Ref: IMD-7-1927

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-1927

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Downfall Deutsche Bank

By Professor Didier Cossin Didier Cossin and Abraham Hongze Lu

The case looks at the leadership, governance, board, strategy and other issues that led up to the downfall of Deutsche Bank. It discusses the ideological shift from stakeholder value harmonization to strong shareholder value maximization, which led to a cultural change from valuing reliability, transparency, fairness, solidarity and justice to valuing quick returns that endangered the bank’s future. The changes had a fundamental impact on board dynamics, organizational structure, strategy, risk, compliance, compensation and relationship with key stakeholders. The case looks at various questions such as: What is the purpose of a corporation? What makes a company viable in the long term? How does an ethical board set the purpose of the company? How should a board pick the right leadership? What makes a great leader? How does a leader’s character influence organizational actions? How can toxic leaders walk away with impunity from the damages they cause and go and work elsewhere? How to define shareholder value? What are the pitfalls of shareholder value maximization? What could be the alternatives of shareholder value maximization?

Learning Objective

The case aims to teach participants the fundamental aspects of corporate governance:

  • The ultimate purpose of business
  • Conflicting interests between stakeholders
  • The crucial functions of ethical boards
  • The impact of corporate cultures, leadership succession, and more..
KeywordsBoard, Governance, Shareholder Value
SettingsEurope, Germany
Deutsche Bank
TypeField Research
Available LanguagesEnglish, Chinese
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Reference: IMD-7-1927

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