636.0 Goals For Dallas (B): Background
This series of cases focuses on three related phenomena: "Goals for Dallas," a program that engaged a cross-section of Dallas leadership in assessing the state of the city and establishing goals for the community; Erik Jonsson, a founder and chief executive officer of Texas Instruments, mayor of Dallas from 1964-1971, and the moving force in the Goals for Dallas program at that period; and the city of Dallas itself. Part A focuses on Erik Jonsson and the critical problems confronting him as he took office as mayor of Dallas in 1964. Part B provides background notes on three subjects related to the problems Jonsson faced and his solutions to them: Dallas, Texas Instruments, and the American Assembly (an organization established by President Eisenhower, and a model for Jonsson's program). Part C describes the outcome: Goals for Dallas. It sketches the program's rationale, objectives, and process, and presents participants' views on the program's impact. This case is designed to foster discussion of three central issues: the appropriateness and applicability of organized broad-based efforts to set goals and solve problems in US cities and towns; the impact-and importance-of leadership in urban settings; and the "standards" of urban achievement. When is a city "successful?" What factors make it so?