Dissolution of the Global Excellence Alliance

Nitin Pangarkar

Over the past two decades, the global airlines industry has proved to be fertile ground for the formation of several strategic alliances. In 1989, Singapore Airlines, Swissair and Delta Airlines formed the Global Excellence Alliance. Since it brought together three of the world’s top 20 airlines, the alliance received much publicity; it was hailed as the first of its kind and expected to lead to significant benefits for the partner firms. However, by November 1997, Singapore Airlines had pulled out of the alliance, thus dissolving the trilateral venture. Interestingly, neither Swissair nor Delta seemed to express much regret at the dissolution of the trilateral alliance. This case illustrates the impact of three crucial factors, namely environmental developments, shifting internal priorities and strategies, and the congruence between the particular alliance and the overall alliance strategy, as well as corporate strategy, on the longevity of alliance. The case provides a concrete illustration of the benefits as well as drawbacks of alliances as well as the dynamic nature of alliance strategy.

Federal Academy of Ballet

Josephine Chinying Lang

Lee Lee Lan founded the Federal Academy of Ballet in Malaysia in 1967. Under Lee Lan’s leadership, FAB grew not only in student enrolement but also in its geographical coverage through the establishment of new branches and the acquisition of failing dance schools. From the beginning, Lee Lan kept a tight rein on FAB. She felt she had successfully guided FAB’s growth, but was concerned about its future development. Although she trusted her administrative officers for routine tasks, she was aware she had no strategy to develop FAB further in the next millennium. In December 1998, she was contemplating whether franchising was a worthwhile option for FAB to pursue.

Legend Group and the Chinese Computer Industry

Bettina Büchel and Steffen Raub

This case describes Legend Group’s strategic expansion in the Chinese computer industry. To achieve Legend Group's ambitious goal of becoming a member of the world’s largest 500 enterprises, the company had to formulate an effective strategy. The case provides the background of the Chinese computer market, recent industry trends and the industry’s main players.

SIA’s Alliances: The ‘Star’ Attraction

Prem N Shamdasani

With increasing liberalization in the airline industry, many airlines face intense competition. Many have resorted to forming strategic alliances to extend their global reach and remain competitive. SIA, voted one of the best airlines in the world, is no exception. This case documents SIA’s strategic decision to dissolve its eight-year-old partnership with Swissair and Delta Airlines and forge a new alliance with Lufthansa. Having tied-up with Lufthansa, SIA is considering the feasibility of joining the Lufthansa-led Star Alliance whose other members include United Airlines, Air Canada, Scandinavia’s SAS, Thai Airways and Varig of Brazil. While the benefits of its bilateral alliance with Lufthansa are more evident, joining the larger Star Alliance involves a whole new set of strategic and operational considerations.

Singtech (A & B)

Audrey Tsui and Ling Sing Chee

This case describes the human resource requirements of an engineering contracting company based in Singapore. The company undertook projects in different parts of the world: North America, France, and many Asian countries. Given the fluctuating business demands characteristic of this industry, there was the constant challenge to balance human resources in the company. Both the supply and demand aspects are addressed. Case A poses the problems of a fluctuating workforce. Case B presents what can and did happen. It directs attention to the fact that business developments over time can change the fundamental human resource problems of a company.

Western Healthcare Ltd

Rajesh Agrawal

In this case, issues relating to material variances in the dry filled injections department of a multi-product pharmaceutical company in India are raised. In manufacturing dry filled injections, purchase, quality control, mixing, filling, sealing, and packing activities were involved. Production was undertaken in batches. One of the raw materials was the active ingredient, carbox, which was required to be of a specified potency and which deteriorated over time. As such, raw material requirements at different activity centers varied according to the potency of carbox. As the raw materials are moved through various activity centers of the dry filled injections department, a controversy arose about identifying responsibility for unfavorable material variances.
Haren Shukla, manager of the dry filled injections department of Western Healthcare Ltd. was concerned about the unfavorable material variances in his department in June 1998. He was not very sure who was responsible for these unfavorable variances and thought it appropriate to convene a meeting of all the persons concerned in early July 1998.

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