H. Kent Bowen

Bruce Rauner Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Professor Kent Bowen’s current research and teaching is in the field of operations and technology management. He has served as course head for the required first year MBA course, Technology and Operations Management, two advanced level courses, Running and Growing the Small Company, The Operating Manager, and Commercializing Science and High Technology.

Professor Bowen joined HBS in 1992 after 22 years on the faculties of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research focuses on managing technology-based enterprises: (1) managing science-based organizations; (2) a framework for the operations manager as leader, learner and teacher, and (3) principles for rapid learning in operations and technology management.

At MIT, Professor Bowen was Ford Professor of Engineering and a founder of Leaders for Manufacturing, a joint research and education program developed by MIT's School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management. Throughout his career at MIT, Bowen's research focused on advanced materials, materials processing, technology management, and manufacturing. He has authored or co-authored over 190 articles, 45 case studies, and two books.

Professor Bowen is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of several professional societies.

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan Hall 437
Boston, MA 02163
Tel: 617-495-6567
Fax: 617-496-4066
email: kbowen@hbs.edu


Click here for Teaching Cases and Harvard Business Review articles authored by Professor Bowen.

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. 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

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. (Abridged)

    H. Kent Bowen, Robert S. Huckman, Carin-Isabel Knoop and Matthew Preble

    Considers whether New Balance, one of the world's five largest manufacturers of athletic footwear, should respond to Adidas' planned acquisition of Reebok—a transaction that would join the second- and third-largest companies in the industry. Highlights the unique aspects of New Balance's strategy—focusing on fit and performance by offering long-lived shoes in a wide variety of widths and eschewing celebrity endorsement of its products—and discusses New Balance's operations decisions to support that strategy. These include significant use of domestic manufacturing at a time when nearly all other competitors sourced finished shoes from Asian suppliers and an emphasis on improving inventory management for its network of small and large retailers. Set just after the announcement of the Adidas-Reebok transaction in 2005, with New Balance having recently initiated a companywide effort to improve operational performance through the application of concepts from lean manufacturing and the Toyota Production System. Asks students to consider whether New Balance should change aspects of its operations strategy in light of the consolidation among its competitors or whether the Adidas-Reebok transaction represents an opportunity for New Balance to emphasize the importance of moving forward with its current approach.

    Keywords: Production; Competitive Strategy; Supply Chain; Brands and Branding; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Sports Industry; Retail Industry; Asia; United States;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Robert S. Huckman, Carin-Isabel Knoop, and Matthew Preble. "New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 613-006, November 2012. View Details
  2. Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (Abridged)

    H. Kent Bowen

    Jim Sharpe, 10 years after receiving his MBA from Harvard and working for others, has finally become his own boss and 100% owner of manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. After 10 months of an unfunded search, he acquires the business in an LBO and prepares to face his employees on the first day.

    Keywords: Search Funds; search; entrepreneurial management; entrepreneurship; operations strategy; Acquisitions; work/family balance; work-life balance; Unions; union; turnarounds; funding model; LBO; bank debt; Bank loans; Equity Investment; career management; negotiation; Small Business; Work-Life Balance; Negotiation; Operations; Labor Unions; Investment; Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Borrowing and Debt; Business Strategy; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent. "Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 603-084, December 2002. (Revised June 2013.) View Details
  3. Peter Schultz at The Scripps Research Institute

    H. Kent Bowen, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld and Courtney Purrington

    Peter Schultz, Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute, managed an extremely productive lab. This case examines how Schultz recruited, motivated and inspired the students and scientists that worked with him.

    Keywords: Higher Education; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Research and Development; Recruitment; Selection and Staffing; Management Style; Motivation and Incentives; Leadership Style;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Courtney Purrington. "Peter Schultz at The Scripps Research Institute." Harvard Business School Case 910-408, September 2009. View Details
  4. Display Technologies, Inc. (Abridged)

    H. Kent Bowen and Jonathan West

    Display Technologies, Inc. (DTI) is a new joint venture between Toshiba and IBM Japan that is manufacturing the most advanced form of flat panel displays. With success in achieving significant production volumes, DTI has been asked to double its output as quickly as possible. Mr. Shima, DTI's president, must decide among three options, each of which has immediate and long-term strategic consequences.

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Decision Choices and Conditions; Leadership Style; Production; Outcome or Result; Performance Capacity; Strategy; Hardware; Electronics Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Jonathan West. "Display Technologies, Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 699-006, July 1998. (Revised January 2009.) View Details
  5. New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen, Robert S. Huckman and Carin-Isabel Knoop

    Considers whether New Balance, one of the world's five largest manufacturers of athletic footwear, should respond to Adidas' planned acquisition of Reebok--a transaction that would join the second- and third-largest companies in the industry. Highlights the unique aspects of New Balance's strategy--focusing on fit and performance by offering long-lived shoes in a wide variety of widths and eschewing celebrity endorsement of its products--and discusses New Balance's operations decisions to support that strategy. These include significant use of domestic manufacturing at a time when nearly all other competitors sourced finished shoes from Asian suppliers and an emphasis on improving inventory management for its network of small and large retailers. Set just after the announcement of the Adidas-Reebok transaction in 2005, with New Balance having recently initiated a companywide effort to improve operational performance through the application of concepts from lean manufacturing and the Toyota Production System. Asks students to consider whether New Balance should change aspects of its operations strategy in light of the consolidation among its competitors or whether the Adidas-Reebok transaction represents an opportunity for New Balance to emphasize the importance of moving forward with its current approach.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Production; Supply Chain Management; Performance Improvement; Competition; Consolidation; Apparel and Accessories Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Robert S. Huckman, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 606-094, April 2006. (Revised June 2008.) View Details
  6. Gordon Williams: Clinical Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Clinical research is a critical element of biomedical research and development. This case describes the challenges of clinical research, and its role in bringing breakthroughs to patients. Dr. Williams leads through his own research and special programs to train clinical investigators.

    Keywords: Training; Health Care and Treatment; Success; Programs; Research and Development; Biotechnology Industry; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Gordon Williams: Clinical Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital." Harvard Business School Case 608-168, June 2008. View Details
  7. Symyx Technologies, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen, Courtney Purrington and Thomas D. Perry

    Symyx is a science-based company spun out of Berkeley. Its unique materials technology has been exploited for 10 years, but the company needs a new business model. The company concept required the invention of hardware and software to do high throughput materials discovery, and a business partnership model to support the scientific and engineering development. The public company must now find new ways to grow, and Isy Goldwasser, a co-founder and new CEO, must lead the transition while maintaining unique scientific resources.

