A Change of Leadership at the Local Education Authority

Abstract

Highly relevant to a wide range of personnel and organizational behavior courses, "A Change of Leadership at the Local Education Authority" presents a problem that relates easily to many organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

At first glance, the solution to this case appears simpler than it really is. Many students and managers are inclined to blame the organization's dysfunction on the poor and highly visible work habits of one particular employee. Upon closer inspection, the case reveals the contributions and opportunities made by the new manager, other administrative staff, and previous directors who devoted little time or attention to fostering an organizational culture that supports employee effectiveness and accountability. With analysis, a variety of possible resolutions can be clearly brought out.

This case was first taught during 1999 in Eastern Europe, where it generated a rich discussion similar to what would transpire in a U.S. classroom. Students proposed very practical solutions and learned about the boss' responsibilities and simple tools for establishing a constructive organizational culture. In the context of personnel management, the case also examines such fundamental operational issues as formal and informal communication systems and culture in a small organization, and the resulting impact on service delivery.

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