After Amazon.com announced it would acquire Whole Foods, shares of supermarkets in the United States were hit hard; the same was true for grocers in Europe, as investors there worried about the possibility of Amazon moving beyond US borders in the grocery space. Because little had been said regarding the motivation behind the acquisition, the CEO of a large organic-foods supermarket group in Europ
This technical note is employed in MBA, executive education, and undergraduate courses that cover the art of persuasion. It is used in the core Management Communication course at Darden. Employing the canons of rhetoric devised by Aristotle and his classical contemporaries, the objective of the note is to provide students with a clear and usable map to guide them as they seek to understand the dyn
This technical note is used in management communications or strategic communication courses in MBA or executive education programs where students are learning to develop their ability to persuade others through oral and written communication. It includes a framework for assessing the various skill sets that characterize accomplished communicators and guidance for both extroverts and introverts on
Many decisions involve trade-offs between present and future costs and benefits. We procrastinate difficult tasks, and we forgo larger rewards for smaller ones if we can get them sooner. Why do we change our minds about the value of upcoming events? The traditional discounting model, which predicts how individuals discount future consequences and resolve trade-offs between present and future costs
In February 2018, Jay Powell replaced Janet Yellen as chair of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed). Powell, a board member at the Fed since May 2012, knew that his job was to normalize U.S. monetary policy, which had been exceptionally expansionary for a full decade. He also knew that short rates had been too low for too long—the federal funds rate had been near 0% for sev
Written using public sources, this case uses Hewlett-Packard's (HP) purchase of Autonomy Corporation (Autonomy) to analyze the accounting treatment for the acquisition and subsequent goodwill impairment. While the case focuses on the accounting for mergers and acquisitions, it also provides for a variety of other discussion topics such as the effect of managerial incentives and CEO succession on a
U.S. employment in manufacturing has been steadily declining since the 1980s. In the wake of the surprise election in November 2016 of Donald J. Trump, who received strong blue-collar support in rust-belt states, there was growing urgency to understand the plight of manufacturing. The first half of this case explores recent research on labor-market polarization, the return to education, and the lo
This note presents a short description of balance of payments (BOP) and international investment position (IIP) data. It works through examples using data for the United States and Mexico while providing guidance for understanding the data of just about any country.
Despite the hierarchical power structures in the military and government, as they reach more senior levels, leaders routinely operate in peer-to-peer teams. These environments require the ability to negotiate complex group dynamics?a skill which often goes undeveloped in typical hierarchies. Groups that succeed over time have three things in common: (1) they meet their performance goals, (2) their
In 2017, it was a challenge to assess the future of global trade. It was an open question whether the U.S. financial crisis and the recession that it triggered would mark a turning point for the liberal post-World War II world order. If one looked toward Europe, China, Latin America, and Japan, there was a flurry of activity. New trade agreements were being completed and pursued. In Washington, DC
This note provides a few basic facts about the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). We also investigate why we need those institutions from an economic perspective. In other words, we seek to understand what problems the GATT/WTO solve, and why without them the trade liberalizations that they seek would not emerge.
Sonvilier Pen is an elite manufacturer of high-quality ballpoint and fountain pens, producing over three million units annually. Six months earlier, the COO for Sonvilier Pen had gotten a proposal to outsource two pen components to Li Manufacturing, a specialist in the molding and production of intricate metals, located in southeastern China. The proposal was intriguing, but there were a number of
UPLiFT, a microfinance NGO in the Philippines that provided microfinance and social services for the urban poor, was deciding whether to try to attain fast growth (tripling its clients in just a few years) or concentrate on serving the community in the philanthropic way it always had. The case presents UPLiFT's mission and operations, as well as the opportunities and challenges it faced in 2014.
This note provides context regarding financial inclusion in the Philippines. It discusses the nature of poverty in the country; provides details on the financial system, especially the financial organizations that serve the poor; and presents some initiatives to broaden access to finance.
The general manager of Island Imprints must decide whether to go ahead with a deal to repurchase the company he founded but had to sell several years earlier when it encountered financial difficulty. A tentative bank-financed SBA-guaranteed deal has been negotiated, which must be considered.
This case invites students to assess the financial performance of FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service, Inc., two firms that have long competed for dominance in the overnight delivery industry. The case is designed to introduce students to corporate value creation and its sources. It requires no numerical computations; instead, it asks the student to interpret the results and to reflect upon the
This is a Russian translation of the 2012 version of UVA-S-0194. Suitable for MBA, Executive MBA, GEMBA, and executive education programs, this case uses CEMEX, a global cement producer based in Mexico, to set the stage for unfolding an analysis of a growth through acquisition strategy. It offers a discussion about the firm's overall strategy to acquire on a global scale instead of growing organic
This is the Russian translation of the August 2005 version of UVA-QA-0657. The manager of a paper plant must decide whether to buy a new electrode boiler to replace a natural gas boiler. The challenge is to cut through complexities, such as uncertainty in boiler efficiency, energy prices, financing alternatives, and supplier/competitor relationships to arrive at a first-cut analysis and decision.
This is a Spanish translation of the November 5, 2010 version of UVA-1175. This case provides an introductory exercise for estimating the cost of capital (cost of equity, weighted average cost of capital) for a firm contemplating a large increase in debt. Students are asked to compare the debt policy of MCI Communications with that of five other leading telecommunications companies to find MCI's o
This is a Spanish translation of the September 3, 2009 version of UVA-F-1575. As 2007 drew to a close, Panera Bread Company faced a new challenge. To date, it had relied on retained earnings and minor equity infusions to finance operations. But a decline in margins would limit future financing from internally generated funds. Complicating matters was the fact that its stock price was at historic l
Olaf Tryggvason, owner of a fleet of fishing ships in a small northern Norwegian town, has been offered and has accepted a reality television deal about the fleet to create a show along the lines of "The Deadliest Catch" and "Big Shrimpin'." He now has to recommend which ships and kapteiner (skippers or captains) in his fleet should be the stars of the show. He also has to consider the various dan
This interactive marketing simulation emulates the product design process at Capital One Financial Corporation. The firm has a variety of different products (12 versions of a credit card) and detailed information (summarized by a single credit score) on several thousand potential customers. The question at hand is which product(s) should be offered through direct mail to which customers. Student t
As part of a biennial supplier review, Jennifer Schramm, a purchasing manager in the cocoa and chocolate division at Cardinal Foods, had been considering several different cocoa cooperatives. She wanted to (1) source high-quality cocoa in the proper particle sizes, (2) source cocoa from environmentally and socially conscious producers, (3) keep the cost of cocoa sourcing as low as possible, and (4