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Top 40 Bestselling Case Authors 2019/20

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No. 17 Bestselling Case Author 2019/20
David J Collis

David J Collis
Adjunct Professor
Harvard Business School


David's top bestselling cases

Cases The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King
The Walt Disney Company’s rebirth under Michael Eisner was widely considered to be one of the great turnaround stories of the late 20th century. Analysts gave Eisner much of the credit for Disney’s resurrection. What was the key to his success? And how could Walt Disney continue to thrive into the 21st century?

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, Inc: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?
Soon after Robert Iger took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in late 2005, he turned his attention toward Pixar, the animation studio with which Disney had worked since 1991 and was responsible for producing hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Disney's own animated film business had been in decline and the business relied on revenue from its partnership with Pixar to maintain performance. With the Co-Production Agreement between the two studios coming to a close in 2006, Pixar was looking to negotiate better terms with another distribution partner. Could Disney risk losing them?

Digitalization at Siemens
The case discusses the digitalization strategy of Siemens AG, a German-based company operating in manufacturing and electronics. The increasing impact of digital technologies on all of its business units had prompted the CEO Joe Kaeser and his team to put digitalization at the core of the new corporate strategy, alongside electrification and automation. The challenge was to balance this corporate initiative with the many business units within Siemens, which were used to being independent and had very specific offerings for their clients.

Meet David

BiographyFor the past thirty years, David J. Collis has been a professor at the Harvard Business School, and only the second full-time Adjunct Professor appointed at HBS.

He was the winner of the 50th Anniversary McKinsey Award for the best article in the Harvard Business Review in 2008, and a Harvard Business Review bestselling author. An expert on corporate strategy and global competition, he is the author of International Strategy: Context, Concepts and ChoicesCorporate Strategy (with Cynthia Montgomery); and Corporate Headquarters (with Michael Goold and David Young).

David has written more than 65 cases which have sold nearly two and a half million copies worldwide. His articles now have over 14,000 citations.

Key quote

“The joy of writing field cases is that you learn how important strategic decisions are actually made. And the result may surprise you. During onsite visits and in executive interviews you uncover much that is hidden from the outside and which cannot even be captured in press articles or company presentations – useful though these are today.

“You get a feel for the culture of the place in the little things, like who meets you, how carefully the visit is scheduled, how open executives are to criticise their past choices, where you go to lunch, etc. That, and how management framed the decision process – what factors mattered to them, how they developed their analyses – illuminate the nuances behind what can appear to be a straightforward decision, and lead to a deeper understanding of how the strategy process operates in practice. Hopefully, some of this richness comes across in my cases and provides real insight to students.”

~ David J Collis


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