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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 10/13/2012 03:58 PM

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This case presents students with a situation in which the president of a market leader in the aircraft industry (Bombardier Aerospace) has to make a decision that will have a long-term effect on the strategy of the company. The stated challenge is whether the company should proceed with the CSeries initiative. However, attentive students will realize that the actual issue is whether or not the company should venture into a completely new segment of the industry (aircraft of 100-150 seats) and thus confront new competitors, especially Airbus and Boeing. The case may be used to achieve one or several of the following teaching goals: Conduct a full analysis of a global industry (aeronautics); Understand the importance of strategic alignment; Learn about one possible way of making strategic decisions: identify alternatives, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each option and make a recommendation; Be sensitive to the strategic implications of some decisions that may seem trivial but can, in fact, shape the overall strategy of an organization and determine its future; Appreciate the challenge of developing a complex and expensive product (aircraft) whose development lifecycle is particularly lengthy - at least nine years from the initial idea in 2004 to the estimated launch date in 2013. Also, before the company can engage in the actual development of the product, it must secure 'intentional orders' as well as financial (e.g., Canadian and British governments) and industrial (e.g., AVIC I and Sukhoi) partners. Given its integrative nature, this case is recommended for use towards the end of the course or as the final exam assignment.