The Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling cases

3rd place - Virgin Atlantic Airways
The case
Case: Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in 1988 Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in 1988
Authors: Sumantra Ghoshal, Ronald Berger Lefèbure, Johnny Jorgensen and David Staniforth
Institution: INSEAD
Ref: 389-025-1
Date published: 1989
How did SAS transform itself from being a loss-making, demoralised organisation competing at the periphery of the airline industry into a highly profitable and important player in a rapidly changing global industry? This case describes the actions taken by the company to achieve such a remarkable turnaround, including the changes it made to its strategy, organisation, management processes, and corporate culture. However, challenges remained: it still had to find a way of remaining a viable player in an increasingly deregulated and concentrated industry where most major players were much larger and had greater resources than SAS. The solution was not obvious. A Spanish translation of this case is available.
The authors

Sumantra Ghoshal died in March 2004. At the time of his death he was Professor of Strategy and International Management at the London Business School. Before that, he was a Full Professor at INSEAD and Visiting Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Ronald Berger Lefèbure, Johnny Jorgensen and David Staniforth worked with Sumantra as INSEAD MBA candidates.


Back to the top 40 cases

Share this page:

Celebrating our first 40 years


We’re celebrating our 40th year as the only global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the case method and sharing our world-leading expertise in case teaching, writing and learning.

We’d love hear from you as we roll out our programme of events to mark this special anniversary year. Share your experiences of case teaching or writing, or tell us about your first impressions if you’re new to the case method.

You can also join our growing international community on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or enjoy the benefits of becoming one of our valued members.

Here’s to the next 40 years!