Our website is having a makeover! www.thecasecentre.org will be unavailable from 10h (BST) on Saturday 31 July until 17h on Sunday 1 August while our team makes the new site live.

Free teaching cases from Copenhagen Business School

Copenhagen Business School: Responsible Management Education

Copenhagen Business School’s (CBS) collection of free cases is part of its commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). CBS is a signatory and lead contributor to PRME. All the cases focus on aspects of responsible management, including social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. With responsible management as a common theme, the cases address a number of interdisciplinary subjects, making them suitable for a wide range of courses in business schools and universities. New free cases will be added regularly. Comments are welcomed from anyone who has used cases from this collection in the classroom. Please email Lavinia-Cristina with your thoughts and feedback.

More information:

Lavinia-Cristina Iosif-Lazar
Project Coordinator
e prme@cbs.dk
w http://www.cbs.dk/prme

Case front page
British Petroleum: From Texas City to the Gulf of Mexico and Beyond
Torben Juul Andersen and Christine Bang Andersen
Ref 714-017-1
This case deals with the somewhat tumultuous executive leadership changes at British Petroleum (BP) over the past decade from 2005 to 2014 in the wake of two dramatic incidents: the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 and the explosion of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon in the Mexican Gulf in 2010. It explores the intricacies of corporate management, offering a realistic overview of the complexities that often surround leadership approaches and executive decisions.

Case front page

Cooperation with local partners has, for more than 60 years, been Arla Foods’ strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAM). However, in 2013 Arla Foods decided to open an office in Mexico City to develop a stronger presence in the region. In addition, a shared ownership in Brazil with Vigor Alimentos SA, was announced in September of 2014. What strategy should now be implemented in LATAM? And can low-income consumers be targeted with premium products?
Case front page
Cross-Cultural Training of Danish Police Officers
Sara Louise Muhr and Julie Lorenzen
Ref 716-0059-1
The case centres on a one-week course in 2015 for a selected group of Danish officers going to Greenland the following summer. The main focus is on how a group of leaders from the Greenlandic police, with Danish and Greenlandic backgrounds, present the upcoming experience and work to the Danish officers, and the officers' immediate reactions. The case targets mainly master students who can conduct advanced power analyses of cross-cultural management, diversity-management or responsible management.
Case front page
Cult Girl: Responsible Management and Self-Management of Subjectivity at Work
Rasmus Johnsen and Navid Baharlooie Ref
Ref 713-070-1
To promote and sell its products, the beverage company Cult hires an army of ‘Cult Girls’ to represent it at festivals, nightclubs, and local venues. They are famous for their sexy outfits and flirty behaviour. Many employees find the job exciting; they see it as a way to get paid for going out at night to party, and being the centre of attention makes them feel appreciated. Others face difficulties, having to deal with drunken men and jealous girlfriends. This case asks: how far can you go when identifying with and selling a product, and what are the consequences?
Case front page
The Danish Police Reform: Change & Transformation Challenges
Rex Degnegaard and Sofie Mark
Ref 713-068-1
