Teaching Case - Bill White and the Veterans Administration

Bill White and the Veterans Administration


Educator Access
A review copy of this case is available free of charge to educators and trainers. Please create an account or sign in to gain access to this material.

Permission to Reprint
Each purchase of this product entitles the buyer to one digital file and use. If you intend to distribute, teach, or share this item, you must purchase permission for each individual who will be given access. Learn more about purchasing permission to reprint.

  • Product Description

    In this disguised case, Jack Goldman, director of the Illiana Veterans Administration Hospital, and his assistant for administrative services, Bill White, are requested by the new VA administration in Washington, DC to offer a position in the hospital's administration to Bob Smith, a retired state official long active in veterans affairs. Goldman, who is soon to retire, opposes hiring Smith and resents what he sees as political interference in professional decisions. White, who will be acting director when Goldman retires and hopes for a bright future in the VA, manages to delay action on placing Smith until Goldman retires. On the day he becomes acting director, he is summoned to Washington where he knows the issue of what to do with Smith will become his. This case was designed to illuminate the dilemmas faced by many managers in the public sector who, as they advance in seniority and responsibility, come under increasing pressure to reconcile conflicting obligations: the demands of one's organization, of one's political superiors, and of one's own future effectiveness and prospects for promotion. This case is most suitable for executive and mid-career programs, in courses on public management and labor relations. The "federal version" of the case tells the same story, but places Bill White in the VA in Washington and casts the White House as the source of pressure to hire Smith.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1981
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 386.0
    Case Author: Beth DeHammel
    Faculty Lead: Stephanie Gould
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 3
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Office of Personnel Mangagement and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Labor
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/386.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/386_2.pdf