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Carter Racing Case Study Essay

Essay 1

What Are the Factors in the “Race” Decision?

In the case study titled “Carter Racing,” John and Fred Carter, who run a company involved in automobile racing, are trying to make a momentous choice regarding whether or not they should participate in an upcoming Pocono event (Brittain & Sitkin, 1986). The decision is crucial due to the media attention that would come with their team’s victory, as well as the monetary award if their team wins.

However, the decision-making process is hindered by a number of issues that represent risks for the team, their careers, and the company as a whole. One of the primary reasons why the Carters are hesitant is because their team has suffered numerous failures throughout the season due to engine issues.

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The experts who maintain and improve the cars had widely varying opinions about what causes the failures — engine mechanic Edwards is certain that the engine’s construction, as well as external factors like weather and temperature, cause malfunctions; at the same time, Burns, the company’s top mechanic, believes that engine failure is something over which one has no control and luck should be expected for (Brittain & Sitkin, 1986).

Another important consideration is the sponsor’s backing, as well as a promising future season contract that is largely reliant on the Carters’ team’s performance. The decider is under a lot of strain because it participating in the race would bring significant funds to the team, allowing them to develop and expand; while canceling will result in a substantial monetary loss. Furthermore, if (as Burns claims) there is a failure, the team will be pushed back and must start from scratch again.

Should the Carters Race Today? Why?

The engine mechanic, who is a highly trained professional with extensive experience working on engines, identified that the team’s head gaskets were the source of their engine problems (Brittain & Sitkin, 1986). The mechanic discovered that because the head and block of the engine heated up at different rates, causing them to fail.

A potentially harmful machinery failure may be prevented by increasing the efficiency of your cooling system. The amount of heat energy that must be removed from a vehicle’s air is called resistance, and it has an inverse relationship with its ability to cool a given volume of air. If a car’s air conditioner fails, it could overheat and catch on fire if not properly maintained, which can result in serious injuries or even death for passengers inside the vehicle (Brittain & Sitkin, 1986). In this manner, Paul Edwards’ statements appear to be well-founded, and the team’s poor performance in the Pocono race may result in an engine failure, which would result in sponsorship and income loss.

In this manner, the last option should be to withdraw from the competition in order to preserve the team’s excellent reputation and work on the engine improvements. For the club, weather appears to be a key factor in determining whether or not they will win the race. As a result, only the outcomes of the races that were held in colder weather should be considered; and this statistics clearly demonstrates that the team has a good change of suffering another engine failure at Pocono.

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Essay 2

This is a difficult choice for John, and the mind is frequently shifting in opposition to his conclusion. However, I don’t believe the team should race again this time. John should obtain additional data and knowledge about engine failure until he decides to compete again for the following season. There are several options for deciding whether or not to race for John Carter when it comes to decision-making. He may choose whether or not to compete based on either Tom’s perspective as a fellow chief mechanic or Paul’s idea of an engine expert.

However, regardless of the decision that is made, quantitative analysis should end it. The first reaction was to throw all of the figures provided into the opportunity cost calculation and assess the benefits and drawbacks of each choice at a glance. However, in order to arrive at the most precise forecast on the expected value of results, it is critical to include all relevant expenses in dollars.

The fees may be easily calculated because the data was supplied in the instance. However, for the remaining choices: race and win, race and lose, it is impossible to compute the precise cost of “winning” and “failed,” owing to a lack of price tags for fames and sponsorship possibilities if the team wins the race, as well as potential risks associated with gasket failure such as life, and destroying in team reputation.

As a result, the predicted value calculated would be useless in quantifying losses and gains if some of the essential variables are absent. The second reason I believe John should wait for the race is because there isn’t enough information presented in the scenario. In addition to Tom’s chart (exhibit 1), a chart showing how temperature affects head gasket success should be included since the race may begin in a day with a low temperature.

If I were John, I’d have to decide whether or not to postpone the race until further information becomes available. Of course it’s difficult to persuade someone on matters that no one can definitely predict. Thoughts and uncertainties ran through his head such as: the race is a high-risk business; wondering if John should take advantage of the opportunity while he still has it because next season is uncertain, etc…

Even after learning that there was insufficient data, racing is still a strong temptation. This mind tension, which unconsciously battles in the brain, reminds me of the notion of scarcity , which individuals tend to value potential loss (the costs for racing) more than potential gains (engine invested and human life). These sentiments frequently motivated management to have a decision-making bias.

The problem John faces includes the decision between two alternatives: one from his chief mechanic Tom, who recommends for race, and the other engine mechanic Paul, who opposes the racing. The contention and evidence provided by these two mechanics are used to persuade John.

Tom and Paul both have considerable expertise in racing, but Paul “lacked the sophisticated engineering training” as stated in part B of the reading raises an intriguing question: Should John shift more of his choice power to Tom based on the insufficiency of Paul’s education? To connect this situation to Mulvey’s essay, the goal of a team is to strengthen an organization by bringing together and combining various viewpoints. It’s critical for John, in this scenario, to maintain balance in the team dynamics so that everyone’s voice is equally considered in the group function, but it becomes very difficult to maintain grip once one side of the viewpoint is given too much importance.

