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Innovations at Harley Davidson

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR093 Electronic Format: Rs. 500;
Courier (within India):Rs. 25 Extra
Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies


Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1903 - 2003
Organization : Harley Davidson Inc.
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Automobile


The case explains how adopting innovation as a strategic tool helped Harley Davidson (H-D) become a leading motorcycle and motorcycle accessories company. It provides an explanation of the concept of innovation, types of innovation, the innovation process and its applicability in the business context. Thereafter, the case covers H-D's history and talks of the product innovations that helped it become the leader in the US motorcycle industry. It also discusses the reasons for H-D losing its market share to foreign and domestic competitors. The case then focuses on how H-D innovated at various functional levels (marketing and customer relations, manufacturing, organization and new product development) to regain its leadership status.

The case explains how all this was done using the concept of technological innovations not as an end by itself, but as the means to enhance the 'total customer experience.'


Understand the concept of innovation, different types of innovation, and its applicability in the business context

Study the evolution of H-D's business and understand how innovations in product development are integral for sustained business growth


  Page No.
Celebrating 100 Years of Innovations 1
Innovation in the Business Context 2
Harley-Davidson - Background Note 3
Harley-Davidson: Back to Innovation 5
Manufacturing Practices 7
Making the Organization Conducive to Innovation 8
New Product Development 9
Innovating for a Total 'Customer Experience' 11
Exhibits 12


Adopting, strategic, tool, Harley Davidson, H-D, leading, motorcycle, motorcycle, accessories, concept, innovation, innovation, history, product innovations, US motorcycle, losing, market share, foreign, domestic competitors, functional levels, marketing, customer elations, manufacturing, organization, new product development, leadership, status, technological innovations, total customer experience

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