17 Oct 2022

INSEAD faculty among the Case Centre’s top 50 best-selling authors 2021-2022

The Case Centre , Best-sellers , Kim , Mauborgne , Niessing , Ulaga , Dubois , Petriglieri , Chandon

The Case Centre has released their annual list of the top 50 best-selling case authors for the 2021/2022 academic year. For the second consecutive year, seven INSEAD professors are listed in the Case Centre’s ranking, maintaining the same level of excellence we achieved in 2021. This ranking is based on volume of sales from the preceding academic year, highlighting the enduring strength of their case work.

Professors of Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and co-authors of the New York Times bestseller and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth (Hachette, 2017), and the global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy (2005, Expanded Edition 2015), were ranked #3 for their cases featuring companies that seek out “blue oceans” of untapped market space rather than competing head-to-head with “red ocean” rivals. The iconic Blue Ocean Strategy is recognised as one of the most impactful strategy books ever written. With sales of over four million copies published in a record-breaking 46 languages, it is a bestseller across five continents. Rising in the rankings from #4 in 2021, their top best-selling case The Marvel Way: Restoring a Blue Ocean explains one of the greatest turnarounds in modern business history, when Marvel Comics went from bankruptcy to a US$4.2 billion sale to Disney in a decade by breaking the cost/value trade-off. Another bestseller, Salesforce.com: Creating a Blue Ocean in the B2B Space, describes a series of blue ocean strategic moves made by Salesforce.com in the CRM application market. In so doing it addresses any concerns of business executives about the applicability of blue ocean strategy in the B2B area.

Their latest bestseller, Meta: Facebook's Pivot to the Metaverse. A Dystopia or Blue Ocean Utopia?, challenges students to explore the social, economic and environmental implications of Meta’s proposed metaverse along with potential business models. The theory and tools of Blue Ocean Strategy are used in the analysis.

Professors Kim and Mauborgne express a warm thanks to the Case Centre for this prestigious recognition and outstanding team of Fellows at the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute: “A big shout out to Institute Executive Fellows Dr. Mi Ji, Oh Young Koo, Michael Olenick and Melanie Pipino. They have worked with us hand in hand to produce the rich roster of cases on Blue Ocean Strategy and shift, the theory of nondisruptive creation, first-hand videos, hackathons and the Case Centre webinars that have allowed us and INSEAD to join this prestigious list of best-selling case authors. Thank you, team! And thank you INSEAD for your support. We invite everyone to check out these materials.

Wolfgang Ulaga, Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of INSEAD’s new Marketing & Sales Excellence Initiative (MSEI), is ranked #6 this year with best-selling cases that focus on business model innovation and B2B Customer Solution Sales. His interests include value-based pricing and sales, customer experience (CX) design and service excellence, monetising data through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and recurring revenue models in the subscription economy.

Wolfgang Ulaga’s two top cases are Michelin Fleet Solutions: From Selling Tires to Selling Kilometers and Procter & Gamble’s Tide Dry Cleaners (A): Leveraging the Brand to Provide a 'Wow' Experience.

His latest background note How Insurance Works: A Window into the World of Property and Casualty Insurance in 2019 aims at helping readers gain a brief overview of the insurance world, its structure, players and key mechanisms. This note is particularly well-suited to be used in conjunction with the case Lemonade: Delighting Insurance Customers with AI and Behavioural Economics - A Disruptive InsurTech Business Model for Outstanding Customer Experience and Cost-Effective Service Excellence by the same authors. It explores the impact of digital disruption on the insurance industry and digital transformation of the customer experience, taking as example the InsurTech start-up Lemonade’s disruptive new business model.

Sharing his thoughts on case method, Professor Ulaga says: “I find cases to be one of the most efficient and effective ways of deeply engaging with an audience, leading a rich discussion and facilitating meaningful learning about concepts and frameworks. At the same time, I have come to understand that cases represent a powerful way for a researcher to embed oneself in a specific research domain, deeply engage with key decision-makers and gain meaningful novel insights about relevant research questions (and answers) by exchanging with executives first-hand in the case-writing process.

Joerg Niessing, Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, was ranked #11 on the bestseller list. Among his best-selling cases is AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey, co-written with INSEAD Associate Professor David Dubois and INSEAD former PhD student Inyoung Chae, now an Assistant Professor at Emory University Goizueta Business School. It won the Case Centre's Marketing category award in 2018.

