Can’t Tell Me Nothing: A Two-Perspective Case Study Viewing the Costly Business Decisions of Kanye West

Abstract

Kanye West is an artist and business owner who has received lucrative fan support over the years. In addition to his musical influence, Kanye launched a shoe line with Adidas that was placed in the 10 top-selling sneakers of 2018 according to validated and reputable footwear publications (Sneaker News, 2019). However, this case will encompass many incidents impacting his success, including his loss of over USD 500 million according to reports (Pintado, 2023). Students will examine some of Kanye’s media matters from two perspectives, including (1) the timeline of ethical-social ramifications and (2) the ultimate large-scale financial impact. Within each of those perspectives, students will analyze Kanye’s actions, his partner’s reactions, and the impact on his fans. The financial and social impacts relative to Kanye’s public actions serve as a cautionary tale for current and future music industry and business professionals.

This case was prepared for inclusion in Sage Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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