Steven C. Wheelwright

Professor, Emeritus

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Steve Wheelwright is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School.

From 2003-2006, Professor Wheelwright was a Baker Foundation Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Director of HBS Publication Activities. In that role, he oversaw the HBS Publishing Company (including HBR, HBS Press books, HBS cases, e-Learning products, and newsletters/conferences). He also oversaw the major on-campus construction projects. From 2000-2003, after retiring from the faculty, he and his wife fulfilled a full-time voluntary assignment as the President of the London, England Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From 1995-1999, Professor Wheelwright served as Senior Associate Dean responsible for the MBA Program. He then served as Senior Associate Dean and Director of Faculty Hiring and Planning and had oversight responsibility for distance learning. Professor Wheelwright last taught the required first-year course in Technology and Operations Management and in a number of HBS Executive Education Programs.

Professor Wheelwright first taught at Harvard from 1971-1979 and was the Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Foundation Visiting Professor from 1985-1986. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 1988. In his years away from Harvard, he was the Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers Professor of Management at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In his position at Stanford, he directed the strategic management program and was instrumental in initiating the manufacturing strategy program. In his research, Professor Wheelwright examines product and process development and their connection with competitive advantage and operations excellence. His most recent book, developed with HBS colleague Clayton Christensen and Stanford colleague, Robert Burgelman, is Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, 4th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2004).

Along with Harvard colleagues Bob Hayes, Gary Pisano and Dave Upton, Professor Wheelwright published Operations, Strategy and Technology - Pursing the Competitive Edge (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2004), a complementary volume to the highly regarded books, Dynamic Manufacturing: Creating the Learning Organization (New York: Free Press, 1988) and Restoring Our Competitive Advantage-Competing Through Manufacturing (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1980). He has also co-authored several works with Harvard Business School colleague Kim Clark, including Leading Product Development: The Senior Manager's Guide to Creating and Shaping the Enterprise (Free Press, 1995). Professor Wheelwright is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen other books.

Professor Wheelwright has a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. In addition to his Harvard and Stanford positions, Professor Wheelwright served on the faculty of INSEAD (European Institute of Management) in Fontainebleau, France. He was Vice President of Sales in a family-owned printing company and has consulted in the areas of business/operations strategy and improving product development capabilities.

Featured Work

Publications

Books

  1. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development

    H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. H. Holloway and S. C. Wheelwright

    Keywords: Business Processes; Innovation and Invention; Product Development;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. K., K. B. Clark, C. H. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright, eds. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Regaining the Lead in Manufacturing: How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise

    D. Leonard-Barton, H. Kent Bowen, Kim B. Clark, Charles A. Holloway and Steven C. Wheelwright

    Keywords: Leadership; Experience and Expertise;

    Citation:

    Leonard-Barton, D., H. Kent Bowen, Kim B. Clark, Charles A. Holloway, and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Regaining the Lead in Manufacturing: How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise." Harvard Business Review 72, no. 5 (September–October 1994): 121–130. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Organizing and Leading 'Heavyweight' Development Teams

    K. B. Clark and S. C. Wheelwright

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Leadership; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Clark, K. B., and S. C. Wheelwright. "Organizing and Leading 'Heavyweight' Development Teams." In Managing Strategic Innovation and Change: A Collection of Readings, by Michael Tushman and P. Anderson. NY: Oxford University Press, 1997. View Details
  2. How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise

    D. A. Leonard, H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. Holloway and S. C. Wheelwright

    Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Performance Improvement;

    Citation:

    Leonard, D. A., H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright. "How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise." In The Product Development Challenge: Competing Through Speed, Quality, and Creativity, edited by K. B. Clark and S. C. Wheelwright. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1995. View Details
  3. Ownership and Commitment in Development Projects

    G. Forward, T. Eager and S. C. Wheelwright

    Keywords: Ownership; Projects;

    Citation:

    Forward, G., T. Eager, and S. C. Wheelwright. "Ownership and Commitment in Development Projects." In The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development, edited by H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. H. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process

    Steven C. Wheelwright and William Schmidt

    Baria Planning Solutions (BPS) is a consulting firm that specializes in using spend analysis to help companies identify savings through reduced procurement costs and improved supplier performance. Management is concerned about the disappointing performance of the sales team in attaining new clients and renewing existing ones. The Sales directors feel they do not get the help they need from Sales Support to close new deals, while the Sales Support directors believe they could provide better support by organizing into industry-specific divisions. The consulting industry is becoming increasingly competitive and inefficiencies in the sales process at BPS may interfere with the company's ability to win new business. The recently hired director of North American Sales Support must analyze the current process flow for Sales Support and identify the problems facing the sales organization. The president of the company has asked her to present a proposal for improving the performance of the entire group.

