YFY Inc.: Turning a New Page
(8 pages of text)
YFY Inc., a Taiwan-based global multinational firm with its origins in agriculture and paper products, had recently become an innovator in environmentally-friendly packaging material—producing nPulp, paper pulp made from straw. The company’s visionary leadership choices had shaped its technological choices through various institutional changes and helped it overcome a number of technical and organizational obstacles in order to commercialize this innovation. However, like all green innovations, nPulp still faced serious challenges, such as unsupported policies and regulations, and unstable supply. In 2017, the company’s leadership needed to find other applications for this product to increase its market adoption rate and maintain and expand its operation. At the same time, they wondered if the previous generation’s vision of creating a business ecosystem including organic farming, proper waste treatment, non-chemical paper manufacturing, energy and resource recycling, and new materials was even feasible.
This case is suitable for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on strategy, innovation management, business ethics, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It provides a unique setting to study the genesis, research and development, and commercialization of an eco-friendly innovation in a traditionally pollution-intensive family business in Asia. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- outline the inception, R&D, and commercialization processes of an eco-friendly technology;
- describe high-technology intrapreneurship in the context of an Asian family business in a traditional industry;
- explain how leadership and strategic vision play distinct roles within the innovation process; and
- describe how corporate social responsibility, corporate strategy, and innovation management interact within an organization.
China, Large, 2017
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