Organizational Behavior Case Studies

Amanco: Developing the Sustainability Scorecard

Company: Amanco
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-107-038
Year Published: 2008

The case describes the challenges of using the Balanced Scorecard to implement a triple-bottom-line strategy for delivering excellent economic, environmental, and social performance. The owners and senior executive team of Amanco, a producer of plastic pipe and complete water treatment systems, want strong financial returns but are also deeply committed to improving the environment and making a difference in people's lives. Robert Salas, CEO, wants a management system that communicates and motivates Amanco's three high-level goals.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can Amanco develop and implement an effective measuring stick for its sustainability that will lead to effective managerial strategies?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1596&R=107038-PDF-ENG&conversationId=1790366


Business Model Innovation by Better Place--A Green Ecosystem for the Mass Adoptions of Electric Cars

Company: Better Place
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2010

Shai Agassi started Better Place with the ambition of setting up an ecosystem – including a ‘smart grid’ of charging stations and battery swapping facilities – for electric vehicles. This ecosystem was expected to eliminate the barriers to the mass adoption of electric cars for personal transportation. This case discusses the innovative business model of Better Place, which proposed to offer transportation services to consumers through miles per month subscription plans, with the cost of the electric car being subsidized based on the tenure of the plan.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does Better Place make the electric car more relevant and viable?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/better-place.html


Cisco's Vision: A Smart+Connected World

Company: Cisco
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M116
Year Published: 2013

Having been called upon by global leaders to use its technology to address the global crises of climate change and poverty, Cisco opts to pursue sustainability for corporate social responsibility and as a driver of differentiation and competitive advantage. The case discussion explores how the company answered this call to action and how the resulting strategies have proven effective in protecting its competitive advantage in an increasingly hostile business environment. With the introduction of its new and ground-breaking technology, Cisco seeks to drive sustainability and future profits. The question becomes: will it work? The CEO ponders how he could use his company’s core business of information technology (IT) to drive global environmental and economic sustainability. Can he fulfill his dual responsibility of doing the right thing for his shareholders while, at the same time, doing the right thing for the world at large?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can solving global problems can create advantages for companies and become a source of innovation? Is Cisco is actually helping the world address issues such as climate change and poverty reduction or is it just trying to sell product? Will smart cities and ICT technologies deliver on their promise to both shareholders and stakeholders?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60638


Clarke: Transformation for Environmental Sustainability

Company: Clarke
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12C012
Year Published: 2012

Clarke, a pesticide-selling company, has a core business that is environmentally harmful by its very nature. Its journey to sustainability faced unique challenges even when innovation led to new green products, processes, technologies and business models. As such, its leadership had to cope with the overwhelming task of engaging both its employees and customers in the idea that sustainability can be effective and profitable.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does a company overcome the challenges involved in acquiring the necessary buy-in from employees and customers who are skeptical about environmental sustainability as a potential driver of business strategy?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=53788


Deja Shoe (A)

Company: Deja shoe
Publisher: World Resources Institute
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 1996

Deja Shoe’s founder and new management team wanted to develop a business strategy based on pro-environment principles that would enable the firm to out-compete established industry players Nike and Timberland.?

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How does a small start up company create environmental footwear?

Website where case study can be found:
http://pdf.wri.org/bell/case_1-56973-137-3_full_version_a_english.pdf


Ecovative Design LLC: A Biological Materials Startup

Company: Ecovative Design LLC
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M125
Year Published: 2013

Ecovative Designs (Ecovative), a start-up company in upstate New York, uses an innovative process to combine agricultural waste and mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to grow forms for use in a wide variety of applications, especially a protective packaging material. Not only does this new product replace the need for the environmentally harmful alternative, extruded polystyrene, but the production process is less energy intensive. It exemplifies the cradle-to-cradle design indicative of a sustainably embedded product and attractive to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2013, the partners are considering whether to sign a contract with Sealed Air, one of the largest distributors of packaging materials in the world, but the deal would mean relinquishing control over the only profitable segment of their company. They are considering alternative growth strategies to find the one that fits best with their goal: to have the largest impact on the planet while remaining profitable.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can a start-up’s radical sustainability innovation be scaled up (and with who) to meet both the founders’ needs for financial viability and to achieve significant environmental impact?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60902


Fairmount Minerals

Company: Fairmount Minerals
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B11M059
Year Published: 2011

Fairmount Minerals, a producer of industrial sand, is an excellent example of a company that adopted a holistic approach to sustainable development. In 2005, CEO and sustainability champion, Chuck Fowler challenged the mining industry’s undesirable reputation by bringing together both shareholders and stakeholders around the three broad themes of people, planet and prosperity. Innovative practices were then embedded into every step along the value chain, from mine acquisition to end product to land restoration. Doing so did not only bring great benefit to the people and to the planet, but it also brought with it a competitive advantage to the company itself.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can a company maintain its competitive advantage and personal growth as well as continue to meet to stakeholders’ needs while upholding its mission of best standards and collaborative efforts with other companies in the field?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=51418


Ford Motor Company: New Shades of Green Through Soy Foam

Company: Ford Motor Company
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M109
Year Published: 2013