    Keywords: Business Model; Transition; Engineering; Technological Innovation; Resource Allocation; Product Development; Partners and Partnerships; Science-Based Business; Hardware; Software;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Courtney Purrington, and Thomas D. Perry. "Symyx Technologies, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 608-152, May 2008. (Revised May 2008.) View Details
  8. Corning: 156 Years of Innovation

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    The executive team at Corning has committed to double the rate of new business creation per decade, while at the same time growing the company's current businesses, including glass substrates for LCD displays. Their strategy, built on more than 150 years of successful innovation, is to invent "keystone components" which uniquely enable other companies' products and earn high margins from its proprietary technology. As part of the company's mission to be around for another 150 years, the executive team is also committed to devote considerable resources to basic research "in faith" that it will create new, high-margin businesses that will drive corporate growth in 10-20 years and enable the company to "reinvent" itself, even though they will not be around to reap the benefits of this investment. The executive team must choose how to allocate finite RD&E resources between (1) "pushing" one, or more, of four brand new businesses with considerable potential in the development pipeline to the market sooner; (2) allocating more resources to six new products being launched from existing businesses; or (3) spending more on exploratory research. In making these decisions, the executive team must consider the impact of their decision on not only near-term earnings, but on how it will enable Corning to diversify over the medium- to long-term in terms of the quality and quantity of its portfolio of new technologies in the development pipeline and new businesses being launched, especially so that it is not overly dependent on sales of a particular business like LCD glass.

    Keywords: Innovation Leadership; Resource Allocation; Product Development; Research and Development; Science-Based Business; Industrial Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Corning: 156 Years of Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 608-108, March 2008. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  9. Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and Dr. Bradford J. Shingleton (2004)

    H. Kent Bowen and Marcelo Pancotto

    Dr. Bradford Shingleton has developed some of the highest quality eye surgery techniques in the industry. He involves his nurses and technicians in creating a surgical service that is constantly improving. The case has many details about how Dr. Shingleton works with his staff and patients, and how the provider team focuses on patient care. A key measure of productivity for the surgery center is the time required in the operating room. Shingleton's numbers are impressive as they decrease each year. The business context relates to the particular patients, mostly require cataract or glaucoma surgery and the payer is Medicare/Medicaid, which regulates the price. Yearly decreasing prices make it more difficult for doctors to earn a good income unless they improve their productivity. Other surgeons in the practice do not copy Dr. Shingleton's practices nor use his trained surgical team. The dilemma relates to why his methods do not spread to other doctors and other clinics.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Independent Innovation and Invention; Service Operations; Performance Productivity; Practice; Problems and Challenges; Health Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Marcelo Pancotto. "Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and Dr. Bradford J. Shingleton (2004)." Harvard Business School Case 608-151, April 2008. View Details
  10. Novartis AG: Science-Based Business

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Novartis is a science-based drug company, which has important implications for its business strategy. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with over $38B in sales in 2007. Pharmaceuticals account for slightly over $24B of that total. In 2007, corporate R&D spending was $6.43B, or almost 17% of net sales. Novartis executive leaders believe in scientific progress and that large-scale investments in science will therefore result in long-term pay-offs in terms of profits and discoveries that benefit mankind. Novartis' business strategy is closely tied to its research strategy, which emphasizes extensive internal discovery and development capabilities leading to organic growth along with explicit external alliances and collaborations to supplement its core capabilities. Like its competitors, Novartis faces many challenges in terms of moving research from the bench to the bedside. Five years after undertaking the restructuring of the discovery research organization, CEO Daniel Vasella is pleased with its progress, including many more development projects in the pipeline and new molecular entities. Nevertheless, the company faces a number of challenges, including generic drugs, patent infringements in developing countries, and pricing pressure from governments and health insurers in the United States. Given these challenges, Novartis must decide how much to spend on R&D overall, how to arrive at the right mix between organic growth and external collaboration and in-licensing, and how to measure success when it takes so many years to develop and launch a successful drug.

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Resource Allocation; Product Development; Partners and Partnerships; Research and Development; Science-Based Business; Pharmaceutical Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Novartis AG: Science-Based Business." Harvard Business School Case 608-136, March 2008. View Details
  11. Toshiba: Ome Works

    H. Kent Bowen, Janice H. Hammond, Sylvie Ryckebusch and Hiroshi Uchikoga

    In 1995, Toshiba was the market leader in portable computer sales worldwide. This case describes the assembly of portable notebook computers in Toshiba's Ome factory in Ome, Japan, providing insights into some of the reasons for Toshiba's success. In addition to describing production techniques such as dynamic line balancing, this case probes the nature of the Japanese workforce and the unique problems faced by Japanese businesses.

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Employees; Job Design and Levels; Production; Hardware; Japan;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Janice H. Hammond, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and Hiroshi Uchikoga. "Toshiba: Ome Works." Harvard Business School Case 696-059, February 1996. (Revised February 2008.) View Details
  12. Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT)

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Translating innovative ideas form the clinician to the patient remains a major problem in the field of medicine. Dr. John Parrish and colleagues created an organization (CIMIT) that brings the technical, financial, and administrative resources to these innovative clinicians and facilitates the development of the ideas so they eventually become medical practice. While successful on many dimensions, Parrish is faced with the dilemma of stable, long-term funding and an understanding of how to replicate CIMIT at other locations around the globe.

    Keywords: Financing and Loans; Innovation and Invention; Technological Innovation; Resource Allocation; Alliances; Research and Development; Health Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT)." Harvard Business School Case 608-036, November 2007. View Details
  13. The University of Utah and the Computer Graphics Revolution

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Computer science departments were new to universities in the 1960s, and the one created at the University of Utah by David Evans and Ivan Sutherland had a research mission to invent the field of computer graphics. Details the research process that led to many of the critical breakthrough concepts and algorithms for the field and the training of PhDs, who then created companies that brought the new technology to the marketplace.

