Artesanías de Colombia

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Publication Date:
January 12, 2015

Arts & Culture

North American Case Research Association (NACRA)

Upon becoming General Manager of Artesanías de Colombia (AC) in January 2007, Paola Muñoz faced the challenge of redefining the organization’s strategy. The mission of AC, a mainly government organization with a 3 % private ownership, was to foster, promote, and market Colombian handicrafts, thus creating economic development opportunities for artisans, a low-income, mainly indigenous population. In early 2007, soon after assuming her role as General Manager, Paola evaluated the strategy, achievements, and limitations of her predecessor’s 16-year-long management tenure, in order to craft her own strategy for the organization. Whereas the previous strategy focused on crafts-with a strong emphasis on the promotion of design and the positioning of crafts as very differentiated products among high-income clients-Paola wanted to discuss with her staff the pros and cons of reorienting the AC’s strategy toward the artisans, through increased training, support, and capacity building especially in administrative, economic and organizational areas. The case is based on an organization that is primarily a public/ government organization with a social mission. Governments and government agencies still represent in most OECD countries between 40% and 50% of the economy. This case invites students to (1) strategy formulation in not-for-profit or governmental contexts (specifically in this case a hybrid organization with (a) a dual mandate -social and business orientations (b) in a sector in which the small focal organization promotes value creation with a vast number of producers -over 350,000 artisans in the country) and to (2) highlight the relevance and limitations of strategic management concepts and tools in such contexts. Besides a strategic management course, this case can be used in a corporate social responsibility course to illustrate the challenges of a hybrid organization, in which profit-making and social mission are complementary objectives.

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Artesanías de Colombia

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