Teaching Cases in Action
Issue 7, Summer 2012
Cross-Sector Partnerships Featured case writers and cases: • Foreword • Jonathan Doh (Villanova University, USA), Ted London (University of Michigan, USA) and Vasilia (Lea) Kilibarda (University of Michigan, USA) – Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership: Oxfam America & Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia • Luk Van Wassenhove (INSEAD, France) and Lea Stadtler (University of Geneva, Switzerland) – Corporate Social Engagement: How Aramex Crosses Boundaries • Aileen Ionescu-Somers (IMD, Lausanne) – Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail? • Gabriel Berger and Adrian Darmohraj (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina) – Gas Natural BAN’s Strategy for Low-Income Sectors • Forthcoming case teaching events and other news • How to subscribe
“permutation”: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Dear reader, It is a pleasure for me to welcome you to the first issue I am leading as editor of the oikos Case Quarterly. After 7 issues of an excellent job, Liudmila Nazarkina’s oikos PhD Fellowship comes to an end as Liudmila is starting visiting researcher position, first, at CSCP (Wuppertal, Germany) and then at the University of Bath (UK). I would like to sincerely thank Liudmila for her brilliant job done in the last three years and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. In this issue we have the novelty to present a non-oikos case: “The Gas Natural BAN’s strategy for Low-Income Sectors”.This has been the result of the initiation of our partnership with the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network (SEKN) on the joint distribution of our best cases.
Our first case, authored by Jonathan Doh, explores the alliance between Oxfam America and the insurance company Swiss Re. Together, these two actors tried to implement the “Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation” (HARITA), an innovative model designed to help propel some of the poorest farmers in Ethiopia out of poverty by helping them to cope with climate-related risk. The case confronts students with the dilemmas such as partnerships when they are required to scale up. The logistics and freight company Aramex is the protagonist of the
case entitled “Corporate Social Engagement: How Aramex Crosses Boundaries”. In line with its sustainability strategy to support local communities, the company developed a humanitarian relief campaign in Gaza to distribute donated products. Aramex soon realized the need for a partner to deal with the complexity of such endeavour in areas such as communications, volunteer management and donations. The third case presented in this issue is entitled “Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail?” It tackles the dramatic issue of commercial fish stock exploitation and The Marine Stewardship Council, a cross-sector partnership between Unilever and the WWF, attempting to reverse the situation. This case clearly characterizes a tragedy of commons of our time and helps the student understand the complexity of conflicting demands among stakeholders. The last case presented in this issue is the “Gas Natural BAN’s Strategy for Low-Income Sectors” authored by Professor Daniel Berger. As noted above, this case belongs to the SEKN network and is included in this current issue under the agreement between oikos and SEKN. The text introduces the student to the difficulties a large utility energy corporation (Gas Natural) faces in its attempt to serve the low
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income communities in Argentina in collaboration with Fundación Pro Vivienda Social. We hope that you will enjoy reading the Summer 2012 issue and exploring examples and challenges many cross-sector partnerships are facing. As usually, we would be very happy to receive your feedback, including suggestions for new issues, so do send us an email to case@ oikosinternational.org.
Jordi Vives Gabriel oikos Case Quarterly Editor
Next issue of oikos Case Quarterly (Fall 2012) will be focused on the topic of Forestry and we will feature the following cases: • Columbia Forest Products by Scott Marshall and Madeleine Pullman • Tropical Salvage: From Recession to Expansion by Scott Marshall et al. • Orsa Group: the challenge of sustainable development in the Amazon authored by Rosa Maria Fischer et al. • The Migros palm oil. Jens Hamprecht and Daniel Corsten.
Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership: Oxfam America & Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia by Jonathan Doh, Ted London and Vasilia (Lea) Kilibarda The Case Story
After several years of preparation, in May 2009, Oxfam America, an arm of the international development organization, and Swiss Re, the global reinsurer, along with other partners, piloted Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA), an innovative model designed to help propel some of the poorest farmers in Ethiopia out of poverty by helping them to cope with climate-related risk. Oxfam’s goal for HARITA was to successfully develop a scalable model that could be replicated in developing countries across the globe to farmers dealing with the effects of drought and other weather-related challenges associated with climate change, while Swiss Re served initially as a funder and technical advisor for HARITA, but sought to use the project to better understand insurance markets in developing countries. The case provides a personal account of two key actors: David Satterthwaite (Oxfam) and Mark Way (Swiss Re). While many crosssector collaborations reach the pilot stage, scaling offers a new set of challenges because it inherently requires greater commitments and entails greater risks. This case
ends by placing students in the shoes of Oxfam’s Satterthwaite as he prepares for a critical meeting with Mark Way of Swiss Re about a dramatic expansion of the project. The case grew out of a professional development workshop at the Academy of Management meeting in summer of 2010 as David Satterthwaite shared his experiences with an audience of scholars interested in cross-sector partnerships and a longstanding interest on the part of the authors in the challenges associated with developing and scaling these kinds of collaborative relationships. “Oxfam’s goal for HARITA was to successfully develop a scalable model that could be replicated in developing countries across the globe to farmers dealing with the effects of drought and other weatherrelated challenges associated with climate change, while Swiss Re served initially as a funder and technical advisor for HARITA, but sought to use the project to better understand insurance markets in developing countries.”
