This case involves an experience in large group visioning, specifically the processes of developing and building consensus around institutional goals and objectives. It…
This case involves an experience in large group visioning, specifically the processes of developing and building consensus around institutional goals and objectives. It takes place at a point roughly halfway through the process. The protagonist, Sally, is the project coordinator. At this point in the process, the participants have collectively invested hundreds of hours in the creation of widely diverse ideas for the future of the university. Her dilemma is the challenge of maintaining the commitment and support of the participants as the vision is reduced to a much shorter and more focused statement.
The case is based on archival data and interviews with 40 of the 300+ participants who were engaged in the process, including Sally, steering committee members, faculty, staff, and outside stakeholders (alumni and members of the board of directors). The Instructor's Manual provides key questions for future large group process consultants, OD professionals and students of organizational behavior and leadership, including references from the OD and visioning literature. An Epilogue provides the actual decision at the time of the challenge and its rationale.
When E. F. Schumacher first wrote Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, the initial reaction was mixed. For the first year or so, the book sold slowly. Then in 1974, the sales exploded. In a very short time, E. F. Schumacher became widely acclaimed as his book sold more than a million copies. On both sides of the Atlantic, the common person, as well as the scholar, realized that this was a new voice, a fresh and wholesome breath of wind that was blowing in the stodgy halls of economics.