Two homeschooled Florida teenagers meet in a homeschool group arranged by their moms, start community college at 14 years of age and discover a shared passion for social entrepreneurship. The result of that passion was the global jewelry and accessories start-up called Trades of Hope, founded in 2010. The company utilizes the direct selling distribution channel to create a supply chain of fair trade artisans in developing countries and a U.S. salesforce of more than 7,000 compassionate entrepreneurs who build businesses of their own. This case reveals the journey from passion to profit is not unique from other successful entrepreneurs on Main Street or in Silicon Valley. The common framework is the effectuation mindset and the process by which they innovate. This case study introduces students of entrepreneurship, marketing, social enterprise, or organizational development to the effectuation methodology, also known as the entrepreneurial mindset, using social entrepreneurship in the context of ethical direct selling and the movement to go beyond social responsibility to social value creation.
On July 3, 2018, bookseller Barnes & Noble released a statement saying that their CEO, Demos Parneros, was terminated, effective immediately, for “violating the company’s policies.” In this abrupt firing, Barnes & Noble did not specify the policies that were violated, but did mention that it was not related to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial performance. Suspicion quickly grew that Parneros was just the latest executive caught up in a #MeToo moment.
In principle, a business ought to thrive when its leaders make good plans (plans that provide for compensation greater than the risk implied in those plans), and its people bring those plans to fruition. However, in practice, dynamic causeand-effect cascades, knotty interdependencies, complex interactions, the nature of randomness, how people perceive information, changing tastes, regulatory shifts, malicious acts, and so on, all combine to create positive or negative deviations from what is anticipated. The study of risk management encompasses the diversity of actions, processes, and rituals a business adopts, and the battery of instruments it uses, to safeguard its plans. Businesses rely on risk management both as they formulate plans, and as they implement them. They manage risk either in anticipation of, or in reaction to, events. While businesses have become adept in neutralizing negative deviations to plans, they are still learning how to promote positive deviations. The financial and nonpecuniary costs of managing risk, meanwhile, are adding up
This critical incident is about Abdullah Sall, a Muslim immigrant from West Africa who was fired from his job as an administrative assistant with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s office in Burlington, Vermont. While State’s Attorney Sarah George suggested Sall was terminated because of poor performance, Sall claimed it was because of his race and religion. Sall, in the middle of an independent campaign for a seat on Burlington’s part-time City Council at the time of his firing, had to decide whether to pursue a legal claim of employment discrimination against his former boss, State’s Attorney Sarah George.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly two million workers report being victims of workplace violence each year. This critical incident depicts Jared, the manager of an auto body shop, in a potentially violent situation with his employee, Alex. The decision point of this incident ensued when Jared was threatened with immediate bodily harm by Alex after Jared instructed Alex to redo some of his auto body work. Jared had heard complaints and rumors of Alex being a violent person, but he had never experienced it firsthand until this incident. Fear, personal safety, and saving face with employees all complicated the immediate decision Jared now had to make. How should he respond in this situation?
Valve Corp has become one of the most successful entertainment and technology firms in the world in terms of firm performance and innovativeness. Valve utilized an organic organizational form with over a hundred employees and no managers. Employees had no one to report to for their time and effort, and no employee had an official title or job description. This paper examines how Valve was organized and how it was able to leverage its unique structure to develop disruptive and valuable innovations. Findings suggest that the lack of a formal hierarchy created a strong social hierarchy within the organization. Furthermore, the flat hierarchy seems to have improved the effectiveness of the firm’s products but may have lowered the efficiency of the firm’s product development capabilities.
Trevor, a recent MBA graduate, was able to secure promising interviews with two companies. Following his interview with the first company, Trevor was offered a job. Although the job offer was attractive, it did not include an opportunity for an annual bonus and the company set a deadline prior to Trevor’s interview with the second company. Even after persuading the first company to push its deadline back until after his interview with the second company, he would still not have time to receive a formal offer from the second company before deciding on the first company’s offer. Trevor had to decide how to deal with this “exploding” job offer and the uncertainty of not being able to know what, if any, offer would come from the second company.
The church finance team co-chair was asked by the head pastor to spearhead a review of a job description for an office administrator. Imbedded in the job description were internal control concerns that previously had been raised but ignored by church leadership. When asked why these concerns had not been addressed, the pastor responded that the church’s close family like environment mitigated the finance team’s perceived internal control problems. However, the cochair did not want the church, its leadership, or the volunteer finance team to be at risk. He felt that endorsing fiscal policies that he thought were wrong put all of them at avoidable risk. Were these perceived internal control concerns illusory or real? And, if they were real, what should be done?