26 Feb 2024

INSEAD Sets New Record with 101 Awards: 3 Professors honoured by the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2024

The Case Centre , Awards , Chen Guoli , Dubois David , Tepla Lucie

INSEAD, the business school for the world, announced today that three of its professors have been recognised in the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2024. This takes the school’s total tally to 101 awards, an historic achievement as INSEAD becomes the first school to surpass 100 awards since the annual competition began in 1991.

The Case Centre Awards and Competitions celebrate worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching at business schools around the world, and are considered the case method community's annual 'Oscars'.

The wins came in three categories where INSEAD has previously enjoyed success: Economics, Politics and Business Environment for the fifth time, Marketing for the eleventh time, and Strategy and General Management for the tenth time.

The case, Does Sustainability Pay? Barry Callebaut's Sustainability Improvement Loan won the Economics, Politics and Business Environment Category award. Written by INSEAD’s  Lucie Tepla, Senior Affiliate Professor of Finance, and case writer, Lisa Duke, the case explores how Barry Callebaut, the largest B2B cocoa and chocolate company in the world, innovated to align its financing with its  sustainability objectives. The company made significant strides in cocoa sustainability by launching its 'Forever Chocolate' program in 2016, focusing on promoting sustainability throughout the cocoa supply chain and encompassing goals related to environmental conservation, social responsibility, and economic development. In June 2017, the company then pursued sustainable financing after ING Bank suggested tying its revolving credit facility's interest rate margin to the company's ESG (environmental, social, and governance) score.

Lucie Tepla said: “Sustainable finance is a relatively new field. There are many important developments to discuss, yet there are still just a few case studies that illustrate how these concepts are being implemented in practice. The Barry Callebaut case has broad appeal as it can be used to discuss not just one, but several, major sustainable finance topics. These range from aligning financing with sustainability strategy and financial innovation in banking to offering an in-depth look at ESG ratings and their methodologies.

The case, Digitally-powered Customer-centricity in the Industrial Gas Sector: The Air Liquide-Airgas Merger won the Marketing Category award. Written by David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, and Jean-Michel Moslonka the case explores how Air Liquide, looked to develop ‘customer intimacy’ through digital technologies following its acquisition of US company Airgas. The case outlines the differences and complementarities in dealing with various customer segments and provides insights into understanding how customer maturity goes hand in hand with transformation efforts and digital marketing and selling strategy formulation.

Commenting on the win, David Dubois said “I’m very happy to receive an award for this case as it features a very innovative approach to digital transformation that blends several of my favourite topics: what does customer centricity mean? How to leverage analytics and small-scale experiments to strengthen customer relationships? And what kind of cultural changes best support transformation efforts? As an educator, helping fellow teachers and students to offer greater classroom experiences and deeper learning has always been something I deeply enjoy, and it’s great to see this case is being picked up by others.

This marks the second accolade for the Air-Liquide case. In 2019, the authors received the best case award in the Hidden Champions at the 2019 EFMD Case Writing Competition.

The case, SHEIN vs Zara: Digital Transformation in the Fast-fashion Industry won the Strategy and General Management Category award. Written by Guoli Chen, Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, and Shuqing Luo, the case explores SHEIN's historical development and its "fast-fashion 2.0" business model-using big data and algorithms to identify customers and their preferences. The authors discuss various perspectives of SHEIN's business operations: products and pricing, marketing and branding, and supply chain management and explore several challenges that SHEIN faces: product quality, transparency of company disclosure, environmental impact, and geopolitical risk. It also presents several options that SHEIN may be able to pursue in the future.

The award means a lot to us, signifying that the case has been well-received in our academic community,” said Professor Guoli Chen. “We hope the case can assist educators in effectively teaching and motivating their students to think strategically. We believe it addresses several important strategic questions, including digital transformation, business model comparison, competitive advantages, core competence, tech strategy, value innovation, and sustainability. Additionally, the award indicates an increasing interest in Chinese players, such as SHEIN.

View all the winners of the Case Centre's Awards and Competitions 2024 here.