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Selected Case

published: 12 Jun 2002, 28 Pages

  • Research Area: Technology and Operations Management
  • Industry: Steel making
  • Region: Global

The two companies started in 1995 to develop a new breakthrough technology for converting iron ore into pure iron. The project was extremely challenging because of complexity (a three-way joint venture involving three countries) and uncertainty (new technology posing unforeseeable complications). The case describes the difficulties to make the technology work.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understand the nature of unforeseeable uncertainty, and the limits of risk management. Understand risk profiles, and the management style that is appropriate for projects with unforeseeable uncertainty. Rather than relying on planning and execution, such a project requires a flexible approach that gives the team resources and capabilities for problem solving and learning, and the authority to change course.

Project Management, Risk Management, Breakthrough Technologies, Technology Development, Uncertainty, R&d Partnering, Steel Making