An inside-out perspective on social responsibility is analysed in this case. In 2007, the Danish police began an extensive reform programme that affected all parts of the organisation. The outcome was heavily criticised and additional funding was required to get the police force ‘back on track’. The case highlights how external factors must be acknowledged in strategic change management, particularly in highly institutional organisations such as the police.
Case front page
Getting up in the Air: Establishing a Carbon Offsetting Program at a Hybrid Airline
Kristian Hvass, Bersant Hobdari, and Thomas Balle
Ref 313-275-1
This fictional case enables students to apply their quantitative analytical skills by inviting them to act as external consultants to the airline, Air Nordic, which is considering investing in winglet technology or a carbon offsetting programme. Using the industry data provided, the class can analyse the merits of carbon offsetting, winglets, or maintaining the status quo.
Case front page
H N Andersen – A Global Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Increasingly Globalised World in the Late 19th Century
Martin Jes Iversen and Ellen Victoria Berg
Ref 815-015-1
The case describes the development of a historical entrepreneur who in 1897 founded East Asiatic Company (EAC). EAC was to become the largest and most important Danish corporation in the first half of the 20th century. The case aims to bridge economic history and entrepreneurship and can be used to introduce the role of entrepreneurship in economic history. The case also explores a relationship which has been important in the theories of entrepreneurship since Joseph Schumpeter’s early works: the relationship between the banker and entrepreneur.
Case front page
Karma United: How Danish Sports Brand hummel Wants to ‘Change the World Through Sport’
Kamolidden Saliev and Kai Hockerts
Ref 713-069-1
Targeted at undergraduates, this case is an ideal introduction to responsible management. It focuses on the Danish sportswear brand, hummel, introducing the reader to Dan Bjerg and his work on the company’s philanthropic activities. At the same time, the case addresses the challenges of supply chain management in a global market and highlights the importance of ensuring ethical standards. The case asks where hummel should concentrate its efforts and students are encouraged to develop specific suggestions in relation to internal management and external communication.
Case front page
Lundbeck’s Pentobarbital Human Rights Dilemma or When Good Intentions Turn lethal: Issues Management Within a CSR Context
Karin Buhmann and Pedini Rasmussen
Ref 715-021-1
Pentobarbital, a product owned by Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, was used in 2010 by US prisons to execute prisoners sentenced to death. The product was licensed for treatment of epilepsy and as an anaesthetic. Its use to induce intentional death was unauthorised and unintended by Lundbeck. The case revolves around this issue and takes students through a series of situations based on Lundbeck’s handling of the issue and the evolution of stakeholder reactions.
Case front page
Making Him Famous: The Kony 2012 Campaign to Catch Joseph Kony
Kasper Worm Petersen and Rasmus Johnsen
Ref 913-021-1
In 2012, the viral campaign ‘KONY 2012’ made media history. The 30-minutes video advertising the capture and prosecution of the infamous Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony became the most popular video on YouTube ever. However, the film crew were accused of oversimplifying the complex conflicts in Central Africa, of drawing on emotions rather than on facts and of manipulating the audience. The campaign was supposed to culminate on 20 April 2012 with supporters taking to the streets to demonstrate and put pressure on the US government to intervene in Uganda, but this was largely a failure. The case is generally suitable for classes with a high level of student involvement and reflectivity, for example in marketing, media or leadership.
Case front page

