Case Clearinghouse

GW-CIBER supports business case creation in critical and other foreign languages. Case materials, such as those shared below, can build students’ proficiency in a specific language and culture through vocabulary-enriching tasks, in-class debates, and role-plays. The case materials are free to download and use, but we would appreciate feedback from instructors.

Please fill out this short form if you plan to use or have used any of GW-CIBER’s business language case materials. By providing your information, you will help us with the reporting to our grantor, the U.S. Department of Education, and will also ensure that you stay informed about any future GW-CIBER business language events and resources.


The Case for a Single Arab Currency

Should the twenty-two Arab states revive the Arab Dinar today that was in circulation as a single currency throughout the Arab world in early Islamic times? This decision-focused case study is designed to engage students in stimulating debates and examination of this important proposal which, if implemented, would create a formidable trading zone. This case propels students to become active participants and to deploy their critical thinking skills in order to evaluate the facts of the case and consider obstacles as well as facilitating factors, alternative solutions along with their implementations. The case method in Business Arabic accommodates diverse learning styles (e.g., those apply rules to facts of the case, those that look for patterns in the data of the case to develop hypotheses, as well as those that appreciate the opportunity to be involved in concrete, practical experience).

Sijal Institute Business Story

This case presents a problem faced by Katy Whiting, the American director of the Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture in Amman, Jordan, who must address the challenge of growing a small business organically while retaining high standards. She faces challenges with bureaucracy and working across cultures. In an interview conducted in Arabic, Kathy dives into policies, bureaucracy, language pedagogy, and building a new business in an environment different from the United States. In exploring these policies and beliefs, she is able to connect cultures and guide students on their journey to learn the Arabic language and become acquainted with Arab cultures and traditions.

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Opportunities and Challenges – Quanfu’s Story

This case presents the development of Quanfu, a private company located in the Shunyi district of Beijing. Started as a family business in early 90s, Quanfu has been known as a manufacturer and supplier of plywood and furniture for the last 20 years. It has grown into a medium-sized company of over 400 employees, with a net asset of 200 million RMB. What are the key decisions that Quanfu has made in the past that has led to its successful development? What are the main challenges that Quanfu is facing today? How should Quanfu take the next step and grow beyond its current status? The case unfolds Quanfu’s three growing stages and discusses the company’s plans for further development.

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Lighting the Path Forward

The Light Environment Company (LEC) was established in Beijing in 2004. Its main service is to use lights to add meaning and value to urban nightscapes. As the economy took off, the demand for demonstrating economic and cultural vitality in urban nighttime environments has increased from both local governments and private sectors. Mr. Hao, the founder and CEO of LEC has led LEC to its rapid development in the past decade. In 2019, the central government issued an executive order to regulate the market behavior of “excessive urban illumination” and ordered local governments to correct and rectify the practice of “vanity projects.” LEC, along with the entire lighting design industry, was hit hard. Mr. Hao needs to reposition LEC, find new marketing strategies, and communicate LEC’s core value and strength effectively, under the premise of following the government policy.

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Marketing Potential of D.N.A Kits for Private-Consumer Use

Josh Turner works for a thriving American bio-tech company, “LifeMatrix,” located in Boston. He is a successful young marketing specialist in the international division of the company. He has to design a business plan to sell DNA test kits to the French market, which is booming in spite of the legal ban. He is tasked by his boss Nicolas Guichard (originally a French immigrant from Lyon) with figuring out the best way to create marketing materials for French consumers who will be purchasing the kits outside of France (a way around national restrictions) and for making their company a top choice for ordering these kits.

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To Be a Club Member or Not to Be a Club Member – Costco in France

Marie is a head marketing specialist working in the Costco International division. She has to present with her team a business plan for the establishment of the first Costco store in France. Her business plan was tasked by François Xavier Taponat, Marketing and Human Resources Director and Gary Swindells CEO of Costco France. Costco is the third largest retailer in the US with a revenue of US$195.93 billion. After its success in the United States, the company started to export its concept to Asia, but also to Europe where for example 29 stores were opened in the UK. So the company wanted to continue its venture by opening the first Costco in Spain in 2014 , and later one in France. So Marie and her team will have to design an action plan to find the best way for Costco to meet and exceed the expectations of French consumers, and to be part of the French retail market. Most importantly, convince and encourage French consumers to buy bulk products and become club members.

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School Lunches in France Sans Meat? Oh la vache!

