Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1977 (Revised June 1984)

Meeting of the Overhead Reduction Task Force

by John J. Gabarro and James G. Clawson


Outlines events leading up to a meeting of a six-person task force which has been assigned to reduce overhead costs at a major manufacturing company. History of the company, and backgrounds of all the task force members are presented. Raises the following questions and issues for students to deal with: 1) What strategy should the task force leader take to organize the task force and accomplish its goals within the two week period? 2) What division of the labor, if any, is appropriate? 3) What should his purpose and agenda be for the first meeting? 4) Given the information in the case, what problems should be anticipated in terms of interdepartmental conflict and members' hidden agendas? 5) What should he do to deal with these problems?

Keywords: Conflict Management; Cost Management; Cooperation; Planning; Manufacturing Industry;


Gabarro, John J., and James G. Clawson. "Meeting of the Overhead Reduction Task Force." Harvard Business School Case 478-013, September 1977. (Revised June 1984.)