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Managing change at Urban Affordable Housing

Matthew J. Mazzei (Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Charles M. Carson (Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)

Publication date: 3 July 2017



Urban Affordable Housing (UAH) Inc. was a real estate asset management syndication firm that sponsored affordable housing to low-income families and seniors across the USA. The case examines the firm’s management of an internal information technology (IT) change initiative. The case follows the firm’s recently hired IT manager, Anthony Bryant, as he works to change a culture while acquiring resources and acceptance for the project he was hired to oversee. Bryant deals with numerous changing priorities, inadequate sponsorship, resistance from various levels, and a dearth of resources as he struggles to get the organization to complete an overdue database conversion.

Research methodology

This case is based upon the firsthand experiences of the lead author over a seven-year period while working at UAH. Measures have been taken to disguise the firm’s identity, including using a pseudonym, fictitious names for firm employees, a fictitious location, and the alteration of key dates. Key elements of the case have been constructed around semi-structured interviews and the review of archival documentation. Most quotes are verbatim in an attempt to preserve their authenticity, and were drawn from the semi-structured interviews and from historical accounts of actual occurrences and conversations.

Relevant courses and levels

The UAH case is multi-faceted, as it can be used in a number of environments amid a business school curriculum. A primary use is likely in a course revolving around organizational change and development. It might also be featured as part of the organizational change component in a course on organizational behavior, used to illustrate and analyze organizational culture and change leadership. Furthermore, the case could be used for change-related topics in management information systems or project management courses. The authors suggest the case be assigned at the graduate level, though it could also be suitable for an advanced undergraduate class.

Theoretical bases

Critical knowledge for successfully analyzing this case includes the following concepts: the change process (Lewin, 1951); leading change (Kotter, 1996); resistance to change (Kegan and Lahey, 2001); and communicating change (Armenakis and Harris, 2002).



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Mazzei, M.J. and Carson, C.M. (2017), "Managing change at Urban Affordable Housing", , Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 457-478.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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