Makit Ltd: A Price Above Rubies - From Classroom Exercise to Social Business in Kenya
Kai Hockerts; Kaja Jorem; Kristina Walker Pedersen
Ref 816-0106-1
This case describes the development of a social entrepreneurial venture started by three young business school graduates. It follows the start-up process from their first idea identification, via the process of business plan writing, fund raising, to eventual start-up, and the issues faced in the field.

Case front page
Marius the Giraffe
Lisbet Pals Svendsen and Emil Muus Larsen
Ref 915-013-1
In the early months of 2014, the Copenhagen Zoo found itself at the centre of a media storm. The Zoo had not been prepared for the massive reaction from the Danish and international community to the culling of a young giraffe, Marius. Two issues were at the centre of the debate: Firstly, why did the Copenhagen Zoo feel that they had to put down a perfectly healthy young giraffe, and secondly, why did they choose to do a public autopsy allowing young children to watch?
Case front page
Missing Boxes in Central Europe
Günter Prockl and Kirsten Weibrecht Kristensen
Ref 615-037-1
The Chinese New Year causes severe problems for some companies due to missing containers throughout the chain but in particular in the European hinterland. Shipping companies, for instance, order fewer containers for new ships than in the past to save cost. For the forwarders, the shortage of containers seems worse every spring. They react by stockpiling containers, or operating their own containers. Then customers are confronted with delays and high container prices.
Case front page
Origo Resurs
Ester Barinaga and Linus Älverbrandt
Ref 814-025-1
The tensions faced by a social venture due to its rapid growth are explored in this case. The organisation uses a comprehensive rehabilitation process to get the sick and long-term unemployed into paid employment. The reader is presented with the challenges faced by Linus Älverbrandt, one of the case authors and the initiative’s founder and executive manager. He has to decide how to handle ideological differences between the two founding partners as well as the organisation outgrowing its functional capacity.
Case front page
Securing the Workforce: Diversity Management in X-TECH, A Japanese Organisation, Case A
Lisbeth Clausen and Mikkel Kruuse
Ref 415-174-1
Japan is world renowned for its quality production and efficient management. However, economic stagnation – and a bottom score in the OECD statistics on women participation in the workforce – has forced the Japanese government to focus on the economic benefits of diversity in Corporate Japan. This case presents the story of the general manager Mieko Suzuki, who was head-hunted to create a more inclusive work environment in the Japanese subsidiary.
Case front page
Securing the Workforce, Case B
Lisbeth Clausen and Mikkel Kruuse
Ref 415-175-1
Mieko accepted the offer to join a new initiative by the executive management group to foster diversity. But was it even possible to change an organisation known for its focus on harmony and group processes – in a work environment where traditional norms of Japanese society persist? The case is targeted at bachelor, master and MBA students in management communication and politics.
Case front page
Sexual Harassment in the University Context
Bontu Lucie Guschke, Kaitlin Busse, Farhiya Khalid and Sara Louise Muhr
Ref 420-0047-1
The case deal with the issue of sexual harassment. It is set at a Danish university in 2018. In the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2017, there had been critique concerning the university's reaction to sexual harassment. The university's diversity officer considers how to deal with the situation better.
Case front page
Sustainable Industrial Production: A Case of a Recycling Center Corp
Irene Christensen
Ref 315-051-1
The purpose of this case is to create awareness of a somewhat unfamiliar industry that accounts for over €3 billion in Scandinavia and £5.6 billion in the UK: the metals recycling industry. The case features a Scandinavian company and includes several perspectives from managerial disciplines such as general management and operations management in particular. This commodity processing and trading company is facing several challenges as it seeks to turn its losses into profit in a highly volatile commodity trading market.
Case front page

The UN Global Compact: Advancing or Impeding Corporate Sustainability?
Andreas Rasche
Ref 319-0002-1
The case discusses the birth and maturing of the world's largest voluntary initiative for corporate responsibility and sustainability: The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In just a few years from its creation in 2000, the UNGC made impressive progress. By 2018, more than 9,800 companies from 163 countries had signed up to the initiative. The UNGC managed to establish local networks (ie clusters of participants) in nearly 70 countries, and many praised the initiative for transforming the corporate sustainability movement. However, there were also many problems. Until 2018, the UNGC had to expel more than 8,000 firms, because they didn't meet the minimum participation requirement: to submit an annual report that outlines implementation progress. This reinforced the view of critics who had long argued that the initiative lacked 'teeth' and that it rather impeded progress in the area of corporate sustainability

Case front page
The Acquisition Experiences of KazOil
Dana B Minbaeva and Maral Muratbekova-Touron
Ref 415-066-1
This case describes two diverging post-acquisition experiences of KazOil, an oil drilling company in Kazakhstan, in the years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. When the company was bought by the Canadian corporation Hydrocarbons Ltd in 1996 it seemed to adapt more successfully than in 2005 when China Petrol acquired the assets. The case opens with a long-time employee reflecting on recent changes made by the Chinese management and wondering how he can ensure employee motivation despite the lack of corporate spirit.
Case front page
Vestas and the Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico: Clean Energy Gets Messy
Jacobo Ramirez and Tania Vester
Ref 713-077-1
Arturo Zaragoza, Vestas’s chief sales officer, was relieved when the contract with Mareña Renovables was finally signed to deliver wind turbines to a wind farming project in Oaxaca, Mexico. The turbines were to be installed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region, but plans were put on hold when social organisations and 40 indigenous Zapotec and Huave people held rallies in front of the Danish Embassy in Mexico demanding Vestas’s exit from the region. This case explores the tools available to resolve disputes with the Huaves and Zapotecas communities, in a context where the state is weak and does not take a leadership position in mega-projects.

Back to the overview of free case collections

Share this page:

Copenhagen Business School

Search online

Founded in 1917 Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe with approximately 22,000 students and 2,000 staff members. CBS offers a wide range of business-oriented university programmes and provides an innovative research environment to ensure value for society.