Transforming a Successful Organization: Societal Changes Challenge the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan

by: WDI Publishing

Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 5-843-641

Core Disciplines: Communications, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Social Impact, Strategy & Management

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Description

This case is about the transformation of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan (AAUM), one of the major organizations in its field. It begins with the CEO, Steve Grafton, pondering whether the all-inclusive project was totally successful. AAUM’s transformation began in early 2015, when the organization was doing very well by then-current standards, yet the world was rapidly changing from a digital and social standpoint. The case summarily proceeds through specifics of the transformation on into 2021, including the period in which U.S. racial and social divides were sharpened by the death of George Floyd. The primary dilemma for students to address: Is the organization now fully relevant and is the transformation complete?

The case—which is entirely factual, based on original research—applies to the needs and success opportunities of a great range of organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, because it presents dilemmas about relevant organizational transformation.

 

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe how a successful membership-serving organization can transition and stay relevant in a fast-changing, digitally connected world.
  • Formulate a plan to address change-management when an organization’s staff fears job losses.
  • Explain organizational risk mitigation strategies.
  • Construct relevant services for a diverse and educated target market.
  • Recognize the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) considerations during a mission-and-methods transformation.
  • Draft appropriate marketing and brand-support communications for stakeholders in a digital and diverse context.