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Case Studies

This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

William F. Meehan, Davina Drabkin

During his second year as a high school teacher in South Carolina, Reid Saaris noticed that a highly academically capable student was not registered for advanced classes.  The student was African American and Saaris observed...

Robert Siegel, Jessica Morgan

This case profiles the journey of protagonist Tim Harkness through his many entrepreneurial pursuits.  It chronicles his early career and how a bout of serendipity landed him a job in the life sciences tools industry. ...

Robert Siegel, Robert Burgelman, Michael Seltzer

By 2015 Google’s Android operating system had been deployed on over one billion units worldwide. The firm had been happy with the high market segment share achieved on mobile phones, but new challenges were arising:...

Robert Siegel, Yin Li

The case follows CircleUp, an online marketplace that connects early-stage consumer retail companies with prospective investors.  The case begins by describing the dynamics of the traditional private equity industry, which incentivize firms to favor investments...

Mark Hartmann, William F. Meehan, Meaghan Conway

This case assesses Actis’ optimal exit route for Umeme, a Ugandan electricity distribution company in their investment portfolio. Actis, a private equity firm that invests exclusively in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, had spent seven...

Robert Siegel, Robert Burgelman, Tim Hsia

The Medium Corporation seeks to change how people author, consume and engage with content on the Internet. Founded by Ev Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter, the company developed a digital publishing platform and set...

George Foster, Davina Drabkin

Disappointed by how poorly his two favorite football teams were playing against each other on a Thursday night in November 2009, Warren Packard considered the other games he could watch.  It was late fall and...

Robert Siegel, Robert Burgelman, Arla Xhaxho

The Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for supporting Wikipedia and various other projects through administration, technical and financial support. Since its founding, Wikipedia has changed the way people around the world research information by allowing individuals...

Kenneth Shotts, Sheila Melvin

The term “conflict minerals” referred to four minerals—tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold—that are mined in countries throughout the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  These minerals, sometimes referred to as the “3TG” minerals,...

Robert Siegel, Jackie Bello

CODE2040 was founded by Tristan Walker and Laura Weidman Powers to create pathways to success for blacks and Latinos in the technology and entrepreneurship sector by providing mentoring and coaching for students beginning their careers....

Stefan Reichelstein, Davina Drabkin

Between 2010 and 2012, SolarCity experienced tremendous growth in an industry that was generally perceived to be struggling.  Many other solar start-ups were failing—Solyndra, which had received a $535M loan from the U.S. government, was...

George Foster, Peter Ziebelman, Jessica Morgan

The (B) case explained how Movile expanded their business, moving into the smartphone market from their core business of feature phones in Latin America. The case described the two parts of Movile’s strategy. The first...

Peter Ziebelman, George Foster, Jessica Morgan

The (A) case described the early days of Movile, a Brazilian mobile phone company, and debated the decision to open an office in Silicon Valley. The case went into the history of the firm and...

Robert Chess, Claire Magat, Jessica Morgan

This case follows the journey of Amyris Biotechnologies from being one of the most popular clean tech startups in Silicon Valley to being an out-of-favor public company.  This case explores the difficulties of changing a...

Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin

This 2015 case focuses on the evolution of Box’s management practices as the company grew from a small start-up to an organization with over 1,000 employees in five major locations.  The online file sharing and...

Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin

The 2015 case “Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (B)” details the success of the manager improvement pilot intervention program discussed in the companion case, “Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (A).” Within one year,...

Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin

The 2015 case “Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (A)” discusses programs that the bank put in place between 2011 and 2013 to improve managerial effectiveness.  The case looks at the traits that make good...

Robert Burgelman, Debra Schifrin

     “Intel’s Mobile Strategy in 2015 and Beyond” examines the company’s 2014 – 2015 strategy to become a more important mobile player. In early 2015, the semiconductor giant had virtually no presence in the...

Elizabeth Blankespoor, Jaclyn Fooroughi
Elizabeth Blankespoor, C. Gregory Rogers, Jaclyn Foroughi