Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2013 (Revised May 2014)

Paul Levy: Confronting a 'Corporate Campaign'

by James K. Sebenius

Abstract

Hospital CEO Paul Levy confronts an SEIU unionization drive via a "corporate campaign" aimed at undercutting the hospital's relationships with key internal and external constituencies. Having shepherded one of Boston's top teaching hospitals much of the way through a painful turnaround, but with the hospital still in a fragile financial condition, Levy must formulate a strategy and tactics to deal with the impending initiative by the SEIU, the fastest growing union in the United States with 2.1 million members and a huge organizing budget. The union will likely seek the hospital's agreement to a "neutrality agreement," under which, unlike traditional union processes, management would effectively be silenced during the organizing process. Levy is concerned that the hospital's strategy of innovation and flexibility would be imperiled by an SEIU-unionized workforce.

Keywords: negotiation; dispute resolution; corporate campaign; negotiating campaign; bargaining; health care; Hospitals; Unions; Health Care and Treatment; Negotiation; Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Process; Health Industry; Boston;

Citation:

Sebenius, James K. "Paul Levy: Confronting a 'Corporate Campaign'." Harvard Business School Case 914-020, December 2013. (Revised May 2014.)