Global Partnering: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Beyond

26 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

Date Written: September 2, 2015


This case recites the history of the Boeing 787 partnering process with suppliers. The case covers the complex web of partnerships Boeing was involved in and how relational issues contributed to the long delay and cost overruns of the program. The reasons behind the global partnering strategy appear solid: Selling aircraft has changed, the big customers are all over the world, the politics are complex, the risks are higher, the resources are more distributed, and the financing has become unsurmountable for a single company. Although the 787 program is now running well, will lessons learned spill over to other programs? Will Boeing's future partnerships become more adversarial rather than trust based? The case raises the question if Boeing in its new aircraft programs following the 787 should continue the global partnering network in the same way as for the 787: should the network be scaled down, stay the same, or be taken further?

Keywords: Boeing, 787, partnering, alliances, trust, suppliers, project delays, cost overruns, globalization, risk sharing, market acces

JEL Classification: L1, L2, L6, L93, O33

Suggested Citation

Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar, Global Partnering: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Beyond (September 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Sveinn Vidar Gudmundsson (Contact Author)

Toulouse Business School ( email )

20, bd Lascrosses
Toulouse, 31068


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