This case tells the true story of Doug Lebda, a Darden student inspired by an entrepreneurship course to start his own business, CreditSource USA. From Lebda's childhood learning sales from his father, to the genesis of his venture idea, to the hard work he put in putting the business plan together and trying to test its viability, the case explores Lebda's entrepreneurial path. Should he move for
This case follows Maxine Waters, chairwoman for the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, as she faces the stock market phenomenon in early 2021 surrounding GameStop. The morning of February 17, 2021, Waters was leading a hearing on allegations of manipulation in the market for GameStop stock. A few weeks prior, the company’s stock surged from around $40 a share to nearly $4
This case introduces students to relational databases and the basics of collaborative filtering, a popular recommendation system technique. The case points to a dataset shared by GroupLens, a research group developing algorithms that supply movie recommendations through a website called MovieLens. SQL queries provided in the case propose a collaborative filtering strategy for generating simple rec
This case is part of the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum. To see other material in the GVV curriculum, please visit http://store.darden.virginia.edu/giving-voice-to-values.
The author discusses making compromises early in a career in order to make it up the ladder and then taking action based on values when in a powerful leadership position creates a problem because “waiting it out” in t
This case is used in Darden’s course elective, “The Brand Strategist’s Toolkit: Creating, Developing, and Managing Superior Brands.” The case discusses the fallout following the Coca-Cola Company's (Coke's) response to the new Georgia voting laws in 2021, addressing both marketing and brand purpose from an unbiased perspective. According to the bill’s sponsor and chair of the House Special Committ
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 course pack contains the materials for case study 2
After a successful first consulting project, Sarah is about start another case. She is tasked with developing a customer segmentation and growth workstream for a building products company that is under pressure from competitors. The case includes a large dataset with two years of customer information, for student analysis.
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 public-sourced case uses the California housing crisis to analyze economic policy in an environment featuring a rising cost of living and shrinking affordable housing options. The case discusses policy options as well as the role and incentives of the private sector in helping develop more affordability. In the case, economist Renee Bowen examines the tradeoffs involved in government interven
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.
This case follows the protagonist, chief investment officer of a multifamily office, as she debates whether or not Venn, a factor-based portfolio attribution tool developed by quant manager Two Sigma, will be a beneficial tool for her firm. Using Venn, she starts looking into possible hedge fund investments in hope of both further diversifying her clients’ portfolios and hedging against a possible
Angus MacIntyre, CEO of Dumbarton Bearing Supply, LLC (Dumbarton), is reviewing a proposal to invest in a new type of product: ceramic ball bearings designed for marine applications. The new bearings could open Dumbarton to new markets and make it more competitive, but demand is difficult to estimate, making the investment’s financial prospects uncertain. More problematic is deciding which of two
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
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 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
This case explores private and public proposals for digital forms of money that bypass the commercial banking system. A private proposal comes from Facebook’s Libra. A public proposal comes from central bank digital currency (CBDC). The case begins with Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Libra and the ensuing pushback from policymakers. One of the main concerns—financial stability—is revisited during a
This case explores the role of deposit insurance in financial stability, including the importance of risk-adjusted insurance premiums and the complementarity between capital requirements and deposit insurance when risk is imperfectly measured by the insurer. The case is intended to follow a class on maturity transformation (e.g., as presented in "The Economics of Maturity Transformation" [UVA-GEM-
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
Cases for DS 235
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
In late November 2017, Roark Capital Group (Roark) must decide on a last, best offer to purchase Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) in a leveraged buyout (LBO) for $157 per share. That bid had followed a series of offers that began in August 2017, at $150 per share, after a protracted proxy fight by activist investor Marcato Capital (Marcato) ended with the resignation of BWW’s longtime CEO, Sally Smith. Ma
This field-based case introduces Ron Helton, a partner in a civil-engineering and design firm called Thompson & Litton. The firm has just learned that it did not get two major contracts it had bid on. Sales are flat. Still, there is a proposal on the table for Thompson & Litton to begin working with a consultant to develop and initiate new construction deals with the state. There is a good upside
Willamette University Fall 2021
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
BUS 3104 Managerial Finance Fall 2021 Willamette University
Cases and Problems in Finance
This case offers applied practice for students in drafting testable user stories (agile), including the use of jobs-to-be-done, storyboards, and metrics to drive toward a specific, testable digital design. It starts with a brief overview of HVAC in a Hurry (HinH), a fictional supplier of heating and air-conditioning services for commercial properties, and gives a design brief for its new parts-ord
This exercise explores customer transaction data generated from a business owner's website and illustrates the added benefit of basic data analytics practices used to uncover business insights. Students discover the business's purchase trends when they answer the provided questions by writing SQL queries. The questions guide students to determine which product offerings the business should promote
This case explores the dynamic allocation approach to investing, an approach that would time the market based on factors’ relative valuations. Research Affiliates created a RAFI Dynamic Multifactor US index that dynamically allocated five factor strategies: value, quality, momentum, size, and low volatility. In this course, students will utilize various information presented in the case to discuss
You will wear the shoes of the CEOs or high-level leadership, decision makers of different real life companies as we discuss the cases, and using all your previous learnings from other classes, strategize about these real situations. This capstone experience stresses formulation of business strategies to achieve organizational objectives using strategic analysis and models based upon internal and
A change in the corporate US federal income tax rate necessitates an adjustment to a company’s balance sheet deferred tax account. Stephanie Allen has been tasked with determining the projected effects of several “what if” changes in the corporate income tax rate on her employer’s (Software for Seniors, Corp.) and a peer’s DuPont ratios and earnings per share performance measures.
This general ex
This public-sourced case set in May 2020 examines various corporate governance issues that have arisen for the nonprofit USA Track & Field (USATF). The case’s protagonist is board member Tricia Myers who considers how the board can better serve its constituents as they are inundated with a torrent of issues around CEO compensation, fundraising, and governance regulations. The board faces a fire dr
Set of cases required for students in FIN 4145 Advanced Financial Management in Fall 2021
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
In this set of three exercises, students are cast in the roles of brand managers of one of three categories of consumer goods companies. They must choose a specific brand in their category and identify keywords to advertise that brand on Google search, in order to leverage or react to evolving consumer behavior. Students research trend tools and Google’s keyword planner, explore and analyze consum