The Missouri Department of Economic Development

By Smith, David K., Jr. | Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, January 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

The Missouri Department of Economic Development


Smith, David K., Jr., Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies


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 aprivate 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.

THE SITUATION

David Seamon, newly-appointed Director Business Development & Trade of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, closed the door to his office and glanced again at the notes he had taken in his meeting with Kelvin Simmons, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Simmons challenge to Seamon was very simple but also (in Seamon' s opinion) very difficult. In a time when the resources available to the Department of Economic Development were shrinking, Simmons had charged Seamon to double (within three years) the 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 and/or a new office. From a measurement perspective, Simmons had indicated that any firm making a written and/or electronic (web-based, telephone, etc.) inquiry to the Missouri Department of Economic Development would be counted as having "actively considered" the State of Missouri as a potential new location.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (hence, DED) homepage indicates that DED is the State of Missouri's "lead agency for economic, workforce, and community development." DED's mission is "to increase Missouri's wealth-generating capacities." In support ofthat mission, DED is organized in the following divisions: (1) Administrative Services; (2) Business Development & Trade; (3) Community Development; (4) Credit Unions; (5) Professional Registration; (6) Tourism; (7) Public Council; (8) Public Service Commission; (9) Missouri Arts Council; (10) Missouri Housing Development Commission; (11) Missouri Development Finance Board; and (12) Workforce Development.

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