Ten Teams Compete in the 2nd Annual Girard School of Business Graduate Case Competition
The 2nd Annual Girard School of Business Graduate Case Competition included ten teams of 3-4 students and was based on a case about the Italian shoemaker, Geox. The competition was judged in two rounds – by alums and senior business professionals Bill Paul ’69, John Greenwood ’93, Bruce Bouchard ’79, and Joe Russo ’87, and Girard School of Business Dean Mark Cordano and Associate Dean Julie Fitzmaurice. The judges were looking for presentations that demonstrated the teams studied the unique problems facing Geox and produced a business proposal that included real-world solutions.
The case, titled “Geox: Breathing Innovation into Shoes,” challenged the student teams to analyze the principles a new firm must consider when introducing an innovative product in a mature industry and develop a strategy for maintaining a presence in the market. Geox had successfully entered the competitive and saturated shoe industry but now needed to decide what strategy to adopt to ensure that it could successfully renew its technology and maintain long-term competitiveness. Student teams were asked to present their action plan and make recommendations for company executives for the next five years. The judges prepped for the case and served as though they were representing the senior executives of Geox, asking questions and pressing the teams to justify their recommendations.
The winning team – Jenn Brooks, Michelle Buckley and Lauren Boyer, recipients of a $1500 prize – conveyed their message well and made a strong argument for why their recommendations were the best way to move the company forward to maintain its position in the long-term.
This year’s case competition was designed to help students understand how an innovative product can disrupt a mature industry.
The Merrimack community recently welcomed Catherine Usoff, former dean of the Graduate School of Management at Clark University, as new dean of the Girard School of Business.