Research Projects & Case Studies

• Research project and cases: Are Global Partnerships Effective in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals? A project with Graduate Institute, Center for International Environmental Studies (CIES) and support by the Swiss Network for International Srudies (SNIS), 2017 -2020. Public Event on 16 November at Graduate Institute, and diverse publications in 2020 and 2021

  • Stadtler, L.; Probst, G.; Ditlefsen, S.; Georgieva, M.; Remont, A. (2016): Driving Change: One Factory at a Time? Case Study (Ref. 716-0013-1), The Case Centre, England.
Abstract: This case study chronicles Levi Strauss's and BSR's implementation of the HERproject (ie Health Enables Returns) - a program to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. In 2015, the HERproject collaborated with more than 40 partner companies, including Levi Strauss and the Levi Strauss Foundation, and experimented with new ways to increase its economic and social impact. By accompanying Elissa Goldenberg, Manager for Partnership Development and Research at BSR, the case starts with depicting the challenges in global supply chains, especially in the garment industry. It then chronicles Elissa's experience with this program and reviews a pilot implementation the HERhealth training program in one of Levi Strauss's factories in Egypt. Based on the successful program pilots such as in Egypt, Levi's decided to implement a first nation-wide rollout of the program at all its supplier factories in India. Using this scale-up as an example, the case introduces the partners' lessons learned of this boundary-spanning corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, including the success factors and challenges encountered during implementation - both at the factory level and management levels, as well as in the cross-sector partnership context. Overall, this is one of the rare case studies that explicitly links CSR initiatives and change management, thereby acknowledging the challenges at different implementation levels (eg, from pilot to rollout, at the factory, multinational company (MNC), facilitating NGO, and industry levels), and by taking into account the need for increased collaboration.

• Stadtler, L.; Probst, G.; Devito, A.; Formenti, S.; Probst, B. (2015): Grow Africa: Managing Change across Boundaries. Case Study (Ref. No. 215-049-1), The Case Centre, England.
Abstract: This case illustrates the inspiring journey of Grow Africa – a platform created in 2012 to promote African agriculture development partnerships. African-owned, country-led, and market-based, Grow Africa aims to accelerate investments through public-private partnerships and to unlock smallholder famers’ potential. In 2014, it involved companies such as Unilever, Heineken, Cargill, and SwissRe, and spurred many new development initiatives. One of these initiatives is the Nigerian Growth Enhancement Support scheme to overcome corruption in the fertilizer and seed distribution channels through the use of mobile phone technologies. The case can be used to discuss systemic, large scale approaches of linking firms, investment, and development – an approach that is based on collaboration and coordination between public, private, and civil society actors for sustainable market-based solutions. Specifically, it describes the challenges in African agriculture, the development opportunities that foreign and local companies may provide, the need for a multi-stakeholder platform, and the role of the World Economic Forum as a broker in creating, developing, and implementing the platform. Arne Cartridge, Director of Grow Africa, and his team sought to align the different stakeholders’ self-interests through repeated meetings and succeeded in creating a shared vision. The case closes by indicating the challenges ahead.

• Probst, G.; Stadtler, L. (2013): Planting the Seeds of Change: The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. Case Study (Ref. No. 813-009-1), European Clearing House, ECCH, England.
-> Winner of the EFMD Case Writing Competition 2012, Category "Best of the Best" and Category "Inclusive Business Models".
Abstract: This case illustrates the challenging and inspiring journey of Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin and her team to realize her dream of establishing a transparent and efficient commodity exchange in Ethiopia. To address the country’s market failures that had contributed to devastating famine and the miserable position of smallholder farmers, they developed an integrative approach based on a public-private partnership. Their tasks included overcoming initial mistrust and providing market institutions to grade quality and set standard, to warehouse and issue warehouse receipts, relay market information to all the relevant actors, coordinate trading, as well as to ensure reliable payment, delivery, and contract enforcement.

