Featured Cases

New, popular, or otherwise notable cases are selected as featured cases on the Electronic Hallway. Browsing featured cases is a great way to begin if you are new to the Electronic Hallway or if you would like to see a sample of the breadth and depth of our case library.

Dennis Torbett, a dedicated employee of a large Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit spends three decades developing, adjusting, and implementing a networked program model that combines social services with residential construction training. The Home Builder’s Institute (HBI) works with high-risk, court-involved youth, and other populations in need of services, which is challenging in and of itself; adding a training component in construction increases the operational complexity significantly.

This ethics-related case focuses on documented corruption in a county sheriff’s department. While such corruption is, unfortunately, not unheard of, this occurrence was initiated and conducted for an extended period of time by the highly respected county sheriff himself. The sheriff, who had served for many years, had been quite successful in modernizing the department and building a reputation of integrity for himself and his department. That his sterling reputation led to his election as head of the State Sheriff’s Association, made his subsequent fall from grace even more damaging.

Ethics
Teaching/Usage Note

Dennis Torbett, a dedicated employee of a large Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit spends three decades developing, adjusting, and implementing a networked program model that combines social services with residential construction training. The Home Builder’s Institute (HBI) works with high-risk, court-involved youth, and other populations in need of services, which is challenging in and of itself; adding a training component in construction increases the operational complexity significantly.

This two-day simulation focuses on the negotiation of controversial and complex issues related to the 2,000-mile border that separates and joins the United States and Mexico as neighbors.

The five mini-cases on ethics in managerial decision-making are intended to portray real life managerial dilemmas in a way that will help students develop frameworks for addressing those dilemmas.

Teaching/Usage Note

This case illustrates the struggles of a well established nonprofit to understand its financial position after expanding its real estate and long-term debt just prior to the Great Recession. The case actors wrestle with understanding measures of financial performance including EBITDDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization) and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net income and depreciation.

Teaching/Usage Note

Over the past decade, immigrant rights organizations in several states seized the opportunity to shift their advocacy efforts from a narrow focus on reform of the nation’s immigration laws to a broader platform of improved immigrant integration into American society. This meant an expansion of policy focus into all aspects of immigrant life, including education, health care, and employment opportunities. To accomplish this, immigrant rights organizations had to devise new strategies to advocate for change at the level of state government.

Everyone’s life has been touched by experience with a library. That familiarity allows a quick and vivid understanding of the value of the service and what must be managed and decided to ensure the quality of service. At the same time, the King County Library System in the case displays classic tensions between customer service priorities and the needs in a service delivery system to have standardized policies and effective resource allocation.

Teaching/Usage Note

In a situation that is typical of small nonprofit boards, this tightly focused case looks at an awkward moment in a board meeting. While there are many versions of this story in the annals of small nonprofits, this case leaves the board chair deciding in real time how to handle a confrontation and limit the damage when a popular employee brings an entourage of volunteers to a board meeting to protest a recent management decision. Many board chairs have felt this pain, struggled to make the right decision on the spot, and worked to clean up the debris afterwards.

Nonprofit and NGO