Case Detail

Case Summary

Finance Department Restructuring at the Field Museum

Case Number: 5-305-512, Year Published: 2005

HBS Number: KEL139

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Authors: Elizabeth Keating; Nadeem M Ghani

Key Concepts

Change Management, Organizational Growth, Nonprofit Management, Finance, Human Resources


This case discusses the challenges that internal departments face as organizations grow and expand. The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, grew significantly over a short period of time creating considerable problems in the finance department as staff and systems failed to keep pace with the evolving demands placed by the museum departments. These problems resulted in outdated policies and procedures, unhappy users, and frustrated employees. The finance department needed big changes but had to make those changes while maintaining vital functions, improving morale, and instituting new policies and procedures. This case discusses several key nonprofit management issues including change management, the role of leadership in a crisis, the challenge of informal personnel networks and knowledge management, and key financial issues facing nonprofit organizations.

Number of Pages: 20

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Finance, Non Profit

Geographic: Chicago, Illinois

Industry: Nonprofit Museums

Organization Name: The Field Museum

Organization Department: Finance

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: CFO

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2002