Operations Management

OPPE Power Company: A Supervisory Management In-Basket Exercise

In-basket exercises are commonly used in the hiring process (particularly in screening candidates for management positions), promotion decisions, and in management training and development programs. They provide a simulated supervisory experience and have high face validity and strong reliability. When used in a group setting, they can serve as an excellent basis for general discussion of the issues, management skills, and the complexity and challenges involved in a supervisory role.

Creating Supportive Housing for People Living with HIV/AIDS: Local Lessons, National Strategies: A Place to Call Home

AIDS Housing of Washington develops innovative housing facilities to meet the continually changing needs of people with HIV/AIDS. The organization also offers technical assistance to other communities nationwide and participates in a national coalition, which plays a pivotal role in federal AIDS housing policy. In creating housing for people with HIV/AIDS, Betsy Lieberman, executive director of AIDS Housing of Washington, cites the importance of the following:

Pacifica Foundation: The Battle over the Airwaves

Pacifica Foundation covers the history of the Pacifica Foundation of California, from the 1940s to the year 2000. It starts with the formative experiences of the founder, Lewis Hill, as a conscientious objector during WWII, then brings us through the formation of the Pacifica Foundation to support the first "alternative" or "community" radio station: KPFA. The case details organization and environmental changes which occurred in 1993, these changes resulted in interpersonal conflicts between 1993 and 2000. The case was largely drawn from secondary sources.

Hartland Memorial Hospital

The Hartland Memorial Hospital case is a two-part exercise with related but different learning objectives.

Part A is an "inbox" simulation which requires students to understand and address a number of managerial/organizational issues in the case, including:

Washington State Debates the Future of Residential Habilitation Centers for People with Developmental Disabilities

This case study explores the complexity of the Washington State legislative debate regarding the future of Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs) for people with developmental disabilities. Institutional residential placements for individuals with developmental disabilities have been declining in the last 30 years. They are expensive to operate and are serving fewer and fewer individuals, making the cost per resident even higher.

Planning for Success in Emerald City

This case describes the role of performance information in a contentious effort to reform planning and zoning procedures in the fictional City of Emerald City. It is designed to illustrate two key aspects of contemporary performance management.

Seattle Community Association: Undoing Institutional Racism

When Cheryl Cobbs, the SCA executive director, received the MEDC report in December 2003, she was surprised by the intensity of frustration expressed by staff toward agency leadership.

Hurricane Katrina: A Man-Made Crisis?

This case focuses on the long and short-term factors that contributed to making Hurricane Katrina a humanitarian emergency in the City of New Orleans. The case historically traces factors and patterns of unsustainable development that pushed more people in harm's way of Hurricane Katrina. It presents the constant struggle faced by the city agencies in keeping the city dry and how all their efforts focused on engineering the environment.

Labor Intensive Politics

This case presents the challenges facing Seattle city council member Tom Weeks, who is interested in improving service delivery and cost-effectiveness in city services. Seattle had recently seen a decrease in revenue and several members of the city council were interested in making government more efficient. In the early 1990’s “privatization” was the buzzword in local government circles nationally. The belief was that the private sector could provide certain services more effectively and at lower costs than could government.

Air Force Materiel Command

Air Force Materiel Command (A) & (B) are about the intellectual work that managers do to design and change organizational purposes and practices. They show how organizational practices emerge and evolve, that coalition building is important to the process by which an organization's practices are changed, and that context is important to their persistence and operation. The cases also illustrate effective transformational leadership from the top.