The Case Centre’s bestselling authors 2015/2016

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Bestselling author 2015/16

Robert KaplanRobert S. Kaplan
Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus
Harvard Business School

The cases

Cases Wilkerson Company
The president of Wilkerson, faced with declining profits, is struggling to understand why the company is facing severe price competition on one product line while able to raise prices without competitive response on another product line. The controller proposes that the company develop an activity-based cost model to better understand what’s happening.

When Borealis, a European producer of plastics, used a traditional, time-consuming budgeting process, the budget was quickly out of date in a competitive environment characterised by continually changing input and output prices and dynamic market conditions. This case describes the process that led Borealis to replace its budgets with four targeted management tools.

Kanthal (A)
This multinational company needs an improved cost system to determine the profitability of individual customer orders. Its aim is to increase profits without taking on more support staff. The goal is to direct sales resources to the most profitable customers: those who buy standard products in large predictable quantities with minimal demands on technical resources.

Meet Robert

BiographyRobert S. Kaplan is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. Robert was co-developer of both activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard and has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 150 papers including 23 in Harvard Business Review. He was elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the Lifetime Contribution Award for Distinguished Contributions to Advancing the Management Accounting Profession from the Institute of Management Accountants in 2008, and the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) in 2006. 

He received the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1988 from the AAA, the 1994 CIMA Award from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) for ‘Outstanding Contributions to the Accountancy Profession’, and the 2001 Distinguished Service Award from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) for contributions to the practice and academic community.
Key quote

Cases are a great opportunity to learn about practice innovations. Most of my field-based cases are about organisations that have implemented management tools I helped to introduce, such as balanced scorecard and activity-based costing. In this way, students learn cutting-edge ideas and also how these new concepts get adopted and used by organisations.

"For me, case writing has generated enormous synergies between my teaching and my research. I have learned how my research ideas get put into action, especially in different sectors, such as nonprofits, healthcare, and governments. I am much better at both research and teaching because of the cases I have written.”

~ Robert S. Kaplan


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