Friday, 5 January 2018


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Questions for 19 case studies are given below. Each case study assignment has 2 questions. Students are required to answer questions for any 10 case studies (20 answers). Students are advised to submit answers for all 10 cases in one go, for results to be adjudged in one instance.

01.  Innovations at HarleyDavidson

a.      Study the evolution of H-D over the decades and comment upon the role of innovation in making the company the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the US until the 1970s.
b.     What do you think were the reasons for H-D losing ground during the late 1970s and the early 1980s? What strategies did the company adopt to revive its position? Explain with respect to steps taken at various functional levels.

Answer: (a) The change has not only enhanced Harley's standing in the highly competitive and lucrative market for big motorcycles, where it had been pummeled for years by waves of aggressive Japanese imports, but it has also extended the brand's reach to previously untapped businesses as far afield from two-wheel behemoths as fashion and food. Having largely reinvented itself, as both a company and a brand, the Milwaukee-based

Answer: (b) The company accomplished all this by spending very little on advertising -- in fact, by running no ads at all last year. This year, it plans to spend a minuscule $1 million on advertising out of a total marketing budget of just $20 million.

Harley's return has almost been too successful for its own good.

Sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 16.2 percent since 1987, with profits up even more, soaring at a comparable rate of 29.2 percent. Last year, the company reported net income of $166 million on sales of $1.53 billion. To get to those numbers, it moved a lot of metal, posting worldwide sales of 118,000 big bikes -- those with engines of 650 cubic centimeters or more -- up from 55,000 in 1989. This year, the company plans to sell 130,000.

But that will not be enough to satisfy demand. The appetite for Harley motorcycles is now so strong that it can take a year or two to get one, even if a customer is willing to pay the thousands of extra dollars that some dealers are tacking onto the usual list price of $15,000 or more.

To catch up, the company has committed $200 million to expand production capacity to 200,000 units by 2003, its centennial year. In the meantime, the inability to meet demand is decidedly a mixed blessing.

On the plus side, Harley enjoys some of the production economies that have made direct computer sellers like Dell and Gateway 2000 such spectacular successes. Every motorcycle that Harley makes has already been sold; in effect, the company is now building to order. That means no steep inventory costs for the big bikes relating to storage, financing and other expenses. (The company is reducing inventory costs for spare parts and accessories in another way: through a sophisticated intranet system that connects its nearly 1,000 dealers worldwide to a central customer data base.

02.  IBM: From Inventor to Innovator

a.     Many established companies made the mistake of ignoring the path breaking innovations that came out of their labs and consequently, lost major opportunities. What is the difference between invention and innovation and what are the implications of inventing without innovating? Answer with reference to IBM.
b.     With reference to IBM, examine the importance of culture in an organization and explain how it supports innovation.

Answer: (a) In its purest sense, invention can be defined as the creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time. Innovation, on the other hand, occurs if someone improves on or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service.

Consider the microprocessor. Someone invented the microprocessor. But by itself, the microprocessor was nothing more than another piece on the circuit board. It’s what was done with that piece — the hundreds of t

Answer: (b) Given the choice to invent or innovate, most entrepreneurs would take the latter. Let’s face it, innovation is just sexier. Perhaps there are a few engineers at MIT who can name the members of “Project Chess.” Virtually everyone on the planet knows who Steve Jobs is.

But innovation alone isn’t enough.

03.  iRobot’s Roomba: Bringing Robots into Homes

a.     Analyze the value proposition offered by iRobot‟s Roomba using the Buyer Utility map, that is, in terms of the six utility levers and the six stages of the buyer experience cycle.
b.     Discuss the efforts of iRobot to bring the Roomba into people‟s homes. What are the issues that a company like iRobot should consider before entering a mass market? Do you think iRobot‟s efforts could be duplicated by others to bring in similarly innovative products?

