Sofía López - Servicios Ambientales, S.L. GE1-146-I
Sofia Lopez is a Spanish professional who founded “Servicios Ambientales” - an environmental services agency – twice. First in 2012, after her previous employer went bankrupt because of bad management and she lost her job. Sofia convinced four former colleagues to start their own company and brought a former client as a financial partner on board. Using her positive can-do attitude and convincing communication, she defended the attempt of her financial partner to fire her. Instead, she ousted him with the help of her partners. This made it necessary to start her company a second time in 2015. Sofia held on to her clear vision to deliver quality work. She addressed late payments with partial invoicing to manage cash flow. In late 2019, Sofia was still heading “Servicios Ambientales” which now had 20 employees and offered its services across Spain and other EU countries.
What obstacles did she need to overcome and how did she do so? What skills and techniques did she develop to “bounce back” twice?Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour | Entrepreneurship | Human Resources
Jane joins the club: Diversity & corporate gove … CO1-280-I
How to make an effective contribution to a closely-knit board run by a longtime and rigid chair, and how to do so as the only woman? This is the predicament this fictional case study presents Jane Pruitt, a 54-year-old CFO coming in from another company under shareholder pressure. She is striving to make a much-needed impact on a privately-held formerly family-run metalworking machinery and equipment manufacturer overseen by five male board members (and financially interconnected friends) all about 70 years of age.
Jane begins to suspect that the intellectual, generational and gender diversity she was hired to provide was brought on board only for public show.
The case raises important questions about the value of diversity in a team environment and will engage any student who has been an outsider on an insular, club-like team.
This case presents several challenges that are relevant for organizations today. First, it explores a newcomer’s perspective on being an outsider in an insider-dominated setting. Second, the case presents a number of common board/team practices that undercut effectiveness. Finally, it gives students the opportunity to think and talk about board diversity, its merits and challenges, and possible paths forward to success.
Within that setting, several instructional objectives can be met:
Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour | Human Resources | Innovation
- Diversity: The experience of the outsider, and the deep frustrations of not fitting in.
- Board Process: Board effectiveness requires both the right board composition and the right board process.
- Leadership: The next leader is often already at the table but may not match the stereotype of the old one.
Preparing myself to deal with probable conflicts in … CO1-279-I
This case is about a recent graduate who has to make a decision about whether or not he wants to work with his father running a family business. After studying engineering, he got a job at an oil and gas company and worked his way up the ladder. But when the oil crisis hit, he was laid off and had to look for work in an industry that was no longer hiring. He finally found a new job but he was unhappy and decided to do an MBA at IE. The case first gives background information on the father and explains how he worked really hard to make his company successful. It emphasizes that the father and son have very different professional backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. It then goes into the father’s toxic behaviors by providing examples from the student’s past experiences with him. Then, it provides cases where details are given about different situations where the student and father got into disagreements and how the disagreements were handled. Each case shows a different scenario: the father exercising poor judgment and a lack of understanding while the student is composed and level-headed; the student acting poorly and the father keeping composed and level-headed; and the father and son working well together. Each case provides an analysis and things that they could have done better. After the case examples, the student explains coping methods he uses with his father and ponders how things might turn out if they work together. The student concludes by stating, “If I do join the family business, my strategy is to adjust my work style to his very heavily in the short term. I will push for a “meet in the middle” kind of style. I will periodically asses our progress and our behavior as the partnership matures. If I see that all of the modifications are coming from me, I will seek an exit.”Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour
In Search of Purpose: Employee Engagement through Co … CO1-277-I
The case centers on Southlake Financial, a stylized company based on financial services in Canada. The case opens with a call to action from the company CEO, pledging the business will move toward a greater organization-wide focus on purpose (“purpose” meaning embedding more social and environmental intentionality in all aspects of the business). Traditionally, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resources were managed separately at the company; however, the CEO’s announcement raises the question of whether greater integration of these functions will be needed. Specifically, the case examines how employee engagement can contribute to CSR objectives, while also questioning whether CSR initiatives have a positive and demonstrable benefit on employee engagement.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour
Laura Carpenter CO1-248-I
Laura felt depressed and confused. The idea of entering the competitive world of an associate in Investment Advisory really didn’t appeal to her. She felt she had proven her ability and didn’t want to go through the initial stages of having to make a big impression again. Besides, David was her mentor, wasn’t he? Moreover, from all she had read about women in business, wasn’t the mentor system supposed to be an essential ingredient in helping women move to the top? Was she looking a gift horse in the mouth and just being a spoiled brat? After all, without David’s guidance and support, she might be still typing somewhere.
This case discusses Laura Carpenter's situation, which involves her six years of experience in an investment company and a recently acquired MBA degree. Her current role has setbacks and advantages, but when she is offered a new role in another department of the company, with a deadline for her decision, she needs to make up her mind.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour
Professional Toxicity: A Case Study CO1-275-I
This case study explores the personal and professional effects of working for a toxic boss and how to approach such a situation. The case is told in first-person, which helps readers fully understand the frustrations that come along with having to work under a superior whose attitude, inability to accept his failures and lack of communication and feedback not only negatively affects the work experience, but also put business negotiations in jeopardy.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour
Agustin's decisions CO1-274-I
Finding a balance between professional and personal goals is a challenge that is more and more commonplace. This case follows the story of Agustín, a young professional whose mother is diagnosed with lung cancer amid plans for pursuing an MBA abroad, being a newlywed, helping with his family’s business. In situations such as these, the decision of whether to continue ahead with professional plans becomes quite complex.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour
Pedro Gandara CO1-278-I
Pedro, a young industrial engineer, had just earned his MBA and landed a job at Innovaciones Metalúrgicas S.A., a top engineering consulting firm. His manager Marta, a very intelligent woman and an excellent manager, gave him the tasks of working alone on a difficult set of technical problems they were finding in nickel and tungsten alloys and to attend and contribute to the weekly coordination meetings to the best of his ability. Pedro ended up proposing four potential improvements to Marta in a span of nine months. Marta carefully analyzed each of his proposals. She rejected the first one on the basis of a number of excellent technical arguments. She also rejected the second one because it would be too rigid and time-consuming. Marta thought his third proposal could work but that it had some weaknesses that needed to be dealt with. For his fourth proposal, he decided to focus on something that was technical in nature since that was his expertise. But it wouldn’t work either. Since he had worked so hard on the proposals, he felt very discouraged and disappointed. One the one hand, he acknowledged that Marta was an excellent professional and knew that her decisions were fair. On the other hand, he was very upset because Marta never praised his efforts and focused on the weaknesses in his proposals without any positive feedback. Her managerial style was causing him to lose his enthusiasm and motivation and he was also upset with his colleagues for criticizing him. At the end of the case, Pedro must decide how to handle the situation.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour | Innovation
Compañía Asturiana de Farmacia CAF CO1-271
The case reflects on Pedro's situation, then C-level executive of the international pharmaceutical company CAF, when in 2015 he and the executive team realize the need to rethink their growth model and overall strategy. With 250 employees and 80 million Euros in revenue, the pride they felt for their success to this date couldn't keep them away from the certainty of needing to steer the wheel. They where considering several growth options that ranged from venturing into other medical specialties, to exporting their business model to other countries or even the possibility of using their factory to manufacture products to third parties. With all of this in mind, they also realized the need to grow their executive team, without still knowing how to face these new challenges.Academic Area:Organisational Behaviour