Dovercourt Recreation Centre - Healing a Rift
(4 pages of text)
In July 2001, the newly elected president of the board of directors at Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, faces a dilemma. The facility’s executive director has suggested that in light of a poor performance review, his only option might be to resign. He is revered by his staff and the community for his passionate advocacy of outreach to disadvantaged and marginalized populations and has a successful track record in running the organization and popularizing its programs throughout the city. However, he is under great stress because his informal management style does not fit well with the board’s need for specific monthly accounting. The new president was recruited to improve unproductive board meetings, but he has quickly realized the root issue is the escalating tension between the executive director and the board. Confident that he can use his consulting background to deliver a solution to the conflict that threatens to undermine the centre’s strong reputation, he needs a plan and must act on it decisively and immediately.
This case can be used in communication and organizational behaviour courses with the following objectives:
- To explore the value of effective communication in reconciling two key pillars of an organization, that is, the board of directors and the executive director.
- To give students a chance to practice negotiation and conflict management skills.
- To look at the governance of non-profit organizations.
- To explore the difference between management (operational decisions) and leadership (strategic decisions).
- To consider the value of employee retention.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Canada, Small, 2001
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