Match Strategy to Situation

AS THE FIRST occupant of the newly created position of national director of administrative services at a federal department, Amy Donovan was charged with improving the performance of three quasi-independent regional administrative support centers. Although the centers’ performance had raised serious concerns in recent years, each was still providing a host of important staff services to department operations scattered across the country.

A human resource manager with ten years’ experience, Amy had only a cursory knowledge of procurement, financial services, real estate, and other areas of support that the centers were tasked with providing. But she did understand that success in building cohesive, high-performing ...

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