BOL China

Juan Antonio Fernandez, Jennifer Z. Wang and Dongjun Chen

BOL China was part of German group Bertelsmann, one of the biggest media groups in the world. The company was the pioneer of e-business in China with the establishment of Bertelsmann on Line (BOL China). The case presents the situation of the company after one year of operations and relates the difficulties of starting an e-business when the infrastructure of the country was limited. It describes the characteristics of e-business and the demands it posed in terms of strategy and operations. Finally, the case also explores the design of a performance measurement system for the e-business, using the Balanced Score-card as a model.

Gentran Machinery, Inc. (A) & (B)

C. Carl Pegels

The two cases describe the problems associated with the implementation of an international manufacturing joint venture in China between an American construction machinery firm and its Chinese counterpart. Case (A)  presents the major hurdles the partners had to deal with: cultural, language and management problems. The conflicts between the two sides were exasperated by the lack of Western exposure to Chinese managers and the strict hierarchical management system in the Chinese side of the joint venture. Case (A) does not propose solutions but certainly raises many issues that need resolution.
Case (B) proposes solutions to the problems extensively described in the "A" case. General recommendations were proposed to address the following issues: (a) the general manager's position, power and authority in the joint venture, (b)  the organizational design of the joint venture, (c)  clarification of the responsibility of both parties, (d) reward system and appraisal system, (e) how to deal with both the Chinese and American incompetent managers, (f) how to deal with the communication problems, both language and cultural, and (g) final comprehensive and position outline of the potential of the joint venture.

Island Shangri-La's Environmental Management System: A Long Way to Go!

Terence Tsai, Larry Chan Chi Chuen, Kitty Chou Hsin Yi, Maiken Schultz, Ferdinandt Heike and Ken Yeung Yuk-Lam 

The Shangri-La Group was known throughout the world as the high-quality service provider in the hotel industry.  This case focuses on the Island Shangri-La hotel’s long and difficult process of attaining ISO 14001 certification.  This involved challenging and changing the dominant "non-Green" business mindset and instilling a somewhat foreign environmentally friendly mentality in stakeholders.  How to balance financial profitability with "greening" demands became central to sustaining the hotel’s leadership position in an increasingly competitive market place.

Video Streaming in Southeast Asia: Blockbuster at the Edge

Peter Raven, C. Patrick Fleenor and Kristie Kucur

Blockbuster was a world leader in video rentals and sales, DVDs and video game retail outlets.  Their international expansion strategy calls for developing the video streaming market.  Determining the ideal location for their first initiative is the subject of this case. A decision must be made between Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.  The choice was not obvious, as all three had both positive and some less attractive features.  Broadband was a requirement for video streaming and is already in use in this region, at least to some extent.  However, several marketing issues arose.  Realizing that success in the initial market would have a strong influence on the likelihood of success in South-East Asia and perhaps in the larger Asia-Pacific region, the decision as to which country to select and how to approach the market with video streaming was critical.

Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited: Strategic Renewal

Sunil Kumar Maheshwari and N. Ravichandran

This case provides a comprehensive account of the origin, foundation, growth, managerial and operational problems, labor relationship, decline in performance, change of ownership, and the initiatives taken by the new management team to revive the company.
Mangalore was an initiative by Karnataka State Government in India. Originally, MCFL was conceived as a private sector organization. Eventually it was converted to a state-owned public sector undertaking. There was no accountability for the senior managers in managing the plant. Often, they had to make a trade off between their loyalty to the elected representatives and the prosperity of MCFL. Invariably, the operating officers who were usually drawn from Indian Administrative Services chose to neglect the commercial prospects of MCFL. Erratic power supply and hostile labor situation (as a consequence of inappropriate labor policies) led to frequent shut down of the plant. Consequently, the financial health of the plant deteriorated. The precarious financial position made MCFL a candidate for either closure or for sale. The Indian Government, in an attempt to revive the plant, put MCFL through two rehabilitation packages supported by its Board and its financial institutions. Eventually, MCFL was sold to UB Group in 1990. The Chairman Mr. Mallya nominated a team from UB group to manage and revive MCFL. As of 2002, MCFL is a profitgenerating organization. The management has to decide, how MCFL should grow from now onwards.

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