When the Mayor of Lyon, France, declared in 2021 that school cafeterias in his city would go meatless, local cattle farmers like Véronique Laby had a choice to make: diversify their economic output in order to maintain a viable, meatless local business; or articulate to consumers, politicians, and the public the benefits of meat production, including the promotion of biodiversity and crucial protein for the health of children and adults.

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Amazon in France: Unions, Lawsuits, and Defining ‘Essential’

Amazon has truly become a global name, opening fulfillment centers in a number of countries, including France. In this case study, students consider how Amazon’s business model reflects and diverges from French norms around work culture. The discussion and analysis activities build to a particular moment during the Covid-19 pandemic when the French union Solidaires took Amazon to court for having workers continue in unsafe conditions delivering ‘non-essential’ products. As participants grapple with the business decisions surrounding continuing, modifying, or suspending operations, they also consider the question: what is essential?

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Green Business with a Focus on Eco-Fashion

The Green Business course unit in Business German focuses on eco-fashion and consists of approximately six 75-minute class periods. The objectives of the module are, among others, to: Demonstrate a firm grasp of the cultural significance of ecologically conscious living in Germany; Identify and analyze the business problems of a small German eco-fashion company; Formulate an action plan to address the problems, through synthesis of information about the company (provided through a business case and accompanying video); Present the action plan, supported with secondary sources, at a business meeting; Evaluate all proposed action plans for their practicality, creativity, potential for success.

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Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide

Sarah, a student from an American university, is doing an internship at the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany. As a German major, her task is to assist the management team with stakeholder engagement, applying her linguistic and cultural knowledge. Tesla’s original plan was to start production this summer but opposition from local environmental activists and labor unions delayed the completion of the factory construction. Helping the management to better understand these stakeholders and communicating more effectively with them are the major tasks for Sarah.

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It Is Way Too Hot: Marketing Air Conditioners in Eco-Conscious Germany

Global warming, by its very name, affects people everywhere. Formerly temperate climate zones like the one in which German-speaking countries are located in have to deal increasingly with prolonged hot summers. In the U.S., where air conditioning has been a staple in building design for decades, students are used to comfortable, temperate rooms even with scorching heat outside. How does a world (of German-speaking countries) look like without widespread air conditioning? How do the Germans, Austrians and Swiss - known for their keen interest in the environment, sustainability, and saving energy - react to the perspective of air-conditioning their living quarters due to rising temperatures? Students will prepare a marketing concept that takes into account the cross-cultural differences between the U.S. and German-speaking countries.

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DM & Manomama

German drugstore giant DM, one of the most popular retail businesses in Germany known for their commitment to sustainability, social values, and flat hierarchical structure, decides to outsource the production of one of their items to India. The decision surprises intern Simone, a student of business, who, like many of her peers, values dm’s commitment to supporting sustainable, fair trade business practices and who fears that those values may have been compromised by this decision. As she reflects on her employer’s decision, Simone faces a decision of her own” Should she stay or should she go?

The Country of Origin Effect & Airlines

A merger between two German-speaking airlines from different nations presents an opportunity for students to reflect on the notions of culture and business. This unit consists of six 50-minute course periods designed for

the intermediate language classroom. These materials use the country of origin effect to examine how the nation-state and perceived cultural products are used to market and sell travel. Students reflect on print and video advertising to develop writing descriptions, to read an image, to state an opinion, and to engage critically with notions of culture used in travel industry marketing and branding.

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Wind aus den Segeln nehmen: Probleme mit der Energiewende (Energy Transition in Germany)

Kim, a student of International Business and German, works as student trainee at the Bavarian company Ostwind. Having always been passionate about the environment, she was thrilled to receive this opportunity. The company encountered regional resistance to their wind energy project in Sinzing near Regensburg. The decision for the project’s continuation is put into the hands of residents in a public vote. Kim’s supervisor thinks that it is a good idea to bring someone onto the project with a fresh outside perspective and asks her to assist in developing a strategy to convince the residents of the project.