Jonathan Doh holds the Rammrath Chair in International Business, is Director of the Center for Global Leadership, and Professor of Management at the Villanova School of Business. His research and teaching interests include multinational strategy, global corporate responsibility, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Recent articles appear in journals such as Academy of Management Review, Business Ethics Quarterly, California Management Review, Journal of
Teaching the Case
Overview This case is designed primarily for use in graduate (MBA), undergraduate, and executive education programs taught in business schools. It can also be used in other disciplines, such as public policy, public administration, nonprofit management, and public health. In general, the case was developed to introduce the topic of cross-sector partnerships. The issues covered relate to the challenges of developing, implementing, and scaling cross-sector partnerships designed to advance sustainable development, respond to climate change, and serve BoP markets. It sparks discussion about how private and nonprofit organizations in such collaborations grapple with – and seek to reconcile – differences in their missions, cultures, and longterm objectives. Student Learning Objectives After discussing this case, students should be able to: 1. Evaluate the challenges inherent in cross-sector partnerships (e.g. overcoming internal biases and deeply engrained views, responding to differences in organizational structures and values, dealing with a lack of trust, building the capacity
International Business Studies, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Organization Science, Sloan Management Review, and Strategic Management Journal. He is co-editor or author of eight books, including International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior, 8th edition, the best selling international management text and NGOs and Corporations: Conflict and Collaboration (with Michael Yaziji, Cambridge University Press, 2009).
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to learn from one another, etc.) as exemplified in this instance. 2. Identify the unique sets of benefits and risks for each sector involved in implementing a crosssector partnership. 3. Evaluate the challenges and opportunities associated with scaling a partnership’s pilot project (e.g. garnering internal support within member organizations for an expanding partnership, moving from a primarily philanthropic orientation toward more of a business-oriented approach) such that the relationship becomes more sustainable and impactful and garners wider support from both internal and external stakeholders.
Assignment Questions Instructors may use the following questions to prompt class discussion about the case. 1. How do organizations that traditionally do not cooperate with entities in other sectors overcome internal suspicion and skepticism regarding such collaborations in order to begin a productive conversation? 2. How do organizations that have decided to embark on crosssector collaborations build trust, confidence, and the ability to share and learn with counterparts who may have very different backgrounds, motivations, and interests so they can move from discussion to implementation? 3. What are the key organizational challenges in transitioning from a pilot to scale in cross-sector collaborations, and how can they be overcome to create sustainable initiatives with broad, viable, and long-lasting impacts across geographies and populations? Supplemental Information The case can also be taught as a simulation. The teaching note also includes a list of potential additional readings, and an additional appendix that provides an overview of the literature on cross-sector partnerships. Experience Teaching the Case Our early efforts in teaching the case have suggested students are very engaged and interested in these partnerships. Even if students have not been involved in crosssector partnerships, the human
side of the case and the growth and learning on the part of the actors is something that most can relate to. “Our early efforts in teaching the case have suggested students are very engaged and interested in these partnerships.”
I tend to teach cases that I have written, including one on Chiquita’s use of corporate responsibility and sustainability to help turn around the company, and another related to international trade regulations, intellectual property protection, and the marketing and sale of HIV/ AIDS medication in developing countries. Chiquita’s Global Turnaround. (w/ E. Holt). In G. Dess, T. Lumpkin, A. Eisner, Strategic Management: Text and Cases, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill Irwin: 588-596) and F. Luthans, & J.P. Doh, International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior, 8th ed. (McGraw-Hill Irwin: 560-568). Pharmaceutical Companies, Intellectual Property, and the Global AIDS Epidemic. (Case). In F. Luthans, & J.P. Doh, International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior, 8th ed. (McGraw-Hill Irwin: 94-105).
Case Purchase Information
An abbreviated online inspection copy of the case “Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership: Oxfam America & Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia” is available from the oikos Case Collection. This case can be purchased directly from the GlobaLens website.
New Case Development
I would love to see a case about the recent controversy surrounding working conditions in the factories operated by Apple’s principal supplier, Foxcom. In general, I think cases about managing codes and responsibilities along the supply chain are needed.
We have recently recorded a podcast with Jonathan Doh where he explains how and why this case was written, how it can be used in the classroom and which other methods can be used for teaching sustainability, in addition to cases. In addition to the podcast with Jonathan Doh, you can also listen to our older podcast with Michael V. Russo on his experience of teaching sustainability with cases.