• Van Wassenhove, L.; Stadtler, L. (2012): The Logistics Emergency Teams - Pioneering a New Partnership Model. Case Study (Ref. No. 712-033-1), INSEAD, European Case Clearing House, ECCH, England.
Abstract: The case illustrates the challenging but successful journey of a cross-sector partnership that deploys pro bono resources from Agility, AP Moller Maersk, TNT Express and UPS to support the disaster response operations of the UN Logistics Cluster. To transform an initially abstract idea into an operating partnership, the partners invested in developing and maintaining sound relationships backed by core principles, standard operating procedures and a sophisticated training programme. Additionally, the partnership required active management at the corporate level. Building on a track record of successful deployments by the end of 2011, the partners have to decide how to scale up their impact. The case lays a foundation for the discussion of the formation and management of multi-company, cross-sector partnerships. Teaching topics include the drivers of such a partnership, key success factors and specific problems, managing engagement in such a partnership at an organizational level, and the challenge of scaling up its impact.

• Van Wassenhove, L.; Stadtler, L. (2012): Building on Lessons Learnt: Disaster Relief Operations at Agility. Case Study (Ref. No. 712-021-1), INSEAD, European Case Clearing House, ECCH, England.
Abstract: Agility has deployed its logistics expertise and capacities in over 20 disaster relief operations. During the last four years, the corporate CSR team has set up and constantly adapted Agility's disaster relief program. It is based on three main pillars: (1) improving Agility's capacities for the Humanitarian & Emergency Logistics Program and creating internal support structures, (2) fostering bilateral partnerships with humanitarian organizations, and (3) reinforcing collaboration with the Logistics Emergency Teams. Catching up with the latest relief operation, Frank Clary, Senior Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility, reflects on the company's learning journey. This case lays the foundation for a discussion of corporate disaster relief operations and their embeddedness in a broader corporate social responsibility strategy. Teaching topics can include: structuring CSR activities and integrating a disaster relief program into a broader CSR strategy, the role of a corporate CSR team in supporting a disaster relief program, managing bilateral cross-sector partnerships and multi-company, integrative partnerships, as well as analyzing CSR-related learning processes.

• Van Wassenhove, L.; Stadtler, L. (2011): Corporate Social Engagement: How Aramex Crosses Boundaries, Case Study (Ref. No. 711-038-1), INSEAD, European Case Clearing House, ECCH, England.
-> Nominated as Runner Up at the OIKOS Case Writing Competition 2010.
Abstract: In response to the Gaza crisis in 2008/9, the global logistics company Aramex decided to use its core competencies for a humanitarian relief campaign and deliver donated items to people in need. Consequently, Aramex had to quickly develop a suitable communication strategy to call for donations, select collection points, clear the goods, pack them in Aramex's warehouses, and, finally, for how to send them to Gaza. To ensure that the donations reached their destination, Aramex partnered with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) in Jordan and the Red Crescent in the United Arab Emirates. The case discusses lessons learnt with regard to coordinating business and social activities, managing volunteer work, working with corporate and charity partners, and using social media to leverage the campaign.

  • Probst, G.; Stadtler, L.; Arabyiat, T. (2010): Creating Shared Responsibility in a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership, Case Study (Ref. No. 710-026-1), University of Geneva (HEC), German-Jordanian University, European Case Clearing House, ECCH, England.
    Abstract: Throughout the world civil societies have called on businesses to become involved in corporate social responsibility and engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships with identified community institutions in need of their help. In keeping with this objective, Madrasati, a Jordanian Initiative founded by Her Majesty, Queen Rania Al Abdullah, leverages the public, civil society and particularly the private sectors' resources to develop a shared responsibility for education. In one of their partnerships, Madrasati collaborated with the Central Trade & Auto Co. Toyota as private sponsor and other major stakeholders to improve the Husban Secondary School for Boys. In line with Madrasati's strategy, the school's basic infrastructure would be fixed first, after which the learning environment would be improved. For example, more interactive and technology-based teaching mechanisms were fostered together with the Jordan Education Initiative - another partner organization. Finally, to sustain the partnership efforts, the partners would engender a sense of responsibility in the school's stakeholders. Due to a general strong commitment and involvement, the partnership at the Husban School slowly approached its ultimate goals. After a visit by the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders, Nadim Haddad, the Toyota business partner, was inspired to reflect on the partnership's progress and to deduce lessons learned.