A. Lange & Söhne: A Harvard Business School Case Study

We, at Urban Eye are super excited to hear that the New Harvard Business School (HBS) has presented a case study on the world-renowned watch company, A. Lange & Söhne. This case study describes how this esteemed company came to be and how it is expanding its position in an extremely competitive environment.

Stefan Thomke,  who is the Professor of Business Administration at the HBS and Daniela Beyersdorfer, Associate Director of the HBS Europe Research Center in Paris, visited the watch manufactory in Glashütte. They attended the training programme of the Lange Academy and interviewed company founder Walter Lange, who has since died, CEO Wilhelm Schmid and other members of the management as well as calibre designers, watchmakers and finishers.

“The case study describes a company that has a proud legacy of excellence in production quality, innovation and brand building. Its products are among the finest products in the watch industry,” says Thomke summarising the conclusion of the 25-page work.

Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded this company in the 19th century with an obsession with quality products and a desire for innovation. .The company is also extremely careful to pay attention to pursuing sustainable growth and therefore, has been at the top ever since 1990.

One of the main objectives according to CEO Wilhelm Schmid, who joined the company in 2011 is balancing sustainable growth with economic success without compromising the high quality of the product as well as the high standing of the brand. “There are many ways to achieve profitable growth,” said Wilhelm, “but the level of quality needs to remain constant across all segments. There can be no compromise on precision or surface finish quality.”


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