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Corporate Social Engagement: How Aramex Crosses Boundaries by Luk N. Van Wassenhove and Lea Stadtler The Case Story
Aramex, a global logistics and transportation company with its roots in the Middle East, has developed an integrative sustainability strategy to ensure sustainable business activities and to support community development. In line with this strategy, on December 28th 2008, Aramex decided to use its logistics competencies for a humanitarian relief campaign in Gaza and deliver donated items to people in need. In view of the situation’s urgency, how should the team best communicate the need for donations, select collection points, clear the goods, pack them in Aramex’ warehouses, and, finally, send them to Gaza? It soon became clear that they needed partners to bring the goods across the borders and to have the latest information on regulations. Thus, representatives of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization became an integral part of the campaign’s coordination team. Once the public requests for donation had passed the media
Luk N. Van Wassenhove
– including social media such as facebook, twitter, and blogs – the campaign saw great response rates in terms of donations and volunteers. However, the unexpected volumes of donations, shifting volunteer numbers, and the continuously changing regulations on accepted items challenged the campaign’s success. Thus, the campaign team had to guide the volunteers’ support appropriately and ensure a constant flow of information. Looking back at the campaign, Raji Hattar, Chief Sustainability and Compliance Officer of Aramex, reflected on their lessons learnt regarding managing volunteer work, working with corporate and charity partners, using social media to leverage the campaign, and coordinating business and social activities.
Teaching the Case
We decided to write the Aramex case in view of its particular and interesting setting: A leading global logistics provider, with its roots in the Middle East and known for its engagement in corporate social
responsibility (CSR), organizes a donation campaign despite the political sensitivity surrounding the humanitarian cause and the operational challenges involved. Hence, this case offers a unique basis to discuss the management of corporate humanitarian relief campaigns in collaboration with corporate and charity partners. It provides insights into a campaign’s hands-on operational management as well as its integration into the company’s broader CSR strategy. Furthermore, this case is rich in that it also contains elements of process and risk management, reputation management, learning, and strategic decision making. We propose the following teaching topics: 1. Company overview, case summary, and film excerpts (10 min) 2. Drivers for the corporate social engagement (10 min) 3. Implementation of the social policy into the company (10 min)
Luk N. Van Wassenhove is Henry Ford Professor of Manufacturing and Academic Director of the INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group. His research and teaching are concerned with operational excellence, supply chain management, quality, continual improvement, and learning. His recent research focus is on closed-loop supply chains (product takeback and end-of-life issues) and on disaster management (humanitarian logistics). He is senior editor for Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and departmental editor for Production and Operations Management. He publishes regularly in Management Science, Production and Operations Management, management journals (like Harvard Business Review and California Management Review) among others. Furthermore, he is the author of several award-winning teaching cases and regularly consults major international corporations. Lea Stadtler has been a teaching and research assistant for the Chair of Organization and Management at the University of Geneva, HEC since September 2008. Previously, she completed a two-year apprenticeship and formal education certificate program at a German private bank and obtained a master’s degree in International Business Administration. Her teaching covers the areas of change management and cross-sector partnerships. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on the corporate perspective, design challenges, and the role of broker organizations in cross-sector partnerships. In addition, she has written several teaching cases on crosssector collaboration. Issue 7, Summer 2012| www.oikosinternational.org/academic
4. Planning and implementing the relief campaign: Risks and challenges (10 min) 5. Evaluation of the campaign: Lessons learnt (15 min) 6. Wrap up (5 min The case can be taught as part of a Master, executive education or MBA course that deals with humanitarian operations, CSR, supply chain management, risk management, leadership, and/ or Middle East. We suggest three main readings as a theoretical background: • Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 84(12), 78-92. • Harley, M., & Warburton, J. (2008). Risks to Business in Social Involvement. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 29, 49-60. • Thomas, A., & Fritz, L. (2006). Disaster Relief, Inc. Harvard Business Review, November, 84(11), 114-122. We would start a respective course by asking the students to give an overview of the company, summarize the case, and reflect on interesting topics that emerge from the case. Furthermore, the students can watch two short videos on Aramex’ Gaza campaign. To clarify the campaign’s links with Aramex’ core business, we would then discuss the questions: What are the drivers for Aramex’ social and environmental engagement? What are the corporate benefits resulting for Aramex from the “Deliver Hope to Gaza” campaign?
