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HBS = Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing

I. Introduction
1 Does sustained performance exist?

Gawande, Atul. "The Checklist." The New Yorker, December 10, 2007.

Amazon logo Liker, Jeffrey. "The Toyota Way." Chapter 1 in The Toyota Way. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003. ISBN: 9780071392310.

Suggested further reading:

Amazon logo Gawande, Atul. Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. Iowa City, IA: Picador, 2008. ISBN: 9780312427658.

II. What drives sustained performance?
2 Reviewing 15.900: Strategy fundamentals
3 Wal-Mart stores in 2002

Yoffie, David, and Yusi Wang. "Wal-Mart in 2002." HBS Case: 9-702-466, October 20, 2005.

Recommended (required for those who have read a Wal-Mart case in another class):

Amazon logo Fishman, Charles. "Sam Walton's Ten-Pound Bass." Chapter 2 in The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works — and How It's Transforming the American Economy. New York, NY: Penguin, 2006. ISBN: 9780143038788.

4 Southwest Airlines 2002: an industry under siege

Heskett, James. "Southwest Airlines-2002: An Industry Under Siege." HBS Case: 9-803-133, March 11, 2003.

Recommended (required for those who have read a Southwest case in another class):

Amazon logo Gittell, Jody. "Southwest versus American Airlines: The Power of Relational Coordination." Chapter 3 in The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2005. ISBN: 9780071458276.

5 Pause for reflection

Siggelkow, Nicolaj. "Evolution Toward Fit." Administrative Science Quarterly 47 (2002): 125-159.

Amazon logo Roberts, John. "Strategy and Organizations," and "Key Concepts for Organization Design." Chapters 1 and 2 in The Modern Firm. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780198293750.

You may also find it useful to review:

Amazon logo Saloner, Garth, Andrea Shepard, and Joel Podolny. "Internal Context: Organization Design." Chapter 4 in Strategic Management. New York, NY: Wiley, 2005. ISBN: 9780470009475.

Teece, David. "Explicating Dynamic Capabilities: The Nature and Microfoundations of (sustainable) Enterprise Performance." Strategic Management Journal 28, no. 13 (2007): 1319-1350.

III. Organizational Competence and Relational Contracts
6 Revisiting 15.311: Lincoln Electric in China

Siegel, Jordan. "Lincoln Electric." HBS Case: 9-707-445, August 25, 2008.

Recommended (required for those that have read the Lincoln case before):

Amazon logo Johnson, H. Thomas, and Anders Broms. "Relationships (MBM) versus Quantity (MBR)." Chapter 2 in Profit Beyond Measure: Extraordinary Results Through Attention to Work and People. New York, NY: Free Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780684836676.

You may also find helpful:

"Agency Theory." Lecture Note 1, Professor Robert Gibbons, Sloan School of Management, MIT

"Relational Contracts." Lecture Note 2, Professor Robert Gibbons, Sloan School of Management, MIT

7 Case: The HP-Cisco Alliance (A)

Casciaro, Tiziana, and Christina Darwall. "The HP-Cisco Alliance (A)." HBS Case: 9-403-120, April 16, 2003.

You may also find helpful:

"Control Rights." Lecture Note 3. Courtesy of Professor Robert Gibbons, Sloan School of Management, MIT. Used with permission. (PDF)

"Make, Buy or Cooperate." Lecture Note 4. Courtesy of Professor Robert Gibbons, Sloan School of Management, MIT. Used with permission. (PDF)

8 Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA Inc.

Mishina, Kazuhiro. "Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc." HBS Case: 9-693-019, September 5, 1995.

Recommended (required if you are familiar with the Toyota case):

Amazon logo Spear, Steven, and H. Kent Bowen. Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review, 2008.

Amazon logo Womack, James, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos. "What We Have Learned About Lean Production Since 1990." Afterword from The Machine That Changed the World. New York, NY: Free Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780743299794.

9 BP: Organizing for performance at BPX

Podolny, Joel, and John Roberts. "British Petroleum (A1): Organizing for Performance at BPX." Stanford Business School Case. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Publishing. Case: IB16A1, July 4, 1999.

