Lernout and Hauspie Speech Products (A)

Published 01 Jan 1998
Reference 4747
Topic Operations
Region Europe
Length 16 page(s)

This case describes the creation and the growth of a small entrepreneurial start-up in the field of speech technology. Over the 12-year period described in the case (1986-98) the company grows from 0 to 1000 employees. The case describes the strategic challenges that the company has gone through over that period and ends with a question of how it can turn a technical success and a successful history of raising capital into a business success.

Teaching objectives

The case can be used to analyse the growth of an entrepreneurial hi-tech company in a European context. It illustrates the need to build entrepreneurial networks, and enables the lecturer to discuss strategy in emerging markets. The company can only survive by convincing the major software and hardware producers to incorporate the speech technology into their products. Partnerships are thus a key element of their strategy. Though the issues related to these partnerships are only skimmed over, one can use the case as a trigger for the discussion on a partnership between a small and a large company.

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Growth strategies
  • Technology management
  • Partnerships
  • R&D strategy