Directing the focus further to the operational side of the campaign, we would raise the question: What are the risks and challenges for Aramex during the implementation of the “Deliver Hope to Gaza” campaign? The the case highlights that Aramex encountered risks linked to lacking staff compliance in view of the volunteers’ great desire to help and their temptation to over-fill the boxes and to “smuggle” in prohibited items for the good. Furthermore, they had to ensure that no harm
would be done to staff, other volunteers, reputation, and property. Preparation and training proved crucial, as well as the right leadership to calm down potential tensions among the volunteers: “(…) the diversity of political, religious, and socioeconomic groups within the volunteer corps potentially risked generating political debate, disputes and tensions.” “Various interest groups need to be successfully integrated into the workflow of the campaign according to their level of contribution. Partnering with humanitarian organizations and other partner organizations is crucial to make the campaign a success.” To conclude the course, we would ask the students to evaluate the management of the campaign: What are the lessons learnt for Aramex? Important lessons learnt may include: • Need to define a clear communication strategy that conveys the campaign’s goal and overall spirit while resonating with the target audience. The campaign can use a range of media channels, including social media, print and broadcasting media, to generate the widest possible support. All legal implications of the operations need to be addressed beforehand. • Need to develop an operational model that ensures an effective workflow while allowing the participants to take ownership. • Importance of stakeholder management and cooperation with partners: Various interest groups need to be successfully integrated into the workflow of the campaign according to their level of contribution. Partnering with humanitarian organizations and other partner organizations is crucial to make the campaign a success.
Corporate social engagement and cross-sector partnerships can be addressed in many different ways. While the Aramex case
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describes an ad-hoc partnership, the INSEAD case series on the TNT-WFP partnership offers unique insights into a long-term relationship between a company and a UN organization. Part 1 (Looking for a Partner) illustrates the partner selection process, part 2 (Learning to Dance) focuses on five operational initiatives, and part 3 (When the Music Changes So Does The Dance) addresses the challenge of evaluating crosssector partnerships. Another interesting case on humanitarian cross-sector partnerships is “Agility: A Global Logistics Company and Local Humanitarian Partner” which nicely illustrates the integration of a partnership program into the company’s overall CSR strategy.
New case development
Cross-sector partnerships can be bilateral or include several partner organizations. Regarding bilateral partnerships, we think that it would be interesting to explore how they develop towards a more integrative stage. For example, the Lafarge-WWF partnership illustrates how a partnership can help a company move from a greenwashing attitude to real commitment. Respective cases can be discussed in a course dealing with change management and collaboration. Another interesting field for new cases is the trend towards multi-company cross-sector partnerships in which competitors work together to increase the partnership’s social impact. For example, Agility, Maersk, TNT, and UPS collaborate to support the World Food Programme and Global Logistics Cluster with their joint Logistics Emergency Teams. Respective cases can be discussed in strategic management, change management, or CSR courses.
Case Purchase Information
Inspection copy of the case “Corporate Social Engagement: How Aramex Crosses Boundaries” is available from the oikos Case Collection. This case is also available for purchase from ecch (711-038-1).
Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail? by Aileen Ionescu-Somers The Case Story
Today, about three-quarters of the world’s commercial marine stocks are fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or recovering. Over the last few decades, government initiatives to manage this natural resource more sustainably have not been effective. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) was initiated by Unilever and the WWF in 1997 to help reverse the decline in global fish stocks with an ecolabeling/certification scheme. The case study gives background on key events and challenges for the MSC in the past, including: • The crisis in the global fishing industry – largely associated with the so-called Tragedy of the Commons (catch as much as you can). • The launch of the MSC and its early efforts at introducing a functioning market mechanism for sustainable fishing products (no market-no supply and vice versa). The management challenge of this case study is the difficulty associated with operating a certification and eco-labeling system acceptable to many different stakeholders: the fishing industry, food processors, retailers, national governments, supranational
Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers
institutions, the conservation community and consumers. As a result of often conflicting demands and the MSC’s failure to recognize the need for reforms, the organization encountered a crisis in credibility.
Teaching the Case
The Marine Stewardship Council is an example of a business–NGO partnership that addresses a critical environmental problem that business, government and the environmental community could not solve without a collective approach. The case contributes to learning on several levels: A. Building up a new market. Overcoming the “chicken and egg” problem, since no supply means no market, and no market means no supply. a. How to identify the main levers to overcome this Catch-22. b. How to develop a sound strategy that takes into account the dynamics of the system (to ensure that supply and demand are balanced). B. Understanding and managing stakeholders with very different backgrounds and agendas. a. There is ongoing NGO “infighting”
Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers directs IMD’s Corporate Sustainability Management Platform at IMD’s Global Center for Sustainability Leadership. She has overseen large scope empirical projects, written multiple prize-winning case studies, and advised many organizations on strategic integration of sustainability. Before IMD, she headed global project operations at WWF. She is on the sustainability
about the sustainability criteria of the MSC’s labeling scheme. b. Several other stakeholders (governments, retailers, food processors) have not fully bought in to the scheme, or even openly oppose it. For example, food processors are critical of the substantial cost and length of the certification process. C. Setting up an adequate and manageable organizational structure and certification process in order to deal with the complexity of the underlying problem. a. The organization’s governance structure evolved over a long period and mirrors the complexity of the issue itself. b. The certification process was subject to criticism as the MSC chose to go public first and make changes later, instead of starting with pilot certification. The case can be used for either MBAs or in executive courses. For MBAs, the key issues include the Tragedy of the Commons (“catch as much as you can”), stakeholder and crisis management, and the introduction/expansion of a labeling and certification system. When using this case with
boards of companies such as Firmenich, and Coca Cola Hellenic. She holds a first class honours BA, and MA, HDE and PhD from University College Cork, Ireland, as well as an MSc in environmental management from Imperial College, London. Her latest books are Business logic for sustainability and Sustainability partnerships: The manager’s handbook, published with Palgrave Macmillan.