Between John, Paul, and Tom, this example is evident. At the start of the case, Paul demonstrated his status as a strong opponent of the team that would race. However, as the case progressed , Paul’s attitude changed as Tom displayed exhibit 1 and agreed to compete at the end. It appears that Paul has given up his beliefs and agreed with the team on racing by accepting Tom’s data, which shows a higher rank than Paul, even though the data appear to be insufficient to change Paul’s stance on racing.

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The headline and lede, in particular, support this point: Paul accepts Tom’s data as long as it makes sense in explaining the gasket problem. John’s incompetence with the vehicle’s fluids indicates a different level of experience than Mulvey would anticipate from Tom, who is the chief of mechanic and therefore might have prompted an inference to imply higher professional status. Paul was very likely to accept Tom’s data because of such precedence assumptions and numerous pointless discussions about the gasket problem with John.

Finally, there’s a subtle impression that Paul may have been under pressure from the group to conform. It is apparent that John, the team leader, is irritated about the race sponsorship and wishes to get both of the mechanics’ approval to compete. Paul gradually decreased his voice as he became the only one who dissented. Mulvey’s essay on pressured conformity and dysfunctional decision-making culture has several points.

As John, it is critical for team leaders to have a great sense of each team member’s personality and area of expertise in order to keep the participation spirit alive. Paul may express his ideas without compromising his beliefs while still benefiting from Tom’s knowledge because he is on a well-balanced team. The only way to get a reasonable decision-making option is with a functioning team.

Essay 3

Chris and Andrew Carter are brothers, as well as business partners. They must choose whether to compete in a high-stakes race against tougher competition than they’ve seen all year. The issue is that their vehicle has failed seven times out of the last twenty-four months, meaning not only will they lose a $50,000 engine but they will also be out of their two-million-dollar per season contract with Goodstone.

They’ll lose $15,000 in entry fees if they don’t race, and they’ll certainly be out $80,000 in debt for the season. Finally, if they race and blow an engine, they will lose a sponsorship worth $80,000 from an oil company since they don’t want their name on a vehicle.

Another issue that has not been addressed is what the racing temperature will be at race time, because it is likely to be warmer than the current 40 degrees. In my opinion, the second problem with the newly developed turbo system is most likely to blame for gasket failure. It appears that if other racing teams are not utilizing these new turbo systems and yet having gasket problems, this might be due to excessive pressure on the gaskets, causing them to fail.

If this is the case, they must choose to race based on the risk of failing to meet the 29% standard. To correct this issue, research would have to be done to see how they might repair the turbo so it does not break the gaskets or rebuild them so they can withstand the extra stress from the boost. In this situation, one of the key limitations is time. Even if they had superior gaskets, they wouldn’t have enough time to replace them in an hour.

Action Plan

When it comes to repairs on the vehicle’s engine, they have no alternatives. That is because their sponsors are the only alternatives available to them. As the race draws near, they have a variety of options.

Essay 4

In this scenario, Carter Racing must make a choice under pressure whether or not to compete after their engine has failed at a rate of 29%. According to the engine mechanic’s assessment, temperature is a major contributing factor in engine failure, and Carter Racing has never raced in such chilly weather (40 deg F).

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A more experienced mechanic, who created the turbo-charging system, examined the data (only seven data points) and found no link between temperature and gasket failures. There are three possibilities to consider. First, if they compete and win, Carter Racing will earn a $1 million sponsorship from Goodstone, which will give them great pride.

However, if fate smiled on them, Carter Racing may also be able to shed light on engine problems in advance of future events. Second, if they race and their engine goes down, Carter Racing will suffer a major setback on national television at a big event; not to mention the loss of new sponsorships from Goodstone and their existing $500k oil contract.

Third, should Carter Racing decide to withdraw, the team’s morale would be damaged and their relations with important sponsors may be jeopardized. The team will also be $50k in debt for the year if they choose to withdraw. Because there is a lack of additional corroborating evidence to refute the temperature explanation and the amount of money and reputation on the line, I propose that Carter Racing withdraw and protect its driver/car rather than relying on chance. This is another chance for Royer to test and perfect the turbo-charging technology, as well as re-establish his reputation.

Essay 5

Chris and Nita Carter are brothers who run a racing team. They must decide whether to enter a high-stake race against more formidable competition than they’ve encountered all year. The issue is that their vehicle has failed seven times out of the past 24 races, meaning it would lose a $50,000 engine as well as a full season contract from Goodstone worth two million dollars per year if it fails in this race.

They will lose $15,000 in entry fees if they decide not to race, and they will certainly lose Goodstone and be $80,000 in debt for the season. Finally, if they race and blow an engine, they will lose a sponsorship worth $80,000 from an oil company because they do not want their name on a car that is smoking on the side of the track.


The main issue to consider is whether they should compete the automobile given the danger of it blowing and losing both sponsors and parts if a new engine is required. One theory was that because temperatures were so high on race day, gaskets began to go bad, resulting in engine failure. However, there does not appear to be a significant connection between air temperature and engine failure.


The Carter brothers must evaluate several variables when deciding to race the automobile. Even with the supplied information, racing is a risk, and there’s no assurance that even if the car doesn’t blow a gasket, they’ll win.

Given their track record, it is unlikely they will be able to overcome these problems. Given that the majority of their races have been smaller and had less competition, this might pose a problem for them. All of the issues that have plagued their team in the past are attributed to gasket failures, which is why they’re breaking.

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