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Korczak Ziolkowski: The Reluctant Celebrity?

Track: CASE

Keywords: Decision-Making, Celebrity, Conflict, Media, Bias, Motivation

Korczak Ziolkowski was already a well-known artist from Boston when, in 1939, he received a letter from Chief Henry Standing Bear stating, “A number of my fellow chiefs and I are interested in finding some sculptor who can carve a head of an Indian Chief who was killed many years ago. We do not believe Borglum [the artist for Mount Rushmore] is the only living man that can do that kind of work.” Little did either man know that this request would lead to construction of the world’s largest sculpture, as well as a museum, cultural center, university, and medical training center.

This case was developed through primary research in the Crazy Horse Memorial archive. Original copies of personal letters and newspaper clippings were used as sources.

The case study introduces undergraduate management and MBA students to celebrity as a strategic decision, and can be used to start a discussion regarding managerial decision-making in general.


Jeffrey Wehrung -
Black Hills State University


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