The Use of A Live Case in Teaching Organization Theory and Management Principles to Graduate Students


  • James E. Weir


This paper summarizes the work completed by nineteen graduate students on a live case in the 1977 Spring semester at Saint Louis University. These organization theory students volunteered to collect information on the administrative practices, leadership, and organizational relationships which existed between the Central Office of a Youth Organization and a sample of nine churches located in the St. Louis area.1 This effort was part of a larger endeavor aimed at developing a survey research questionnaire which was to be administered to over two hundred churches. The research dealt with the administrative practices and program effectiveness assessment of the youth programs administered by the Central Office. The first phase of the research consisted of preliminary interviews with the officials of the Central Office. The students participated in the follow-on church interview phase designed to uncover issues to be used in formulating the survey questionnaire. They formed interview teams to collect demographic information, and asked a series of questions concerning the goals of the church athletic and social programs for youth. In each church the students interviewed the pastor, the assistant pastors in charge of athletic programs and teen social programs respectively, various volunteer adult members of the church, and a sample of participating teenagers.