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Whispering Pines: Pining for Answers

Fredricka F. Joyner, David Frantz, Roger Crane Indiana University East
March 24, 2012
North America
Human Resources & Organizational Behavior, Strategy & General Management, Accounting & Finance
8 pages
organizational assessment, not-for-profit management
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

Whispering Pines is a not-for-profit retirement home, established in 1927, that never made the transition to a modern nursing home model and now faces occupancy, management, and Board problems. The Board has dwindled to 4 members, none of whom have business management experience. One of the Board members, unable to quantify his suspicion that the organization is in a serious downward spiral, engages the services of a consultant to complete a preliminary organizational assessment. The consultant identifies a range of issues is asked to outline the actions that would be necessary for the organization to become viable and self-sustaining.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Identify the key issues being faced by an organization.
  2. Analyze the impact of these issues on the organization.
  3. Prioritize key issues using a structured methodology.
  4. Develop a set of recommendations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to think critically about each of the above.

Application: This case is intended for undergraduate business students and can be used in a variety of courses that include content related to organizational effectiveness, organizational improvement, change management, strategic planning, and/or intervening in organizational systems. Because it includes the option of conducting a simple break-even analysis, the case can also be used as part of a beginning managerial accounting assignment in which students are asked to apply basic accounting skills to make business decisions. Additionally, the case can be used in courses that cover the effective functioning of not-for-profit governing boards. Because to the relatively simple organizational structure, this case is most appropriately used with students early in case analysis work and provides a developmental experience to help students prepare to address more detailed and complex capstone cases.