Cases

 

Unintended Acceleration: Toyota's Recall Crisis

Abstract

In late 2009 Toyota became the subject of media and U.S. government scrutiny after multiple deaths and injuries were attributed to accidents resulting from the unintended and uncontrolled acceleration of its cars. Despite Toyota’s voluntary recall of 4.2 million vehicles for floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal and a later recall to increase the space between the gas pedal and the floor, the company insisted there was no underlying defect and defended itself against media reports and regulatory statements that said otherwise. As the crisis escalated, Toyota was further criticized for its unwillingness to share information from its data recorders about possible problems with electronic throttle controls and sticky accelerator pedals, as well as braking problems with the Prius. By the time Toyota Motor Company president Akio Toyoda apologized in his testimony to the U.S. Congress, Toyota’s stock price had declined, in just over a month, by 20 percent—a $35 billion loss of market value.

 

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Wal-Mart's Katrina Aid

Abstract

After Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Louisiana on August 29, 2005, Wal-Mart initiated emergency operations that not only protected and reopened its stores, but also helped its employees and others in the community cope with the disaster’s personal impact. This response was part of a wider effort by the company under CEO Lee Scott to improve its public image. Wal-Mart’s efforts were widely regarded as the most successful of all corporations in the aftermath of the disaster and set the standard for future corporate disaster relief programs.

 

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Wal-Mart: The Store Wars

Abstract

In early 2004, residents of Inglewood, California, a working-class community just outside Los Angeles composed primarily of African- and Hispanic-Americans, were preparing to vote on a referendum that would change the city charter to allow Wal-Mart to build a supercenter on a huge, undeveloped lot in the city. Walmart had put forward the measure after the city council refused to change the zoning of a sixty-acre plot on which it held an option to build. 
Numerous community and religious groups opposed Wal-Mart’s entry and campaigned against the referendum. Walmart promised low-priced merchandise and jobs, but these groups were skeptical about the kinds of jobs and compensation that would be offered, the healthcare that would be provided to employees, and the broader impact Walmart would have on the community. Inglewood was a pro-union community, so there was also opposition based on Walmart’s anti-union position. On April 6 Inglewood residents voted to reject the referendum by a margin of 60.6 percent to 39.9 percent. Though smaller, less organized, and with fewer resources than

Walmart, this coalition of community and religious leaders had defeated the global retailing behemoth. 

 

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Mercedes and the Moose Test (A)
Abstract

The case describes a crisis management situation faced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler-Benz AG. In 1997 Mercedes had introduced a revolutionary new car, the A-class, Mercedes's first entry into the compact car segment. The A-class was positioned as an entry-level vehicle in the Mercedes line and represented Mercedes's attempt to grow beyond its core market. A few days after the car was officially introduced, it rolled-over during a test known as the "moose test", conducted by a Swedish journalist. The A-class's failed moose-test created extensive media coverage in Germany and other European countries, threatening the success of the A-class launch.

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Mercedes and the Moose Test (B)
Abstract

The case describes in detail Mercedes's management approach to the moose-test crisis. It discusses strategic and organizational issues as well as specific challenges in corporate communications, the management of difficult technical and logistical challenges and leading under crisis conditions.

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Myriad: Breast Cancer Testing in the United States (A)
Abstract

The case describes Myriad Genetics and its struggle to develop a genetic testing service while facing challenges from competitors and activist organizations. After Myriad’s discovery of the BRCA gene, capable of genetic testing for breast cancer in women, Myriad would need to choose a strategy to provide this service to the public. With several major competitors offering similar services, intense media scrutiny, and a charged activist and political climate, a poor Myriad decision could face major repercussions.

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Myriad: Breast Cancer Testing in the United States (B)
Abstract

The case describes Myriad Genetics and its struggle to develop a genetic testing service while facing challenges from competitors and activist organizations. After Myriad’s discovery of the BRCA gene, capable of genetic testing for breast cancer in women, Myriad would need to choose a strategy to provide this service to the public. With several major competitors offering similar services, intense media scrutiny, and a charged activist and political climate, a poor Myriad decision could face major repercussions.

 

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Myriad: Breast Cancer Testing in Britain (A)
Abstract

The case describes Myriad Genetics and its struggle to secure exclusive testing services for the BRCA gene. After Myriad obtained licensing rights and dissolved its U.S. competition, it turned its focus to Europe, specifically the UK. The UK National Health Service had made genetic testing available to the public and Myriad had to decide which course of action would be most effective in stopping British BRCA genetic testing and expanding Myriad's own service to this new market.

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Myriad: Breast Cancer Testing in Britain (B)
Abstract

The case describes Myriad Genetics and its struggle to secure exclusive testing services for the BRCA gene. After Myriad obtained licensing rights and dissolved its U.S. competition, it turned its focus to Europe, specifically the UK. The UK National Health Service had made genetic testing available to the public and Myriad had to decide which course of action would be most effective in stopping British BRCA genetic testing and expanding Myriad’s own service to this new market.

 

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Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (A)
Abstract

After the company's first aviation fatality, Southwest Airlines' CEO is faced with new and difficulty decisions. The alacrity and compassion that characterized the company's response serves as a paradigm for any organization facing a future crisis situation.

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Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (B)
Abstract

After the company's first aviation fatality, Southwest Airlines' CEO is faced with new and difficulty decisions. The alacrity and compassion that characterized the company's response serves as a paradigm for any organization facing a future crisis situation.

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Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (C)
Abstract

After the company's first aviation fatality, Southwest Airlines' CEO is faced with new and difficulty decisions. The alacrity and compassion that characterized the company's response serves as a paradigm for any organization facing a future crisis situation.

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United Learning (A)
Abstract

The case describes the response of United Learning's management after its flagship educational program failed to make the U.S. Department of Education's "exemplary programs" list, prompting state education agencies and school districts to move away from United's product line. It focuses on United Learning's marketing and production decisions regarding their new product, unitedstreaming(tm), an Internet-based learning product that was critical to the company's future.

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United Learning (B)
Abstract

The case focuses on the lobbying and political efforts of United Learning executives to ensure their new program, unitedstreaming(tm) would be successful. Recognizing a similar political climate that ultimately excluded previous United Learning products, the company used proactive research and legislative contacts to help set unitedstreaming as a standard in Internet-based media education materials.

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The Politics of Tobacco Control: The U.S. Tobacco Industry in 1996
Abstract

The case describes the history of the tobacco industry and its emergence as an extremely effective marketer and non-market strategist. After years of success, both publicly and politically, the leaders of the tobacco industry are faced with mounting political pressure and the financial threat of litigation from class-action lawsuits. The leaders face an industry-wide strategic decision of whether to acquiesce to government demands in exchange for immunity, focus on judicial success, or develop a new course of action.

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Recyclers v Superfund (A)
Abstract

The case focuses on the actions taken by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to overturn an unintended consequence of the Superfund legislation that dramatically increased the liability for its members, many of them small businesses.

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Recyclers v Superfund (B)
Abstract

The case focuses on ISRI's legislative strategy in the 103rd Congress to pass a bill to protect its members from increased liability as part of the Superfund legislation.

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Recyclers v Superfund (C)

Abstract

The case focuses on the challenges to ISRI’s strategy in the 104th Congress when the majority in Congress shifted from Democratic to Republican control.

 

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Recyclers v Superfund (D)

Abstract

The case describes the execution of ISRI’s political strategy.

 

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