E-study | Created: 01/01/2017

Essential Services at Risk: How Can the Corvallis Crisis Line Survive?

This case follows an ongoing leadership challenge within a small volunteer-dependent non-profit crisis support organization called the Corvallis Crisis Line (CCL), and the impact of poor management on vulnerable agencies. The Corvallis Crisis Line is an anonymous crisis phone line staffed by volunteer community members who participate in extensive training around active listening, appropriate intervention, and service referral for local community resources. The primary protagonist in this case is the current acting Board President and former long-time volunteer of CCL, Charles Bowden, who is working to maintain consistency and leadership for the organization after a series of poor hiring decisions made by the former board.

The case enables classroom discussion and analysis of volunteer and personnel management, authorizing environments, the effect of poor decision-making, and how community partnerships can impact small organizations. Courses focused on organizational performance, human resources management, program administration, and strategic communication can utilize this case. Students can richly explore mapping and analyzing authorizing environments, professional relationship dynamics, and bridging communication challenges.

The case is based on real events at a real organization. All names and locations have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.


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