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Case Studies: g-i

Case Studies

Here you can find a variety of case studies on the subject of innovation.

Some of these are written by us, and others by collaborators and colleagues. To discuss any of these studies further please do get in touch via our contact page.

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Giffgaff has grown into a successful player in the highly competitive mobile phone network business in the UK by working with its users to create a community which offers a continuing stream of innovation

Image by Lucas Benjamin


A fascinating story about turning conventional wisdom on its head and how a business profited from utlising the brain-trust of the whole world.

Car Design

Gordon Murray Design

Case study of design consultancy working in the automotive field.

Variety of Coins

Grameen Bank

Muhammad Yunis won the Nobel Prize for his work in developing the concept of ‘microfinance’.  This case explains the basic idea behind the Grameen bank, the venture he established to implement the idea.

By the Great Wall of China

Green innovation in China

Report describing a number of case studies of companies participating in the WWF Climate Savers programme and the changes this has led to in their operations in China. Companies include: Lafarge, Volvo, Nokia Siemens Networks, Fairmount Hotels, TetraPak, Sony

Athletic Shoes


Start-up case in the leisure shoe business.

Image by Omkar Jadhav

Gunfire at sea

A famous case study which highlights the challenges of introducing radical ideas into established organisations. This is a classic study of the problems of innovation adoption, describing how an apparently ‘better’ innovation can be resisted and offering a rich understanding of the many factors contributing to this.  It is based on the work of Elting Morison and these links are to a chapter in his book Gunfire at sea and to an article he wrote on the story: A case study of innovation. You might use the ‘accelerating diffusion’ activity to explore this case further.


Haberman Global Innovations

Video interview and case study of Haberman Global Innovations, offering useful insights into user-led innovation and in particular the challenges of IP protection in innovation.

Large Format Camera


Hasselblad was a major camera manufacturer well-respected for its technical features which meant its equipment was widely used by professionals; it was part of the moon landing equipment which sent back the first pictures from the surface.  But along with Kodak and Polaroid it experienced serious disruption with the advent of digital imaging.  In this case Christian Sandstrom explores the story.  It offers some helpful insights into the challenge of architectural innovation and knowledge management within an organization.

TV Screens

Health TV

Case study of digital TV in healthcare.


Hella overview and innovation history

Detailed case study of a major German producer of automotive components, especially headlights and electronics.  A number of chapters focus on different aspects of their innovation history and on the way they are dealing with current challenges in innovation management – see below.


Building an innovation fleet at Hella

This case reviews the ways in which an organization builds additional capacity for innovation as it grows.  It uses the metaphor of putting together a fleet of ships designed to undertake different kinds of ‘innovation voyage’.  It also highlights the need for continuing review and for ‘innovation model innovation’.


Hella and disruptive innovation

Detailed case study of a major German producer of automotive components, especially headlights and electronics.


Hella and agile innovation

Detailed case study of a major German producer of automotive components, especially headlights and electronics.


Maintaining innovation momentum at Hella - the role of innovation model innovation and dynamic capability

Explores the idea of continuing reflection and challenge to the underlying innovation model - and the need to constantly upgrade and extend this


Hidden champions

Case examples of a number of firms whose names may not be well known but who have built strong and competitive businesses over time through a commitment to innovation.  Examples include Christian Hansen, Wilo, De La Rue, Marshalls, Hella.

Image by Roman Kraft

High value innovation networks

A Report exploring the role which innovation networks play in boosting productivity across a sector.

Holding Hands

Humanitarian innovation

Report and a series of case studies discussing innovation in the humanitarian sector.

Portfolio Web Design

A study on innovation and branding for the web.

Leather Camera

Imaging industry

A case study highlighting changes over time across the sector.

Doctor Holding Patient's Hand

Improving the patient experience

Interview and case example of process improvement innovation to deal with the challenge of anaphylaptic shock. You can find the transcript of the interview here.



Catherina van Delden talks about her start-up, ‘Innosabi’, and working in the crowdsourced innovation space.
Video interviews can be found here.

Female Lecturer

Innovation managers

Innovation managers – in their own words…

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Innovating for sustainability

Report  produced by the Network for Business Sustainability exploring dimensions and directions for sustainability-led innovation

Reviewing the Laws

Innovation in Law Firms

A series of cases exploring the way in which innovation can and does take place within the legal sector.


Interface (Ray Anderson)

TED talk by the founder of ‘Interface’ on building a business around sustainable innovation, ‘The business logic of sustainability’.

Image by StellrWeb

Involving users in the design of tax systems

Video of interview with Helle Vibeke Carstensen of the Danish Ministry of Taxation describing how they took a user involvement approach to innovation.

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