Supplement | HBS Case Collection | September 2013 (Revised May 2014)

IBM and the Reinvention of High School (B): Replicating & Scaling P-TECH and Partners

by Rosabeth M. Kanter and Ai-Ling Jamila Malone


IBM's Corporate Citizenship office created an innovation in public education through a business-school partnership for widespread replication and diffusion. In 2012, while P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) was still in its first year operating, Stanley Litow, IBM's Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation, found himself overwhelmed by interested parties who wanted to replicate the model. Chicago Mayor Emanuel, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation in Idaho, the New York City Department of Education, and New York Governor Cuomo were all in various stages of implementing the concept. Chicago launched five schools in 2012 that were inspired by the P-TECH model, with IBM partnering with one school. New York City developed five more schools; two were scheduled to open in fall 2013 and three more in fall 2014. New York launched a Request for Proposal with plans to open 16 of these schools in fall 2014. Meanwhile IBM remained engaged at the federal level to help accelerate the replication through policy changes. This case explores the challenges and complications of replication.

Keywords: leadership; social enterprise; partnerships; innovation; entrepreneurship; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Partners and Partnerships; Social Entrepreneurship; Education; Business and Community Relations; Innovation and Invention; Chicago; Idaho;


Kanter, Rosabeth M., and Ai-Ling Jamila Malone. "IBM and the Reinvention of High School (B): Replicating & Scaling P-TECH and Partners." Harvard Business School Supplement 314-050, September 2013. (Revised May 2014.)