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Business and Sustainability: A Case of Upcycling in Italy

Climate change and environmental disasters are among the most discussed topics on the international scene. Researchers around the world are warning people about the dangers of pollution and urging us to rethink the way we use our resources. This module titled Business and Sustainability: A Case of Upcycling in Italy focuses on Favini, S.r.l., an Italian leading producer of high-end materials for sustainable printing and packaging for luxury and fashion industries. Favini made upcycling one of its company’s core values. Their products are the result of upcycling processes from natural sources (i.e., fiber-based material such as waste from cellulose, algae, fruits, nuts, leather etc.). This business case consists of addressing the company’s need to diversify their resources in order to stay competitive and innovative in the market. But it is also an ethical challenge, which is to preserve and protect our environment by reducing waste. During an interview, a representative from Favini quoted a principle stated by Antoine- Laurent Lavoisier (1700) “[In nature] nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed". For this business case, students are expected to conduct a market analysis on companies similar to Favini S.r.l. with the goal to find information on material and resources to help Favini diversify and expand their sustainable upcycling products.

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The Origins and Potential Expansion of the Roots Kitchen in Modena, Italy

Caroline Caporossi, an Italian-American immigrant herself to Modena, Italy, began networking with migrant women in 2017 while serving as Program Development Officer at Food for Soul, the International Non-Profit Organization founded by Chef Massimo Bottura. At only 26 years-old, Caroline founded the Association of the Integration of Women (AIW) to employ and empower migrant women in Modena. Two years later, the organization’s kitchen Roots is fully operational as a restaurant as well as a training opportunity for migrant women who want to work in the culinary industry. Roots is now in a position to consider expansion into other cities.

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Economic and Environmental Impacts of Company Policies on Merchandize Discounting and Disposal: A Case of Seven-Eleven Japan Co.

The business case for Japanese focuses on the convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co., and discusses the situation of food disposal in Japan. Currently, there are more than 45,000 convenience stores in Japan and they play a very important role in people’s daily lives. Most convenience stores follow strict rules related to the treatment of perishable foods, and immediately dispose of foods prior to their “best if eaten by” date and time. This occurs multiple times each day. Considering Japan’s low food self-sufficiency rate, food disposal quantities deserve much attention. The goal of this business case on Seven-Eleven is to acquaint students with this problem. After examining the positions that franchise owners and customers take on whether or not expired food should be thrown away, students participate in a series of role plays to express their opinions by using common vocabulary. Presentation skills are also polished by using appropriate etiquette and speech style for business settings in Japan.

The Japanese video project focuses on the Japanese-style convenient stores Famima!! (owned by Famima Corporation). Their parent company, FamilyMart is Japan’s third largest convenience store chain, with more than 20,000 franchise stores in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam. The chain opened the first U.S. store in July 2005, and currently operates ten stores near Los Angeles. Students will learn about Famima’s experience of bringing Japanese-style convenience stores to the U.S. market, the Japanese business culture, how they bring the ‘Japanese hospitality’ to U.S. customers, comparison of goods sold in both countries, and how to differentiate Famima from other competitors. To enrich and deepen the understanding on the convenience store culture in Japan, this video project is used along with the Japanese Business Case on Seven-Eleven Japan.

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Marketing Success Meets Human Rights Violations: An Advanced Learner Level Case Study of Uniqlo's Missteps in the U.S. Market

Uniqlo has successfully marketed its stylish, simple and high-quality products in the U.S. by licensing well-known manga and anime characters and promoting sustainability. Some of these products were allegedly made by forced labor in China and were ultimately confiscated by U.S. Customs. Despite initial success in marketing their products, miscalculations in import regulations resulted in both a lack of product and serious image issues for the company.

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A Turning Point for Fast-food Business in Japan: Mos Burgers' Challenges During the Pandemic

Mos Burger, a Japanese fast-food restaurant established in 1972, experienced a huge drop in sales before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has seen a 23.5% increase in sales during the pandemic when many restaurants/food businesses were suffering. This increase was higher than the sales of major fast-food chains, such as McDonalds Japan. This case study explores factors accounting for decreases in sales and profits that Mos Burger experienced before the pandemic, and their marketing strategies to recover during the pandemic. It also explores what businesses in the New Normal era can learn from Mos Burger’s business model.

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Negotiating Aliquot for Fast-food Industry in Brazil

An American diplomat recent to Brazil is part of a group working to convince Brazilian government officials to reduce the aliquot for fast-food industry (which will benefit the costs for American chain restaurants in Brazil) by proving its effectiveness in the market: producing profit superior to the resources used.

