Long-Term Orientation in the Benedictine Monastery of Admont
(8 pages of text)
At the Benedictine monastery of Admont in Austria, which had been economically active for over 940 years, the monks tended to think in centuries rather than quarters. However, the monastery’s business director needed to make a decision in a much shorter timeframe. The monastery employed approximately 600 people in its forestry, wine-growing, energy, real estate, services, and industrial businesses. Its largest subsidiary, an industrial manufacturer of wooden floorboards, was faced with severe challenges in 2015, including highly fluctuating demand and a growing pressure on margins due to low-cost competition from Asia. The business director had to decide how to proceed with the loss-making company, bearing in mind his responsibility towards the monastery and its higher purposes (such as providing pastoral care and fostering regional development through the creation of jobs).
This case can be used in MBA and executive-level programs. The case provides detailed insights into the long-term-oriented business principles and leadership philosophy of a unique business. The case can be used in courses on (responsible) management and leadership, corporate social responsibility, or strategic management to attain the following learning objectives:
- Discover the role of the temporal dimension of managerial responsibility.
- Explore how different time horizons and different hierarchies of goals can have an impact on managerial decision-making.
- Discuss the role and perception of responsible leadership in different institutional contexts.
- Investigate how businesses can build and maintain value in the very long term.
Austria, Large, 2015
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