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Managing future and emergent strategy decay in the commercial aerospace industry

Alfred Lewis (Professor of Finance & Strategy at the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, Alliant International University, San Diego, California, USA)
Jon Loebbaka (General Manager at Universal Alloy Corporation, Anaheim, California, USA.)

Business Strategy Series

ISSN: 1751-5637

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to depict the increasing level of environmental turbulence in the aerospace aluminium industry utilizing a case study to highlight success strategies. The paper examines the impact of the environmental turbulence of September 11, 2001 on the commercial aerospace industry and how a firm successfully re‐adapted its corporate strategies in response to the discontinuity.


The objectives of this paper were addressed through an examination of firms' strategy formulation and deployment methods. Furthermore, the incidence of strategic decay coupled with resilience of firms in the aerospace industry is discussed with reference to the September 11, 2001 event in the United States.


Aerospace aluminium suppliers have mainly concentrated their efforts in the development of high strength patented alloys in order to defend market share. The aircraft manufactures namely Airbus and Boeing are in the process of shifting to composite materials in order to achieve significant weight reductions coupled with greater fuel efficiency.


The work highlights how a company can use strategic resilience to adapt to the dynamic environment of an oligopic market dominated by Airbus and Boeing.



Lewis, A. and Loebbaka, J. (2008), "Managing future and emergent strategy decay in the commercial aerospace industry", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 147-156.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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