    Keywords: Engineering; Entrepreneurship; Management Practices and Processes; Mission and Purpose; Research and Development; Technology Adoption; Computer Industry; Education Industry; Utah;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "The University of Utah and the Computer Graphics Revolution." Harvard Business School Case 607-036, March 2007. (Revised April 2007.) View Details
  14. BioScale

    H. Kent Bowen and Bradley R. Staats

    In 2004, Mark Lundstrom must decide on a funding method and strategic approach for BioScale, a biotechnology company that he founded. BioScale has developed a microchip-based bioanalytical platform that can be used to detect very small concentrations of cells, viruses, proteins, or small molecules. The company has several multibillion dollar markets in its sights. Up to this point, Lundstrom has used a combination of individual and angel equity funding and government grants to meet the company's capital needs. Now he must decide whether to continue on his current "go slow to go fast strategy" or, alternatively, raise a substantial round of capital or find a strategic partner. Also explores Lundstrom's career as an entrepreneur in science-based businesses.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Science-Based Business; Capital; Financing and Loans; Partners and Partnerships; Biotechnology Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Bradley R. Staats. "BioScale." Harvard Business School Case 606-100, June 2006. (Revised April 2007.) View Details
  15. Stonehaven, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen and Ramchandran Jaikumar

    Stonehaven is a disguised version of a shoe factory located in Central Europe that must respond quickly to mix and volume changes for the U.S.-based company. Shoemaking involves several distinctly different processes, which must be designed and managed in a way to give high performance (lead time, cost, productivity).

    Keywords: Operations; Business Processes; Performance Capacity; Change Management; Design; Consumer Products Industry; Europe; United States;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Ramchandran Jaikumar. "Stonehaven, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 696-048, August 1995. (Revised December 2006.) View Details
  16. A123Systems

    H. Kent Bowen, Kenneth P Morse and Douglass Cannon

    A 123Systems was a young company that was founded on basic materials science research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A co-founder of the company, Yet-Ming Chiang, was a full professor at MIT and served as scientific adviser. Intellectual property based on the science, which offered a radical way to construct lithium-ion batteries that promised higher energy densities, was licensed from MIT. The concept for the company was based on laboratory demonstrations that the three components of battery cells could be selected and treated so that they would self-assemble (due to intrinsic molecular forces). This resulted in finer battery structures and better performance. Following 14 months of research and development, the company found that it required more time and resources than originally anticipated to take the self-assembled battery to market. However, additional IP for a new cathode material, which presented an intermediate market opportunity, had also been licensed from Chiang's lab at MIT. The new material had advantages over the incumbent electrode material: It met the criteria for self-assembly, and it could replace the electrode in the millions of lithium-ion batteries currently in production. The management team needed to decide whether to pursue the breakthrough self-assembly technology or move resources to commercialize the new electrode material and then return to the original breakthrough technology.

    Keywords: Intellectual Property; Business Startups; Research and Development; Commercialization; Technological Innovation; Science-Based Business; Product Development; Battery Industry; Electronics Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Kenneth P Morse, and Douglass Cannon. "A123Systems." Harvard Business School Case 606-114, May 2006. View Details
  17. Pratt & Whitney: Engineering Standard Work

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    As the engineering of state-of-the-art jet engines becomes more and more complex, Pratt & Whitney leaders face major competitive problems. Product development projects are not meeting the cost, quality, and lead-time targets. The leadership develops a design, development, test, and launch system that treats the engineering resources as a factory and carefully designs and manages the work flows, engineering activities, and hand-offs between tasks. There is promising initial success but some question whether the "engineering standard work" system stifles creativity and whether it is appropriate for the work of other professional functions.

    Keywords: Design; Engineering; Cost; Knowledge Management; Time Management; Product Launch; Standards; Product Development; Problems and Challenges; Quality; Creativity; Competitive Strategy; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Pratt & Whitney: Engineering Standard Work." Harvard Business School Case 604-084, February 2004. (Revised March 2006.) View Details
  18. The Whitesides Lab

    H. Kent Bowen and Francesca Gino

    A significant part of the long-term economic growth in developed economies depends on the translation of scientific research into new products and processes. Focuses on the front end of this value creation stream. The laboratory of George Whitesides has a 30-year history of outstanding chemistry research as reflected by the quality and quantity of journal papers, paper citations, successful graduates, breakthrough ideas and concepts, and new companies. Details the research philosophy and processes for selecting research problems and forming teams. Whitesides guides students to choose challenging research topics rather than safe, incremental research, and problems that require interdisciplinary teams. Allows discussion of: the principles for operating a creative and productive lab; the role of the leader in creating the infrastructure and systems for discovery and learning; the issues of resource allocation and the appurtenant wasted effort as researchers seek academic research support; and the scale and scope limits for highly successful labs. Also discusses applying the Whitesides lab principles and processes to nonscience organizations and teams.

    Keywords: Research; Performance Productivity; Economic Growth; Infrastructure; Creativity; Groups and Teams; Value Creation; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Leadership; Resource Allocation;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Francesca Gino. "The Whitesides Lab." Harvard Business School Case 606-064, March 2006. View Details
  19. Salt Lake Organizing Committee, The: 2002 Olympics

    H. Kent Bowen, Bryce LaPierre and Courtney Purrington

    After two and a half years of effort, Fraser Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, faced projected deficits and post-9/11 security requirements only five months before the opening ceremony. Summarizes the organizational structure and processes put in place by Bullock and CEO Mitt Romney, as well as how they created systems and culture to endow effective working knowledge to the 90% of their staff who started working two weeks before the games began.

    Keywords: Framework; Knowledge Dissemination; Business or Company Management; Managerial Roles; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure; Planning; Practice; Risk and Uncertainty; Safety; Sports; System;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Bryce LaPierre, and Courtney Purrington. "Salt Lake Organizing Committee, The: 2002 Olympics." Harvard Business School Case 604-092, March 2004. (Revised February 2006.) View Details
  20. Beverly Stern: Retail Executive

    H. Kent Bowen and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld

    Beverly Stern has been a successful operating manager in three prominent retail chains: GAP, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma. Stern's last job at a start-up did not meet her expectations, and she must now decide what to do next. She has an offer to start a new retail division of Gymboree. The case allows students to understand the career of a successful "merchandising" executive and to determine key personal characteristics and skills that support a successful career. Contains examples of what Stern learned as she progressed in her career and provides insights into the professional challenges that would be criteria for job choice.

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Experience and Expertise; Personal Characteristics; Jobs and Positions; Decisions; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Beverly Stern: Retail Executive." Harvard Business School Case 604-018, November 2003. (Revised May 2005.) View Details
  21. Camilla Denison (A)

    H. Kent Bowen, Bryce LaPierre and Virginia Fuller

    Follows a successful manager as she takes on challenging assignments to lead manufacturing and development organizations. Details many experiences that influenced her character and attitudes from her youth to her graduate education and first jobs. Students discover the attributes of a woman who has been successful in tough management assignments and consider the career choices ahead.

