Ivey Publishing
Capitalism's Next Frontier: Competing in Outer Space (A)
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18 pages (9 pages of text)
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Case (Pub Mat)
Several private startups, including Planetary Resources, SpaceX, and Deep Space Industries, had initiated plans to mine minerals in space. The ventures looked promising: an asteroid one kilometre in diameter contained, potentially, $20 trillion worth of industrial and precious metals. Governments had become involved in space exploration as well, with interests that ranged from projecting military power in space to claiming resources. The current legal framework surrounding space exploration was vague, but the United Nations Treaties and Principles on Outer Space recognized extraterrestrial resources as the “common heritage of humankind.” What should a privately funded venture company consider when developing a strategy for space exploration and mining? What would be the concerns of a senior government official or a representative from a global organization such as the United Nations? Are the concerns different for different countries? Optional supplement, 9B16M054, is available.
Learning Objective:
This case has been designed for both undergraduate and graduate-level courses in strategic management, business and society, entrepreneurship, energy sector strategy, and business policy and regulation. After discussing the case, students will have developed their ability to:
  • Assess the potential of an emerging sector
  • Identify the difficulties inherent in creating new industries under an uncertain regulatory environment
  • Assess the role of regulation in the emergence of new industry
  • Discuss the balance between regulation and innovation
  • Assess the value of co-operating with competitors to build the legitimacy of a new industry
  • Contrast different ways of managing “the commons” (cf. Elinor Ostrom’s work)
    General Management/Strategy,  Entrepreneurship,  International
    Information, Media & Telecommunications
    United States, global, Small, 2015
    Intended Audience:
    $4.25 CAD / $4.25 USD Printed Copy
    $3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Permissions
    $3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Digital Download
    Associated Materials
    Supplements: 9B16M054 (4 pages)
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