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Production; Management Practices and Processes; Service Operations; Supply Chain Management; Salesforce Management; Planning; Consulting Industry; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and William Schmidt. "Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process." Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-568, May 2011. View Details
  2. Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and William Schmidt

    Teaching Note for 4568.

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Mathematical Methods; Performance Capacity; Product Development; Planning; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and William Schmidt. "Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 114-569, May 2011. View Details
  3. Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and William Schmidt

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Analysis; Performance Capacity; Product Marketing;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and William Schmidt. "Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 114-571, May 2011. View Details
  4. Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process, Faculty Spreadsheet (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and William Schmidt

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Analysis; Performance Capacity; Product Marketing;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and William Schmidt. "Baria Planning Solutions, Inc.: Fixing the Sales Process, Faculty Spreadsheet (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 114-572, May 2011. View Details
  5. The Morrison Company

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Paul Meyers

    The Morrison Company develops and manufactures radio frequency identification tags (RFID) known as smart labels for the retail and pharmaceutical industries. RFID technology is a fast-growing and increasingly competitive industry. Sales have risen dramatically over the past year and production levels have had to increase to meet monthly and quarterly shipping targets. However, the increase has exacerbated existing manufacturing problems and has led to increased shipping delays and inadequate inventory on hand. In addition, sales to pharmaceutical companies are increasing while sales to retail companies are much lower than forecast. The newly hired director of operations must address the short-term problems quickly and devise a long-term solution for improving the company's operational capabilities.

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Strategy; Production; Organizational Structure; Infrastructure; Product Development; Manufacturing Industry; Retail Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Paul Meyers. "The Morrison Company." Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-564, May 2011. View Details
  6. The Morrison Company (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Paul Meyers

    Teaching Note for 4564.

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Mathematical Methods; Performance Capacity; Product Development; Planning; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Paul Meyers. "The Morrison Company (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 114-565, May 2011. View Details
  7. The Morrison Company, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Paul Myers

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Analysis; Performance Capacity; Product Marketing;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Paul Myers. "The Morrison Company, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 114-566, May 2011. View Details
  8. The Morrison Company, Faculty Spreadsheet (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Paul Myers

    Keywords: Quantitative analysis; technology; operations management; Product lines; manufacturing; capacity planning; Production Planning; Technology; Production; Analysis; Performance Capacity; Product Marketing;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Paul Myers. "The Morrison Company, Faculty Spreadsheet (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 114-567, May 2011. View Details
  9. AIC Netbooks: Optimizing Product Assembly

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Sunru Yong

    AIC Systems, located in Taichung, Taiwan, is a manufacturer of printed circuit boards, primarily for motherboards and video cards for personal computers. The firm is considered an original design manufacturer (ODM) and takes an active role in innovating and designing each new generation of components. By doing in-house design and development, the company has been able to foster exclusive, long-term relationships with its customers. The firm decides to diversify its portfolio to include consumer electronics with a particular focus on mobile technology. The goal is to move from manufacturing components for other computer companies to developing the firm's own line of branded consumer electronics. The new netbook market provides an opportunity for AIC Systems to design and manufacture a branded product in the mobile electronics industry. The production manager has created an assembly line for producing the new netbooks, and after three months of production he must consider ways to improve efficiency and reduce production costs. Students must perform a quantitative analysis of the existing assembly-line system and make recommendations to reach optimal efficiency.

    Keywords: performance management; Quantitative analysis; manufacturing; Production Planning; Production management; Diversification; Production; Performance Efficiency; Product Design; Performance Improvement; Mobile Technology; Manufacturing Industry; Electronics Industry; Taiwan;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Sunru Yong. "AIC Netbooks: Optimizing Product Assembly." Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-245, January 2011. View Details
  10. AIC Netbooks: Optimizing Product Assembly (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Sunru Yong

    Teaching Note for 4245.

    Keywords: performance management; Quantitative analysis; manufacturing; Production Planning; Production management; Production; Mathematical Methods; Performance Evaluation; Planning; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Sunru Yong. "AIC Netbooks: Optimizing Product Assembly (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 114-246, January 2011. View Details
  11. FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Afarin Bellisario

    Demand for folding and stackable chairs and tables at FoldRite Furniture Co. is unexpectedly strong. The company spent the previous two years improving manufacturing quality and efficiency, dropping poor-performing product lines, developing new products that are stylish and environmentally friendly, and instituting a program that allows customers to customize their orders and still get delivery within two weeks. As a result, sales interest in the new products is higher than forecast, in the U.S. and in Europe, where favorable exchange rates make American products highly competitive. In response to the surge in demand, Martin Kelsey, the production manager, must create a manufacturing plan that controls manufacturing and inventory costs, mitigates risk, and aligns with the strategic goals of the company. Students must complete a quantitative assignment as part of case analysis.

