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Taino Construction Supplies: Managing innovation risks at an SME in a small, developing nation

Company name
Taino Construction Supplies

Author(s)
Carmen Rios Figueroa and Julia Sagebien

Source
Richard Ivey School of Business

Access this case
Taino Construction supplies: Managing innovation risks at an SME in a small, developing nation

Year published 
2010

Last year covered in case 
2009

Abstract

The president of Taino Construction has to make several strategic decisions that can guide the firm during very difficult times for the construction industry - globally and locally. He is trying to find ways to capitalize on the company's innovations and international advantages. At the same time, he is trying to adapt the company to the needs of the local market, which requires smaller volumes and simpler products. In order to do this, management must assess the level of risk inherent in the company's portfolio of innovations by estimating the potential of the markets for these products, determining how to strategically position the products in the markets and making a sober assessment of the company's financial strength.

The case can be used in a management of innovation course as well as in an international business or marketing strategy or integrative strategy course. It could also be used in a family business course. It lends itself to use in a green products/sustainability module. The objectives of the case are 1) to allow students an opportunity to analyze a company's innovation portfolio and, more specifically, the level of risk inherent in market opportunities 2) to explore how innovative international strategies can help a company survive adverse local market conditions, though it may add to the overall risk of the innovation portfolio of the company 3) to showcase a company committed to green products, allowing for a discussion on sustainability in the construction industry, as well as on how what is considered a "green product" by some stakeholders is not considered a green product by others 4) to showcase the complexity of the relationship between a company's clients/competitors/partners and the way in which government initiative can offer opportunities and challenges to a company 5) to offer an opportunity to conduct financial performance analysis.

Teaching note

  • N/A 

Key Management Reading

  • Ambec, S. & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives. 45-62
  • Reinhardt, F. (1999). Bringing the Environment Down to Earth. Harvard Business Review. July; 149-157 

    Other Readings

    • Wilson M, Schwarzman M, Malloy T, Fanning E, Sinsheimer P. (2008) Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California. Special Report to the California Environmental Protection Agency. University of California Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health 
    • Poliakoff, M., & Anastas, P. (2001). A principled stance. Nature, 413(6853), 257. 
    • Hjeresen, D.L., Kirchoff, M.M., Lankley, R.L. (2002) Green Chemistry: Environment, economics and competitiveness. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(3). 259-266  
    • Manley, Anastas, Cue. (2008) Frontiers in Green Chemistry: meeting the grand challenges for sustainability in R&D and manufacturing. Journal of cleaner production. 16:743-750  
    • Larson, A. (2006) Illustrating the Financial Benefits of Green Chemistry. Darden Business Publishing. Case #: UVA-ENT-0076

    Audio/Visual Material

    Discussion Questions

    • Which principles of green chemistry are used in the case?
    • How do the principles of green chemistry translate into business benefits?

      Green Chemistry Principle

      • Principle 1 Prevention
      • Principle 6 Design for Energy Efficiency

      Industry
      Building and Architecture

      Teaching Topic
      Business Government relations
      Community Development/Economic development
      Corporate citizenship
      Environmental issues
      Global/Transnational issues
      Innovation
      Mission/Vision/Values
      Private/Non-Profit partnerships
      Stakeholder relationships
      Sustainability

      Management Discipline
      Business, government and society 
      International
      Operations
      Strategy 
      Technology 

      Business Logic
      Better access to certain markets
      Differentiating products
      Managing your competitors
      Reduced cost

      Environmental Issue
      Climate Change
      Recycling

      Region
      North America

      Self Identified as Green Chemistry?
      No

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