This final note in the four-part series on competitive-cost analysis introduces the concepts of learning curves and experience curves, which can be analyzed with a log-log relationship between unit cost and cumulative volume.
This brief note provides a description of the A3 communication tool using classic problem-solving methodology associated with the Toyota Production System. A3 thinking may be used to assist communication of all aspects of problem solving, including proposal writing and status reporting. The six most common elements of an A3 report are described briefly.
At many leading business schools, cases are written only by professors or professional case writers. At the Darden School of Business, however, MBA students may also write cases.
Case writing helps students to gain tangible business writing and communication skills, to sharpen their business acumen, to understand better the key concepts learned in the classroom, and to prepare for the practical r
This note explores the selection of investment managers and the performance-measurement tools associated with this important task. In selecting investment options for a firm’s 401(k) plan, identifying possible managers to oversee a portion of an endowment’s or foundation’s investment portfolio, or a retail investor’s decision of which fund to choose for their regular investment account, investment
Unconventional monetary policy has become the norm since the 2008 financial crisis. Central bank balance sheets have swelled and new tools for interest rate control have now emerged. This technical note provides a framework to help students understand the nature of unconventional monetary policy and interpret recent changes in how short-term policy rates are controlled. It can serve as a technical
This technical note aims to guide discussion on three strategic moves that are designed for multipoint competition: thrust, feint, and gambit. It will examine how these moves might be applied for multipoint competition within the pet food industry. In the 1980s, pet food companies competed across many different subsegments of cat and dog food, requiring complex and creative multipoint competition
This technical note will help provide insight on what a brand purpose is, why it matters, and how companies can vary in their design and application of brand purpose. Since the concept of brand purpose is an emerging idea, growing in importance within the academic and practicing communities, we hope this technical note will inspire a deeper reflection and discussion that will lead to greater under
In the field of branding, terms like parent brands and subbrands are often used in imprecise ways. The general lack of clarity around these terms can lead to poor marketing communication and confusion about marketing strategy. This note offers a synopsis of what parent brands and subbrands are, explains the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating them into a company’s brand architecture, and
Few concepts are as important as maturity transformation for understanding financial crises. This technical note guides students through the key mechanisms in the theory using a representative investor, a long-term borrower, and an issuer of shorter-term claims. It then highlights the pervasiveness of maturity transformation in modern financial products. It works well before classes on deposit ins
What is monetary policy and what is the Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) role in determining monetary policy in the United States? How are changes in monetary policy implemented and how do these changes affect firms, households, and other stakeholders? This technical note addresses these questions by outlining the Fed’s legal mandate, the tools at its disposal to achieve that mandate, and the mechanisms
This technical note is designed to introduce students and practitioners to the body of work associated with creativity and its applications for professionals and the organizations they lead. Creativity is often seen as an intangible subject, and a half-century of research remains remarkably unknown. This note describes actions that professionals can immediately implement to accelerate creativity i
This technical note provides a brief overview of the state of climate finance at the start of the 2020s. Catastrophes such as the Texas power grid failure and widespread wildfires in other western states have highlighted the increasing financial costs of climate change. The material includes market failures that have constrained the financial sector’s response to the challenge of climate change, a