Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2006 (Revised May 2006)

JA Worldwide: Managing Change in a Multi-governed Environment

by Michael Chu and Barbara Zepp Larson


Post-merger, the head of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide must now oversee operations in 98 countries serving 6.6 million students, with over 7,600 local chapter board directors. President and CEO David Chernow's own board has increased to 111 members. Two separate organizations since inception, the U.S. and international JA operations were formally combined on July 1, 2004. Although all the leaders recognized the need for the merger, the process nevertheless proved to be highly sensitive and complex. As part of the compromise, all parties agreed to freeze the JA Worldwide structure for three years. By the end of that period, Chernow knows he must have in place a new model of operations that can accomplish three things: meet JA's mission in terms of its students, serve the internal needs of its members around the world, and be financially sustainable over the long term.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Model; Change Management; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Governance; Business or Company Management; Service Operations; Organizational Structure; Nonprofit Organizations; Balance and Stability;


Chu, Michael, and Barbara Zepp Larson. "JA Worldwide: Managing Change in a Multi-governed Environment." Harvard Business School Case 306-025, February 2006. (Revised May 2006.)