The Case Centre’s bestselling authors 2015/2016

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Bestselling author 2015/16

David A. GarvinDavid A. Garvin
C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

The cases

Cases Paul Levy: Taking Charge of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (A)
On 7 January 2002, Paul Levy became president and CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston. Despite a national reputation for high quality teaching, research, and medical care, the BIDMC, with 1,200 physicians and annual revenues of $788 million, was on the verge of being sold to a for-profit chain.

Paul Levy: Taking Charge of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (B)
In 2010, for the first time in 23 years, PepsiCo did not invest in Super Bowl advertising for its iconic brand. Instead, the company diverted $20 million to the Pepsi Refresh Project: consumers were invited to submit ideas for health, environmental, social, educational, and cultural causes. Was it the right decision?

Harvey Golub: Recharging American Express
Harvey Golub, CEO American Express, initiated and led a large-scale change process. The case describes the organisation he inherited, two successive waves of reengineering, his 'principles-driven' approach to decision making, and his goal of converting American Express from a diversified financial supermarket to one unified operating company.

Meet David

BiographyDavid A. Garvin was the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He joined the Business School faculty in 1979 and taught courses in leadership, general management, and operations in the MBA and Advanced Management programmes. He also taught in executive education programmes and consulted for over 50 organisations around the globe, including Gillette, L. L. Bean, 3M, Mitsubishi, Morgan Stanley, Mueller, and Novartis.

Professor Garvin's research interests lay in the areas of general management and strategic change. He was especially interested in business and management processes, organisational learning, and the design and leadership of large, complex organisations. He was also deeply interested in case method teaching. He was the author or co-author of ten books and a three-time winner of the McKinsey Award, given annually for the best article in Harvard Business Review. He has been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesLos Angeles TimesEconomistBusiness WeekFortune, and Fast Company.

David sadly passed away on 30 April 2017. Read our obituary.

Key quote

I can sum up the secret of my own case writing success in a single word: curiosity. I'm fascinated by the workings of organisations and the people who manage and lead them and tend to ask lots and lots of questions. It took me several years to harness that curiosity and attach it to a disciplined case development process, which I learned through a combination of apprenticeship and trial and error.

For me, the three main factors that are essential to writing a successful case are a core concept, framework, or theory that one can build the case around; a decision or question that lacks an easy, obvious right answer; and a compelling context, business, or set of characters that will draw students in.”

~ David A. Garvin


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