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International Business Institute

Cases Involving the 39 Countries

Featured Cases...

Joe Fresh: Ethical Sourcing 9B16M023
After more than 1,100 people lost their lives in the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh, executives of Joe Fresh, a Canadian fashion and lifestyle brand, had to respond. Along with numerous other Western retailers, Joe Fresh had sourced much of its merchandise from the Rana Plaza factory. The disaster evoked an emotional public reaction, ranging from sympathy to outrage. The clothing industry had become a critical part of Bangladesh’s economy, and this was not an isolated incident. How would the Rana Plaza incident affect the public perception of Joe Fresh, and what could the company do to improve that perception? More fundamentally, how could Joe Fresh balance its competitive position, obligations to shareholders, and customer demands with ethical sourcing?

Walton: Building a Global Brand Through Internationalization 9B16A001
By 2014, the Walton Group, an electrical goods manufacturer based in Bangladesh, sold its products in over 20 different countries. A decision to utilize the advantages of low labour costs in the company’s home country was made in the early 2000s, which led to an increase in value and permitted rapid international expansion. To achieve Walton’s mission of “Walton at every home,” the company established various specialized support units both inside and outside of Bangladesh. Government tax incentives in Bangladesh had boosted Walton’s cost competitiveness, but how else could Walton compete with other international brands to achieve is goals and become a household name worldwide?

LifeNet International's Transformation of African Healthcare via Social Franchising 9B14M131
LifeNet International was a social conversion franchise concept aiming to provide basic, quality and sustainable healthcare to poor and underserved populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The founder and president had relied on the assistance of others to help bring about his idea of affordable healthcare. In 2012, the executive director for LifeNet International’s operations in Burundi, began focussing on developing the company in Burundi. She was excited to see LifeNet International’s presence expanding into Uganda. Her vision for LifeNet International, however, was much bigger. She envisioned LifeNet International as a sustainable organization that could provide quality healthcare and medicine to millions of people around the world.

If it planned to expand internationally and bring healthcare to more of the world’s population, LifeNet International needed a solution to tie its services together to further scale, replicate and measure its social impact. How could LifeNet International bring its social conversion franchising model to other African nations and internationally? Would LifeNet International’s model work logistically, financially and culturally? What adaptations would LifeNet need to make and what legal challenges would it face in the process of expansion? Furthermore, what structures would LifeNet need to put in place to manage the complexity of its growing network of partner clinics and operations?

Ushahidi 9B14E010
As the co-founder of a software platform called Ushahidi, Ory Orykolloh watches the unfolding catastrophic earthquake crisis in Haiti and must decide how her company’s crisis-mapping software might assist international authorities as they move into Haiti to provide help and relief. Ushahidi was developed as an open-sourced mash-up platform combining Google Maps with publicly reported (text-based) incidents of election violence during the Kenya 2007 elections, and thus, the system effectively managed to bypass government censorship. Expansion into other uses during both political crises and a variety of national/international events provided opportunities for growth. Now, with Haiti, Ushahidi’s management team must consider how its software could be used to provide assistance during a catastrophe like an earthquake.

Tata Chemicals Magadi: Confronting Poverty in Rural Africa 9B15M008
In the summer of 2013, the managing director of Tata Chemicals Magadi, Africa’s largest soda ash manufacturer and one of the oldest and largest export earners in Kenya, was wondering how he was going to respond to a growing number of challenges. As a producer of a commodity product, the company was vulnerable to escalating energy costs, oversupply and economic cycles. Global growth had been sluggish since the 2008 economic recession and competition was intense, especially since the emergence of Chinese producers. Magadi Township, where the company’s production facility was located, was one of the poorest in the country, subject to droughts and without many of the basic public services typically provided by government such as roads, health care, electricity, water and education. To address these needs, the company migrated from a top-down, paternal, ad hoc and resource-intensive approach to a bottom-up, collaborative, holistic and resource-sharing style that focused on community capacity building and self-governance. However, the issue now is how to best balance the strong need to reduce costs while remaining committed to the sustainability of the surrounding community.

A Public Relations Campaign for Rwanda 9B14A035
On February 5, 2012, the founder of McDonald Kinley Emerson, a consultancy in Toronto, Canada, was asked to give a talk about country branding. She decided to focus on the efforts of Racepoint, a U.S. marketing services agency, to reshape the image of Rwanda. As it attempted to shift perceptions of the country from war-torn and chaotic, Racepoint’s campaign attracted controversy amid allegations that wrongdoings were being glossed over in favour of a tourist- and business-friendly image. In August 2011, the publication of documents outlining the contractual agreement between Racepoint and the current Rwandan government sparked scrutiny of the government’s perceived remaking of the country’s image. Can a country overcome its reputation for genocide and violence? Should countries actively use public relations tactics to change or reinforce their reputations in the same way that corporations do?