Ford Motor Co. develops and commercializes a green technology that replaces a traditional and scarce resource with an abundant bio-material. The pilot project becomes hugely successful, and, within the company, the idea of expanding the use of bio-material gains considerable momentum, but implementation and customer acceptance prove to be a challenge. Two members from the company’s research and engineering division work together to overcome these obstacles and move the company toward a vision of sustainability that involves more than just fuel economy and cost reduction.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What are the challenges faced by internal change agents of sustainability projects in their efforts to initiate and grow these projects throughout a large organization? How should these change agents manage the nuances of implementation once the advantages and disadvantages of such a “green” innovation have been determined?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60433


GOJO Industries: Aiming for Global Sustainability Leadership

Company: GOJO Industries
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13M108
Year Published: 2013

GOJO Industries, a U.S.-based hand hygiene company, plans to use sustainability as a business strategy in its big hairy audacious goal of reaching one billion people every day by 2020. It uses a six level framework to embed sustainability in every aspect of its business internally and externally. The company has a long history of using sustainability to drive innovation and facilitate expansion into new markets and sees sustainability as a key differentiator from its competitors to achieve its goal. In order to so, the company must also consider the importance of employee engagement in order to further embed sustainability and increase the number of people it reaches with its products.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
For a company pursuing sustainability leadership with a visionary BHAG, how might it engage employees more deeply in the pursuit of such outcomes in ways that are both good for society and the environment and good for customers and the business? What would make it possible for every employee to be even more inspired and authentically engaged in the kind of creativity and innovation that will be needed for the company to achieve its goals?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60429


Honey Care Africa: A Tripartite Model for Sustainable Beekeeping

Company: Honey Care Africa
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B07M060
Year Published: 2009

The director and co-founder of Honey Care Africa (Honey Care) looks back over the six years of operations and describes the original business model and several sequential changes based on feedback from rural communities, partner organizations, and learning by doing through field operations. The case tackles alternative routes for scaling up the model in East Africa. Students are presented with several specific challenges which illustrate the growing tension between Honey Care's original commitment to the farmers and its prospects for international take-off, and are asked to propose alternative model reconfigurations to resolve this tension.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Potential opportunities and challenges in replicating the Honey Care model elsewhere

Website where case study can be found:
http://caseplace.org/d.asp?d=358


La Vaca Independiente: Should a Social Enterprise Adopt a For-Profit Business Model?

Company: La Vaca Independiente
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C033
Year Published: 2013

This case presents a social enterprise considering whether a for-profit model might be an effective way to scale its impact. Mexico City-based La Vaca Independiente (The Independent Cow) was founded to bring art to underprivileged children. The founder observed that many global problems are caused by humanity’s increasing state of isolation, with individuals disconnected from the planet and from each other. La Vaca focused exclusively on a program called Developing Intelligence through Art (DIA). Using artwork as a stimulus for thought and discussion, DIA provided individuals with opportunities to develop meaning in their lives. She believed, based on evidence that companies lose annual revenue due to the effects of isolationism on their employees, that she and her team could pursue a for-profit business model in order to expose La Vaca to markets and opportunities inaccessible to a charitable organization.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
What was La Vaca's value proposition? Was it to expand the original DIA model, which had already proven to be successful, or should it attempt to expand into markets other than education? Would it be better to stay true to its original model at a small scale or to branch out and risk the integrity of the program? What internal changes might they need to make in order to become profitable?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60289


Manila Water Company

Company: Manila Water Co.
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-508-004
Year Published: 2007

In 1997, the Philippines government privatized its water utility in the metropolitan Manila area. The East Zone concession was won by Manila Water Company and the West Zone concession by Maynilad Water Services. Over the next decade, Manila Water turned in an impressive and profitable performance, while Maynilad failed.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
The opportunity to own the West concession

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/search/manila%2520water%2520company?Ntk=HEMainSearch&N=0


Patagonia

Company: Patagonia
Publisher: Harvard
Call Number: 9-711-020
Year Published: 2010

Patagonia produces high-quality environmentally friendly garments that command significant price premiums. Its environmental mission motivates it not only to donate to environmental causes and reduce the impact of its own production, but also to share its practices with other companies. In spring 2010, Patagonia was in the process of implementing a new, radical environmental initiative called "Product Lifecycle Initiative" (PLI). It constituted Patagonia's efforts to take responsibility for the products it made, "from birth to death and then beyond death, back to rebirth."

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How can the company balance profits with a commitment to the environment?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=2453174&R=711020-PDF-ENG&conversationId=106245


Pyramyd Air: Looking through the Scope of Values

Company: Pyramyd Air
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C038
Year Published: 2013

Pyramyd Air, a small and growing online airgun retailer serving the shooting community, wants to broaden its sustainability practices from its current internal initiatives in order to communicate an even stronger value proposition: sustainability isn’t just about recycling and efficiency, it is about a thriving environment leading to more engaged employees and more loyal premium customers. Pyramyd Air recognizes that some sustainability practices are vital to its customers’ long-term enjoyment of a flourishing outdoor sporting industry. 

