Boeing’s Tragedy: Inside the Fall of An American Manufacturing Icon
Category: News & PoliticsBy: kavika • one month ago • 14 comments
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 lost a fuselage cabin panel at 16,000 feet and was forced to conduct an emergency landing on Jan. 5, fortunately without any major injuries to passengers and crew.
Still under investigation, it seems that the panel in question (provided by a Boeing partner, Spirit AeroSystems) had not been properly bolted to the fuselage, a major manufacturing defect and quality-control oversight. Loose parts were soon found on other 737 MAX 9 planes. The result was the grounding of all 171 Boeing MAX 9 jets by U.S. regulators and a more than 10% drop in the company’s share price.
To compound Boeing’s woes, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Boeing 737 was grounded in Davos following mechanical failure. And just a few days ago, Boeing was again in the spotlight when a Boeing 747 cargo plane had to perform an emergency landing in Miami after an engine caught fire.
These are just the latest in a string of incidents, including two deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX planes , which have all served to undermine public confidence in the company.
Other new Boeing airplanes, such as the Boeing 787 long-haul Dreamliner , faced development hold-ups, delayed regulatory approval and serious teething troubles (such as its batteries catching fire ). Even the famous Boeing 777 suffered temporary groundings due to safety concerns, and development of the latest version is running four years behind schedule.
The industry-leading company has stumbled from crisis to crisis. But how did it get to this point? Our research on global innovation and the failings of corporate governance suggests that the combination of two major strategy shifts in the early 2000s likely compromised the company's future.
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