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 Marie with your thoughts and feedback.

More information:

Lavinia-Cristina Iosif-Lazar
Project Coordinator

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Sustainability in the Auto Industry: The Significance of a Leader’s Mindset
Louise Harder Fischer and Birgitte Heiberg
Ref 313-274-1

How can organisations drive change in a responsible manner? Doing so successfully depends on the leader’s ability to see the bigger picture and heed wakeup calls in the industry. This case focuses on the big three carmakers of Detroit, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, plus the biggest Japanese producers, Toyota and Honda. Does being an American or a Japanese car manufacturer influence their ability to react responsibly?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.