Case studies are one of the most effective ways of informing the world of the value of goods and services provided by businesses. They serve as real-life testimonials of how customers are able to gain maximum satisfaction or how a certain process is beneficial to both the business and its consumers. By studying business case study examples from various sources such as the Internet, journals, and books, managers for fledgling businesses and start-ups can develop a strength-weakness approach. This is because case study examples demonstrate practical ways in which businesses have applied various strategies to achieve organizational goals. Furthermore, business case study examples are useful, particularly to business students who are pursuing careers in such discipline as marketing, finance, and human resource.
The case of Malden Mills business case study demonstrates that adopting moral business practices is more important in the long-run than making more profits. Malden Mills management learnt this lesson firsthand when their factory was completely destroyed by fire in the autumn of 1995. This incident created panic among the employees because many of them expected to be out of work until the plant was rebuilt. However, the CEO, Aaron Feuerstein, ensured that the employees were compensated for 90 days and an additional 180 days with all benefits. After the reconstruction and reinstatement of the redundant employees, the company experienced a transformation in terms of business performance. Co-operation and productivity reached the target levels, sales increased by 40%, while customer and employee retention reached up to 95%.
This business case study example provides useful lessons to business students and managers of existing businesses. Though Malden Mills underwent bankruptcy as a result of reconstruction costs, the effect of treating employees well can be felt beyond the need for making profits. The reaction of many businesses in the face of a fire disaster would be to send employees to home without a pay. While this enables such a company to save the employees’ costs, the longer-term effects can be detrimental to the well-being of the business. For example, according to Spector, over 70% of poor business results in the United States have been found to be caused by employees’ apathy and resentment towards the businesses. In most cases, this apathy is the product of poor and indifferent treatment of employees by employers. According to Eisenhardt, in a way, the employees subconsciously feel that the only way to ‘punish’ their employer is by engaging in actions such as go-slows, strikes, and sabotage.
Business case study examples serve as a reliable and universal tool that can be applied in many situations. There is always a case study example related to every contemporary business challenge that can easily be obtained from the internet. Case study examples offer a practical way of dealing with business-related challenges. Furthermore, students can use case study examples to find relevance in their theoretical classroom work. Case study examples can also be used in learning institutions to formulate new strategies for solving real business-related challenges.
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Gable, G. G. (1994). Integrating case study and survey research methods: an example in information systems. European journal of information systems, 3(2), 112-126.
Seeger, M., & Ulmer, R. (2002). A post-crisis discourse of renewal: The cases of Malden Mills and Cole Hardwoods. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 30(2), 126-142.
Spector, P. E. (2005). Relationships of organizational frustration with reported behavioral reactions of employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60(5), 635.
Ulmer, R. R. (2001). Effective crisis management through established stakeholder relationships: Malden Mills as a case study. Management Communication Quarterly, 14(4), 590-615.