Faculty of Engineering

Teaching Case Studies

As part of the John M. Thompson Chair in Engineering Leadership and Innovation, teaching case studies in the area of Engineering Leadership and Innovation are being developed for use at Western and at other universities and corporations around the world. Cases are available through Ivey Publishing. However, if you would like to be notified of new cases as they are released, please email weli@uwo.ca and ask to be put on our email notification list.

Released in 2016

Joyus - Strategic Decisions in the Online Video Shopping Market
By: Matthew Wong, Darren Meister

Abstract
Joyus is an ambitious and high-potential company just transitioning out of start-up mode. After three years operating in the growing online video shopping marketplace, all the while developing new technology, business partnerships, and fundraising, Joyus is positioning itself for the next level. The company’s goal is to become the dominant player in the rapidly developing video-based ecommerce marketplace. The chief executive officer and her management team need to analyze and evaluate the company’s strengths and weaknesses and decide on the strategic direction of the company.

Joyus - Building an Organizational Structure for Scale
By: Matthew Wong, Darren Meister

Abstract
Joyus is a growing online video shopping marketplace specializing in women’s health, beauty and fashion products. After three years of operations and having recently secured substantial funding, the company is poised for future growth. The co-founder and chief executive officer faces the difficult challenge of building the right management team and the appropriate organizational structure to support the company’s desired growth. She needs to structure the organization from a human resources perspective, by evaluating the organizational needs and determining the right mix of skills, abilities and personalities required for success.

Released in 2015

Innovate LLP: Legal Dilemmas in the Start-up World
By: Matthew Wong, Adrienne Ng, Darren Meister

Abstract
A burgeoning mobile application entrepreneur has developed an interesting potential product with her friends. However, when she encounters an investment opportunity, she decides to seek legal advice for the first time in her business life. As a result of her initial meeting with a lawyer, she realizes how unprepared she is and some of the tough questions that she will need to answer.

Vic Progressive - Launch of SkyTrack
By: Kersi Antia, Darren Meister, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Abstract
The president of Vic Progressive Diamond Drilling, a Canadian enterprise based in Sussex, New Brunswick that provides products and services to mining companies, is reviewing the progress in the market launch of SkyTrack, a new product designed for use in difficult terrain exploration by large mining corporations. Feedback during field trials has been favourable; the innovation is, in fact, customer-led. There is also evidence that this multipurpose vehicle saves time and money in transporting mining equipment across rough terrain in remote areas. But the company is yet to make its first sale in two years because the user community is experiencing a difficult economic environment and is unwilling to make capital investments. How can product adoption be generated? What customer value proposition can be developed? Can SkyTrack be positioned as a means to improve cash flow for customers during difficult times, or should customers be primed to adopt it when the inevitable uptick in exploration occurs?

Boehringer Ingelheim: Leading Innovation
By: J. Robert MitchellRamasastry Chandrasekhar

Abstract
The newly appointed director of Innovation Management & Strategy at Boehringer Ingelheim, a German-based multinational pharmaceutical company, is finding his way forward in his firm’s new, first-of-its-kind role, which is central to the company’s growth rejuvenation strategy. His job has a threefold mandate: to build internal networks, to establish internal structures and to leverage internal ideas. His biggest challenge, however, may be transforming the organization’s DNA. The blockbuster business model that has characterized the company for decades is no longer appropriate. Instead, the firm needs to develop healthcare products available to end users over the counter. This shift in strategy requires innovative changes in distribution, delivery and customer focus. To accomplish this goal, he needs to institutionalize innovation so that it becomes sustainable. But in doing so, he must also identify the metrics for assessing progress. The case provides an opportunity for students to step into the shoes of an innovation leader, to develop an innovation roadmap for the organization in the face of uncertainty and to understand how to engage in innovation leadership at various levels of a global enterprise.