Business adaptive strategies in crisis
: the case of Olá

  • Pedro Manuelito (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures adopted to contain it had an unprecedented impact on the world, resulting in an extensive and complex range of consequences. Firms were forced to adapt and the effectiveness of such responses constitutes a valuable topic for analysis. The present case study regards Wall´s, more specifically the firm’s activity in Portugal under the name Olá, describing how the health crisis impacted its core business and dissecting the subsequent strategic adjustments. Throughout times, Olá has witnessed brisk alterations in consumption patterns, demand and competition. COVID-19 worked as a catalyst, accelerating those changes and especially contributing to the industry’s digitalization. Ice cream consumption moments moved from out-of-home to in-home, a consequence especially dire to Olá, whose fuel resides essentially in its activity away-from-home. In that sense, the firm was forced to readjust its business, leveraging the increased segments and adapting the deceased ones. This case study, as a pedagogical instrument, aims to apply theoretical concepts into Olá’s real scenario, in order to understand the effectiveness of the managerial decisions behind the mitigation of the negative impacts and the leverage of opportunities.
Date of Award8 May 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorNuno Cardeal (Supervisor)


  • COVID-19
  • Adaptation
  • FMCG
  • Competitive advantage
  • Resources
  • Capabilities
  • Competitor’s strategic positioning
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Consumption patterns
  • Digitalization


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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