Answer: (a) The Buyer Utility Map, developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, helps to get managers thinking from a demand-side perspective. It outlines all the levers companies can pull to deliver exceptional utility to buyers as well as the various experiences buyers can have with a product or service. This

Answer: (b) The Buyer Utility Map helps to identify the levers to deliver exceptional utility to buyers.

04.  Menlo Innovations: A New Approach to Workplace & Project Management

a.     Menlo adopted innovative project management practices. Discuss. How do these innovations score over conventional project management practices?
b.     Discuss Sheridan‟s approach to the flexible workplace that drew inspiration from Edison‟s Invention Factory. How did the innovative working environment benefit the company and the employees? Would you like to work in a company with such a work environment? Why or why not?

Answer: (a) Research proves that companies that successfully apply a structured process to innovation project management reduce risk in the business process and increase innovation results over their peers. This is generally measured in one or more of three metrics:

Success rate – the percentage of

Answer: (b)    The rapid expansion in parttime employment in Australia over the past two decades has largely been driven by organisations’ desire to achieve numerical and functional flexibility (the business case for flexibility) rather than a desire to assist employees balance work and family responsibilities (the equal opportunities case for flexibility). Argues that the differences between the business and equal opportunities discourses surrounding flexibility result in significant problems for both employees and organisations –

05.   Maghound: Business Model Innovation in the Magazine Industry

a.     Analyze the broad trends of the magazine industry in the US in the 21st century. Discuss the strengths of the industry that have helped it to sustain even in times of an economic downturn and the various factors that have contributed to the slow growth of the industry.
b.     If you were the CEO of a major rival of Time Inc. in the magazine publishing business, you may want to consider various responses to the Maghound model. Analyze the potential advantages and probable risks involved in:

(i)    making your portfolio of magazines available for circulation through Maghound;
(ii)   staying away from Maghound;
(iii)  starting your own venture that competes head-to-head with Maghound; and
(iv) persuading Time to spin-off Maghound as an independent entity in which various publishing companies can take an equity stake.
Make suitable assumptions, if required, and state them explicitly.

06.  Redbox: Disruptive Innovation in DVD Rentals

a.     Discuss Redbox‟s business model, and its use of technology to improve the customer experience. What are the features that make the service uniquely appealing to customers? What else can the company do to attract prospective customers to its service?
b.     Discuss the impact of innovative retail outlets like Redbox on both the DVD rental industry and the entertainment industry, with special emphasis on the impact on studios.

Answer: (a) Many organizations flounder in their NBO efforts not because they lack analytics capability but because they lack clear objectives. So the first question is, What do you want to achieve? Increased revenues? Increased customer loyalty? A greater share of wallet? New customers?

The UK-based retailer Tesco has focused its

Answer: (b) Creating NBOs is an inexact but constantly improving science. Like any science, it requires experimentation. Some offers will work better than others; companies must measure the performance of each and apply the resulting lessons. As one CVS executive said to us, “Think of every offer as a test.”

07.  Innovation at Cirque du Soleil

a.     Cirque has successfully managed creativity and introduced various innovations in a declining circus entertainment industry. Briefly discuss these innovations and explain how the company followed the „Blue Ocean‟ strategy.
b.     Do you think Cirque is taking the right step by diversifying into the creation of entertainment complexes which house restaurants, hotels, art galleries, spas, and movie theaters based on the Cirque theme? Will this move be in conflict with the „Blue Ocean‟ strategy that it had adopted earlier? Take a stand and justify your answer.

Answer: (a) Despite a long-term decline in the circus industry, Cirque du Soleil profitably increased revenue 22-fold over the last ten years by reinventing the circus. Rather than competing within the confines of the existing industry or trying to steal customers from rivals, Cirque developed uncontested market space that made the competition irrelevant.