    Keywords: risk management; manufacturing; Production capacity; Production scheduling; Risk Management; Growth Management; Production; Logistics; Order Taking and Fulfillment; Business Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United States; Europe;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Afarin Bellisario. "FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand." Harvard Business School Brief Case 104-555, June 2010. View Details
  12. FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Afarin Bellisario

    Teaching Note for 4555.

    Keywords: risk management; manufacturing; Production capacity; Production scheduling; Risk Management; Production; Performance Capacity; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Afarin Bellisario. "FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 104-556, June 2010. View Details
  13. FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Afarin Bellisario

    Keywords: risk management; manufacturing; Production capacity; Production scheduling; Risk Management; Production; Performance Capacity; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Afarin Bellisario. "FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand, Spreadsheet Supplement (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 104-557, June 2010. View Details
  14. FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand, Spreadsheet Supplement for Instructors (Brief Case)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Afarin Bellisario

    Keywords: risk management; manufacturing; Production capacity; Production scheduling; Risk Management; Production; Performance Capacity; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Afarin Bellisario. "FoldRite Furniture Company: Planning to Meet a Surge in Demand, Spreadsheet Supplement for Instructors (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 104-558, June 2010. View Details
  15. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker (A)

    Daniel C. Snow, Steven C. Wheelwright and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld

    Scharffen Berger, a premium brand chocolate, is growing rapidly and must decide where and when to add capacity in the production line and with what technology. The company must consider the demands of marketing, the impact on quality and reputation, and the economics of alternative approaches to increasing output in both the short term and long term. Provides an opportunity for students to examine the existing process technology and flow, to understand the determinants of product quality, and to make recommendations about changes that will expand the capabilities of the firm in supplying its premium products to a rapidly growing market segment.

    Keywords: Production; Business Processes; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Performance Capacity; Quality; Expansion;

    Citation:

    Snow, Daniel C., Steven C. Wheelwright, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker (A)." Harvard Business School Case 606-043, September 2005. (Revised April 2010.) View Details
  16. Dreyer's Slow Churned(TM) Ice Cream

    Noel H. Watson, Steven C. Wheelwright and Brian DeLacey

    Examines capacity forecasting and planning in a complex new product introduction scenario. The introduction at Dreyer's, a large dairy snack manufacturer, involves not only a new product but a new manufacturing process and product package, thus implying a significant cross-functional coordination context. In December 2001, the company was faced with determining the roll-out plan for Slow Churned (TM), a new brand of ice cream made possible by capital-intensive innovations in Dreyer's manufacturing process. Using a patented extrusion technology (ET) operating at very low temperature and very high pressure, Dreyer's could produce ice cream that had half the fat of premium ice cream and one-third fewer calories, yet tasted as good as full-fat ice cream to 80% of the consumers surveyed. The recent strong results from a marketing B-scan test had CEO T. Gary Rogers about to ask his leadership team to consider a national launch. However, marketing had generated multiple options for packaging, branding, and advertising programs related to Slow Churned (TM), and manufacturing was anxious about a production scale-up as R&D continued to tweak the new process and refine its reliability and overall quality. Dreyer's Direct Store Delivery (DSD) system could reach 90% of the households in America as soon as any new product was ready, but the Sales organization remained skeptical of the reported B-Scan results.

    Keywords: Advertising; Forecasting and Prediction; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Product Launch; Product Development; Planning; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Watson, Noel H., Steven C. Wheelwright, and Brian DeLacey. "Dreyer's Slow Churned(TM) Ice Cream." Harvard Business School Case 607-018, August 2006. View Details
  17. Chaircraft Corporation, 1988

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Illustrates the difficulty of effective production planning and production control in a multistage production process affected by seasonal demand. A rewritten version of an earlier case by S.C. Wheelwright.

    Keywords: Governance Controls; Demand and Consumers; Production; Performance Effectiveness; Planning;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Chaircraft Corporation, 1988." Harvard Business School Case 689-082, June 1989. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  18. Improving Performance: Boat Building Exercise

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Kerry Herman

    Provides a framework for team problem solving and process improvement following concepts widely attributed to Toyota Motor Co.

    Keywords: Framework; Management Practices and Processes; Problems and Challenges; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Kerry Herman. "Improving Performance: Boat Building Exercise." Harvard Business School Exercise 606-147, May 2006. View Details
  19. Genentech - Capacity Planning

    Daniel C. Snow, Steven C. Wheelwright and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld

    While facilitating a complex clinical approval process over the next two to three years for a family of new cancer drugs, Genentech must develop a long-term capacity plan for a major class of new cancer products. Adding to the complexity and uncertainty is the fact that the lead time for planning, building, and certifying a new $600 million plus production-scale facility is five years. In addition, ensuring that the best process technology is incorporated into such a new plant makes the task facing David Ebersman, the senior vice-president of products operations, and his management team a daunting one. Frames the issues Ebersman and his team face and outlines the approach to date.

