A Partnership in Troubled Waters

Abstract

This case is written from the perspective of Lemia Simbulan, director of the Andres Soriano Foundation (ASF), a local Philippine organization collaborating with PATH, an international nonprofit organization to implement an environmental management project. The purpose of the case is two-fold. First, the case asks students to analyze the challenges facing a relationship between two very different nonprofit organizations trying to implement a program in the challenging context of a developing country. Second, the case requires students to identify viable options from the perspective of the local Philippine organization to continue its work under these conditions.

The case gives students an opportunity to consider the dilemmas that commonly arise in institutional relationships between culturally dissimilar organizations. The overarching context in which the case is situated also provides students with the task of understanding the complex social, economic, and cultural factors that play an important role in program success. Through the case, students will learn that organizations and their external and internal environments often consist of conflicting interests and agendas. By the end of the A case, Simbulan must develop a program plan and proposal to submit to PATH for ASF's next two years. The B Case outlines the option chosen by Simbulan, which leads to several important changes at the organization. The C Case describes the work ASF implemented and an evaluation conducted by PATH. Student assignments and an extensive teaching note for this case are also available

This case is appropriate for use in graduate-level courses in public and nonprofit management, as well as other classes that analyze program strategies, design, and evaluation. Because the case addresses an environmental issue situated in an international context, it is also suitable for courses on the management of programs established to create sustainable development or prevent environmental degradation.

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