“The American Enterprise Institute’s Near-Death Experience,” an SNF Agora Case Study by Steven Teles and Jessica A. Gover, focuses on issues of strategy and management in a conservative think tank. From the abstract:
When poor management leaves a high-profile conservative think tank in near ruins, should the board declare bankruptcy and try to regroup? Or should they find $1.8 million to save it? What financial and strategic considerations should guide such an existential decision?
This is a case about a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). While now widely recognized as the crown jewel of the conservative policy infrastructure, AEI’s status as a prominent player in the realm of think tanks was not always certain. This case explores a key period in AEI’s history, when its future as an intellectual hub for the conservative movement was very much in doubt, and examines the strategic choices made by members of its leadership ranks.
Practitioners, teachers, trainers, and organizations can use SNF Agora case studies to deepen skills, develop insights about how to approach strategic choices and dilemmas, and to get to know each other better and work more effectively. Each case tells a true story of a dilemma that confronted a real group of people. You can read the case and discuss what you would do in their circumstances.