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executives, the discussion is likely to focus more on the execution and strategic issues such as overall strategy and implementation as well as a potential roadmap for the coming years. Ideally, the case study is taught in a three-hour session, with participants having read the case beforehand.
A new favourite is an IMD case on the ground-breaking move of Unilever to “mainstream sustainability” by setting forth on an ambitious journey to make its premium Lipton tea brand sustainable: Ionescu-Somers, A., Tania Braga & Ralf Seifert (2011) Unilever Sustainable Tea: Revitalizing Lipton’s Supply chain (IMD-6-0327) and Ionescu-Somers, A, Tania Braga & Ralf Seifert (2011) Unilever Sustainable Tea: Going beyond lowhanging fruits (IMD-6-0328). Unilever’s move prompted a domino
effect throughout the entire tea industry, effectively propelling a tea industry value chain conversion to sustainability. This case recently won the prestigious European Foundation for Management Development award in the supply chain management category. “The Marine Stewardship Council is an example of a business–NGO partnership that addresses a critical environmental problem that business, government and the environmental community could not solve without a collective approach.”
New Case Development
IBM’s Smart Planet and General Electric’s Ecomagination initiatives are examples of business model innovation for sustainability that would make for very interesting class learning. It’s important to include this type of case in strategy and innovation course for undergraduate as well as MBA and
executive development programs in strategic management, and not as “CSR” or “corporate sustainability” modules. This will help the mainstreaming of innovation for sustainability.
Case Purchase Information
Inspection copy of the case “Transforming the Global Fishing Industry: The Marine Stewardship Council at Full Sail?” is available from the oikos Case Collection. This case can be purchased from ecch (IMD-2-0083). This case is also part of the oikos Case Collection book (Volume 1): Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy published by Greenleaf.
“Two figure eight knots” by mainrc. http://www.sxc.hu. Image ID: 387966.
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Gas Natural BAN’s Strategy for Low-Income Sectors by Gabriel Berger and Adrian Darmohraj The Case Story
This case focuses on Gas Natural BAN’s network expansion project to provide natural gas to five low-income neighborhoods in the suburban area of Buenos Aires, Argentina, showing how a business model evolved to serve low-income sector (henceforth, LIS) customers. Gas Natural BAN was a subsidiary of Grupo Gas Natural SDG S.A., a Spanish multinational energy utility focused on supplying, distributing and marketing natural gas in Spain, Latin America and Italy, with an overall customer base of 10 million households. In late 2007, Gas Natural Group was the leading natural gas distributor in Latin America (currently Gas Natural Fenosa). The story describes how the company partnered with a local civil society organization, Fundación Pro Vivienda Social (Foundation for Social Housing, henceforth FPVS) to provide natural gas to 3500 families in a pilot project, and learnt how to work with this kind of communities. Starting with a project carried out with FPVS, the company had begun to pursue natural gas network expansion projects for LIS neighborhoods with a business approach that differed from the
scheme used with conventional customers. At the juncture depicted by this case, the company needs to set the guidelines for its natural gas network expansion strategy targeting LIS neighborhoods. Gas Natural BAN’s experience with FPVS, though viewed as successful by the company, registered some inefficient aspects that prevented its large-scale application and led management to look for new options to pursue its LIS strategy. As a result, the FPVS collaboration model and its potential for optimization were questioned. The company had questions whether the scheme used by FPVS in Moreno’s Cuartel V would be applicable to other neighborhoods with different conditions. “In general, the class is split between those that support working together again with the NGO, and those that support the idea of moving ahead without its initial partner. This final discussion brings at the forefront the value, the risks and the challenges of collaboration between corporations and NGOs in addressing the needs of low income communities.”
Gabriel Berger is an associate professor in the Department of Administration at the Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also directs its Center for Social Innovation, and its Graduate Program in Nonprofit Organizations. He is a member of SEKN (Social Enterprise Knowledge Network) since its creation in 2001. He obtained a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a Master in Management of Human Services from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University (USA).
This teaching case deals primarily with the development of inclusive business ventures based on crosssector collaborations involving companies, nonprofits and citizens. It may be used in graduate courses on Business and Society or Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Strategy including BOP issues, or in courses focusing on Business Strategies for Creating Social and Economic Value.
