28 Feb 2022

INSEAD professors recognised in The Case Centre’s Awards and Competitions 2022

The Case Centre , Niessing , Smith , Carrick , McCormick , Awards

INSEAD, the business school for the world, is proud to announce that two INSEAD faculty members have been recognised in the Case Centre’s Awards and Competitions 2022.

The Case Centre’s Awards and Competitions celebrate worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching at schools of business, management and government worldwide and are now considered the case method community's annual 'Oscars'.

The case, waterdrop®: Changing the Paradigms of the Beverage Industry with Limited Resources and Digital Marketing, won the Marketing category award. Written by Joerg Niessing, Anne-Marie Carrick and Carla Baumer, the case explores the challenges of an innovative start-up entering the competitive global drinks market. waterdrop® is revolutionising the beverage industry with the world's first 'microdrink': a compact sugar-free cube that dissolves in water and enriches it with natural fruit extracts, plants and vitamins. After only five years of competing on the market, the company has grown to more than 1 million online customers. The brand is developing through drinktech, drinkware and filtration systems to provide its customers with a global hydration solution.

Joerg Niessing, a Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, said, “it is an honour to be recognised by The Case Centre again. The waterdrop case provides ample material for my students to explore the challenges of marketing innovative products, which, contrary to popular belief, don’t easily sell themselves. In addition, senior executives point out that they learn from the case how to apply more innovative, agile and disruptive thinking, like Martin and his team do it every day. Special thanks should be given to Martin Murry, the founder of waterdrop and INSEAD MBA’15D for his ongoing support. He will soon be doing his 15th guest lecture at INSEAD.


The case, Volkswagen's Emissions Scandal: How Could It Happen?, won the Ethics and Social Responsibility category award. By N. Craig Smith, The INSEAD Chaired Professor of Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Erin McCormick, the case is a detailed ‘inside’ account of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal at Volkswagen which revealed how engineers had programmed software that enabled its cars to cheat emissions tests. It explores the origins of internal and external forces that propelled the company to market environmentally sustainable “clean diesel” cars while using engine management software to conceal on-the-road emissions of over 40 times the permitted levels. The scandal - one of the biggest of the decade – illustrates contributing factors that are common to many instances of organisational misconduct: obedience to authority, organisational culture, goal-setting, and corporate governance.

Commenting on the win, Professor Smith said, “I am delighted that this case has been recognised. It’s certainly a case that works well in the classroom with both MBA students and executives. It’s an excellent vehicle for exploring the causes of organisational misconduct, differentiating between “bad apples” (bad individuals) and “bad barrels” (bad organisation) explanations. More positively, one can go on to explore how Volkswagen might have avoided the scandal—and its 30 billion Euros price tag—in the first place and what it should do moving forward in a way that addresses the damage done and reduces the likelihood of misconduct happening again in the future.


The annual awards (in 10 management disciplines, plus an Overall Award) and six competitions celebrate excellence and impact in case writing and teaching. While the awards are judged based on anonymised data recording the uptake of cases for teaching at schools worldwide, the competitions are judged by bespoke panels of international experts.