Nedbank: Transformational Leadership in Sustainable Turnaround 9B14C027
In 2013, the chief executive officer of South Africa’s fourth largest bank, the Nedbank Group Limited, is considering the past and future of his organization. The company is in the process of transformation from a low point in 2003 of poor staff morale and falling share prices, with the threat of losing its licence because of poor capital liquidity, to the best bank in Africa, winning praise for its efforts in environmental sustainability and promoting the post-Apartheid government’s broad-based black economic empowerment policy. Through acquisitions and joint ventures, the company is expanding into neighbouring countries with the result that, after a period of retrenchment, the number of branches and staff has grown. Clearly, his and his predecessor’s clear vision, measurement and focus on culture have enabled the turnaround and subsequent organizational transformation. Yet, in the midst of the global financial crisis, the company is facing increasing competition not only from other banks throughout Africa but from telecommunications companies and retailers that operate financial services. The question now is: Can these transformation efforts be sustained?

Beer for All: SABMiller in Mozambique 9B14M026
SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer, has developed a business model in Mozambique that represents a radical departure from the firm’s traditional approach to beer production. Despite this multinational’s well-developed global supply chains and heavily centralized processes, it has disrupted both established processes and products and has, instead, innovated to produce a cassava-based beer in an effort to serve the low-income consumers who comprise the bulk of the African economic pyramid. In a marked departure from corporate best practices, the manufacturing process begins outside of the brewery and in the vicinity of the scattered and rural cassava farming plots.

EA Financial Services 9B14M042
EA Financial Services is a microfinance institution in Koforidua, Ghana. In its seven months of operation, it has done well to establish a client base, but it now lacks sufficient capital to meet the growing demand for new loans. Although having a growing client base is a positive sign, the lack of capital is a significant burden — the company has had to begin turning down loan requests. The owner knows that potential clients will likely deal with one of his many competitors if he cannot provide financial services for them. He wonders if he should first explore obtaining additional operational capital or concentrate on improving current operations. Several alternatives to addressing these issues have presented themselves. What is his best course of action?

Ethiopian Airlines: Bringing Africa Together 9B14M005
Ethiopian Airlines plans to expand its African market base to become a leading airline in the continent. As part of the airline’s multi-hub strategy, the vice-president of alliances and corporate strategy and his team must identify a suitable hub location and decide on the appropriate mode and level of ownership. Success in the first hub is essential as it will both validate the viability of the multi-hub strategy and set the tone for the establishment of subsequent hubs throughout the continent. The vice-president and his team need to resolve three issues: location of the first hub, entry mode and ownership level.

 

Ivey Publishing Cases Involving the 39 Countries

The poorest countries in the world have received little attention by business school case writers anywhere. For example, even among Ivey Publishing's current collection of over 5000 cases (the second largest business collection in the world), any of the 39 countries are referenced only 84 times and in a mere 63 cases since some of the cases deal with multiple countries and are, therefore, counted more than once.

Country

Number of Relevant Cases

Afghanistan

2

Bangladesh

8

Benin

1

Burkina Faso

1

Burundi

1

Cambodia

0

Central Africa

0

Chad

0

Comoros

0

Congo

0

Cote D'Ivoire

0

Eritrea

0

Ethiopia

1

Gambia

0

Ghana

8

Guinea

0

Guinea-Bissau

1

Haiti

5

Kenya

23

Lesotho

0

Liberia

0

Madagascar

0

Malawi

1

Mali

1

Mozambique

1

Myanmar

1

Nepal

2

Niger

1

Rwanda

4

Sao Tome and Principe

1

Senegal

1

Sierra Leone

0

Somalia

1

Tajikistan

0

Tanzania

12

Togo

0

Uganda

4

Zambia

3

Zimbabwe

0

As of September 16, 2016

9B14M057 – 13 pages
Military Arsenal Systems: Preparing to Lead a Team (A)
Lyn Purdy, Ken Mark

In March 2010, a newly promoted engineering area manager at Military Arsenal Systems, a Vancouver-based defence contractor, has just become team leader for a key program at the firm. His biggest challenge is how to lead his team, given that he is dealing with a range of personalities and the fact that he was a peer before he became their leader. How can he prove himself to be an effective leader not only to his team but to senior management? Can he rally the team quickly enough to meet the stringent deadlines for supplying the sophisticated armoured vehicles contracted by the U.S. Army for its mission in Afghanistan? See supplement 9B14M058.

9B12C009 – 18 pages
Defense Research and Development Canada – Toronto (A): The Organizational Alignment Program
Gerard Seijts, Helen Wojcinski

The world had changed as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Canada was engaged in the Afghanistan War, and the first casualties were being felt. It was November 28, 2005, as Rene LaRose, the director general of Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Toronto, sat in his office preparing for an all-staff briefing the following day. He knew that for his research institute to remain relevant and be a major contributor to the emerging needs of the Canadian Forces and national security in this rapidly changing landscape, a major transformation of his centre was required. The Canadian Forces was undergoing its own metamorphosis under its new Chief of Defense Staff, General Rick Hillier, and DRDC Toronto needed to be in synch with this development. LaRose had spent several years trying to convey the message that profound changes at DRDC Toronto were needed — changes that were as much cultural as they were structural. The sense of urgency was now acute with Canada at war, and DRDC Toronto was poised to embark on a major organizational alignment program.