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Success; Management Skills; Experience and Expertise;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Bryce LaPierre, and Virginia Fuller. "Camilla Denison (A)." Harvard Business School Case 604-061, December 2003. (Revised April 2005.) View Details
  22. Langer Lab, The: Commercializing Science

    H. Kent Bowen, Alex Kazaks, Ayr Muir-Harmony and Bryce LaPierre

    Professor Robert Langer's laboratory at MIT is the source of an unusually large number of published papers, patents, and technology licenses to start-up and established companies in the biomedical industry. Explores Langer's leadership and other factors that create a successful research enterprise.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Business Startups; Research and Development; Patents; Innovation Leadership; Science-Based Business; Commercialization; Biotechnology Industry; Education Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Alex Kazaks, Ayr Muir-Harmony, and Bryce LaPierre. "Langer Lab, The: Commercializing Science." Harvard Business School Case 605-017, October 2004. (Revised March 2005.) View Details
  23. Bayside Motion Group (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Bradley R. Staats

    After purchasing a business and successfully growing it for 18 years, the sole owner is presented with an attractive acquisition offer from a Fortune 500 company. The company's future is bright, but is now the right time to sell? Can he create more value by waiting? Should he search for other buyers who might pay more but dismantle the company? If he chooses to keep the company, should he continue to fund growth with cash flow and bank debt, or should he bring in an equity partner?

    Keywords: Acquisition; Decisions; Entrepreneurship; Cash Flow; Private Equity; Financing and Loans; Growth Management; Success; Private Ownership;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Bradley R. Staats. "Bayside Motion Group (A)." Harvard Business School Case 605-040, February 2005. View Details
  24. Molded Dimensions, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen, Virginia Fuller and Doren Spinner

    Mike Katz, an MBA with several years of manufacturing management experience, talks about purchasing Molded Dimensions, Inc. (MDI), a Wisconsin-based plastics manufacturer, with his wife Linda, who also has a manufacturing background. The case describes at length negotiating the price and securing financing for the small manufacturing company. Throughout the process, the Katzes stick to their main tenet of ensuring a smooth transition for the employees and not jeopardizing their jobs. Almost immediately after acquiring MDI, however, the Katzes face a sudden and unexpected drop in business.

    Keywords: Transition; Entrepreneurship; Investment; Jobs and Positions; Leadership; Business or Company Management; Negotiation Process; Manufacturing Industry; Wisconsin;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Virginia Fuller, and Doren Spinner. "Molded Dimensions, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 603-133, June 2003. (Revised December 2004.) View Details
  25. Chrysler and BMW: Tritec Engine Joint Venture

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    A gifted project leader lacks significant new product development experience. The case highlights the issues and procedures related to defining the project strategy: organizing senior management approvals and support for creating a "heavyweight" team; aligning the disparate perspectives, interests, and biases of project members; and implementing best-practice tools for managing teams within the project. Creates a framework for establishing organizational design rules and key new product development processes, and also provides insights about models of leadership for new product development.

    Keywords: Product Development; Joint Ventures; Projects; Business Strategy; Management Teams; Groups and Teams; Machinery and Machining; Design; Business Processes; Product Design; Product; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Chrysler and BMW: Tritec Engine Joint Venture." Harvard Business School Case 600-004, July 1999. (Revised January 2004.) View Details
  26. Dynatrol Corporation: Andover Assembly Division

    H. Kent Bowen, Janice H. Hammond and Ramchandran Jaikumar

    While grappling with glitches in the design and operation of its production system, Andover Assembly must also launch a new sensor product line to meet ultimatums issued by frustrated Signatron vice presidents. The financial returns of the division are not meeting corporate's expectations and plant manager Jan Havel has been sent in to turn around the plant's operations under 2 (6- and 12-month) deadlines. To turn the unhappy customers into cooperating customers, the Andover division is faced with the challenge of reaching nearly 100% ontime delivery performance within weeks. The introduction of the new product line, which requires some of the same resources, compounds the team's problems.

    Keywords: Production; Product Development; Product; Performance Productivity; Problems and Challenges; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Janice H. Hammond, and Ramchandran Jaikumar. "Dynatrol Corporation: Andover Assembly Division." Harvard Business School Case 603-050, October 2002. (Revised May 2003.) View Details
  27. Align Technology, Inc.: Matching Manufacturing Capacity to Sales Demand

    H. Kent Bowen and Jonathan P Groberg

    Align Technology is a four-year-old medical products company that has invented a new product requiring new manufacturing processes. Demand for the new product has grown more slowly than initial forecasts predicted, and the cost structure is preventing the company from becoming profitable. The manufacturing process involves six different operations located in California, Pakistan, and Mexico. The first dilemma requires downsizing the capacity until the demand grows. Increasing capacity in the future requires consideration of the time lags, costs, and incremental units of added capacity inherent in each of the six processes. Given the uncertainty of accurate sales forecasts as the company carries out new marketing initiatives, the manufacturing organization has been challenged to create a capacity plan to meet demand while lowering its fixed costs.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Problems and Challenges; Product; Forecasting and Prediction; Marketing Strategy; Sales; Demand and Consumers; Production; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Jonathan P Groberg. "Align Technology, Inc.: Matching Manufacturing Capacity to Sales Demand." Harvard Business School Case 603-058, September 2002. View Details
  28. Raiser Senior Services--The Stratford (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld

    Focuses on modifying operations to increase profitability at an upscale senior care facility in California. Jennifer Raiser, president of Raiser Senior Services, opened the Stratford in 1992 as a high-end, continuing-care retirement community. Ten years later, the Stratford was known as one of the most prestigious senior care communities in the Bay Area, but management struggled to keep the facility from losing money each year. Raiser and her management team were finding it difficult to raise the monthly fees each year to match the increasing costs of providing services to the aging residents. As a result, the team needed to find ways to take costs out of running the business. Contains an in-depth review of the operations associated with the primary expense categories--health care and dining services--allowing students to find specific opportunities for savings.

    Keywords: Cost Management; Profit; Saving; Health Care and Treatment; Age Characteristics; Management Teams; Problems and Challenges; Ethics; Legal Liability; Business Growth and Maturation; Health Industry; Service Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Raiser Senior Services--The Stratford (A)." Harvard Business School Case 603-013, August 2002. (Revised August 2002.) View Details
  29. Project Management Manual

    H. Kent Bowen

    A descriptive manual for how to manage the process of project management. Major sections are: 1) define and organize the project, 2) plan the project, and 3) track and manage the project. 12 processes are described in detail.

