Case | HBS Case Collection | June 1991 (Revised May 1992)

Lithonia Lighting

by Nitin Nohria

Abstract

In early 1991, Lithonia, the U.S.'s largest manufacturer of lighting fixtures, faced a major slump in the construction business that threatened to cause its first decline in revenues after over a decade of strong growth. With financial pressures from its parent company mounting, Lithonia was forced to reconsider its investments in LIGHT*LINK(tm), an ambitious information system that tied the company to agents, distributors, and other players in the lighting business. While Light*Link had clearly enabled much of the company's growth, the new economic climate raised a number of questions about the company's investment in information technology. Teaching objective: Requires students to analyze the structure of an industry and to reflect upon the factors that give competitive benefit to information systems investments within the context of an uncertain environment.

Keywords: Organizational Structure; Industry Growth; Decision Making; Information Technology; Financial Crisis; Investment; Business Growth and Maturation; Electronics Industry; United States;

Citation:

Nohria, Nitin. "Lithonia Lighting." Harvard Business School Case 492-003, June 1991. (Revised May 1992.)