Tarun Khanna with Geoffrey Jones and Nataliya Langburd Wright
We consider the use of video cases to facilitate learning in the strategy classroom and to enhance understanding of the complexity of international contexts, particularly in emerging markets. Our illustrations will leverage the “Creating Emerging Markets” (CEM) project interview database produced by HBS’ Business History Initiative, which enables students to hear directly from iconic entrepreneurs across industries and emerging market contexts. The CEM database is freely publicly accessible, currently has over 130 hour-long video narratives from across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America, and is steadily expanding.
Strategy scholars have long hypothesized that individual cognition is linked to competitive advantage, but direct causal evidence remains scarce. Using randomized behavioral experiments, we show that strategic cognitive skills are heterogeneous yet strongly affecting performance, even in highly competitive markets. An experimental manipulation provides direct causal evidence for the link, but it does more: It demonstrates that a nudge can alter strategic cognitive skills, considerably boosting competitive performance. If cognitive skills can be acquired or improved, then it may be possible to develop better strategists. As we show, it could also reduce achievement gaps between market participants and enhance efficiency in entire markets.
This teaching case introduces the Robert Bosch Group—a widely acknowledged global player in the high technology industry—and its recent approach to launching corporate entrepreneurship initiatives to stimulate corporate renewal. While, in the past the company has mainly acted as major supplier of components for high technology products, notably for the automotive industry, the recent changes in the mobility sector, coupled with intensified technological dynamism, call for strategic reorientation and the exploration of new business fields. Notably, opportunities shift towards supporting traditional products with digital and connected solutions. The case describes the goals, setup, and challenges of organizing an effective set of initiatives that enable employees to generate new ideas and experiment in lean start-up fashion to identify and validate impactful new business opportunities for the company.