Deutsche Bahn AG: The heartless train conductor Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Ulrich Homburg must have had an unpleasant deja vu experience on January 28, 2010 when he heard of headlines in Germany's leading tabloid Bild about "Schaffnerin Herzlos", the "heartless train conductor". The board member of Germany's national railway company, Deutsche Bahn AG (DB), and head of its own passenger transportation department was confronted with media reports about a minor girl who had been thrown off the train only the night before by a DB train conductor.

The girl was traveling without a valid train ticket. This event was not the first of its sort. Off of trains, Bahn workers had also driven several children and youths in the autumn of 2008. Service personnel had been subsequently given very clear directions by the train firm: Under no conditions shall minors be requested to leave the train. Now, Homburg needed to ask himself if further action were essential.


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