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Style; Management Teams; Time Management; Product; Product Development; Business Processes; Performance Capacity; Planning; Risk and Uncertainty; Complexity; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Snow, Daniel C., Steven C. Wheelwright, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Genentech - Capacity Planning." Harvard Business School Case 606-052, November 2005. (Revised March 2006.) View Details
  20. Exel PLC--Supply Chain Management at Haus Mart

    Zeynep Ton and Steven C. Wheelwright

    Exel plc is a global third-party logistics provider, serving clients such as Home Depot, Dell, Unilever, and Marks & Spencer. Describes the range of activities Exel performs for its clients and the capabilities the company has developed. Exel traditionally focused on freight management and contract logistics services and is now considering providing supply chain planning services. Management believes that there is tremendous potential in combining supply chain planning with supply chain execution. However, there are risks involved in entering the new business. Describes the decision in the context of Exel's two-decade relationship with Haus Mart, a leading retailer of home textiles, housewares, and home accessories in Germany.

    Keywords: Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Supply Chain Management; Logistics;

    Citation:

    Ton, Zeynep, and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Exel PLC--Supply Chain Management at Haus Mart." Harvard Business School Case 605-080, April 2005. (Revised May 2005.) View Details
  21. Massachusetts General Hospital: CABG Surgery (A)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and James Weber

    A cross-functional team at Massachusetts General Hospital tries to reengineer the service delivery process (the "care path") for heart bypass surgery (CABG) in order to shorten hospital stays (and lower costs) while maintaining/enhancing the quality of care provided.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Medical Specialties; Business Processes; Mission and Purpose; Product Positioning; Product Marketing; Management Practices and Processes; Customer Satisfaction; Service Delivery; Service Operations; Fair Value Accounting; Ethics; Pharmaceutical Industry; Health Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and James Weber. "Massachusetts General Hospital: CABG Surgery (A)." Harvard Business School Case 696-015, November 1995. (Revised March 2004.) View Details
  22. Process Control at Polaroid (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes the initial efforts at a film production plant to shift from a traditional QC inspection mentality to a worker-based process control mentality. Students can prepare SPC charts, propose actions needed, and combine steps into an overall action plan.

    Keywords: Management Systems; Operations; Quality; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Business Processes; Change Management; Consumer Products Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Process Control at Polaroid (A)." Harvard Business School Case 693-047, November 1992. (Revised January 2002.) View Details
  23. New Product Development Imperative, The

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Edward T Smith

    Introduces students to the best practices for managing new product development projects. Includes concepts and tools related to structuring teams consistent with the project objectives as well as concepts and processes for improving project execution.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Product Development; Performance Improvement; Problems and Challenges; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Edward T Smith. "New Product Development Imperative, The." Harvard Business School Background Note 699-152, March 1999. (Revised February 2001.) View Details
  24. Eli Lilly: The Evista Project

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Matt Verlinden

    Describes the creation and operation of the initial two heavyweight teams for new drug development and launch. The primary focus is on one of the teams, Evista, although comparisons to the other team, Zyprexa, are included. Lilly must decide the next phase (postlaunch) for managing Evista's rollout.

    Keywords: Projects; Groups and Teams; Operations; Management Teams; Product Development; Transition; Product Design; Business Startups; Business Plan; Product Launch; Competition; Service Operations; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Matt Verlinden. "Eli Lilly: The Evista Project." Harvard Business School Case 699-016, March 1999. (Revised June 2000.) View Details
  25. Cisco Systems, Inc.: Acquisition Integration for Manufacturing (A)

    Steven C. Wheelwright, Charles A. Holloway, Nicole Tempest and Christian G. Kasper

    Describes the procedures and processes used by Cisco Systems in its acquisition of high-technology firms. Its goal is to retain key engineering talent and to leverage existing product development efforts, but to quickly merge acquired companies its own systems and procedures. In addition to describing the general approach used by Cisco, this case describes some of the specifics involving its acquisition of Summa Four, a designer/manufacturer of a related product line, whose major activities are located in New England.

    Keywords: Information Technology; Leveraged Buyouts; Acquisition; Integration; Mergers and Acquisitions; Production; Activity Based Costing and Management; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Management; Technological Innovation; Talent and Talent Management; Human Resources; Manufacturing Industry; Technology Industry; England;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., Charles A. Holloway, Nicole Tempest, and Christian G. Kasper. "Cisco Systems, Inc.: Acquisition Integration for Manufacturing (A)." Harvard Business School Case 600-015, August 1999. (Revised February 2000.) View Details
  26. Cisco Systems, Inc.: Acquisition Integration for Manufacturing (B)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Christian G. Kasper

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Manufacturing Industry; Technology Industry; England;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Christian G. Kasper. "Cisco Systems, Inc.: Acquisition Integration for Manufacturing (B)." Harvard Business School Case 600-016, August 1999. (Revised February 2000.) View Details
  27. Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine (Abridged) TN

    Kim B. Clark and Steven C. Wheelwright

    Teaching Note for a reprint.

