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The Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling cases

Twenty-first place - Caterpillar Tractor Co.
The case
Case: Caterpillar Tractor Co. Shouldice Hospital Ltd.
Authors: Christopher A. Bartlett and U. Srinivasa Rangan
Institution: Harvard Business School
Ref: 9-385-276
Date published: 1985

In 1981, Caterpillar Tractor Co. (CAT) was heading for the best financial results in its history. However, it also had to deal with union demands, changes in the industry and an emerging competitive market. This case analyses the structure and evolution of the earth-moving equipment industry worldwide in the post-war era, particularly focusing on developments in the 1960s and 1970s. It describes CAT’s strategy in becoming the dominant worldwide competitor and includes details of the company’s manufacturing, marketing, and organisational policies. But what happened next? Did CAT have to adapt or change the strategy that had already proved so successful?

The authors

Christopher A. Bartlett is the Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School.
e cbartlett@hbs.edu

U. Srinivasa Rangan holds the Luksic Chair Professorship in Strategy and Global Studies at Babson College, Massachusetts, US.
e rangan@babson.edu

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