Simon Greathead strongly believes that business students learn some of their greatest lessons through the use of cases. So when he had the opportunity to talk to the owner and the management team of a ninja warrior themed recreation park, he couldn’t think of a better idea for a fresh new case on global business.
A recent injury at the CircusTrix park in Scotland shut down the facility and threatened new operations in the United Kingdom. The resulting public relations issue was also threatening the establishment of additional locations in Germany, France, and Holland.
Greathead is an assistant teaching professor of International Business at Brigham Young University in Utah. We asked him about his first business case CircusTrix: The Ups and Downs of International Expansion and what advice he has for other authors.
Why did you write the CircusTrix case?
The whole notion of a ninja warrior themed recreation park is a concept taking off around the world. I found it fascinating and in-line with what I teach in the classroom. CircusTrix was facing challenges in Scotland while having positive experiences in Hong Kong. The case allows international business students to perform a PEST analysis and generate an actionable strategy.
What is a PEST analysis and why is it so important for business students today?
PEST stands for a Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis of a particular part of the world. This can be as small as a city, or as large as a continent. This framework gives students a direction they can follow as it relates to whether a company should choose one city over another when looking at entrance strategies. It is a basic fundamental tool that companies use when looking for their next opportunity.
You included a YouTube video as an additional resource — why did you do this over a textbook reference?
A friend and colleague here at Brigham Young University made the short YouTube clip on PEST. This type of resource resonates with students more than having to read about PEST in a text. Although, I did include other recommended readings in the teaching note.
This is your first case, why did you decide to write one?
I recently launched the first International Business Case Competition here at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. We had fifteen teams compete and professionals from around the country came to judge the teams as they presented their solutions to the CircusTrix case. I hope it will be the first of many cases to come.
What advice do you have for an author writing a case for the first time?
I have two pieces of advice. First, choose a company that students can get excited about. Second, pick a subject students can take in the right direction in a particular discipline. For instance, the CircusTrix case allowed students to look squarely at international expansion.
The CircusTrix: The Ups and Downs of International Expansion case is available from Ivey Publishing. If you would like to use this case, connect with the Ivey Publishing customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-649-6355, or order the case online at iveycases.com.