1. Given the two organization charts in Figure 4, which do you think would serve HBS the best?
Founded in 1908, the mission of Harvard Business School is "to educate leaders who make a difference in the world." The pursuit of this mission for over 100 years has resulted in a school with a vast offering of products and services. For most, HBS is known for its selective MBA and executive education programs. Yet these two programs are only a fraction of the products and services offered by the school. For example, HBS is the world's largest creator and publisher of case studies, and is well regarded for its business journal, the Harvard Business Review. The school's 225 faculty members contribute articles, research, and ideas to academic journals and books, and consult at corporations around the globe. This combined emphasis on teaching, research, and publishing has resulted in an impressive academic empire rivaled by few other business schools.
In designing the appropriate structure for this enterprise, it is important to note that many of its programs, departments, and activities are tightly intertwined. For example, research conducted by faculty members is the basis for case studies, HBR articles, course material taught to doctoral, MBA, and executive education students, and online courses offered through HBSi and HBX. Managing such a complex network of individuals, knowledge, and programs presents unique challenges and issues for the school's administration. In particular, allocating resources in such a tightly inter-connected environment is extremely difficult—it is often impossible to determine the value of a specific research project across the various HBS offerings. In addition, clearly defining a primary customer has presented issues for HBS administration: is it students, the research community, alumni, or employers? This complexity has led to HBS maintaining its historic functional organization structure in which faculty members and staff are organized into units by knowledge specialty (accounting, finance, strategy, etc.).
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