Filippo Brunelleschi was in many senses a modern day entrepreneur in the Middle Ages. He is the architect and innovator responsible for building the Santa Maria del Fiore, arguably the greatest dome ever built. In the years leading up to and during the construction of the dome, his life was surrounded by managerial aspects.
There were several critical success factors for the construction of the dome including access to financial resources, raw materials, and product equipment. The building of the Santa Maria del Fiore was not something that could be done overnight, in fact it took the better of two centuries until it was complete. Probably his greatest competitive advantage, Brunelleschi was able to separate himself from his competitors by using technology to create new products and come up with innovative solutions to problems. Seeing as the creation of the dome was the first project of its kind, certain product equipment was required but not available. Brunelleschi himself invented and created much of the equipment needed, such as the ox driven hoist and the pulley. With the Opera del Duomo constantly bidding out the different projects involved with the construction of the Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi was able to create far more innovative designs than his competitors to win these bids.
Another factor that played into Brunelleschi’s competitive advantage was the fact that there wasn’t much work in the city of Florence. Laborers worked for a cheap rate and did not hold any power. When they went on strike, Brunelleschi simply fired them and found a replacement which was in need of work. Filippo Brunelleschi basically held a monopoly on the labor market. The organizational behavior was one that that the capomaestros, or managers, did not have to motivate the workers one bit. The fact that the workers held employment in a city where jobs were in desperate shortage was enough motivation.
Something very important to any project’s completion is time...
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