Centre Sponsored Applied Research

NFP Case Writing

There is a paucity of Canadian NFP cases that relate to Board governance, therefore, new NFP governance cases will be written annually. These cases will be available upon request from the Centre, for educational use only.

The Cabinet of British Columbia’s provincial government, in June 1994, announced approval of a ‘fast ferries’ project intended to improve the efficiency of the province’s ferry service and revitalize its shipbuilding industry. The BC Ferries Corporation (a Crown Corporation responsible for implementing public policy) was to be responsible for development and management of the project. The case involves issues about the roles of various players, risk management in a crown corporation, the role of a Crown Corporation board in a highly charged poltical atmosphere and the interaction between elected politicians, the civil service, Crown Corporation management and Boards.

This case study identifies the pitfalls and pratfalls of pursuing a public policy agenda without due regard for sound practices in governance, project design, management and risk management. It also highlights some of the dangers inherent in the operation of appointed boards and particularly reinforces the call for clarity of roles and responsibilities in and clear lines of accountability for such boards.

This case study, which includes Part A (6 pages), Part B (3 pages) and a Teaching Note (6 pages), is available to verified faculty members. For more information please email us at cagov@business.queensu.ca

The purpose of this case is to focus on EDC's strategy and strategy process. Clearly EDC already has a strong strategic challenge in meeting both commercial and public mandates. This challenge has also become particularly acute of late as EDC has also become intensely involved in helping manage the impact of the global financial on Canada while simultaneously working to fulfill its already-established mandates. Clearly this crisis has compelled many governments around the world to take unprecedented steps in using existing government organizations and capacities to manage the domestic impact of global financial upheaval. The case is not specifically about EDC's reaction to the financial crises, which is of course ongoing. The case focuses more upon 1) strategy and strategy development (particularly in a public organization), and b) how strategy is affected in times of turbulence and upheaval (of which the financial crises is a current example).

There is a good "fit" between EDC and Smith School of Business in this project. EDC, as a Crown Corporation involved in commercial operations but also serving a broader public mandate, obviously must consider both commercial and public interests in its operations. The dynamics involved in simultaneously managing these separate mandates is beneficial for classroom discussion. Moreover, Queen's University (and the School of Business) has a long-established tradition of working with the public sector in general. Moreover, Queen's and EDC have established links in terms of scholarships, student engagements, and other program initiatives. This project has further built upon this established base.

This case study is available to verified faculty members. For more information please email us at cagov@business.queensu.ca