    Keywords: Business or Company Management; Management Practices and Processes; Planning; Projects;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent. "Project Management Manual." Harvard Business School Background Note 697-034, September 1996. (Revised March 2002.) View Details
  30. 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
  31. Intrinsix: Managing Growth at an Electronic Design Service Company

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Intrinsix is a 15-year-old semiconductor design services company that wants to continue its growth and market reach and appears to be ready for an initial public offering (IPO). This case leads up to this strategic decision point by tracing the growth of Intrinsix from a one-employee shop to a "franchise" model boasting 188 employees, 18 offices, and $32 million in revenues. Just when an IPO seems to be the logical channel for the company's continued growth, a trusted senior engineer brings up several issues that he asks to be resolved before the company finds itself under public scrutiny.

    Keywords: Decisions; Initial Public Offering; Growth Management; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Management Style; Marketing Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Competitive Strategy; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Intrinsix: Managing Growth at an Electronic Design Service Company." Harvard Business School Case 602-067, January 2002. View Details
  32. Work Methods Design: Note on Time Standards

    H. Kent Bowen

    Looks at production design. Helps students observe and work with procedures and consider cost reduction ideas using a view of methods improvement.

    Keywords: Cost Management; Management Practices and Processes; Standards; Production; Performance Improvement; Perspective;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent. "Work Methods Design: Note on Time Standards." Harvard Business School Background Note 602-066, August 2001. View Details
  33. Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (A)

    H. Kent Bowen

    Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (CSSC) is a small, privately owned metal working company with a reputation for providing quality products to its customers. CSSC's business is primarily the production of springs and stamped parts used in a variety of mechanical assemblies. While CSSC's customers are pleased with the level of quality, the company has in the past made frequent efforts to keep improving its quality, sometimes at considerable cost. The challenge to the new total quality manager, Andy Youmans, is to determine what direction CSSC should follow in improving its quality practices to assure customer satisfaction.

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Engineering; Private Ownership; Quality; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent. "Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 694-009, October 1993. (Revised March 2001.) View Details
  34. Fall Before Rising, A: The Story of Jai Jaikumar (B)

    H. Kent Bowen, Richard Compton Squire, Sarah Patricia Vickers-Willis and Harry James Wilson

    What is the relationship between good fortune, professional success, and a moral obligation to other people? Jai Jaikumar, who as a youth was saved by a shepherd woman after a tragic mountaineering accident in the Himalayas, and who later rose to the top of his professional domain, believed that good fortune, success, and obligation were necessarily and inescapably connected. This case describes Jai's understanding of the moral implications of his rescue, and its particular relevance for his subsequent professional success and ultimate appointment as a professor at Harvard Business School. As a teacher, Jai encouraged each of his students to ask the questions that he asked himself: How did you get this far in life, and what does this mean, if anything, for your duties to others?

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Moral Sensibility; Motivation and Incentives;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Richard Compton Squire, Sarah Patricia Vickers-Willis, and Harry James Wilson. "Fall Before Rising, A: The Story of Jai Jaikumar (B)." Harvard Business School Background Note 600-048, March 2000. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  35. Project ACHIEVE - January 2000

    H. Kent Bowen and Elizabeth Kind

    Education services target public schools to assist the school with technology and services that will improve their communication with students, parents, and the community. There is also the goal of increasing scores of measured learning. How does a small company do this? How do they operate nationally with contract employees and maintain a consistent level of service and performance?

    Keywords: Technology; Service Delivery; Learning; Interactive Communication; Measurement and Metrics; Performance Consistency; Business and Community Relations; Expansion; Technology Adoption; Education Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Elizabeth Kind. "Project ACHIEVE - January 2000." Harvard Business School Case 601-044, August 2000. View Details
  36. Lifeline Systems, Inc. (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Marilyn Matis

    Lifeline Systems provides emergency response equipment to the elderly who live at home. The company uses local hospitals to market, sell, and install these units in homes, while the hospital monitors and calls for aid to respond to emergency calls from the elderly subscribers. After serious performance problems due to ill-advised diversification strategies, the new CEO, Ron Feinstein, turns the company around by focusing on both hardware and service. Lifeline focuses on supporting the channel and takes over the monitoring service, which becomes the growth business. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Product Marketing; Sales; Problems and Challenges; Growth and Development Strategy; Managerial Roles; Service Operations; Hardware; Age Characteristics; Service Delivery; Restructuring; Crisis Management; Health Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Marilyn Matis. "Lifeline Systems, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 600-099, June 2000. View Details
  37. Fall Before Rising, A: The Story of Jai Jaikumar (A)

    H. Kent Bowen, Richard Compton Squire, Sarah Patricia Vickers-Willis and Harry James Wilson

    What is the relationship between good fortune, professional success, and a moral obligation to other people? Jai Jaikumar, who as a youth was saved by a shepherd woman after a tragic mountaineering accident in the Himalayas, and who later rose to the top of his professional domain, believed that good fortune, success, and obligation were necessarily and inescapably connected. This case recounts the extraordinary true story of Jai's mountain fall and subsequent rescue. Contains remarkable parallels to the HBR classic The Parable of the Sadhu, except that here we learn the opposite perspective, with the story revealed through the eyes of the foreigner in distress who must place his fate in the hands of a stranger.

    Keywords: Moral Sensibility; History; Personal Development and Career; Relationships; Familiarity; Perception; Welfare or Wellbeing;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Richard Compton Squire, Sarah Patricia Vickers-Willis, and Harry James Wilson. "Fall Before Rising, A: The Story of Jai Jaikumar (A)." Harvard Business School Background Note 600-047, March 2000. View Details
  38. Hewlett Packard: Creating, Running, and Growing an Enduring Company

    H. Kent Bowen and Courtney Purrington

    Traces the development of Hewlett-Packard Co. from a small start-up company in 1938 to a world-class manufacturer of electronic instruments and computer products. Examines the challenges of starting and running a small company, including financing, human resources management, product strategy, human relations, and management succession. The creation of a unique and enduring set of values and a philosophy of running and growing a company, known as the "HP Way," is emphasized.

