The Missouri Department of Economic Development

Article excerpt

CASE OVERVIEW

This case challenges students to consider how David Seamon (newly-appointed Director for Business Development & Trade of the Missouri Department of Economic Development) can double (within three years) the annual number of firms from elsewhere in the United States and/or overseas who actively consider the State of Missouri as a place to open a new factory or a new office. From a measurement perspective, the case indicates that any firm making a written and/or electronic (web-based, telephone, etc.) inquiry to the Missouri Department of Economic Development will be counted as having "actively considered " the State of Missouri as a potential new location. The case is based on discussions conducted by the author with David Seamon. The case is appropriate for senior-level undergraduates as well as students in MBA and Executive Development programs. It is designed to be taught in a class session of 1.5 hours, and is likely to require a couple of hours of preparation by students.

CASE SYNOPSIS

This case can be used to stimulate discussion on at least four interesting and important issues: (1) How can managers grow and/or turnaround a business or an organization which is not doing well; (2) Are the same models and/or conceptual frameworks and/or data analysis tools which would be applied to this situation within a private sector (that is, business) context useful within the public sector context as well; (3) What sort of efforts are public sector entities (for example, states, regions, and/or countries) making to promote their economic growth and development; and (4) Will the model or conceptual framework or data analysis tool utilized by the analyst affect the data on which decision makers focus their attention and/or the alternatives they are likely to consider? Data in the case include: (1) Description of the challenge faced by David Seamon; (2) Descriptive information on the Missouri Department of Economic Development and its various units; and (3) Recent statistics indicating the number of contacts, the in-bound investments, and the trade investments generated by each of the State of Missouri's overseas trade development offices. The costs of operating each office are also provided.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTE

As indicated in the case, David Seamon (newly-appointed Director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Division of Business Development & Trade) faces the following situation:

1. Inbound investment of venture capital into Missouri has fallen from $766,000,000 in 2000 to $169,500,000 in 2002.

2, Kevin Simmons, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, has challenged Seamon to double (within three years) the annual number of firms which "actively consider" the State of Missouri as a place to open a new factory or a new office. For purposes of this challenge, Simmons indicates that any firm which makes a written and/or electronic (web-based, telephone, etc.) new factory and/or new office-related inquiry to the Missouri Department of Economic Development will be considered to have met the criteria of "actively considering" the State of Missouri.

As regards lessons and/or information which students should learn from this case, at least four points can be made:

1. At the beginning of the case, students will need to consider the extent to which models and conceptual frameworks developed in the private (i.e., business) sector can be useful to public sector executives. By the end of the case discussion, they are likely to have concluded that in some situations, private sector conceptual frameworks and/or decision tools can be very relevant and useful to public sector managers.

2. Students will need to consider how to turnaround a business and/or organization which is not performing well. During the discussion of the case, students will discover that they have used different approaches to the problem; at this point, they should also discover that the model and/or conceptual framework and/or data analysis tool they use is very likely to impact upon the data and/or alternatives which they consider. …