Teaching the Case
This teaching case was developed as part of the SEKN (Social Enterprise Knowledge Network) research project on inclusive businesses. The project included the in-depth study of 33 business initiatives in which low income communities were included as customers, providers and distributors, and where the process created social value for them. We developed the Gas Natural BAN case to help students understand business models designed for low-income sectors, to illustrate opportunities to create social value presented to profit-seeking utilities when dealing with LIS (and the tensions that emerge in these initiatives), and to recognize the importance to integrate processes Adrian Darmohraj is an adjunct professor in the Department of Administration at the Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the executive director of the Training Program in Human Factors in Risk Management. He obtained his Doctorate in Political Science and Administration at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).
Adrian Darmohraj Issue 7, Summer 2012 | www.oikosinternational.org/academic
across companies and NGOs when developing inclusive business models. The case discussion usually begins with an opening question: Why do you think Gas Natural BAN decided to approach low income sectors? Was it a CSR-driven move or was it part of its business strategy? This brings to the class different opinions of students on corporate motivation to engage in this kind of projects, along with students’ assumptions and prejudices about corporate engagements. The case shows different approaches within the company and how they evolved over time. In addition, it helps students understand that an initiative that was started as a CSR project very often becomes part of the commercial strategy of the company.
The case discussion continues with the comparison of the two initiatives pursued by the company targeting low income communities, one developed without any particular adaptation to the target population, called Gas for Everyone program, and the second developed with an NGO. The comparison allows students to see the unintended negative results of commercial strategies, such as over-consumption and debts by low income houses when are targeted by service sellers (in Gas for Everyone commercial efforts were led by certified installers who offered services to potential clients), and the learning that such experience provided to the company. This discussion makes it possible to understand how the new business 6 model was created together with FVPS, an NGO, with previous experience in microcredit in the Greater Buenos Aires area. FVPS was critical in designing the plan, engaging grassroots organizations, ensuring neighbor involvement, enhancing project legitimacy and streamlining demand. Gas Natural BAN in turn provided some of the financing and the technical expertise to organize the work, managed the technical aspects of infrastructure development, and adjusted its operating processes to suit the project’s marketing scheme. By contrasting Gas for Everyone and
the joint project with FVPS students uncovered the unprecedented feature in this initiative, in terms of joint planning, marketing and operations. In the discussion, students understand several internal challenges faced by Gas Natural BAN associated with the adjustment of their operations to an unknown scenario, and how it was forced to learn to respect both the community’s and FPVS’ timing. However, the company also recognized that they were some inefficient aspects in this joint project with FPVS and obtained some additional experience in four other pilot projects developed working alone. “Gas Natural BAN’s experience with FPVS, though viewed as successful by the company, registered some inefficient aspects that prevented its large-scale application and led management to look for new options to pursue its LIS strategy. ” As the company explored the idea of expanding the project to reach 12000 families, the discussion moves to whether Gas Natural BAN should pursue the expansion together with FPVS or could be done without the NGO. The company had accumulated enough experience to operate this kind of project (they had already done it in four other projects). In addition, it had to deal with some operating problems encountered in working together with the NGO– none a major one – if they decided to work again together, and had to consider how to fund FPVS participation in this new project (in the first one the NGO had obtained a grant from the World Bank that covers most of its costs). In general, the class is split between those that support working together again with the NGO, and those that support the idea of moving ahead without its initial partner. This final discussion brings at the forefront the value, the risks and the challenges of collaboration between corporations and NGOs in addressing the needs of low income communities.
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With SEKN we have been working in the last ten years to develop a collection of cases based on organizations in Latin America and Spain with two purposes: to allow our students to learn from regional experiences and to give the opportunity to faculty in other regions to include cases from IberoAmerican countries. Our cases are focused on multinational and local companies, as well as on NGOs. They are suited to teach issues related to collaboration and alliances for social purposes, management of social initiatives, and inclusive business development and implementation in different industries.
New Case Development
We would like to see more cases that focus on the process of developing, internalizing, and particularly the institutionalization of sustainability strategies within local companies, in order to discuss the dilemmas of putting sustainability issues at the core of corporate strategy. What are the drivers of such processes? What are the systems, processes and incentives that have been considered and used? What results were obtained in this kind of efforts? These are some of the issues we would like to be able to discuss in our courses on CSR and Sustainability.
Case Purchase Information
The case can be purchased from ecch (SKE137).
News Call for Cases oikos Global Case Writing Competition Call for Cases 2013 oikos and Ashoka aim to promote the creation of high quality teaching cases on Corporate Sustainability (supported by oikos foundation) and Social Entrepreneurship (supported by Ashoka). The competition welcomes entries from all parts of the world. Submitted case studies should be suitable for use in management education and should be related to managerial issues faced by organisations and individuals. 1. Applicants • Applicants may be teachers, research assistants or students of business administration (or related areas). • Case entries may have more than one author, and each applicant may submit one case per track only. 2. Prizes & Incentives • The first prize in each track will be 5000 Swiss Francs (2nd: CHF 2000 and 3rd: CHF 1000). • Winners will be invited to present their case at high-level conferences in the field. • Details of the winning cases (case abstract, online inspection copy and case purchase information) will be published in the oikos online case collection. • Each case contributor will receive a written feedback on the submitted case.