    Keywords: Product Development; Design; Markets; Decision Choices and Conditions; Reputation; Groups and Teams; Manufacturing Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B., and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine (Abridged) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 600-049, October 1999. View Details
  28. Guidant: Cardiac Rhythm Management Business (A)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Mikelle Eastley

    Examines the choices Guidant must make in research and development spending and new product development. More specifically, CEO Jay Graf considers the payoffs and tradeoffs of using product development skills that he learned in CPI's core business when applied to a complementary business. The company's marketing strategies contribute highly to the discussion.

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Product Development; Business or Company Management; Management Skills; Research and Development; Business Strategy; Communication; Product Design; Market Design; Organizational Design; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Mikelle Eastley. "Guidant: Cardiac Rhythm Management Business (A)." Harvard Business School Case 698-021, November 1997. (Revised July 1999.) View Details
  29. Guidant: Cardiac Rhythm Management Business (A) and (B) TN

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Edward T Smith

    Teaching Note for (9-698-021) and (9-698-024).

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Product Marketing; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Edward T Smith. "Guidant: Cardiac Rhythm Management Business (A) and (B) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 600-005, July 1999. (Revised July 1999.) View Details
  30. General Motors: Packard Electric Division

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Packard Electric is the division of General Motors (GM) that does all of the electrical wiring and cabling for GM automobiles. They developed a new approach for passing the cables through the firewall between the engine and passenger compartments. The new technology called the RIM (Reaction Injection Molded) grommet, was supported heavily by the product development group because it was simpler to design and improved the leak seat. Process development was against using it because it cost more, complicated the manufacturing process, and provided only minor improvements in leak resistance. The students must analyze the risk in continuing with the project, the potential benefits from product simplification and the potential benefits from improving the leak resistance. The students must also review the product development process to determine conflicts before they reach a crisis.

    Keywords: Business Divisions; Cost; Management Style; Product Design; Product Development; Production; Projects; Groups and Teams; Conflict and Resolution; Technology; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "General Motors: Packard Electric Division." Harvard Business School Case 691-030, November 1990. (Revised April 1999.) View Details
  31. Volant Skis

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Matt Verlinden

    Volant brought innovation to the ski equipment industry in 1989 by developing a stainless steel ski. He claimed the skis could turn more easily, could hold an edge in icy conditions, and were more stable than aluminum or fiberglass skis. The company's "soft-flex" technology was patented, and soon word spread throughout the skiing community about the new high-performance ski. The company decided to offer a narrow product line. In 1995, Volant was unable to fulfill all its orders due to lingering manufacturing problems. A new operations manager came in and improved manufacturing yields, lowered costs significantly, and brought in a CAD/CAM system to streamline prototype design. The 1997 season was heralded by on-time delivery of promised shipments, and the company's reputation climbed. With the leader in the ski equipment industry capturing less than 25% of the market, Volant considered its strategy for competing in a fragmented market. In 1994, hourglass-shaped skis became a new trend, and Volant decided to make shaped skis exclusively. They also acquired the rights to a snowboard design at its manufacturing facility in Denver. Although Volant was the fourth best-selling supplier in the United States by 1998, it still was not a profitable company. It had to consider new growth strategies to become a leader in its industry and to yield a return for its investors.

    Keywords: Change Management; Technological Innovation; Growth and Development Strategy; Operations; Product Development; Performance Improvement; Quality; Corporate Strategy; Value Creation;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Matt Verlinden. "Volant Skis." Harvard Business School Case 699-129, February 1999. View Details
  32. Eli Lilly and Co.: Manufacturing Process Technology Strategy--1991

    Gary P. Pisano, Steven C. Wheelwright and Jonathan West

    Outlines the evolution of Lilly's corporate manufacturing strategy over the past decade. The corporate vice president of manufacturing must decide on the next phase of Lilly's strategy for the early 1990s, as well as to what extent and what role process development will play. Provides data outlining three different points in the product development process at which manufacturing process development might be initiated. Using learning curve concepts and data, students can estimate the economic costs and benefits (as well as organizational issues and challenges) associated with each. Illustrates process improvement's substantial impact in a capital-intensive industry, describes possible roles of manufacturing process technology in an industry that has viewed product R&D as its primary competitive advantage, illustrates phases through which manufacturing can evolve in pursuit of comparative advantage, and introduces students to a challenging and changing industry.

    Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Management Practices and Processes; Industry Structures; Product Development; Production; Research and Development; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Strategy; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Pisano, Gary P., Steven C. Wheelwright, and Jonathan West. "Eli Lilly and Co.: Manufacturing Process Technology Strategy--1991." Harvard Business School Case 692-056, December 1991. (Revised October 1998.) View Details
  33. Compaq, 1998

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Matt Verlinden

    In 1997, Compaq Computer Corp. had become a $25 billion powerhouse. It had accomplished its revenue growth projections, successfully made a number of strategic acquisitions, and increased its gross margins, principally by moving up market into servers, workstations, and networking gear. At the same time, there were a number of strategic challenges facing Compaq in 1998. Compaq seemed to be squeezed by apparently contrary impluses--the need to reduce inventory while also satisfying its distribution channel; the need to build-to-order while also taking on product lines added through acquisition; the need to both fulfill PC orders from a hand-holding position constituency while moving clientele to articulate specifically what it wanted. Managing expectations, increasing margins, making operations more efficient, expanding the product line, and changing distribution: This was a tall order.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Transformation; Customer Relationship Management; Profit; Revenue; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Distribution Channels; Alliances; Customization and Personalization; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Matt Verlinden. "Compaq, 1998." Harvard Business School Case 698-094, April 1998. View Details
  34. Massachusetts General Hospital: CABG Surgery (B)

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Mikelle Eastley

    Once the CABG care path is implemented and other care paths begun, hospital staff and administration examine the resulting data. Further methods of improving care and reducing cost are presented for analysis.

    Keywords: Cost Management; Policy; Retention; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Operations; Performance Improvement; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Mikelle Eastley. "Massachusetts General Hospital: CABG Surgery (B)." Harvard Business School Case 697-021, June 1997. View Details
  35. Manzana Insurance: Fruitvale Branch (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Deals with performance assessment and improvement of a service operation in the insurance industry, a market that is highly sensitive to response time. Two branch offices in direct competition are described, and the impact of response time on performance is suggested. Management choices that impact response time are explored and the poorer performer of the two branches must decide how to respond.

    Keywords: Business Offices; Decision Choices and Conditions; Time Management; Service Operations; Performance Evaluation; Competition; Insurance Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Manzana Insurance: Fruitvale Branch (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 692-015, September 1991. (Revised January 1997.) View Details
  36. Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes the development of a fully automated production line for manufacturing radio pagers. The company regarded the project as highly successful; it becomes clear in the case, however, that there were some shortcomings as well. Some marketing issues were not properly addressed and, despite the claims of the company that the project was completed in 18 months, development of the line continued after the official end date for over a year. The student must analyze the situation to determine what lessons should be taken from the project and how best to apply those lessons to other projects.

    Keywords: Time Management; Marketing; Product Development; Production; Success; Projects; Technology; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 692-069, November 1991. (Revised January 1997.) View Details
  37. Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project and Bandit Pager Project (Abridged), Teaching Note

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Teaching Note for (9-690-043) and (9-692-069).

    Keywords: Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project and Bandit Pager Project (Abridged), Teaching Note." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 691-011, September 1990. (Revised January 1997.) View Details
  38. Mattson Foods, Inc. (Revised): The Bardolini Division

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    The Bardolini Division of Mattson Foods, with plants in the northeast and midwest, wants to open up the western market for its pizza. Management must decide whether to build a new plant on the West Coast, and what type of technology to put in the plant if they decide to build it. The case addresses the issue of building a plant for marketing purposes and raises a number of logistical issues, including transportation and warehouse economics. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Logistics; Emerging Markets; Business Startups; Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Plan; Capital Budgeting; Expansion; Buildings and Facilities; Strategic Planning; Marketing Strategy; Technology; Economic Systems; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Mattson Foods, Inc. (Revised): The Bardolini Division." Harvard Business School Case 695-058, March 1995. (Revised July 1996.) View Details
  39. Biogen, Inc.: rBeta Interferon Manufacturing Process Development

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Biogen, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based biotechnology company, is wrapping up a project to develop a new manufacturing process for a new drug product that will reposition the company from a purely research-oriented company to a fully integrated pharmaceutical manufacturing organization. Morris Rosenburg, a senior scientist at Biogen, has been asked to perform a major evaluation of the project in order to report on lessons learned as well as to make recommendations on how to improve project management moving forward.

    Keywords: Learning; Technological Innovation; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Product Development; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Projects; Research and Development; Corporate Strategy; Biotechnology Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Biogen, Inc.: rBeta Interferon Manufacturing Process Development." Harvard Business School Case 696-083, January 1996. View Details
  40. Texas Instruments: Time Products Division

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Outlines the components of Texas Instruments' low-cost digital watch. Focus is on getting the assembly line running smoothly and efficiently in order to meet production cost and delivery requirements.

    Keywords: Cost; Production; Service Delivery; Performance Efficiency; Electronics Industry; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Texas Instruments: Time Products Division." Harvard Business School Case 677-043, September 1976. (Revised July 1995.) View Details
  41. Chiron Corp.

