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Serious Play at the Make-A-Wish-Foundation
Product Type: Case  Publication Date: 10/2009  Product ID#: 1-428-873  Length: 16pages

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior

TEACHING NOTE: Available to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.

DESCRIPTION: This case explores the benefits and challenges of creating and sustaining an organizational culture that emphasizes fun and playfulness by telling the story of an inspiring organization that has cultivated such a culture: the Michigan chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation (MAW). The case provides background information on the organization and describes the initiatives and activities that create a playful culture at MAW. It also highlights the benefits and challenges of playfulness for employees, external partners, donors, and wish families, as well as describes how leaders and employees create a culture of “serious play” that maintains the benefits while minimizing the costs of playfulness.

TEACHING POINTS: 

    This case study can be used to:
  • Provide students the opportunity to analyze how an organization's culture can help it to achieve its strategic objectives and overall mission.
  • Illustrate real-life examples of the ways in which an organization and its leaders can cultivate a playful culture.
  • Encourage reflection with respect to playfulness at work and its implications for students' own careers.
  • Foster discussion on the potential opportunities and challenges facing managers who seek to develop a fun and playful work environment.

Secondary Tags: Culture
Sales Rank: #309


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