This case represents a small business that a first-time entrepreneur opened and expanded with little planning associated with either event. After retiring from the Post Office, Bob opened a small, moderately successful restaurant in an old neighborhood in his home town. The restaurant, Salsa Dog, sold a brand-name hot dog with a variety of mostly homemade condiments, which differentiated its product from other fast-food products. Bob then expanded to a second location in another area of the city that served a demographically different customer base. Increased competition, limited financial resources, and ineffective management, along with disadvantages at the new location, resulted in Salsa Dog experiencing sizeable losses over an eighteen month period. These losses jeopardized the existence of Salsa Dog. Bob reached a decision point – identify strategic actions to generate profits or let go of his life-long dream of owning and operating a small business and close Salsa Dog.
In response to the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the resulting changes in loan criteria by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory experienced a significant decrease in their annual new retail openings. The CFO of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory sought to mitigate this decrease by using Master License Agreements to expand into foreign countries and regions. In this decision making case, CFO Bryan Merryman struggles with the change in loan policy for the U.S. Small Business Administration that greatly reduced the number of entrepreneurs that could raise enough capital to purchase, build out, and open a new franchise. Bryan wanted make up for this decrease by expanding into new countries and regions, modeling an earlier success that the firm experienced with an expansion into Canada. The company felt that the countries and regions such as India, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia presented significant opportunities.
Daren Young, CEO of DRYCO, a family owned paving construction and maintenance (PCM) firm, faced several crises at DRYCO but he worked hard to make the firm profitable. The last few years had been especially difficult for DRYCO primarily due to the decline in the local real estate market that propelled the PCM industry. He made a bold decision to expand his firm to a second site in the middle of the recession. Young reflected on his leadership approach during all the decisions he had faced at DRYCO and wondered what would happen if a family or business castrophe materialized. He felt that he was too young to retire and while succession planning was important but not an urgent matter. Daren mulled over what priority to give succession planning, what management or leadership approach he should take concerning this issue and who was the best person to succeed him.
This descriptive case was designed for use in an undergraduate course in social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, or business ethics. It summarizes the founding of Theo Chocolate, the first organic, Fair Trade certified, bean-to-bar chocolate company in the United States. Founder Joe Whinney created Theo Chocolate as a for-profit business to address social and environmental problems in the cocoa industry. The case provides information about the horrendous conditions some cocoa farmers face in West Africa and the negative environmental impacts of cocoa bean farming. The applied case was designed to help students understand the theoretical concept of shared value and to apply this concept to a new business. The case provides data for students to consider when assessing whether the company could be considered a firm committed to the principle of shared value in that it generated economic as well as societal value.
In February 2013, DC announced a special anthology of Superman stories that would be cowritten by Orson Scott Card, who had actively spoken out against gay marriage. In response to the announced hiring of Card, over 16,000 people signed a petition to boycott the anthology (Truitt, 2013). Further, a few comic book retailers had refused to carry DC’s iconic Superman comics (Sieczkowski, 2013). The Superman franchise was one of DC Comics most profitable assets. At stake were not only graphic novel sales, but also movies and memorabilia. The concerns over how the boycott could affect movie revenues were particularly troubling since DC would be introducing a new Superman movie into theaters in June 2013. DC was counting on this movie being one of the summer blockbuster hits. Executives at DC Comics needed to determine the best course of action in light of the negative publicity surrounding Orson Scott Card’s position as a writer on the anthology.
In this decision case, the CEO of an insurance company located in the European Union is faced with a dilemma related to a breach of confidentiality on the part of a senior manager. She needs to determine a course of action that fits with European Union employment practices, the company culture and operational considerations, as well as the approaches she studied at a recent executive development seminar on coaching. The case introduces students to coaching concepts and provides opportunities for students to apply a number of tools actively used in leadership and organization development.
Dr. James Knight had a small dental practice. One of his employees, Melissa Nelson, had worked for the facility for approximately ten years. Dr. Knight and Nelson became quite close and shared with each other a lot of personal information and even at times made comments about their sex lives. Dr. Knight’s wife also was an employee at the dental office and she suspected that her husband might be having an affair with Nelson. When Mrs. Knight learned that her husband and Nelson had been texting one another while he was out of town on a trip, she demanded that he terminate Nelson’s employment. Dr. Knight complied with his wife’s demands and discharged Nelson. She subsequently filed sex discrimination charges in an Iowa District Court. Dr. Knight knew he needed to contact his attorney to discuss whether they could win the case and if so how.
Located on the northeast shores of Lake Huron, the small town of Rogers City continues to face challenges with economic development to the area. With access to fresh, clean water, the rural beach town has survived, despite a dwindling Michigan economy. This small town is representative of many rural beach towns in Michigan. Framed around the theories of sense of community and social change, university students completed an urban renewal project that required them to create and produce a “flash mob” by combining philanthropy with an attempt to jump-start tourism-based economic development.
The case is about the challenge presented to Dennis Marasigan, an IT manager of Mars Publishing House. He was given the task to lead and manage a 10-month Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation project. The company experienced a dip in sales and increase in receivables despite exponential growth in previous years. The ERP system had always been a key to their success. It was critical in sustaining the growth momentum. This case shows how Dennis changed the overall mood of the organization towards a new ERP implementation from resistance and indifference to cooperation.
After several years as a sales representative, Todd was promoted to zone sales manager. This promotion caused Todd to think back about his start with the company and his friend and mentor, Clint Smith who had told him at his interview that the company did not want to hire him because “you are not good enough.” That was just the motivation Todd needed to realize that he was good enough, in fact, better than good enough—he turned out to be outstanding at his job leading to his current promotion.