Pew Charitable Trusts

Everyone’s life has been touched by experience with a library. That familiarity allows a quick and vivid understanding of the value of the service and what must be managed and decided to ensure the quality of service. At the same time, the King County Library System in the case displays classic tensions between customer service priorities and the needs in a service delivery system to have standardized policies and effective resource allocation.

Teaching/Usage Note

By highlighting the complex behavioral dynamics of a struggling nonprofit board of directors, this case serves well to provoke class discussion about effective governance in nonprofit organizations.

This is a case about state and local government, where major problems in providing medical services through a county hospital to inmates of a state prison have prompted a review of the process. Susceptible to analysis by Total Quality Management principles or by other more straightforward analysis, the case discussion allows exploration of how the local and state institutions can work better together and across their own departments to save significant time and money.

This is an excellent, simple exercise to give students practice identifying the interests in a conflict and selecting those parties who must be involved in the negotiation process for it to be successful. Ideal for a ninety minute class session, or for use as an examination, the short case asks students to put themselves in the place of a local community leader who has been asked by the Clarkson Airport Authority to chair a citizen's committee on noise abatement procedures.

Teaching/Usage Note

Dealing with an employee who is not performing well can be one of the most taxing managerial tasks. Because performance issues are so wrapped in emotions, relationships and a sense of personal obligation, making the decision to discipline or even fire an employee can produce an immediate sense of dread. This case provides students an opportunity to assume the role of a new manager challenged by poor employee performance in a state division of economic analysis recently charged with a new mission.

Teaching/Usage Note

This short, fast moving teaching case will provoke excellent class discussion about a familiar and politically charged managerial problem: the rumor mill. From the opening of the case, when a big city Mayor demands that his Deputy Mayor resolve a brewing personnel conflict that threatens the Mayor's pet environmental program, students are presented with a complex set of leadership challenges.

Set in rural Wyoming, this is a multi-faceted consolidation case, which depicts the efforts of Holy Family Hospital and Gorsich General Hospital to reduce operating costs by combining services. Assisted by a consulting team, hospital administrators must decide the extent of their consolidation efforts. This case provides a glimpse into a highly charged and complex scenario, which shows the conflict between the hospital's potential savings and the ideological/cultural conflicts of the involved parties.

In the rush to integrate physician practices into PHO-like structure, accountability for physician productivity is frequently ignored. Neither hospital administrators nor physicians are eager to deal with "control" issues such as physician productivity or income, and yet integrated structures must ultimately be accountable for production, income and profitability. The case depicts a new six physician primary care group practice, which runs into problems when a hospital executive at Holy Medical Center is assigned to manage the group.

Teaching/Usage Note