Antonio Daood, Fulvio Ulessi, Paola Giuri December 7, 2020


This case focuses on adopting smart working practices at Focchi, an Italian com- pany operating in the construction sector in the segment of curtain wall systems for complex buildings. The forced experimentation of complete reliance on smart working practices due to the COVID-19-related lockdown measures ignited stra- tegic and organizational considerations around this issue. Once back to a sense of normalcy, Focchi began evaluating the pros and cons of remote and smart working practices, as well as the best possible ways to introduce them in their or- ganization permanently. Should the company commit to redesigning the organi- zation to implement new ways of working enabled by digital technologies? How to harness the benefits of digital technologies and `smarter’ ways of working whilst remaining faithful to the beliefs and relationships upon which the com- pany’s success had been founded?

Target for Teaching

  • Organizational design
  • Project-based organization
  • Digital transformation of the workplace

Target audience and Issues

This case has been written for an organizational design course, with the ideal au- dience being post-graduate and post-experience students. In a core course on organizational design at the MSc or MBA level, this case can be used for a session on organizing for digital transformation. The case uncovers the critical issues around implementing digital working practices, such as consi- dering the current organizational structure, the existing interdependencies, and a variety of contingencies. The case can also deliver a rich learning experience within Executive programs. For instance, the case can be used as a launching pad for discussing how to best draft digital processes onto current organizational and project structures. A specific focus can be given to project-driven organizing. This case may also be valuable in project management courses for discussing alternative organizational solutions that employ select smart working practices.

Teaching objectives

This case can be useful for two primary teaching and learning objectives:

  • Learn about the centrality of fit in organizational design and contingency the- Although reasonably standard, implementing working practices based on digital solutions does not have a “one-size-fits-all” type of solution. The orga- nization- and industry-specific contexts need to be taken into account when considering their integration in organizational processes.
  • Learn about the importance of understanding Considering the extent to which people rely on each other to carry out their work is essential to spot opportunities for redesigning work modalities and existing constraints in order to encourage a more successful implementation.
This abstract is based on
Going “smart” at Focchi | Case Study: Reference no. 420-0143-1 | Teaching Note: Reference no. 420-0143-8