Case Study#4: HKS Cases

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  1. Recommended questions to address or to consider:
    1. Assess the performance of Rodney Rocha and Linda Ham. Did each do all what he or she should have done? Why was it so hard to hold anyone accountable?
    2. How organizational issues kept important technical concerns from being heard? How organizations should deal with “ambiguous threats” -weak signals of potential crisis?
    3. What role did NASA’s culture play in the Columbia disaster?
    4. Put yourself in the shoes of the managers in the case, consider the following questions: What prior assumptions and beliefs shaped the way that you thought and behaved during the Columbia mission? What pressures affected your behavior? Where did these pressures originate? In what ways did the culture impact your actions? If you were in that person’s shoes during the Columbia mission, would you have behaved differently? Why or why not?

Recommended questions to address or to consider:

  1. What actions were taken by local, state and federal agencies to prepare for Katrina? Was DHS involved in these? Were they prevented from being involved?
  2. How had FEMA’s role and resources changed since becoming part of DHS?
  3. How could FEMA have been better able to assist in preparations?
  4. What organizational changes in DHS and FEMA would allow for better preparation in thefuture?

Recommended questions to address or to consider:

  1. Whether or not you believe that Milestones is on balance an improvement over the previous system for paying vendors of employment services for the severely disabled, assess its greatest strengths relative to the status quo ante.
  2. Whether or not you believe that Milestones is on balance an improvement over the previoussystem, assess its greatest weaknesses and risks.
  3. The vendors providing employment-related services for the severely disabled in Oklahoma, both prior to and after the 1996 reforms, were private, but not-for-profit. Was this an essential constraint under the earlier input-based contracting system? What would have been the advantages and disadvantages of for-profit private suppliers under the pre-1996 fee-for- service system? Is the case for restricting contracts to non-profits (instead of contracting with both non-profit and for-profit vendors) stronger, or weaker, with the new Milestones system? Why?
  4. What are the characteristics of a social service function that make it most suitable to outcomes-based contracting? What characteristics make outcomes-based contracting inappropriate? Under what general circumstances is inputs-based private contracting (rather than outcomes-based contracting, on the one hand, or direct governmental service delivery, on the other) likely to be the most suitable way to deliver public services?


Last Updated on October 1, 2019