Case Detail

Case Summary

Change Without Compromise (A): The Decline and Turnaround of Temple Baptist Church

Case Number: 5-109-008(A), Year Published: 2009, Revision Date: March 14, 2011

HBS Number: KEL420

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Authors: William White; Christopher Recktenwald

Key Concepts

Change Management, Turnaround Management, Management Styles, Power and Influence, Nonprofit Management


Brad Powell, the newly hired senior leader of a Christian church, must lead the organization to reverse a three-decade decline and return to fulfilling its mission. Brad spent the first six months assessing the situation, building relationships, and reiterating the longstanding mission of the organization. Now, with an understanding of its history, an intimate knowledge of the immediate challenges, and a clear vision of what the organization should become, Brad is considering his strategy and next steps. As the leader of a nonprofit organization resourced by members and volunteers, Brad must lead change that produces results without compromising the mission. The B case summarizes Brad’s actions and the results.

Learning Objectives

To allow students to evaluate Brad's situation and advise him on the best plan for leading change at Temple Baptist Church. To demonstrate the impact of a leader on an organization’s culture, and the fit between an organization’s style and its mission. To allow discussion of the paradoxes a leader must manage in changing a culture, measuring financial versus nonprofit results, leading volunteers versus paid staff, upholding mission versus tradition, and leading change with limited resources.

Number of Pages: 16

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Non Profit, Organizational Behavior

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Industry: Nonprofit, Religious

Organization Name: NorthRidge Church

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Senior Pastor (General Manager)

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 1991