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Pablo Valenzuela, vice president of R&D at Chiron Corp., faces several choices for how to allocate scarce resources across several promising projects. These choices will determine Chiron's position in several emerging biotechnology and diagnostic markets, including tests for hepatitis C, HIV infection, and others. Valenzuela must examine Chiron's capacity, its strategy, and the character of the opportunity, including the impact of these choices on joint venture partners.

    Keywords: Health Testing and Trials; Research and Development; Failure; Business Strategy; Joint Ventures; Strategic Planning; Opportunities; Product Development; Biotechnology Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Chiron Corp." Harvard Business School Case 693-052, April 1993. (Revised November 1994.) View Details
  42. Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes a decision facing Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp. in June 1985: whether to continue to compete in the silicon steel business in the face of stiff competition from imports. Includes a complete description of the company's productivity improvement systems and procedures (its chief competitive strengths) and shows how they have become a tool for steady and continuous improvement.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Strategy; Performance Improvement; Management Systems; Technology; Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 695-023, October 1994. View Details
  43. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (A)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Sun Microsystems managers must decide whether to launch a new product into manufacturing. Teaching objectives include: 1) an analysis of the competitive environment, 2) examination of technological choices, 3) understanding of the new product development process, and 4) the nature of short design life vis-a-vis product development and product manufacture.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Product Launch; Product Development; Production; Competitive Strategy; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Sun Microsystems, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 686-133, April 1986. (Revised September 1993.) View Details
  44. FBO, Inc.

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    FBO, Inc. is a fixed-base operator at a large metropolitan airport. The general manager must decide if the current pooling format is the appropriate way to staff the commercial refueling operations. If pooling is deemed inappropriate then the implementation of a different format in the face of a hostile management/union relationship is a concern. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Selection and Staffing; Labor Unions; Operations; Labor and Management Relations; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "FBO, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 692-074, January 1992. (Revised April 1993.) View Details
  45. Process Control at Polaroid (B)

    H. Kent Bowen and Steven C. Wheelwright

    The plant manager of a film production operation wants to create and implement a new approach to quality within the next 12 months. Issues of personnel (and their roles), production processes (and their control), and quality standards must be addressed.

    Keywords: Employee Relationship Management; Job Design and Levels; Management Practices and Processes; Production; Quality; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Process Control at Polaroid (B)." Harvard Business School Case 693-048, November 1992. View Details
  46. Kodak Business Imaging Systems Division

    Marie-Therese M. Flaherty and Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes Kodak's decision regarding a manufacturing site for some of its products. Compares several types of products (with different cost structures) and several worldwide locations (with different characteristics). Provides a framework (model) for comparing and evaluating the options. Identifies relevant factors in evaluating manufacturing sourcing decisions and illustrates how the complexities can be addressed and handled effectively.

    Keywords: Framework; Production; Product; Global Range; Supply Chain Management; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Flaherty, Marie-Therese M., and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Kodak Business Imaging Systems Division." Harvard Business School Case 693-043, September 1992. View Details
  47. Sorenson Research Co. (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Presents the issues facing a high volume, high margin (but lightweight) medical products business. The company is trying to improve its inventory control to reduce inventory investment and improve service. The present multi-site inventory system is described and major alternatives for improving or replacing it are presented.

    Keywords: Business Earnings; Investment; Volume; Service Delivery; Supply Chain; Performance Improvement; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Sorenson Research Co. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 677-257, June 1977. (Revised September 1992.) View Details
  48. Applied Materials

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes three subsequent generations of product development effort at an equipment firm supplying the semiconductor industry. The firm is partway into the third generation development and must decide whether and how to accelerate product development to respond to competitive pressures.

    Keywords: Product Development; Competitive Strategy; Decision Making; Industry Structures; Industrial Products Industry; Semiconductor Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Applied Materials." Harvard Business School Case 692-078, March 1992. View Details
  49. Quantum Corp.: Business and Product Teams

    Steven C. Wheelwright and Clayton M. Christensen

    Describes the adoption and evolution of product development teams and business teams at Quantum. Emphasizes integration of team capabilities with product development and competitive advantage in a rapidly changing environment.

    Keywords: Product Development; Groups and Teams; Situation or Environment; Competitive Strategy; Integration; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C., and Clayton M. Christensen. "Quantum Corp.: Business and Product Teams." Harvard Business School Case 692-023, January 1992. (Revised February 1992.) View Details
  50. Dayton Electric Corp.

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Concerns a product redesign decision for one of the company's most successful motor products, its rectified power, medium D-C motor, the RPM. A one-year redesign program has proposed a design that comes close to meeting its stated cost and performance goals, but at the expense of abandoning the unique square configuration that gave the RPM motor a technical lead over its competitors. The head of R&D wants to reject the proposal and go back to the drawing board for a three-month crash program. The case discusses Dayton's approach to strategic planning as a company and the motor division's attempts to carry out technical planning in this context. It also covers the technical outlook for AC and DC motors.