Cirque created what the authors call a blue ocean, a previously unknown market space. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In red

Answer: (b) Cirque du Soleil took the world by storm. It created a blue ocean of new market space. Its blue ocean strategic move challenged the conventions of the circus industry. Cirque’s productions have been seen by more than 150 million

08.  Tesla Roadster: The Car of the Future?

a.      What is the relevance of innovating alternative technologies for automobiles in the US, in the next five years? Could electric vehicles be the vehicles that can replace gasoline- powered vehicles? Why or why not?
b.     Comment on the effectiveness of the execution and control processes at Tesla Motors during the crucial phase of new product development. Should the management controls have been tighter during this phase, or would that have been counterproductive to innovation? Explain.

Answer: (a) The gasoline price is at $1.50 per gallon back in 2005 before deadly Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, Louisiana. Since then, the prices continue to skyrocket, and the gas cost nearly $4.00 per gallon today. Due to such high gasoline prices, the Electric Vehicles (EV) market has grown drastically over the past two years. From

Answer: (b) Investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board into accidents involving the company’s Autopilot technology might suggest as much. In an industry that can seem ridiculously old-fashioned and slow-moving, it may be hard to know just how far to push. And Tesla has

09.  Dyson Appliances Ltd. and its Approach to Innovation

a.      Critically analyze the innovation principles and processes followed by DAL. In your opinion, is innovation management at DAL dependent on Dyson, the entrepreneur-cum- leader? Or has it been ingrained in DAL as an organizational capability that could lead to sustainable competitive advantage? Explain.
b.     Comment on Dyson‟s failed attempt to set up the Dyson School of Design Innovation. Elaborate on the steps to be taken by governments/institutions/businesses for cultivating  an ecosystem of innovation in a country.

Answer: (a) The innovation principles and processes adopted by Dyson Appliances Limited (DAL), a market leader in the vacuum cleaner market. Experts felt that product design was a core competency at DAL and the innovative designs of its product had enabled it to command a premium price in a market that was previously known for price

Answer: (b) DAL was founded in Wiltshire, UK, in 1993. It was set up by Dyson and four engineers with whom Dyson had been working in a shed in his backyard since 1988. The first Dyson vacuum cleaner, the DC01, was launched the same year that the company was founded.

The Drive to Innovate

According to Dyson, it was frustration that had led to his inventing an innovative product. He cited several instance

10.  Parquesoft – A Unique Social Entrepreneurship Initiative

a.     Critically examine and comment on the unique features of ParqueSoft‟s business model. Do you think ParqueSoft‟s business model is sustainable and scalable? Why or why not?
b.     What measures must Orlando take to replicate this business model in other developing and underdeveloped countries? Explain.

Answer: (a) The evolution of an unequal society like Colombia has followed a cultural and social change leading to a tension between productive and destructive forces. Given that individual entrepreneurs linked to social and State elite drove society in the past through an exclusive formal industrial sector, a tolerance to illegal

Answer: (b) During 1997, social entrepreneur in software industry and founder of companies like Open systems and Parquesoft Orlando Rincon, visited Ireland and India, two countries transformed into global leaders and with very similar

11.  BIXI: Montréal’s Innovative Public Bike System

a.     Critically analyze the BIXI bike sharing system. Do you believe that this system will be self-sustaining in the long run? Give reasons for your answer.
b.     BIXI has been conceptualized, designed, and implemented by a public sector organization. What are the advantages and constraints faced by public sector/ governmental organizations in fostering innovation? How did Stationnement de Montréal overcome the constraints?

Answer: (a) By the time it happened, it seemed almost inevitable. On January 20, the Bixi bike-sharing company, based in Montréal, announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection, citing debts totaling about $49 million, including a total of nearly $38 million from the city of Montréal.

