Crafting Policy: The Government of Alberta and Microbreweries

by: Joel Gehman

Publication Date: October 5, 2018
Length: 12 pages
Product ID#: 8-607-139

Core Disciplines: Economics, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Government can play a considerable role in the success of businesses and whole industries. Government intervention in a market sector, however, requires careful consideration. In this case, the New Democratic Party (NDP) wins the provincial election in Alberta, Canada, and is faced with a significant economic downturn and mandate to diversify the economy. Taking the point of view of the Minister of Finance Joe Ceci, the reader is introduced to the question of how, if at all, the government should intervene in the microbrewing industry. Examining the public policy perspective, the case offers background on the political and economic reality in Alberta at the time.

The case considers the microbrewing industry as a whole and related trends in Alberta, providing an overview of the beer market and evolving consumer preferences. Finally, the case presents the potential social impacts likely to be linked with the government’s decision about whether to intervene in the microbrewery industry.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Assess the potential impact of market interventions by government.
  • Consider multiple types of government interventions in markets.
  • Understand complex stakeholder perspectives on government market intervention.
  • Explain various ways government can support industry growth.
  • Apply the three perspectives of industry sustainability (evolutionary, relational, and durational) through multiple lenses.
  • Make strategic decisions based on multiple perspectives.