Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012

Occupy Wall Street

by Rakesh Khurana and Eric Baldwin

Abstract

This case examines the Occupy Wall Street movement, which emerged in late 2011 in response to the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008 and the economic downturn that followed. Occupy Wall Street was born out of a sense of frustration with both a global economic system that seemed hostile to the interests of ordinary people and a political system that that seemed to favor the rich. The case provides a timeline of the movement, explores the attitudes, motivations, and goals of the participants, and examines the movement's organizational culture and decision-making processes. It closes by addressing the challenges the movement faced in clarifying its goals and in effecting real and genuine change, particularly as it came under increasing pressure from local authorities.

Keywords: Occupy Wall Street; organizational behavior; income inequality; democracy; globalization; financial crisis; campaign finance; Globalization; Globalized Economies and Regions; Mission and Purpose; Organizational Culture;

Citation:

Khurana, Rakesh, and Eric Baldwin. "Occupy Wall Street." Harvard Business School Case 413-084, November 2012.