Bixi, also known as Public Bike System,

Answer: (b) Bixi’s problems obviously run much deeper than a few outstanding payments from clients with fulfillment problems. Despite being owned by the city of Montréal, PBSC has a long history of failing to disclose its financial information in a timely fashion, and it has yet to release its 2012 statements. Montréal Mayor Coderre was blunt in his assessment to the Montréal Gazette, admitting that his city had "embarked on

12.  Fostering Innovation: Wipro Technologies’ Innovation Framework

a.     Critically analyze Wipro‟s initiatives through which the management fostered a culture of creativity and innovation in the company.
b.     Examine Wipro‟s Applied Innovation Framework. Do you think it helped Wipro create innovative solutions to resolve business challenges? Explain. Also discuss the benefits Wipro derived from its innovation strategy.

Answer: (a)
Answer: (b)

13.  Xerox PARC Innovation without Profit?

a.      PARC was set up to invent the technology of the future. Most observers would agree that it succeeded in this endeavor. However, Xerox, which funded the research, was unable to take advantage of the commercial potential of most of these innovations. What were the reasons for Xerox‟s failure to capitalize on its innovations?
b.     In being spun-off as a subsidiary of Xerox, PARC is attempting to break away from a history of missed chances. How will the incorporation of PARC as a Xerox subsidiary allow it to better commercialize its innovations? In your opinion, what are the disadvantages of this move (if any)?

Answer: (a)
Answer: (b)

14.  Sony Corporation Future Tense?

a.      What are the main reasons that made Sony one of the leading companies in the global electronics industry? What are the reasons for the subsequent downfall of the company?
b.     What are the main drawbacks of silos in an organizational context? Examine Sony‟s reorganization plan and the new organization structure. Through this reorganization, do you think Stringer will be able to address the problems caused by the prevailing silo culture?

15.  Project Parivartan: State Bank of India’s Internal Communication Initiative

a.      Critically analyze the Parivartan project. Why, according to you, did SBI initiate this project?
b.     Analyze the change management process involved in SBI‟s Parivartan project. Evaluate the success of the project in terms of effectiveness in achieving its objectives. According to you, what could SBI have done to make its internal communication initiative more effective?

16.  Oticon A/S: Spaghetti Organization and Beyond

a.      “The spaghetti organization conceptualized by Kolind was seen as the reason behind Oticon‟s comeback to the market forefront.” Considering Oticon‟s external and internal environment in the 1980s, do you think the organizational change introduced by Lars Kolind was a step in the right direction? Give reasons for your answer.
b.     “The Oticon employees observed that Kolind was very different from the management team that they were accustomed to.” Make a comparative analysis of the organization structure and management style that existed at Oticon during Kolind‟s tenure and before it. Critically examine the reasons for Oticon‟s gradual withdrawal from Kolind‟s spaghetti organization.

17.  BMW Group Plant Oxford’s ‘The New Oxford Way’ (NOW) Program: From Culture Clash to Performance Culture

a.      Critically analyze the NOW program, with special emphasis on the WINGS project.
b.     The shifting of production out of Longbridge was a dramatic change that resulted in 50,000 workers becoming redundant. However, the subsequent implementation of the NOW program can be viewed as a systematic change. Analyze the change management process adopted during this implementation and the role played by various change agents in this process.

18.  Ratan Tata: Leading the Tata Group into the 21st Century

a.      Describe the characteristics of a leader, in particular reference to Ratan Tata. Discuss the role played by Ratan Tata as a change agent.
b.     Analyze and classify the various change initiatives taken up by Ratan Tata to professionalize the Tata Group. In what way can these initiatives help the Group to face the challenges posed by the dynamic business environment?

19.  CEO as Change Agent

a.      Compare the change processes in Miller Brewing Company and Whirlpool Corporation in terms of the various change agent roles (including the CEO) in the two instances and their respective contributions.
b.     Critically analyze the culture change initiatives taken at Miller Brewing Company and Whirlpool Corporation. Do you think that the companies could have achieved what they did without such changes in culture? Justify your stand.

Dear students get fully solved assignments
Send your semester & Specialization name to our mail id :
call us at : 08263069601

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