JACR is a publication of the Southwest Case Research Association (SWCRA). JACR publishes teaching cases in all business disciplines. Cases may be grounded in primary and/or secondary data sources. Whether primary or secondary, sources must be well documented.
Soaring Ambitions and Hard Realities: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Flight Safety
The case follows the situation faced by several commercial airline companies operating Boeing 787 Dreamliners when fires occurred in the electrical systems aboard the aircrafts as well as the difficulties encountered by Boeing and its supply chain in both determining the cause(s) and devising solutions. The case is an example of Boeing’s utilization of institutional isomorphism in copying the Toyota Production System (TPS). The case illustrates Boeing’s lack of full understanding of the TPS approach as well as Boeing and its supply chain partners’ inability to fully diagnose and correct a serious safety problem.
Silver Dollar City and Herschend Family Entertainment
Herschend Family Entertainment began in 1950 when Chicago suburbanites Hugo and Mary Herschend and their sons, Jack and Peter, leased Marvel Cave in Branson, Missouri, and launched a cave tour business. After Hugo’s unexpected death, Mary and her two sons had to decide whether to continue the business Hugo had started. In 1960, they launched Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed Ozark village at the mouth of the cave. The unexpected success of the village propelled them into the theme park business. In the 1970s, gas shortages threatened to isolate Branson from tourist traffic, and the Herschends made the decision to expand their business portfolio beyond Branson. In the years that followed, their portfolio grew to include Dollywood, the Harlem Globetrotters, two aquariums, a theme/park zoo, water parks, and a variety of other attractions. Their change in strategy led to changes in corporate governance and operations as well, forcing Jack and Peter to make hard decisions including decisions about the role their family would play in managing the growing portfolio of businesses.
The Houston Astrodome: Eighth Wonder of the World
This case examines the decision faced by the Harris County judge over whether to continue pursuing options to save the historic Astrodome following the defeat of a bond proposal that would have provided funding for renovation. When it opened in 1965, the Houston Astrodome had been touted as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Thirty years later, it was causing an on-going financial drain on the county, the owner of the building. A series of tenant departures (Houston Oilers, Astros, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) had deprived the Astrodome of its revenues, and the Houston Fire Marshal identified fire code violations that would require expending hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate. For five years, county officials, citizens, architects, and urban planners evaluated and argued over whether it was worthwhile to save the iconic structure and, if so, how to finance such a plan.