Product managers are responsible for guiding the success of a product and leading the cross-functional team that is responsible for improving it. It is an important organizational role — especially in technology companies — that sets the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for a product or product line.
In these case studies, we'll take a look at employee performance and retention, supply chain management, growth, ad spending, and more. Although the following are focused on specific businesses, all business students can learn lessons from their triumphs and mistakes.
Read on, and you'll find 20 classic case studies you'd do well to know as a business student. Workplace Drug Abuse Managers hope they'll never have to deal with employee drug abuse, but the fact is that it does happen. In this case, Amber, an administrative assistant started out well, but began to adopt strange and inconsistent behavior.
Her work was maintained pretty well, but she began arriving late and calling in sick often, especially right around the time she got paid. She began borrowing and failing to repay money, and then started showing a short temper on the phone with customers.
After being found in the ladies room sniffing white powder, she was confronted about a cocaine problem, and reacted by quitting immediately, leaving a hole in the organization for months before a replacement could be found and replaced. Experts believe the employer's actions were wrong, waiting too long to confront Amber, and focusing on accusations instead of criticizing behavior directly related to work, such as lateness and rudeness to clients.
They also point out that Amber should have been sent in for a drug test before being outright accused of using cocaine, opening up the opportunity for rehabilitation instead of a severed tie. Malden Mills Sometimes, doing the right thing is more important than profits, a lesson that Malden Mills learned firsthand.
When the factory burned down in just two weeks before Christmas, production halted and employees assumed they'd be out of work until the factory was rebuilt.
However, since then, Malden Mills has been to bankruptcy court three times, with much of the debt tied to the rebuild of the factory. Feuerstein made employees happy, to be sure, but business students should study this case to consider whether bold philanthropic actions will pay off in the end.
Up to that point, Starbucks stores had added new offerings, including wi-fi and music for sale, but started to lose its warm "neighborhood store" feeling in favor of a chain store persona. Harvard Business Review points out that in this situation, "Starbucks is a mass brand attempting to command a premium price for an experience that is no longer special.
HBR's case study shares three problems with the growth of Starbucks: Harvard recommends that Starbucks should have stayed private, growing at a controlled pace to maintain its status as a premium brand.
Small Customers, Big Profits Big business is attractive, with huge profits for some. But there's something to be said about small business as well, with lower risk and the potential for creativity.
Although Big D started out catering only to large orders, the shop sat idle in between orders, and through effective scheduling and transparent pricing, was able to fill in dead times with smaller orders.
Big D found a profit in a market segment that other local screen printers weren't clamoring to fill. Experts believe this was a smart strategy, allowing Big D to spread out risk in their business and offer customized products.
But at least one person is critical of the offering, pointing out that the niche has little upside potential, and may hurt the company's efficiency. Succession Planning Family businesses typically have the luxury of passing the torch down to children after parents retire, but in some cases, there are no candidates, or the candidates may not be right for the role.
This presents a challenge when it's time to find a successor, especially if existing employees have assumed that top level promotions would come from within the family. So the Carlson companies had to put in great effort to find a replacement, looking both internally and outside of the company, ultimately finding an internal candidate who would work well with the family but also offered plenty of experience as an executive in different industries.
According to Beverly Behan of Hay's Group, Carlson should be commended for not only making the right decision in not hiring the heir apparent, but for handling the job search in a calm, effective way.
Retiring Employees, Lost Knowledge Another important retirement issue is one of lost knowledge. What happens when retirees leave the office, taking years of experience and know-how right along with them?
Businesses lose all of that knowledge, but according to American Express, it doesn't have to be that way. Through a pilot program, AMEX created a workforce transformation group that would allow retiring participants to gradually give up some of their day to day responsibilities. In return, the employees would spend some of this time mentoring and teaching classes to successors.
This resulted in a phased retirement, allowing employees to leave gradually and enjoy more time while still enjoying a portion of their previous salary, and regular benefits.
This also meant that some employees stayed a year or more past traditional retirement age. AMEX believes this program is a success, allowing senior employees to enjoy their last years of work in a reduced capacity, as well as educating the existing workforce for future success.Strategic Planning Planning The Strategy function at Nike, Inc.
partners with our most senior executives to define and create the future of our business and the broader marketplace. By driving critical transformational projects and leading our annual strategy cycle, we uncover and realize Nike, Inc.’s biggest opportunities.
How Much Does a Business Operations Manager Make? Business operations managers earned a median salary of $99, in , with the highest-paid 10 percent earning $, or more per year and the lowest-paid earning $44, Apply for Samsung Electronics America job opportunities from entry level to management positions at Monster.
Salary & Benefits; Career Paths; Workplace Advice; Senior Manager?, Business Planning Samsung Electronics America. Bellevue, WA 20 days ago Applied Saved. Manager, Business Strategy & Planning. Reporting to the Senior Manager, Business Strategy & Planning, the Manager will be instrumental in designing and 30+ days ago - save job - more.
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