3. Evaluation criteria Accepted submissions are subject to a two-step double blind review process. For both competition tracks the judging committee will pay particular attention to: 1. Concept and content - the integration of the different sustainability dimensions (economic, social, and environmental), the topic relevance and its ability to
create a learning experience. 2. Teaching note - a comprehensive teaching note must accompany each submission. 3. Form - the style of writing, quality of presentation and clarity of data. 4. Important Dates • October 26, 2012 - Deadline for case submissions • January 15, 2013 - First round decision • March 29, 2012 - Final round decision • August 2013 - Case presentations and award ceremony at the Academy of Management Conference 2013 5. Further Information For additional information, requirements and details please consult our website or contact: Dr. Jost Hamschmidt Project lead, Chair, Corporate Sustainability Track firstname.lastname@example.org +41 71 224 2595 Managing Director, oikos Foundation www.oikos-international.org/academic Dr. Michael Pirson Chair, Social Entrepreneurship Track email@example.com Managing Director, oikos Foundation Co-founder and academic director, Humanet +1 857 869 9604 http://www.humanetwork.org
Case Research Journal: Special Issue on Business & Sustainability The Case Research Journal will publish a special issue on business and sustainability, to be guestedited by Professor John J. Lawrence of the University of Idaho and Dr. Stephen Bowden of the University of Waikato. The deadline for submission to this special issue is January 18, 2013 for publication in 2014. The Case Research Journal, published quarterly by the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) and XanEdu
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Custom Publishing, is dedicated to enhancing case research and publishing exceptional teaching cases. Founded in 1980, the CRJ is double-blind refereed and accepts about fifteen percent of manuscripts submitted. Domain of the Special Issue The domain of the special issue is broadly defined as teaching cases that address issues of sustainability in business. Sustainability here reflects the idea that we as a society should be able to meet our own needs in ways that won’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs (the classic Brundtland Commission conceptualization of sustainability) and that this encompasses stewardship of environmental, social and economic systems (the classic three pillars of sustainability). Focus and Methods Focus: Cases should be focused on a decision, issue, or problem facing an individual, an organization, or a group of organizations. After studying the case, students should be able to put themselves into the situation and formulate and defend alternative courses of action. Methods: Cases should be based on original, primary research. Examples of such research include (but are not limited to): • Field research in the organization • Interviews with key decisionmakers in the organization • Interviews with stakeholders impacted by an organizational decision, issue, or problem • Review of primary materials, such as legal proceedings, congressional testimony, or internal company or stakeholder documents. The CRJ typically does not publish cases based solely on secondary sources, such as journalistic accounts. It also does not publish fictionalized, composite, or hypothetical cases. An Instructor’s Manual (teaching
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note) must accompany each case submission. The IM should follow the guidelines. At the time of submission, at least one author must be a member of NACRA (membership information is available at www.NACRA.net). Further Information For further information regarding this issue or a potential submission, please contact either one of the guest editors for the special issue or the journal’s editor: John J. Lawrence, Guest Editor Stephen Bowden, Guest Editor firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 885-5821 email@example.com or (647)-838-4472 Deborah Ettington, Editor, Case Research Journal firstname.lastname@example.org
ecch Case Awards Competition – Innovation in Case Teaching The ecch Case Awards have been presented annually since 1991 to honour outstanding achievement in case development and to raise the profile of the case method of learning. For 2013, ecch is proud to introduce a new competition category, Innovation in Case Teaching, designed to recognise dedicated management educators that are achieving excellence through innovative, creative approaches to case teaching. Eligibility The teacher(s): Entrants must be teachers of management education with a current position at an academic or corporate organisation. PhD students with teaching responsibilities are eligible. Entries may be submitted from a single teacher or by a team of teachers. Teams of teachers may be from different institutions worldwide. Entrants should have practiced their innovative use of cases with students after November 2010.
The teaching: This award is intended to encourage innovation in its widest sense. The category is broadly defined to offer recognition to a range of circumstances, from the adoption of new technology to being a pioneer of case use at your organisation.
Evidence Entrants must provide a brief statement explaining their innovative use of cases in business education teaching. The statement should include why and how this example positively affected student learning. The entrant’s overall teaching philosophy must also be summarised.
rather than regulatory compliance or other ethical issues, drove decisions Up to now, the Case Study Library has collected 50 sustainabilityrelated cases (and growing). Links to sites where the cases may be accessed or purchased are provided. Check out the Case Study Library website here.
Entry statements must be accompanied by supporting evidence in the form of short testimonials from up to two students and two colleagues (a minimum of one of each). Other supporting documentation (e.g. video clips or statistical evidence of success) is not essential but will be accepted and taken into consideration by the judging panel. Entrants must submit a copy of the case or case material they are using.
