Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2013

Andrew Ryan at VC Brakes

by Frank V. Cespedes and Sunru Yong


An aftermarket brake component manufacturer, VC Brakes, is bought out by a global automotive parts corporation after the 2008 financial crisis. Unlike its previous parent company, the new owner attempts to change VC Brakes' autocratic management style and finger-pointing culture with a Total Quality Management (TQM) program. Andrew Ryan is a senior manager at VC Brakes. With the guidance of a strong mentor and a reputation as a successful change agent, he is selected as a TQM site instructor. His initial excitement turns to concern when organizational challenges cause the quality initiative to falter. A subsequent restructuring puts Ryan on the wrong side of politics and he must decide whether to leave VC Brakes or stay with the losing initiative.

Keywords: organizational culture; Quality Management; crisis management; change management; human resource management; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Quality; Change Management; Leading Change; Restructuring; Management Practices and Processes; Problems and Challenges; Auto Industry;


Cespedes, Frank V., and Sunru Yong. "Andrew Ryan at VC Brakes." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-552, January 2013.