    Keywords: Product Design; Strategic Planning; Research and Development; Business Divisions; Decisions; Forecasting and Prediction; Product Development; Technological Innovation; Machinery and Machining; Manufacturing Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Dayton Electric Corp." Harvard Business School Case 692-071, December 1991. (Revised February 1992.) View Details
  51. Metreke Cards

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Used to introduce the assembly line process to first-year MBA students. Three different variations of an assembly line process for packing greeting cards are presented for analysis. To choose among the three, the students must address issues of time standards, capacity, supervision and training. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Business or Company Management; Operations; Production; Product; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Metreke Cards." Harvard Business School Case 692-073, January 1992. View Details
  52. Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes the development of a fully automated production line for manufacturing radio pagers. The company regarded the project as highly successful; it becomes clear in the case, however, that there were some shortcomings as well. Some marketing issues were not properly addressed and, despite the claims of the company that the project was completed in 18 months, development of the line continued after the official end date for over a year. The student must analyze the situation to determine what lessons should be taken from the project and how best to apply those lessons to other projects.

    Keywords: Time Management; Marketing; Product Development; Production; Success; Projects; Technology; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Motorola, Inc.: Bandit Pager Project." Harvard Business School Case 690-043, December 1989. (Revised June 1991.) View Details
  53. Campbell Soup Co.

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes the engineering effort at Campbell Soup Co. to develop a microwavable package and product for the growing convenience segment. Focuses on the role of engineering services in developing the production process, acquiring and installing equipment, and getting the process up and running. Students must address not only the status of the current project, but also the future steps that must be taken to complete that project successfully. Even more broadly, engineering's role as a reactive service organization vs. increasing demands that will require a proactive strategic advantage-based organization must also be addressed. Written from the perspective of the head of the engineering group at Campbell Soup Co.

    Keywords: Product Development; Production; Engineering; Strategy; Business Processes; Innovation and Management; Planning; Competitive Advantage; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Campbell Soup Co." Harvard Business School Case 690-051, May 1990. (Revised August 1990.) View Details
  54. Lehrer McGovern Bovis, Inc. (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes the growth of a construction management company and the operating problems it now encounters. Designed to introduce students to the value of competition in the construction industry, to show how the techniques of value analysis can be used to strategic advantage, and to illustrate the strains that growth places on an entrepreneurial and informal operating system. Also raises issues of quality and productivity in a service setting.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Operations; Construction; Growth Management; Quality; Competition; Problems and Challenges; Performance Productivity; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Lehrer McGovern Bovis, Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 690-074, March 1990. View Details
  55. Honeywell Residential Division: New Product Development

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes three different product development efforts at the Residential Controls division of Honeywell, Inc. Each of the three projects was for a different market and competitive environment. Each was tackled in a somewhat different way within the Honeywell Engineering organization, and the results from each were quite different. Also describes the new product development procedures that have been used historically at the Residential Division, and some of the current thinking regarding future changes in these procedures. Provides an opportunity to contrast the factors that impact success of product development across three quite different projects and to see how the organization's approaches to product development impact the success in those varying environments. Also provides an opportunity for students to examine the engineering function and some of the key issues in managing that functional group. Finally, the path for changing the approaches to product development can be addressed, contrasting an incremental evolutionary approach to such procedures versus a complete replacement of those procedures by a new set.

    Keywords: Product Development; Construction; Outcome or Result; Situation or Environment; Business Divisions; Product Design; Change Management; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Honeywell Residential Division: New Product Development." Harvard Business School Case 689-035, November 1988. View Details
  56. Searle Medical Instruments Group (Abridged)

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    SMIG, a division of G.D. Searle, was a fast growing high market-share company in the field of nuclear medical instruments. It manufactured two basically different product lines, one very successful and the other less so. Although marketing was separate for these product lines, manufacturing was not. As capacity is reached, the issue is how the company ought to expand and/or alter its manufacturing operations.

    Keywords: Change; Brands and Branding; Market Participation; Production; Success; Performance Capacity; Expansion; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Searle Medical Instruments Group (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 678-189, April 1978. (Revised January 1985.) View Details
  57. Cross River Products

    Steven C. Wheelwright

    Describes production task of meeting peak seasonal demands in a light manufacturing plant. Information is provided for evaluating the options of overtime, second shift, second production line, and inventory buildup.

    Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Information; Labor; Demand and Consumers; Production; Supply Chain;

    Citation:

    Wheelwright, Steven C. "Cross River Products." Harvard Business School Case 676-086, November 1975. (Revised October 1976.) View Details

Presentations

      1. Received an honorary professorship from Xiamen University in 2009.