    Keywords: Business or Company Management; Product Positioning; Business Growth and Maturation; Business Startups; Brands and Branding; Computer Industry; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Courtney Purrington. "Hewlett Packard: Creating, Running, and Growing an Enduring Company." Harvard Business School Case 698-052, December 1997. (Revised February 2000.) View Details
  39. OXO International

    H. Kent Bowen, Marilyn Matis and Sylvie Ryckebusch

    OXO, a kitchen tools and gadgets company, was started by a businessman who had 30 years of experience in the housewares industry. With his wife and son as founders, he creates a new niche in the gadgets industry for high-end gourmet stores. The company has headquarters in New York City, but it outsources product design to a NYC industrial design firm, manufacturing to Asia, and warehousing to a site in Connecticut in order to manage start-up costs and growth. Because of the veteran businessman's reputation and industry sense, the company grows quickly and in 1992 is sold for $6.2 million to a large housewares distributor, General Housewares. The original owners stay on as consultants to the parent company and decide to turn over management of the company to a Harvard MBA who also has extensive industrial design experience. Innovative product design is the key to OXO's success, and the company has worked exclusively with one design firm based on royalties of sold products. The new managing director initiates new product category programs for the bathroom, the garden, and home baking. He must coordinate the outsourcing of the design and development function.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Supply Chain Management; Production; Design; Ownership; Business Startups; Acquisition; Consumer Products Industry; Asia; New York (city, NY); Connecticut;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Marilyn Matis, and Sylvie Ryckebusch. "OXO International." Harvard Business School Case 697-007, January 1997. (Revised December 1999.) View Details
  40. Chantal Cookware Corp.

    H. Kent Bowen, Paul W. Marshall and Stephanie Dodson

    Chantal Cookware is a small, private company with a 15-year record of success in the design, assembly, and sale of high-end cookware. It experiences serious setbacks when consumers' tastes shift from colorful enamel-on-steel products to commercial-style cookware. Thurlow must decide how to revitalize the business and considers several alternatives, including entering a lower priced niche or repositioning the existing product line. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Strategic Planning; Market Entry and Exit; Product Positioning; Trends; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Paul W. Marshall, and Stephanie Dodson. "Chantal Cookware Corp." Harvard Business School Case 699-023, October 1998. (Revised November 1999.) View Details
  41. Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (Abridged)

    H. Kent Bowen, Jeffrey L. Bradach, Linda A. Hill and Kristin Doughty

    Business unit manager Tom Hutton has empowered a group of hourly workers to purchase grit blast equipment for two cells. The capital purchase decision runs into some problems when the two cells fail to reach an agreement on which equipment to purchase. A rewritten version of two earlier cases.

    Keywords: Business Units; Decision Making; Labor; Managerial Roles; Failure; Problems and Challenges; Power and Influence; Hardware;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Jeffrey L. Bradach, Linda A. Hill, and Kristin Doughty. "Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (Abridged) ." Harvard Business School Case 499-050, February 1999. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  42. General Scanning, Inc. (B)

    H. Kent Bowen, Sean McClenaghan and Charles Tillen

    After meeting with a mediator, Montagu and Davis decided their goals were not in accordance, and Davis left General Scanning. Montagu and Brosens wrote three-year objectives for the company and proceeded to search for a new professional manager. Chuck Winston took on the role of CEO/president with the goals of growth, profitability, consistency, and solid management. Winston decentralized the company by forming four separate divisions: Recorder Products, Laser Systems, Optical Scanning, and Laser Graphics. By the end of 1994, General Scanning was worth over $76 million, was showing a profit with a strong balance sheet, and had over 1,000 customers. Having turned around the company and grown it threefold, Winston and the founders need to decide what to do next: merge, acquire, do an IPO, or spinoff the successful Laser Systems division. There remained the haunting issue that most of the stock was held by the two founders. The case discussion challenges students to deal with the core problem of managing this technology company--that is, formally changing the roles of the founders by changing the ownership and board of directors.

    Keywords: Business Units; Restructuring; Change; Business or Company Management; Ownership Stake; Strategic Planning; Hardware;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Sean McClenaghan, and Charles Tillen. "General Scanning, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 698-037, January 1998. (Revised May 1999.) View Details
  43. General Scanning, Inc. (A)

    H. Kent Bowen, Sean McClenaghan and Charles Tillen

    General Scanning, Inc. was founded by Jean Montagu and Pierre Brosens, two MIT mechanical engineers with an interest in developing innovative products based on the early application of lasers. They invented proprietary technology for laser beam positioning and scanning for the company's products. General Scanning was organized as an engineering job shop and production job--that is, they built customized products to order. As it grew in size and revenues, the company hadto reconsider its company objectives. Wes Davis was hired as president with the charter to change the company from a component producer for OEMs to an end-user systems builder. Davis had some ideas about how to develop more robust products, and he reorganized the company along two major product lines: optics and recorders. Several years later, however, profits had not improved appreciably and the direction of the firm was unclear.

    Keywords: Transition; Entrepreneurship; Management Practices and Processes; Product Development; Strategic Planning; Research and Development; Risk and Uncertainty; Commercialization; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Sean McClenaghan, and Charles Tillen. "General Scanning, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 698-036, January 1998. (Revised May 1999.) View Details
  44. MySoftware Company (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Nicole Tempest

    In 1997, Gregory Slayton took the position as CEO of MySoftware, which had been experiencing revenue and operating losses for the past two years. Within 90 days, he stabilized the company through a combination of cost cutting, financial discipline, and accountability at all levels of the organization, and aligning employee and customer incentives with corporate goals. The challenge ahead was to return the company to profitable growth. Slayton and his management team identified four potential growth opportunities for the company: 1) building its profitable annuity-based products, 2) expanding its distribution channels, 3) increasing its partnerships with OEMs, and 4) pursuing a new Internet business opportunity. He knew he would need to consider the revenue potential of each opportunity, and the investment, resources, and level of management attention required. He would also have to gauge the impact that these factors would have on MySoftware's core business. Slayton and his team were meeting the following week to make a final decision on which of the four opportunities the company should pursue over the next year.

