Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

American Red Cross: Under fire.(Instructor's Note)

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

American Red Cross: Under fire.(Instructor's Note)

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

This case is directed towards undergraduates and graduate students in management classes and classes in non-profit organizations. Depending on the focus of the class, different case questions can be emphasized for students in management classes, leadership classes and those enrolled in non-profit classes.

CASE SYNOPSIS

The case deals primarily with the governance of the San Diego Imperial County Chapter of the American Red Cross in the early part of this decade during, after the debilitating Viejas fire. The chapter's CEO, Dodie Rotherham, seemingly cared more for raising donations to better the chapter than caring for the people in need and the community. Rotherham ignored the internal conflicts of the organization preferring to be out in the public to raise donations. She lost sight of the principal core values of the organization; provide relief to victims and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Because Rotherham and the organization lost touch with the community, the community rose up against the organization when it was discovered that the organization used the donations for the fire victims inappropriately. The organization had to change to survive. The key to its survival was the rebuilding of the trust of the community by removing all of the leaders (CEO and Board of Directors) and developing an organizational culture change that promoted openness, change and development.

The purpose of this case is to demonstrate the effects of leadership on a non-profit organization. Discussion of this case brings about the understanding of the problems that can arise when leadership abandons the organization's mission and goals. Students will have a better understanding of what can happen if management loses focus of the organization's goals and mission. Additionally, students will see that it is difficult to regain the confidence of community when the organization loses touch with the community. The student will learn the espoused values of the Red Cross, the values under Dodie Rotherham, and after Rotherham left the Red Cross, the values Jerry Sanders and Ronne Froman attempted to bring to the organization.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTES

Teaching Objectives

The purpose of this case is to demonstrate the effects of leadership on a non-profit organization. Discussion of this case brings about the understanding of the problems that can arise when leadership abandons the organization's mission and goals. Students will have a better understanding of what can happen if management loses focus of the organization's goals and mission. Additionally, students will see that it is difficult to regain the confidence of community when the organization loses touch with the community. The student will learn the espoused values of the Red Cross, the values under Dodie Rotherham, and after Rotherham left the Red Cross, the values Jerry Sanders and Ronne Froman attempted to bring to the organization. Audience

This case is directed towards undergraduates and graduate students in management classes and classes in non-profit organizations. Depending on the focus of the class, different case questions can be emphasized for students in management classes, leadership classes and those enrolled in nonprofit classes. I believe that all questions can be addressed by these areas, but if you wish to specialize the questions listed below may be more relevant to certain areas.

Principles of Management: questions # 1, 2. 3 and 8

Leadership: questions # 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9

NFP: questions # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9.

Associated Readings and Material

The values in which the San Diego/Imperial Chapter of the Red Cross taken directly off the chapter's website (www.sdarc.org) are listed below:

* Humanitarianism--We exist in order to serve others in need, independently and without discrimination, providing relief for victims of disasters and helping people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. …

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