Developing a Leadership Strategy: The Case of the Toy Research Society

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This case encourages students to consider organizational development needs when creating a leadership development philosophy and an associated leadership development design.

The Toy Research Society (TRS), a nonprofit organization, has been in existence for more than 70 years. The organization's mission has remained the same during this time, but the membership, the use of the Society by nonmembers and the competitive landscape have changed substantially. Driven primarily by a board of directors and regional volunteer leaders, the Society has never had a formal leadership development philosophy. Now, the long-time president has retired, and TRS leaders are reflecting on how to prepare for the future, especially with increased calls for leadership role clarity and more delegation of work to members. As a member, you have the opportunity to develop the needed leadership strategy.

Target Audience: This is a scenario-based case study with an optional exercise. It is intended for upper-level undergraduate students studying organizational development or behavior, leadership development or human resource development. Students in more “generalist” HR courses may find this case too removed from mainstream HR to fit their needs and may find the content too challenging.

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