Academy of Management Learning and Education
To identify the possible mismatch between what MBA students are supposed to learn and what they are actually exposed to in the case methods, we analyzed the manifest and latent meanings of popular MBA teaching cases in the United States and China. Our findings suggest that despite repeated calls for a more holistic approach to management education, overemphasis on the rational framework persists. We identify five patterns common to both U.S. and Chinese cases; namely, rationalistic framework, undersocialized protagonist, strategy-driven organization, manager-as-analyst, and naïve and biased politics. We also discuss the likely causes for the biases and propose possible ways to develop better-balanced teaching cases.
Research traditionally regards the product attribute as the determinant in consumers' variety seeking. Research has focused mainly on examining variety seeking in the brands used, and assumes that consumers can clearly appreciate the product attributes and identify the variety they need. Therefore these theories do not incorporate the influence of the company name in the consumers' decision to purchase a brand. It is believed, however, that consumers' information processing is different when purchasing an unknown brand. In this paper, an attempt is made to explore what factors affect consumers' reliance on the company name — that is, the name of the corporation alone — in their decision to purchase a brand that has not been previously purchased.
The book contains key ideas and stories from the marketing seminars Professor Burgers teaches in three to four day sessions to global companies such as Nokia, Kodak, Sony, Motorola, BASF, GE, Philips, Electrolux, as well as a variety of smaller companies. So what new, practical, useful things does he tell these leading companies? This book lets you find out.
The book is handily divided into six chapters, each of which covers with anecdotes, illustrations, and facts a different aspect of marketing wisdom. Each chapter is further divided into subsections, each of which is summarized with a brief but comprehensive sentence. The format is ideal for review and discussion among managers. You can read immediately useful extracts from the book on the themarketingyouneverknew website.
The book is both profound and entertaining, even enlivened with cartoons. According to Professor Hans Pennings of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania: "This is definitely the funniest book I’ve ever read about marketing and it’s probably one of the most provocative books I’ve ever read about marketing too. The language is simple, but the ideas are not…"
When IKEA opened its Shanghai Xuhui store in 2003, it adopted some strategies, such as opening the store in the city center rather than in the suburbs, that diverged from its normal practices. After all, the Chinese market was different and therefore required different strategies. However, little had IKEA anticipated that “being different” would entail the congregation of as many as 700 seniors at its restaurant for dating purposes! What normally would have been good business for the restaurant became an unexpected management challenge as the dating seniors only partook of free coffee, which came along with their IKEA family card. The case illustrates the challenges that the store faced and how it met them while maintaining the IKEA vision to the greatest extent possible. The learning objectives are to: (1) understand how different geographies can bring unexpected managerial challenges for international managers; (2) examine the China-specific experience of a company; and (3) analyze the importance of company vision in the face of management challenges.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
In December 2003, Mr. Zhan Xialai, Secretary of the Wuhu Municipal Committee of the CPC (Communist Party of China) and board chairman of SAIC-Chery Automobile Corporation (“Chery”), was reviewing the annual performance of the company. Chery, founded only four years earlier, had established itself as one of the most successful domestic brands in China’s fast growing passenger car market. As 2003—considered by Mr. Zhan and his senior executives to be “the most critical year” for Chery’s growth—concluded, he heard both good and bad news.
Chery had been created with strong support from the Anhui provincial and Wuhu municipal governments. By involving SAIC, one of China’s largest state-owned automotive groups, as a “nominal” but important shareholder, Chery had obtained a license from the Central Government to enter into China’s booming automobile manufacturing industry. Instead of forming joint ventures with foreign automobile giants, Chery had adopted an “autonomous product development” strategy. It introduced technology and equipment from automobile companies in other countries and cooperated with the leading car-designing companies. Then, Chery “integrated” these resources to develop new products under its own control. The initial experiment seemed quite successful, bringing Chery onto the list of China’s top carmakers. Chery initially targeted its products at home car owners who had business needs, and then gradually enriched its product variety to cater to lower- and higher-end customers. During its first two years, Chery kept a low profile but grew steadily. However, as competition grew more fierce, Chery hired a new marketing director to launch a more aggressive and eye-catching marketing strategy.
Meanwhile, Chery was confronted with several challenges. For almost all its car models, Chery faced accusations of infringing on the intellectual property rights of leading global brands. Tensions grew between Chery and major auto giants, such as Volkswagen and GM. An exacerbating factor was that SAIC, one of Chery’s shareholders, had major joint ventures with Volkswagen and GM; thus, Chery risked losing SAIC as a shareholder. In addition, the aggressive style of Chery’s new marketing director has created tension with other senior executives, and his radical actions had bred dissatisfaction among both internal and external observers. Zhan Xialai also faced political criticism for holding both a Party official post and a business post, which was considered a violation of CPC rules.
Chery Automobile Corporation