    Keywords: Decisions; Cost Management; Profit; Employees; Growth and Development Strategy; Operations; Outcome or Result; Partners and Partnerships; Internet; Software; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Nicole Tempest. "MySoftware Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 699-121, March 1999. View Details
  45. Lifeline Systems, Inc. (B)

    H. Kent Bowen and Marilyn Matis

    In 1997, Lifeline Systems continues to grow its service business to $32 million, 56% of the company's total revenues. More local hospital Lifeline programs turn over their monitoring service to Lifeline Central, expanding the company's subscriber base by 30%. The company decides to invest over $11 million in a new subscriber monitoring system to maintain its market leadership. At the end of 1998, Lifeline moves its corporate headquarters from Cambridge, MA to suburban Boston to lower real estate costs. Changes in the eldercare industry also spell growth: employers become interested in providing eldercare referral as an employee benefit, cuts in Medicare result in less home health care by nurses, and Lifeline forms strategic partnerships with the American Red Cross and an assisted-living community developer.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Information Technology; Expansion; Cost Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Change; Customer Relationship Management; Service Operations; Age Characteristics; Investment; Health Industry; Technology Industry; Cambridge; Boston;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Marilyn Matis. "Lifeline Systems, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 699-038, February 1999. View Details
  46. Cash Management Practices in Small Companies

    H. Kent Bowen, Andrew R. Jassy, Laurence E. Katz, Kevin E. Kelly and Baltej Kochar

    Most small business managers claim that cash management is their leading concern. Often walking a tightrope between growth and illiquidity, small business managers face different cash management challenges than their counterparts in larger companies. Compared to larger firms, small businesses often have under-staffed and under-trained accounting staffs, volatile cash flows dependent on a single product line, limited access to new capital, and a significant share of their net worth tied up in working capital. These limitations are often compounded by management's focus on growth, which can put additional pressure on the cash management system by increasing net working capital requirements.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Working Capital; Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Design; Cash; Forecasting and Prediction; Policy; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Andrew R. Jassy, Laurence E. Katz, Kevin E. Kelly, and Baltej Kochar. "Cash Management Practices in Small Companies." Harvard Business School Background Note 699-047, December 1998. View Details
  47. Midnight Networks, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen and Marilyn Matis

    Midnight Networks, Inc., is a small computer network validation company. This case describes how the five founders built their business from operations earnings and how they established "best practices" operational processes to run their firm successfully. Operational processes include developing a company procedures manual and assigning topics to specific people to maintain procedures; cross-training every employee in support and sales functions; employees entering weekly tasks and accomplishments on an online whiteboard that the whole company can view; group reviews of computer code for quality; performance reviews done by a committee of supervisor and peers. The company grows quickly, and a larger firm offers to buy it. Midnight Networks also has been considering going public. The founder must decide whether to go public or sell the firm to continue its growth.

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Business or Company Management; Operations; Organizational Culture; Software; Business Startups; Business Growth and Maturation; Information Technology Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Marilyn Matis. "Midnight Networks, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 697-019, December 1996. (Revised June 1998.) View Details
  48. Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (C)

    H. Kent Bowen and Barbara Feinberg

    Jim Sharpe, president of Extrusion Technology, describes the first five years at the aluminum extrusion company he purchased. He begins with day one as he introduced himself to the employees in 1987 and assured them of the company's continuity. Over the next two years, his efforts to make the company profitable included cost cutting, decertifying the union, and developing relationships with suppliers. Sharpe learned from mistakes in forecasting aluminum inventory and purchasing capital equipment for a new product line whose market never developed. At the end of five years, Extrusion Technology was profitable and well poised for growth. Jim Sharpe, 11 years after receiving his MBA from Harvard and working for others, has finally become his own boss and 100% owner of a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. After 10 months of an unfunded search, he acquires the business in an LBO and prepares to face his employees on the first day.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Forecasting and Prediction; Cost Management; Profit; Innovation Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Mining Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Barbara Feinberg. "Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (C)." Harvard Business School Case 698-096, April 1998. View Details
  49. Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corporation (B)

    H. Kent Bowen, Massimo Russo and Steven J. Spear

    Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (CSSC), a 50-year-old spring manufacturing and metal stamping firm, is experiencing slow sales growth and feeling the impact of global competition. The company has over 800 customers but little understanding of those customers' needs. They must improve manufacturing efficiency and respond to customer demands for higher quality, lower cost, and shorter delivery lead times. The company has a rich history of trying many management fads and now is exploring different methods of achieving higher quality. Andy Youmans, executive vice president responsible for this quality initiative, is contacted by the Toyota Supplier Support Center (TSSC), a world leader in manufacturing methodology, who offers to educate the CSSC plant in the Toyota Production System (TPS). Although short-term improvements are made, quality and delivery times worsen. It seems employees do not understand the reasons behind the new production methods, and Youmans is concerned about how to transfer what he has learned. The TSSC consultants suggest that Youmans go to Japan to visit companies that are practicing TPS principles.

    Keywords: Globalization; Competency and Skills; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Production; Customer Relationship Management; Quality; Training; Performance Efficiency; Cost Management; Sales; System;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Massimo Russo, and Steven J. Spear. "Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corporation (B)." Harvard Business School Case 698-038, January 1998. View Details
  50. Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (C)

    H. Kent Bowen, Massimo Russo and Steven J. Spear

    Andy Youmans, executive vice president of CSSC, joins a group of U.S. executives on a tour of Japanese factories that practice the TPS. Three of the factories produce products similar to CSSC's, and even though they use similar equipment, they are significantly more productive. Once he returns to the United States, Youmans needs a plan to dramatically change his company, knowing that the three Japanese firms have significantly better performance (more than four times the revenues per employee). How can he replicate the Japanese companies' capabilities?

    Keywords: Managerial Roles; Performance Improvement; System; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Performance Productivity; Training; Quality; Business Ventures; Competency and Skills; Production; Adoption;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Massimo Russo, and Steven J. Spear. "Connecticut Spring and Stamping Corp. (C)." Harvard Business School Case 698-039, January 1998. View Details
  51. Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (A)

    H. Kent Bowen, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch and John Schiavone

    Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the development and manufacturing of gas turbine engines for commercial and military aircraft. Economic conditions for the airline and defense industries are forcing the airplane engine builders to restructure. Ed Northern, a new general manager of one of Pratt & Whitney's largest plants, is determined to transform the North Haven plant into a world-class manufacturing organization.

    Keywords: Transformation; Restructuring; Production; Opportunities; Economy; Aerospace Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Connecticut;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and John Schiavone. "Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (A)." Harvard Business School Case 696-066, November 1995. (Revised January 1998.) View Details
  52. Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (B)

    H. Kent Bowen, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch and John Schiavone

    As part of the restructuring effort underway at the Pratt & Whitney North Haven plant, Ed Northern and a group of Japanese consultants are transforming the manufacturing process from a batch process to a single-piece flow, and are organizing the machines and workers in product cells. Vane Cell 6 is the first cell to be created at North Haven. Business Unit Manager Garrett Mikits is faced with a challenge as the creation of Vane Cell 6 nears completion. A new order, which represents a large volume increase, challenges Mikita and his workers to find a way to increase production.