Professor Niessing also authored waterdrop®: Changing the Paradigms of the Beverage Industry with Limited Resources and Digital Marketing, a company that disrupted the traditional beverage industry by creating a customer-centric culture, building a winning business model, applying digital technology at scale and leveraging real-time data analytics. Since its launch, Waterdrop has grown by over 400% per year, with over 1.5 million satisfied customers. The Waterdrop case won the Marketing category award at the Case Centre Awards in 2022.

"For me, cases are one of the most efficient and effective ways to teach my content,” says Professor Niessing. “For my cases, I identify organisations – like in my Waterdrop, Telenor, BMW, Google or Accor Hotel cases – where I can deeply engage with key decision makers. This additional input allows me to write a better and detailed teaching note. In most of my cases, I also create video interviews with these key protagonists that allow me and other facilitators to lead a very rich and insightful discussion in the classroom."

Pierre Chandon, The L'Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing - Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD, is ranked #26 by the Case Centre in 2021/2022. His best-selling cases highlight how innovative marketing strategies can create value for companies. His case, Unilever in Brazil (1997-2007): Marketing Strategies for Low-Income Consumers, shows how Unilever approached the marketing of detergent to the base of the pyramid.

Another bestseller, Can 3G Capital make Burger King Cool Again shows the challenges of redefining and rebranding a 60-year-old fast food giant, and how private equity, when it understands branding, can grow both the business and the brand at a fraction of the cost of traditional competitors.

Professor Chandon has previously won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2016 and Outstanding Case Teacher Award in 2018. He shares three main reasons why he loves case writing: “1) Writing a case builds your personal brand as a teacher. It earns you the respect of your students and of your peers. 2) Case writing helps your school. It enhances its reputation, internally and externally. 3) Case writing is how you can reach and impact the highest number of people through your job. Someone actually emailed me once to say, ‘If there is one achievement you should be judged for in the afterlife, it has to be the Unilever in Brazil case.’”

David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing and the Cornelius Grupp Fellow in Digital Analytics for Consumer Behaviour, was ranked #32 in 2021/2022. His focus is on how companies leverage big data to create sustainable competitive advantages from superior customer relationship-building. His award-winning case, Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends of Fads? “Pull” and “Push” Social Media Strategies at L’Oréal Paris, describes effective use of big data from search and social media analytics into the marketing strategy of new product development strategies.

Another bestseller, Managing Creativity in Luxury Fashion Houses: Raf Simons at Dior investigates the role played by creative directors in a luxury fashion house and explains how haute couture drives profitability down and across associated business lines such as ready-to-wear and accessories.

His latest case, Shopee vs. Lazada: A battle of Titans for e-commerce supremacy in South-East Asia follows the rise of the small Singapore-based start-up from 2015 to what has become the most visited e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, turning parent company Sea Group into the region’s most valuable company.

Professor Dubois reveals the key ingredients that make case teaching the most powerful and effective tool to power management education: “My cases always combine three key ingredients: (1) a tech aspect enabling students to ‘experience’ a situation (e.g. by having them collect ‘live’ big data in class) and facilitating online teaching, (2) a hands-on framework guiding the discussion on how to tackle actual business challenges, and (3) a holistic lens creating breadth, depth and flexibility for the educator to focus on marketing only, or integrate marketing, organisational or financial points of view.

Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, is a “new entry” in this year’s ranking and is ranked #40.

His best-selling case, Tony Hsieh at Zappos: Structure, Culture and Change, recounts how Tony Hsieh financed, championed and ultimately became CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos. It analyses the role of culture in developing an organisation’s competitive advantage and discusses the purpose and impact of structure on those within an organisation. The case won the Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour category at the Case Centre Awards in 2018.

Another bestseller by Professor Petriglieri, Google and Project Maven (A): Big Tech, Government and the AI Arms Race, won the Responsible Leadership category at the EFMD Case Writing Competition in 2018. The case helps students reflect on their roles as citizens and leaders of companies and society – on the opportunities and obligations that come with both, especially when pursuing innovation.

Professor Petriglieri says: “I love writing and teaching cases because the best cases are good stories. And good stories make us more human. Inviting us to identify with a protagonist, to live in their world, to recognise their wishes and worries, their virtues and flaws, their options and motives, we get a glimpse of our own life and world and we stretch both a little. More than honing our judgment, I believe, good case discussions help us approach singular experiences with curiosity and compassion, and learn from them, with others."

This recognition from the Case Centre reaffirms our school's commitment to research excellence and the case method.