Organizational Design Considerations for Delivering Value in the 21st-Century Academic Library
Harvard Business School (HBS) cases typically begin with a standard “story” opener. The protagonist is introduced, contemplating his or her leadership challenge. There is usually mention of the weather or a current event-something to set the stage, often in an informal, if not chatty, tone. Facts about the organization, the industry context, the cast of characters or interesting geographic features follow next-all the salient points woven together to fuel the learning objectives sprinkled with a red herring or two that cause the students to pause and sharpen their analytical skills. The facts are presented, the dilemma restated, and the baton passed to the reader for reflection in preparation for a class the next morning. What is your assessment of the challenge? How would you handle the situation? What parallels do you see from other cases? What is your advice to the protagonist? Supplementary information is found at the end-exhibits that quantify the narrative’s key messages include additional data that may or may not help the reader make an informed decision. Of course, the real value of the case study is the discussion with 90 students awaiting the infamous cold call, the opportunity to open the case and lay out the facts in a way that leads to a compelling resolution.