Case Studies

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

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Hayagreeva Rao, Yin Li

This case follows Julio Vasconcellos (MBA 2007) as he launches Peixe Urbano, a daily deals company in Brazil. Daily deals are coupons that offer savings at local merchants and are sold en masse to consumers...

Rebecca Hinds, Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao

In 2012, software company Adobe Systems transitioned from using annual performance reviews to a system of ongoing, flexible, “check-ins.” The check-ins involved setting and tracking expectations, ongoing feedback and coaching, and opportunities for growth.


Robert Burgelman, Gang Zheng, Yajuan Wang

This industry note provides an extensive overview of the wireless communications industry in China at the end of 2012. At the time China had over 1.1 billion mobile subscribers, and the country was predicted to...

Robert A. Burgelman, Robert E. Siegel, Jason Luther

In 2013, Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the publishing house Axel Springer SE, a premier source of content in Germany, with its popular newspapers and magazines such as Bild and Die Welt, was evaluating the progress...

Robert Siegel, Yin Li

The case follows AngelList, an online platform connecting entrepreneurs with investors, as it searches for product/market fit and business models. Founded in 2010 by entrepreneurs Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi, AngelList begins as a project...

Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, Rebecca Hinds

After a delayed shipment of flooring materials impeded Jeff Booth’s ability to complete a construction project on schedule, he, along with cofounder Robert Banks, was determined to solve the inefficiency of the heavyweight building supply...

H. Irving Grousbeck, Jason Luther

It was March 2013 and one week after James Browder’s sixth board meeting as CEO of Aegis Systems Corp. (Aegis), a vendor management software provider based in Birmingham, Alabama. As Browder sat at his desk,...

Robert Burgelamn, Debra Schifrin

In 2013 Basware, the Finland-based e-invoice operator and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendor, was going through a large and critical transition: moving from selling and installing licensed software to selling Software as a Service...

Glenn R. Carroll, David Hoyt

In 2009, Caterpillar shipped its first D7E tractor, an “electric drive” machine in which electric motors moved the tracks and blade, using electricity from a generator powered by a diesel engine. In an industry where...

Sarah A Soule, Davina Drabkin

Melissa Stepanis, deal team leader for Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) New York tech lending group, had been on maternity leave. When she met with her manager to discuss her anticipated return to work, she was...

Robert A. Burgelman, Robert Eric Siegel, Ibrahim Elbouchikhi, Jonathan Karmel, Alan Chiu

An update of Google’s Android operating system since 2009. The case discusses the incredible success and market growth of Android and its impact on the global mobile market. Google adeptly added features and functions to...

H. Irving Grousbeck, Sara Rosenthal

The MobiChair case describes the story of Lucy Ahn and Josh McKinnon, graduates of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business who are also in a relationship, who take on the role of co-CEOs of a power...

Robert Siegel, Austin Kiessig

The La Boulange: Exiting to a Large Strategic Buyer case follows the evolution of the La Boulange bakery and café chain and its eventual buyout by Starbucks Corporation. First, the case relates the founding story...

Robert Siegel, Austin Kiessig

The La Boulange: Exiting to a Large Strategic Buyer case follows the evolution of the La Boulange bakery and café chain and its eventual buyout by Starbucks Corporation. First, the case relates the founding story...

Jesper Sorensen, Debra Schifrin, Kevin Hettrich

“Health Leads (B): Entering the ‘Proof Period’” presents the decisions the health care nonprofit made in 2009 - 2010 about its expansion options, and the success it had in raising millions of dollars in 2011-2012...

Robert A. Burgelman, Steve W. Chung, Jon F. Nathanson, Won-yoh Lee

The case details the strategic decisions that SK Planet, a leader in web and mobile services in its home country of Korea, needed to make regarding the best way to carry out an aggressive global...

Robert Burgelman, Martina Ludescher

The case discusses the post-IPO strategies, opportunities and challenges for Swiss global trading company DKSH, the leading market expansion (MES) provider with a focus on Asia. DKSH was well positioned to capitalize on three key...

Robert A. Burgelman, Robert Eric Siegel, Maalika Manoharan

An update of Zuora’s activities since 2009. The growth of SaaS adoption in enterprise software enabled the leadership team to achieve tremendous growth since the writing of the (A) case, but the company struggled in...

Robert Burgelman, Robert Siegel, Shalie Gaskill

CEO Aaron Levie co-founded Box as a student at USC in 2004. Less than 10 years later, Box had become one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in Silicon Valley, serving more than 180,000...

Robert Burgelman, Christopher Nguyen, David Hoyt

This note describes the mobile telecommunications industry in 2012, and how the various participants were positioned for the future. This was a period of rapid change, as some competitors were rapidly growing, while others were...