. Additionally, the review identifies future…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides an overview of the empirical findings on how relative performance information (RPI) affects employee behavior. Additionally, the review identifies future research opportunities based on a systematic analysis of the literature that incorporates findings across several disciplines and provides replicable, extensive coverage.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses a research gap via synthesis, drawing on the empirical literature identified and analyzed systematically. A conceptual framework is developed to integrate the studies.

Findings

The effect of RPI on performance through enhanced effort is positive; moreover, publicity and performance-dependent compensation strengthen the effect. However, RPI has also been found to increase sabotage among employees, and it can lead to less honest reporting. Future research could examine critical mediators and moderators of the RPI-performance relationship and thus complement the findings. Additionally, the effects of group-based RPI remain underrepresented. Future work could help to assess in greater detail how RPI interacts with culture and norms and whether RPI is due to personal expectations. There is also room for further research regarding the effects of RPI on cooperation, its consequences for learning, how it affects budgeting decisions and its implications for risk taking.

Originality/value

This paper presents the first literature review in the field of RPI. It provides synthesized knowledge about whether RPI is beneficial or detrimental to organizational performance.

Details

Journal of Accounting Literature, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-4607

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Transport Survey Quality and Innovation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-08-044096-5

Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Christian Scholz and Lisa-Dorothee Grotefend

Generation Z in Germany – born after 1995 – follows in many ways similar trends to be seen in other countries. Contrary to Generation Y, it is less career-focussed, less keen on…

Abstract

Generation Z in Germany – born after 1995 – follows in many ways similar trends to be seen in other countries. Contrary to Generation Y, it is less career-focussed, less keen on financial rewards and less willing to work flexible in a competitive world with total work–life blending. They look for structure, security and feeling good. What is different: Germany is one of the few countries in the world in which Generation Z in many cases can live up to their dreams. Germany has a prospering economy, a stable society and still a good educational system. Most important, for young people, it has an unemployment rate of virtually zero per cent. Therefore, companies definitely must engage in the war for talents and provide Generation Z with a fitting employer value proposition: Generation Z looks for meaningful and exciting work but seeks also meaning and excitement in private lives. In particular, they demand a clear separation of their private lives from their job. All this stands in contrast to the ambitions of the industrial sector in Germany promoting a more Generation Y-type environment with flexibility, agility and work–life blending. This conflict is not dealt with in an open way, since politics and media stand on the side of the large companies. Still, the power of Generation Z is not to be underestimated. Therefore, the chapter leaves it for the future to find out whether the Generation Z or other forces will win.

Details

Generations Z in Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-491-1

Keywords

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