Teaching Case - C-5A (B)

C-5A (B)


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  • Product Description

    When the first C-5A rolled out of its hangar in 1968, the giant transport plane was hailed by President Johnson as "a long leap forward in the effective military might of America." This case tells the saga of the C-5A, from its origins in Defense Department policy shops through its slow and painful development. Part A summarizes the management techniques adopted by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to rationalize DOD decision-making and examines the C-5A as a product of those techniques. The case deals specifically with the role of DOD's Systems Analysis Office in developing the C-5A concept and bringing it to fruition. Part B examines the procurement of the C-5A by the Air Force, focusing a new contracting procedure, the Total Package Procurement System, which was intended -- but failed -- to control development costs.

    Learning Objective:
    The C-5A illuminates the role of a policy analysis office in providing ideas and advice to a decision-maker. It also illustrates the pitfalls analysts may stumble into when they become strong advocates. Part B may also be used to underscore the need to think about implementation during the analysis stage. Students should be encouraged to see the events in Part B not simply as an implementation failure, but as the logical result of seeds sown earlier when policy analysts relaxed their professional vigilance.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1976
    HKS Case Number: 108.0
    Case Author: Kathleen Heintz
    Faculty Lead: Laurence Lynn
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 46
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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