Case #919.0

A Man and His Mission: Joseph Taussig and Navy Safety

Publication Date: January 1, 1989
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In the summer of 1985, a 65-year-old disabled Navy veteran, Joseph K. Taussig, Jr., became the Navy's first designated high-level safety specialist. As a special assistant to the Navy secretary, Taussig was appointed to do what he could to make working aboard Navy ships, submarines and aircraft less dangerous. In the almost three years that followed, Taussig broadly interpreted his assignment, becoming in effect a self-styled safety czar, known for his unorthodox methods and joyful disregard for established procedure. Taussig believed he speeded the acquisition of several critical safety items, thereby making an important contribution; some other Navy officials believed Taussig's tactics diminished the overall value of his efforts. The case allows for discussion of management style and the value of high-level personnel with relatively narrow missions.

Other Details

Case Author:
Harvey Simon
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
Department of the Navy