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Black Entrepreneurship in Brazil - Clube de Preta

With the largest Afro-descendant population outside of Africa that comprises approximately 52 percent of the population, Brazil has experienced substantial growth among its middle class, particularly for Brazilians that identify as black or mixed-race. This growth has resulted in over 5.8 million black entrepreneurs with access to the internet, which has generated over R$219 billion (approximately $54 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue. In recent years, associations such as REAFRO (Afro-Entrepreneur Network of Brazil), which was established in 2015, and projects like Afro Hub, an initiative created in 2018 by Feira Preta, Afro Business and Diaspora. Black with support from Facebook, promoted networking and provide black entrepreneurs with greater access to technology and other key resources to expand their businesses. After introducing students to these recent efforts supported by the private sector to cultivate black entrepreneurship in Brazil, students will focus on the startup, Clube da Preta, an online company founded in 2015 that offers customers a monthly subscription to Afro-centric products. Students will examine the company’s history to discuss the challenges faced by internet-based black-owned businesses in Brazil. By the end of the unit, students will present ideas on how Clube da Preta can achieve long-term growth while maintaining its mission of working with black, independent distributors and maintaining a client base that values products celebrating Afro-Brazilian culture.

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Nashestvie Rock Festival

A supplement to intermediate-level CIBER Business Russian, the Nashestvie Rock Festival multimedia project tells of a decision to repair a partnership between two Moscow media companies, ensuring the subsequent survival of Russia’s biggest annual rock festival.

The web-based Nashestvie case gives students a basic print narrative intermingled with video interviews with the principal actors. Accompanying exercises prompt students to incorporate the speakers’ words and rhetorical devices into their own repertoire. The case ends with a simulation in which students play the roles of advisers to the principal characters.

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Disinformation in the Spanish-Speaking World: A Case of Cross-Country Collaboration

Disinformation is a global phenomenon that affects all age groups, influencing democratic processes, public opinion on social issues, and people’s behaviors. Disinformation has been around for centuries, but digital technologies and social media have accelerated its creation and distribution throughout the world. This module, titled Disinformation in the Spanish-Speaking World: A Case of Cross-Country Collaboration, focuses on Ximena Villagrán Barillas, Coordinator of Impact Projects at is an independent journalistic platform focused on the control of disinformation and public discourse through fact-checking and data journalism techniques. is divided in niche projects that add up more than 500,000 followers in social media networks. Ximena and her team are particularly interested in expanding Maldita’s educational programs and outreach in the United States, where fact-checking organizations are still failing to reach out to the Latinx community. This community is not only subject to the influence of misinformation in English but also to false and misleading news coming from Spanish-speaking countries via their families. For this case, students will work on creating a mini-campaign against misinformation in Spanish for the Latinx community in the U.S. Via readings, audiovisuals and activities, and with the support of a 50-minute-long recorded audio interview with Ximena Villagrán Barillas, students will develop the necessary skills to understand and assess information in the target language, as well as the impact of disinformation in the communities in which the language is spoken.

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Coca Cola vs. Inca Kola: Understanding Branding and Loyalty to Local Soda Company in Peru

Since Coca Cola entered the Peruvian market, it has fought a long battle with Inca Kola, the national soft drink company. Unable to defeat them, Coca Cola bought 50% of the shares of Inca Kola in 1999 (“Branding Lessons”). Since the first bottle in the Peruvian market in 1935, Inca Kola has built itself as the national drink of Peru. Its strong sweet flavor has become a staple in Peruvian food, but despite its success, there are no efforts to expand their market to other countries. In this context, a marketing team will develop a marketing strategy to expand Inca Kola in the U.S.

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Mobile Phones and Business in Tanzania

Tanzania is the second largest mobile communications company in East Africa. Mobile phone technology in Tanzania continues to grow not only for social communications but also for business purposes. COVID-19 played a significant role in the growth of cellphone use for business. The curfew during COVID made people reduce their mobility, which increased the use of their mobile phones in order to buy items from vendors. Mobile money service commonly known as M-pesa was first introduced in Kenya 2007 through their largest phone company known as Safaricom. In 2008, M-Pesa became famous in Tanzania through vodacom phone company and later to other phone companies such as Tigo, Airtel, Halotel, Zantel, TTCL etc.

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Safaricom M-Pesa

A mobile phone money transfer company that began in Kenya by Safaricom and Vodafone companies in 2007. It has since expanded to other parts of Africa. Customers can buy phone credit, deposit, redeem and transfer or send money in their cellphone accounts

Case and teaching notes forthcoming.