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
For a company with strong customer relationships but operating in a sector not usually frequented by pro-environment types, can sustainability strengthen the relationship between employees and customers by building on the inherent industry values of the great outdoors and a sense of community? How can the company’s culture and employee perspectives evolve in order to frame sustainability in a new light leading to specific sustainability initiatives that the company could pursue in order to resonate with customers and increase profits?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60558


Reciclare: Rethinking the Future

Company: Reciclare
Publisher: SKE
Call Number: SKE-135
Year Published: 2009

In 2006, Reciclare, an association of scavengers of paper, cardboard and reusable materials founded by formerly homeless people from the city of Guariní, celebrated its 16th anniversary. Despite the experience it had gained over this time, its sustainability still faced countless challenges.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
To take part in the public bidding process or not?

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=1592168&R=SKE135-PDF-ENG&conversationId=105623


Taj Hotels: Building Sustainable Livelihoods

Company: Taj Hotels
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B13C032
Year Published: 2013

This case explores issues faced by the corporate sustainability manager at the corporate headquarters of a large hotel group in a developing nation as she implements her company’s corporate sustainability strategy through supplier partnerships with bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) social organizations. Under the rubric of responsible purchasing, the hotelier’s “Creating Sustainable Livelihoods” initiative engaged cause-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by exploring opportunities where the products or services of such organizations could substitute for similar products or services sourced from for-profit suppliers. 

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
The case illustrates the challenges inherent in a Base-of-the-Pyramid responsible purchasing strategy, including the delicate balance between meeting business objectives while supporting social causes. These challenges revolve around developing and implementing cross-sector partnerships with BoP nonprofit producer organizations in the Indian context. Discussion is likely to center less on differences in partners’ missions, cultures, and long-term objectives, and more on the difficulties present in organizing even when those differences are reconciled, especially through symbiotic long-term objectives.

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=60126


Tennant Company: Can “Chemical-Free” Be a Pathway to Competitive Advantage?

Company: Tennant
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12M020
Year Published: 2012

The case of Tennant Company is one that describes a floor-cleaning company that differentiated itself by introducing chemical-free cleaning equipment. Not only did it strategically evolve as an environmentally responsible sustainable business, it also used that same principle to its competitive advantage. By marketing its products as equally effective in performance, competitive in price and “greener” on the environment, the revamp was a success to all involved parties.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Is a proven ecological innovation without any customer or financial trades-off enough of a business proposition to meet customers’ expectations, investors’ ambitions, and the company’s goals? And if so, where do you draw the line in making superior environmental performance the basis for competitive advantage?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=53837


Sustainability at Tetra Pak: Recycling Post-Consumer Cartons

Company: Tetra Pak
Publisher: Ivey
Call Number: 9B12M069
Year Published: 2012

Tetra Pack India aimed to uphold its image of an environmentally responsible company by meeting its goals for recycling post consumer cartons (PCC). While Tetra Pack’s ‘Renew’, ‘Reduce’, ‘Recycle’, ‘be Responsible’ philosophy succeeded in other regions of the world, the particular geographical, socioeconomic and political climate in India posed various challenges. Tetra Pak India’s team redefined its strategy by forging partnerships and alliances with non-governmental organizations, scrap dealers, rag-pickers, commercial establishments and organizations that champion the cause of the environment.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
With ever-changing mindsets, increasing regulations and growing customer expectations, how can Tetra Pak face the future challenges to ensure that its success from the PCC recycling initiative can be sustained and scaled up?

Website where case study can be found:
https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=55259


The Ambrose Hotel:Eco-labeling Strategy for Sustainable Lodging

Company: The Ambrose Hotel
Publisher: Oikos
Call Number: N/A
Year Published: 2009

The case traces the story of the Ambrose Hotel, a hotel based in California whose owner has invested in green practices and is interested in pursuing an eco-labeling strategy in order to better communicate her environmental achievements. It emphasises the difference between the adoption of environmental management practices and their communication through eco-labels. It highlights the challenges associated with the use of eco-labels as an environmental differentiation strategy when several emerging eco-labels are in competition.

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
How should Ambrose go about convincing customers that they are truly green?

Website where case study can be found:
http://www.oikos-international.org/academic/case-collection/inspection-copies/alphabetical-list/ambrose-hotel.html


Wal-Mart's Sustainability Strategy

Company: WalMart
Publisher: Stanford
Call Number: OIT-71
Year Published: 2007

In October 2005, in an auditorium filled to capacity in Bentonville, Arkansas, Lee Scott, WalMart's president and CEO, made the first speech in the history of WalMart to be broadcast to the company's 1.6 million associates (employees) in all of its 6,000+ stores worldwide and shared with its 60,000+ suppliers. Scott announced that WalMart was launching a sweeping business sustainability strategy to dramatically reduce the company's impact on the global environment and thus become "the most competitive and innovative company in the world." He argued that, "Being a good steward of the environment and being profitable are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same."

What is the dilemma or tough decision?
Decision to make sustainability an important part of walMarts operations

Website where case study can be found:
http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/web/product_detail.seam?E=70273&R=OIT71-PDF-ENG&conversationId=138822