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Faculty from INCAE Business School and Portland State University Win oikos Case Writing Competition 2013

oikos Global Case Writing Competition Winners 2013


We are happy to announce the winners of the 2013 oikos Global Case Writing Competition. This year the first prize in the corporate sustainability (CS) track goes to “Florida Ice & Farm: Sustainability Champion from an Emerging Economy” by John Ickis, Ximena Garcia and Andrea Prado (INCAE Business School, Costa Rica). In the social entrepreneurship track (SE) the first prize goes to “Madécasse: Competing with a 4x Fairtrade business model” by Scott Marshall, Darrell Brown, Bex Sakarias and Min Cai (Portland State University, USA).


The Florida Ice & Farm case (1st prize, CS) describes how this enterprise (FIFCO), Costa Rica’s leading beverage company, develops and implements a triple bottom line strategy that addresses not only its financial returns but also its social and environmental performance. This initiative was adopted during the financial crisis, severely testing FIFCO’s commitment to sustainability. The first prize for the best case in the corporate sustainability and social entrepreneurship tracks is CHF 5,000.


The Madecasse case (1st prize, SE) is based on the struggle of Brett Beach and Tim McCollum, co-founders of Madécasse to survive and succeed with its singular “4x Fairtrade” business model selling single-origin chocolates in high-end groceries and chocolate boutiques internationally. Students are challenged with fully comprehending the value proposition of Madécasse and how it can be aligned with and communicated to current and emerging customer needs.


Second prize in the CS track goes to the case by Ram Subramanian (Montclair State University, USA) – “Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.: ‘Food with Integrity'”. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is a restaurant chain with not only good tasting food but also a commitment to both the environment and people. However, in 2012 the company faced a number of challenges students will have to confront against the backdrop of a free-fall in the company’s stock price.


In the SE track the second prize is awarded to Manish Agarwal and D. Satish (IBS, Hyderabad, India) for their case “Husk Power Systems: Lighting up the Indian Rural Lives”. This case focuses on the challenges the company faces to scale up its unique model to generate and distribute power to the poor who live in remote parts of India by using an indigenously developed modified gasifier system that runs on rice husk. The prize money for the second place in both tracks is CHF 2,000.


Third prize in the CS track is awarded to Murray Silverman (San Francisco State University, USA) for the case of “Protecting Our Oceans: Sustainability at Holland America Lines”. The case outlines how Holland America Lines, a sustainable leader in the cruise industry, internally discusses an initiative to reduce fuel consumption in its fleet. Third prize in the social entrepreneurship and corporate sustainability tracks is CHF 1,000.


Third prize in the SE track goes to N.Craig Smith and Robert J. Crawford (INSEAD, France) for the case “Ziqitza Health Care Limited: Responding to Corruption”. Ziqitza (ZHL) is an Indian emergency medical services company with a strong anti-bribery policy. The case explores the dilemmas of the CEO who must decide how to respond to a government official who demands a bribe and the consequences it may have for the company.


Finally, two runners-up in the CS track are “Embedding Sustainability At Novo Nordisk: The Compassion Vs Competitiveness Dilemma” by Debapratim Purkayastha and Adapa Srinivasa Rao (IBS Hyderabad, India) and “Modernizing Dharavi: If you build, will they come?” by Abhijit Roy (University of Scranton, USA) and Mousumi Roy (Independent scholar)


In the SE track only one case was selected as runner up since, according to the criteria of judges, the track chair and the manager of the competition, only four selected cases fulfilled high quality standards to be considered for participation in the final round. Consequently, the runner up case is “All Good Bananas: Selling the FairTrade Message” by Eva Collins and Steve Bowden (University of Waikato, New Zealand), and Kate Kearins and Helen Tregida (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand).


Winning cases were selected in a double-blind review process by the oikos judging committee comprised of distinguished scholars from all around the world including Magali Delmas (University of California at Los Angeles, USA), Andrew J. Hoffman (University of Michigan, USA), Paul Shrivastava (Concordia, USA), Christian Seelos (IESE Barcelona, Spain), Gabriel Berger (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina), Francesco Perrini (Bocconi University, Italy) and other leading faculty.


Following last year’s initiative oikos recognizes the commitment of its jury members with the best review award given by the case authors of the 2013 edition. In the CS track the Best Reviewer Award goes to Friedrich M. Zimmermann (Karl Franzens University Graz, Austria). The Best Reviewer Award in the SE track goes to Cheryl Kernot, (CSI, Australia).


Extended abstracts of our winning and runner-up cases are now available online in the oikos Case Collection. Inspection copies will soon be made available there as well.