    Keywords: Restructuring; Business Processes; Production; Machinery and Machining; Human Resources; Product; Connecticut;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and John Schiavone. "Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (B)." Harvard Business School Case 696-067, November 1995. (Revised January 1998.) View Details
  53. Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (A)

    H. Kent Bowen and Barbara Feinberg

    Jim Sharpe, 11 years after receiving his MBA from Harvard and working for others, has finally become his own boss and 100% owner of manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. After 10 months of an unfunded search, he acquires the business in an LBO and prepares to face his employees on the first day.

    Keywords: crisis management; Acquisitions; Search Funds; entrepreneurial management; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; turnarounds; bank loan; leveraged buyouts; manufacturing; metals processing; entrepreneurial finance; Labor unions; Leveraged Buyouts; Labor Unions; Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Crisis Management; Management Skills; Experience and Expertise; Borrowing and Debt; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Barbara Feinberg. "Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 697-078, February 1997. (Revised December 2012.) View Details
  54. Natural Blends, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen, Ramchandran Jaikumar and Karen Krause

    Describes the continuous flow process used to generate orange juice concentrate. Production involves several tightly coupled process steps with varying production rates and setup times. Given production constraints and customer requirements, management choices must be made to maximize the greatest contribution.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Decisions; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Product; Performance Capacity; Performance Productivity;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Ramchandran Jaikumar, and Karen Krause. "Natural Blends, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 698-012, August 1997. View Details
  55. Display Technologies, Inc.

    Jonathan West, H. Kent Bowen and Ryota Matsui

    Display Technologies, Inc. (DTI) is a new joint venture between Toshiba and IBM Japan that is manufacturing the most advanced form of flat panel displays. With success in achieving significant production volumes, DTI has been asked to double its output as quickly as possible. Mr. Shima, DTI's president, must decide among three options, each of which has immediate and long-term strategic consequences.

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Decision Choices and Conditions; Technological Innovation; Growth and Development Strategy; Product Development; Production; Performance Expectations; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    West, Jonathan, H. Kent Bowen, and Ryota Matsui. "Display Technologies, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 697-117, April 1997. View Details
  56. Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (B)

    H. Kent Bowen and Barbara Feinberg

    Jim Sharpe, 11 years after receiving his MBA from Harvard and working for others, has finally become his own boss and 100% owner of manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. After 10 months of an unfunded search, he acquires the business in an LBO and prepares to face his employees on the first day.

    Keywords: Technology; Entrepreneurship; Business Ventures; Business or Company Management; Competency and Skills; Management Teams; Risk and Uncertainty; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Barbara Feinberg. "Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 697-079, February 1997. (Revised December 2012.) View Details
  57. United Electric Controls

    H. Kent Bowen, Jody H. Gittell and Sylvie Ryckebusch

    United Electric Controls (UE) was a small, traditional family-owned manufacturing company when Dave Reis, the youngest member of the Reis family, took over the business. This case describes Reis's efforts to change UE's traditional work practices in order to make the business more profitable and position it for growth. UE's experiments with strategies to involve workers in the change process are described, as are efforts to adopt Japanese manufacturing techniques. The case dilemma centers around UE's decision to spend $1.5 million to put in place a state-of-the-art computer system. It is hoped that this system will help to better integrate company functions. The wisdom of this decision and how it would impact UE's future growth should be the subject of a rich classroom discussion.

    Keywords: Change Management; Family Business; Production; Business Strategy; Human Resources; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Decisions; Growth and Development Strategy; Information Technology; Electronics Industry; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Jody H. Gittell, and Sylvie Ryckebusch. "United Electric Controls." Harvard Business School Case 697-006, October 1996. (Revised December 1996.) View Details
  58. Bayside Controls, Inc.

    H. Kent Bowen, Jennifer Kochman and Sylvie Ryckebusch

    Two recent MBA graduates acquire a small and ailing metal-machining company that had manufactured small aerospace components. Through clever application of state-of-the-art manufacturing, engineering, and marketing/sales concepts, they turned the company into a growing and profitable business. The owners must now decide what new business opportunities to undertake given that they have achieved market share leadership in their niche.

    Keywords: Business Earnings; Leveraged Buyouts; Machinery and Machining; Leading Change; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Production; Personal Development and Career; Sales; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Jennifer Kochman, and Sylvie Ryckebusch. "Bayside Controls, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 697-004, July 1996. View Details
  59. Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (C)

    H. Kent Bowen, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch and John Schiavone

    As part of the Pratt & Whitney North Haven restructuring effort, Ed Northern and his business unit managers are encouraging workers to make decisions and take an active role in improving the manufacturing process at North Haven. Business Unit Manager Tom Hutton has empowered a group of hourly workers to purchase grit blast equipment for two cells. The capital purchase decision runs into some problems when the two cells, the vapor coat and pack coat cells, fail to reach an agreement about which equipment to purchase.

    Keywords: Restructuring; Decisions; Capital; Human Resources; Agreements and Arrangements; Production; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and John Schiavone. "Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (C)." Harvard Business School Case 696-068, November 1995. View Details
  60. Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (D)

    H. Kent Bowen, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch and John Schiavone

    Because of conflicts between the vapor coat and pack coat cells over the decision to purchase new grit blast equipment, Business Unit Manager Tom Hutton has decided to form a second capital purchase team that will represent the pack coat cell. Meanwhile, the first capital purchase team has decided to purchase MacCormick equipment, traditionally considered less reliable than other equipment. Hutton is having misgivings about his decision to empower workers to purchase equipment, and wonders whether he should approve the purchase.

    Keywords: Decisions; Capital; Employees; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, Linda A. Hill, Andrew P. Burtis, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and John Schiavone. "Transformation of Pratt & Whitney North Haven (D)." Harvard Business School Case 696-069, November 1995. View Details
  61. SweetWater

    H. Kent Bowen and Thomas D. Everett

    Focuses on developing a promising idea into a viable product design by considering customer needs early in the design process. Following an Alaskan fishing trip, Sandy Platter, a computer peripherals engineer, has a new idea for a portable water-filter device for use by outdoor recreationalists.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Independent Innovation and Invention; Product Design; Customers; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Colorado;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. Kent, and Thomas D. Everett. "SweetWater." Harvard Business School Case 695-026, November 1994. (Revised November 1995.) View Details
  62. 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