Eric Van den Steen
Harvard Business School - Competition & Strategy Unit
December 4, 2011
Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Case No. 712-451
As owner and CEO, Wim Van der Borght had grown Bananas in 8 years from a 4.5 million euro company into a 40 million euro group of companies with a range of field marketing activities in Belgium and the Netherlands. The core of the group consisted of two companies - Bananas and Demonstrate - which were operationally completely independent and acted as competitors in the market. The two companies had different strengths and different cultures. In August 2008, Wim needed to decide on the right degree of interaction or integration of Bananas and Demonstrate. He also wanted to expand the companies' activities to a more comprehensive marketing offering and needed to consider international expansion opportunities.
Learning Objective: To identify and explore sources of competitive advantage and how they interact with organization, in particular corporate culture. To explore the trade-off between culture clash and the benefits from combining capabilities. To explore different growth paths.
working papers series
Date posted: March 20, 2012
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