A Russian MacDonald's - Fantasy or Reality: Managing the Growth of Chainaya Lozhka Company

Case details
About the author

Professor Galina Shirokova of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University, Russia, discusses A Russian MacDonald's - Fantasy or Reality: Managing the Growth of Chainaya Lozhka Company, written with Professor Olga Verkhovskaya.

Galina Shirokova & Olga Verkhovskaya

Why Chainaya Lozhka Company?

I teach the change management module on the EMBA programme at the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University. This course includes topics such as organisational lifecycles and management in fast-growing businesses. I needed a case that would enable my students to study a real situation and examine issues such as the transformation of entrepreneurial ideas into new ventures, adapting management approaches according to the stages in the lifecycle and identifying and managing business growing pains. I wanted my students to be able to recognise these organisational lifecycles and growing pains and to be able to develop change programmes to overcome them. I was keen for them to be able to distinguish between 'normal' and 'abnormal' problems in fast-growing start-up enterprises.

A Russian MacDonald's - Fantasy or Reality: Managing the Growth of Chainaya Lozhka Company provides a comprehensive history of a fast-growing entrepreneurial start-up company and clearly covers the important aspects of all its growth stages. The founders of the venture had been former students of mine on the EMBA programme and had actually sought my consultancy as they tried to manage their new company. This gave me unique insight and access and I realised that this could become the foundation of a topical and locally relevant case that would fulfil many of my teaching objectives for the EMBA change management course.

How did you research the case?

Writing field-based cases in Russia is usually very difficult because it is hard to access internal information about a company. Levels of trust are not high and there is a low level of understanding about what a teaching case is setting out to achieve.

In this case, the fact that the owners were my former EMBA students enabled them to trust me and Olga and I were granted a high level of access to obtain the information we required. I effectively had unique contact with the key decision makers and operational staff of Chainaya Lozhka Company and they co-operated willingly in the research for the case. I believe that an atmosphere of mutual trust and openness with owners and senior managers/decision makers of any company/ case subject is crucial to the writing of any successful case. I was very fortunate in this and the Chainaya Lozhka Company case is the stronger for it.

Teaching the case

I have tested this case in my classes and it has worked well in achieving my teaching objectives. I did make some minor changes in the text after teaching it in order to facilitate its future classroom use, but these had no significant impact on the subject or teaching objectives.

I would recommend the case to any colleagues teaching courses in entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial manager and change management and it could be used well with any MBA programme group. Beyond its core teaching objectives, as set out above, it can effectively support class discussion around creating new ventures and also works well as a preparatory tool for the discussion of exit strategies. 

Case details

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A Russian MacDonald's - Fantasy or Reality: Managing the Growth of Chainaya Lozhka Company
Galina V Shirokova and Olga R Verkhovskaya
Graduate School of Management St. Petersburg State University
Ref 307-176-1
Also available:
Teaching note

Ref 307-176-8

About the author

Professor Galina Shirokova is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University, Russia.
e shirokova@gsm.pu.ru

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