10 Case: BP and the Baker report

Baker, James, et. al. "The Report of the BP U.S. Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel."  January 2007.

"Executive Summary" and "Findings," pages viii-xv and 59-94 from The Report of the BP U.S. Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel, January 2007.

11 Pause for reflection

Repenning, Nelson, and John Sterman. "Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened." California Management Review 43, no. 4 (2001): 44-63.

Repenning, Nelson, Paulo Gonçalves, and Laura Black. "Past the Tipping Point: The Persistence of Firefighting in Product Development." California Management Review 43, no. 4 (2001): 64-68.

IV. Changing Relational Contracts
12 Case: Best Buy and Circuit City

Wells, John, and Travis Haglock. "Best Buy Co., Inc.: Competing on the Edge." HBS Case: 9-706-417, October 25, 2007.

Wells, John.  "Circuit City Stores, Inc.: Strategic Dilemmas."  HBS Case: 9-706-419, September 16, 2005.

13 Delta Air Lines (A): the low cost carrier threat, and Delta Air Lines (B): Song

Rivkin, Jan, and Laurent Therivel. "Delta Air Lines (A): The Low-Coast Carrier Threat." HBS Case: 9-704-403, January 25, 2005.

———. "Delta Air Lines (B): The Launch of Song." HBS Case: 9-704-439, January 24, 2005.

14 Pause for reflection: Toyota's expansion

"Briefing Toyota: A Wobble on the Road to the Top." The Economist, November 10, 2007, pp. 85-87.

Welch, David, and Ian Rowley. "What's Next: Toyota's All-Out Drive to Stay Toyota." Business Week, December 3, 2007, pp. 54-56.

"At Toyota, A Global Giant Reaches for Agility." New York Times, February 22, 2008.

V. Doing Strategy when Competence Matters
15 Deconstructing Jim Collins's Good to Great

Amazon logo Collins, James. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. New York, NY: Collins Business, 2001. ISBN: 9780066620992.

- Chapter 1: "Good is the Enemy of Great"
- Chapter 2: "Level 5 Leadership"
- Chapter 9: "From Good to Great to Built to Last"

Also (highly) recommended:

"Work of a Modern Leader: An Interview with Ron Heifetz." Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review, 1997.

16 Eli Lilly's Project Resilience (MIT authored case)

Henderson, Rebecca. "Eli Lilly's Project Resilience (A): Anticipating the Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry." MIT Sloan School Case, April 30, 2007.


Cornelius, Peters, Alexander van de Putte, and Mattia Romani. "Three Decades of Scenario Planning in Shell." California Management Review 48, no. 1 (2005): 92-109.

17 Lilly (B) (MIT authored case)

Henderson, Rebecca, and Cate Reavis. "Eli Lilly: Recreating Drug Discovery for the 21st Century (B)." MIT Sloan School Case, March 21, 2008.

18 The Leadership Council at Corning (MIT authored case)

Henderson, Rebecca. "The Leadership Council at Corning." MIT Sloan School Case, forthcoming.


Rock, David, and Jeffrey Schwartz. "The Neuroscience of Leadership." Strategy and Business, Summer 2006.

19 Paul Levy and the Deaconess Hospital

Garvin, David, and Michael Roberto. "Paul Levy: Taking Charge of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (A)." HBS Case: 9-303-008, January 14, 2003 (revision).

20 Case: Paul Levy (B)

Boston Globe. "Paul Levy: Taking Charge of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (B)." HBS Case: 9-303-080, December 10, 2002.

21 Case: Simmons

Casciaro, Tiziana, et al. "Leading Change at Simmons (A)." HBS Case: 9-406-046, May 3, 2007.

22 Case: Simmons (B)

Casciaro, Tiziana, et al. "Leading Change at Simmons (B)." HBS Case: 9-406-047, May 3, 2007.

VI. Wrap Up
23 Student presentations of highlights from term projects
24 Conclusions

Pounds, William. "The Process of Problem Finding." Industrial Management Review 11 (Fall 1969): 1-19.

Scharmer, Otto. "Addressing the Blind Spot of Our Time: An Executive Summary of Theory U." (PDF - 4.4 MB)#