On June 18, 1967, the B.F. Goodrich Wheel and Brake Plant in Troy, Ohio, received a contract from LTV to supply wheels and brakes for the new Air Force light attack aircraft. Goodrich won the contract based on their competitive bid and their innovative technical design, featuring a light-weight four-rotor brake1. Before the Air Force could accept the brake, B.F. Goodrich had to present a report showing that the brake passed specified qualifying tests. The former B.F. Goodrich employee Kermit Vandivier was told to issue the report. However a significant error of the design threw him into an ethical dilemma: taking part in the A7D fraud to write a good report or walking away from the game which meant he would lose his job. Vandivier finally decided to write the report although his conscience was bothering him all the time. At the end, the brake failed without surprise. Vandivier told the whole story to the public as we read from the case. In the Vandivier case, Goodrich showed a good example of unsuccessful manaing dilemma and innovation. On the other hand, A7D fraud was majorly driven by a hidden reason: overconfidence bias. I am going to explain these three perspectives in the following contents of my essay. Managing Dilemmas
Dilemmas arise when we face natural tensions between two apparently opposite ideas or concepts. In business world, the organizations have to deal with different dilemmas all the time: cost vs. quality, competition vs. collaboration, stability vs. change, short term results vs. long term competitiveness. Unlike problems with fixed trade-offs and decidable at some point, dilemmas are dynamic, enviable and interdependent. They cannot be solved. They must be managed and leveraged by management strategies overtime. In the Vandivier case, Goodrich was facing two organizational dilemmas (tensions). The first one was short time lose vs. long time gains. After ten-year negative customer relationship with LTV Aerospace...
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