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Top 40 Bestselling Case Authors 2019/20

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No. 2 Bestselling Case Author 2019/20
Robert Simons Robert Simons
Baker Foundation Professor
Harvard Business School


Shield for 2nd - 2019/20

Shield for 4th - 2018/19 Shield for 4th - 2017/18 Shield for 11th - 2016/17 Shield for 14th - 2015/16

Bob's top bestselling cases

Cases Citibank: Performance Evaluation
Citibank has introduced a new, comprehensive performance-scorecard system. But how can an outstanding branch manager who has scored poorly on an important customer satisfaction measure be evaluated? This case provides a scoring sheet to be completed by students and an explanation of the ramifications of the decision for the business's strategy.

Compagnie du Froid, SA
An ice cream company owner must evaluate the performance of three regional businesses. To do the analysis, students must flex the budget by seasonal temperature; calculate revenue, volume, price, and efficiency variances; analyse the effects of transfer prices; and calculate return-on-investment. Strategic boundaries and manager compensation must also be considered.

Vyaderm Pharmaceuticals: The EVA Decision
In 2016, the new CEO of Vyaderm Pharmaceuticals introduces an Economic Value Added (EVA) program to focus the company on long-term shareholder value. The EVA program consists of three elements: EVA centers (business units), EVA drivers (operational practices that improve EVA results), and an EVA-based incentive program for bonus-eligible managers. The decision point focuses on the competitive situation in a business unit where the sudden exit of a competitor produces an unexpected one-time windfall in earnings. Vyaderm's top managers struggle with the question of whether to adjust the EVA results to prevent demoralizing managers in future years when EVA results are likely to decline.

Meet Robert

BiographyRobert Simons is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School. For over 35 years, Simons has taught accounting, management control, and strategy execution courses in both the Harvard MBA and Executive Education Programs. For 2020/21, he is teaching two MBA courses: Executing Strategy and Changing the World—a new course that looks at the life choices made by influential leaders.

Simons recently published a 15-module series for classroom teaching on Strategy Execution available through Harvard Business School Publishing. Simons has also developed a new, online app called the Job Design Optimization Tool (JDOT) which is available free-of-charge from Harvard Business School Publishing. This tool can be used to design, or test the design, of any job in any organization.

Simons’ books include Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution (2010) and Levers of Organization Design: How Managers Use Accountability Systems for Greater Performance and Commitment (2005). In addition, he has written Levers of Control (1995) that describes how effective top managers balance innovation and control. This book won the Notable Contribution to Management Accounting Literature award.

In addition to his books, Simons' ongoing research into the relationship between business strategy, organization design, and management control systems has been published in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Capitalism and Society, Sloan Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Journal of Accounting Literature.

His most recent academic paper, co-authored with Antonio Dávila, is “How Top Managers Use the Entrepreneurial Gap to Drive Strategic Change,” European Accounting Review, 2020.

Simons has served as a consultant to many companies on topics related to strategy execution, organization design, performance measurement, and strategic control. He has testified as an expert witness in U.S. Federal Court and before State Public Utility Commissions.

Key quote

“I am very pleased to learn that my cases are being widely taught. In my experience, case method instruction is unparalleled in its ability to engage students and teach important concepts that are relevant to practicing managers.”

~ Robert Simons


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