Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2010

Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2007

by Jan W. Rivkin, Michael Roberto and Ranjay Gulati


In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Robert Mueller, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sought to transform the storied Bureau. The FBI had long served as both the chief law enforcement agency and the main domestic intelligence wing of the U.S. government. In practice, though, law enforcement had overshadowed intelligence at the FBI. The terrorist attacks made it tragically clear that the United States required a much stronger domestic intelligence service, and Mueller believed that that service should reside within the FBI. Critics, however, called for the Bureau to narrow its scope, focus on law enforcement, and cede domestic intelligence to a new, specialized agency. Should the FBI retain both the law enforcement mission and the domestic intelligence mission? If so, how should it change itself to succeed in both missions? This case, a supplement to the “Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001 (Abridged)” case (710-450), reviews the FBI's progress from 2001 to 2007.

Keywords: Transformation; Organizational Structure; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Government Administration; National Security; Corporate Strategy; Knowledge Acquisition; Law Enforcement; Public Administration Industry; United States;


Rivkin, Jan W., Michael Roberto, and Ranjay Gulati. "Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2007." Harvard Business School Case 710-451, March 2010.