Case Study

Manhattan project: Leading genius

12 pages
December 2005
Reference: IMD-3-1350

A fascinating example of a great team can be found in the Manhattan Project, which brought some of the most brilliant scientific talent of the 20th century into an isolated campus to design a workable atomic bomb, all under enormous time pressure. Under the shared leadership of Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer, an unprecedented number of Nobel Laureates and superstar physicists coalesced into a unified and coherent team, working tirelessly and with no single person claiming credit or ownership of the ideas that went into it. How did Groves and Oppenheimer organize it? How did they handle the bitter controversies that erupted between exceptional, yet extremely stubborn, men? How did they keep ideas flowing and alternative options alive? What lessons can managers learn from their management techniques and experience?

Atomic Bomb, Technology, Defense
United States of America
Published Sources
© 2003
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics