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Phillip C Nell (WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business)); Renate Kratochvil (WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business))
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8 pages
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Field research


The Croatian government introduces a new tax law which restrains pharmaceutical companies’ marketing & sales activities. The focus of this case is on a local subsidiary of a global pharmaceutical company dealing with this challenging problem. At first sight the problem looks like a local issue, though, scratching the surface, it represents a global issue in pharmaceutical marketing, but only on a small scale. Globally, pharmaceutical companies deal with lots of strategic challenges, for instance: to make their marketing strategy fit for the future, to revitalize their business model, and to adapt to changes in local regulations as well as patients’ and Health Care Professionals’ (for example doctors) behaviors. In sum, this case is written to encourage students to (1) advance their analytical skills when identifying the substantial drivers of a problem (what is beyond the surface), (2) to be creative (think out of the box) to find possible solutions, and (3) understand problem solving in global corporations. The case is structured as a two-part series and provides an engaging context to understand the essence of analyzing the underlying causes of a complex problem, before rushing into solution search. In addition, it highlights the potential of problems when turned into opportunities. This case takes students through a sequence of demanding tasks: identify symptoms and causes of a firm’s particular problem, find creative solutions, reformulate the problem and explore the opportunities it offers, detect global trends as well as challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing.


Analytical approach; Creative problem solving; Logic Tree; Marketing strategy; Global strategy; Trends; Opportunity; Problem formulation; Problem solving; Subsidiary companies; Subsidiary management; Global management; Social media marketing; Trends and challenges in the pharma industry; Opportunity identification
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