Case Teaching Workshops
Submitting your entry Entrants must nominate themselves, with supporting testimonials from colleagues and students. Entries are welcomed from teachers in any business education subject area. The submission deadline is 30 November 2012. The winning teacher, or team of teachers, will receive a single prize of €1,500. More information on the ecch website.
Case Collections The Case Study Library at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value is now live The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value identified sustainabilitythemed business cases that serve as teaching resources for faculty across management disciplines. The Sustainable Value Case Inventory, includes • cases that addressed an issue of heretical or disruptive change • cases in which sustainable value was embedded in the core of the organization’s operations • cases in which business value,
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ecch workshop: Aligning Your Teaching and Research – The Potential of Case Studies 23 October 2012 ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany At a time when universities are encouraging academics to strengthen the link between their research and teaching, this workshop will provide a framework for using the case method in this process. By bringing research into the classroom, the tutor benefits from student input and responses, whilst students respond well to the enthusiasm and vested interest of the tutor. This workshop explores the use of cases to maximise the potential of the link between research and technique. Participants will work through their own experiences and opportunities in a supportive environment. Fees: £335 non-residential. Fees include course materials and lunch. ecch member organisations receive 10% discount. A minimum of one subsidised place for participants in developing countries is available on this event. More information on the ecch website.
ecch workshop: Using Cases to Teach - Dubai 18-19 November 2012 Hult International Business School, Dubai The case method is widely
recognised as an outstanding approach to teaching and learning, especially in management education. This workshop will provide case teachers with the opportunity to explore the case method and assess its benefits for use in their own classes. The tutor will introduce practical tips and skills for teaching with cases and will provide guidance on case selection and instructor preparation for class. Participants will gain confidence and share experiences in a supportive environment.
November for an additional cost of £35/€40. A minimum of one subsidised place for participants in developing countries is available on this event. If your organisation qualifies for our membership scheme for developing countries you may be eligible. Contact the events team for further details. More information on the ecch website.
conference kit, copy of proceedings, use of facilities, working lunches, and tea/coffee.
Case Writing Workshops
Fees: £635/€795 non-residential.
International Case Study Conference 2012
This practical and intensive workshop will offer a maximum of twelve inexperienced case writers the opportunity to take time out to work on an idea they already have for a case. The skills and knowledge that participants will acquire at this workshop will enable them to develop their case and to identify and prepare additional support material that will enhance the learning experience of their target audience.
Fee includes course materials and lunches. ecch member organisations receive a 10% discount. An optional social dinner will be held on 18 November for an additional cost of £35/€40. A minimum of one subsidised place for participants in developing countries is available on this event. If your organisation qualifies for our membership scheme for developing countries you may be eligible. Contact the events team for further details. More information on the ecch website.
ecch workshop: Using Cases to Teach - Sydney 22-23 November 2012 Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia The case method is widely recognised as an outstanding approach to teaching and learning, especially in management education. This workshop will provide case teachers with the opportunity to explore the case method and assess its benefits for use in their own classes. The tutor will introduce practical tips and skills for teaching with cases and will provide guidance on case selection and instructor preparation for class. Participants will gain confidence and share experiences in a supportive environment. Fees: £635/€795 non-residential. Fee includes course materials and lunches. ecch member organisations receive a 10% discount. An optional social dinner will be held on 22
December 14-15, 2012 IBS Hyderabad is organizing an International Case Study Conference on December 14-15, 2012. Case authors are invited to participate and present unpublished case studies in all areas of management and on the theme topic, ‘Social Media and Business’. A Preconference Workshop on Case Writing will be conducted by ecch on December 13, 2012. There will also be a Concurrent Workshop on Case Study Methodology on December 14-15, 2012. The venue for the conferences is the sprawling IBS Campus in the historic city of Hyderabad, India.
ecch workshop: Start Writing Cases December 2012 (2 days) Europe
Fees: £535 non-residential. Fees include course materials and lunch. ecch member organisations receive 10% discount. A minimum of one subsidised place for participants in developing countries is available on this event. If your organisation qualifies for our membership scheme for developing countries you may be eligible. Contact the events team for further details. More information on the ecch website.
Registration fees for the conference: Academics (USD150), Corporate Delegates (USD200), Doctoral Scholars/Students (USD100). Discounts: 1. Early bird (before August 30, 2012) - 10% discount 2. ecch members -10% discount 3. 3 or more participants from an organization –10% discount 4. Registration for multiple events (Conference and Workshop) – 10% discount. A participant can avail only one of the above discounts. The total discount will not exceed 10%. Separate registrations are required for attending the Preconference Workshop on Case Writing (Dec 13, 2012) and the Concurrent Workshop on Case Study Methodology (Dec 1415, 2012). The conference fee includes Issue 7, Summer 2012 | www.oikosinternational.org/academic
Contact We would like to hear your experiences of teaching innovative corporate sustainability and social entrepreneurship cases! If you have any suggestions for improving this periodical, or information you may want to share with the community of case writers and instructors, we would appreciate your feedback. Please send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call at +41 71 224 2698.
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