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Published by:
ESMT European School of Management and Technology (2010)
29 November 2010
9 pages
Data source:
Field research


Anna Frisch has tried to initiate change at Aesch AG, a large global provider of medical devices for the health care industry. As marketing director, she has identified major shifts in German health care that demand that Aesch changes its ways of approaching customers. Instead of targeting the specific needs of doctors in hospitals, Aesch should rather address the new decision makers: the CEOs, CFOs, or CIOs of hospitals, who have a different buying logic. In Aesch's matrix organization (global product responsibility, supported by regional sales) Anna wants to convince the heads of marketing for the different product businesses to change. She seems to be able to quickly convince her colleagues of what she calls 'C-level marketing.' However, as soon as work is supposed to start, she realizes that commitments were less strong than she assumed. A few weeks later, Anna is clearly told that there will be no support for her. The short case study is set when Anna realizes the failure of her change initiative. The case discussion allows analyzing and discussing various mistakes in the areas of: (1) defining an attractive vision and strategy; (2) reading and playing the organizational culture, power and politics; (3) communicating a change initiative successfully; and (4) managing the stakeholders. The case is supported by a 6-minute video showing Anna reflecting on the events, her analysis of failure, and her personal preferences as of December 2008.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.


Initiating change; Implementing change; Change management; Communication of change; Lateral change, leading change from the middle; Influencing, persuading; Stakeholder management; Power and politics in organizations; Change in a global matrix organization


The events covered by this item took place in August 2007.

Geographical setting


Featured company

Company name:
Aesch AG
CHF 10 billion
Health care; Medical devices

Featured protagonist

  • Anna Frisch (female), Marketing Director

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