Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2010

Children's Hospital Boston (A)

by Scott A. Snook and Jeffrey C. Connor


Five year old Matty died at Children's Hospital Boston as a result of elective neurosurgery to "cure" his epilepsy. The organizational system, not the surgery, had failed. During post-operative recovery, he experienced a prolonged seizure that resulted in his death. Confused leadership, organizational differentiation, structurally induced silence, and organizational mis-alignment contributed to the death. How could this happen in such a world class medical facility?

Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Leadership; Managerial Roles; Organizational Structure; Management Systems; Management Teams; Health Industry;


Snook, Scott A., and Jeffrey C. Connor. "Children's Hospital Boston (A)." Harvard Business School Case 411-041, November 2010.