The Southern Character City Commission


  • Michael J. Fekula University of South Carolina Aiken


community programs, leadership problems, volunteer organization, social issues, public administration, organizational behavior


The Southern Character City Commission case presents the relevant history and status of a non-profit corporation established by a city mayor to address problems not only within city government, but also within a racially and socioeconomically divided community. Supported by a national trend toward community character education initiatives, the Commission was chartered to target all parts of the community with character programs. After its initial success at fundraising and generating enthusiasm, the all-volunteer organization encountered leadership problems, unsustainable programs, and ensuing apathy. A core group of volunteers remains committed to achieving to the original goals of the Commission. The objectives of this case include students learning to: (a) recognize the importance of leadership in establishing a vision, mission, and goals, (b) understand motivation in a volunteer organization, (c) assess the appropriate structure for an organization, and (d) develop a creative course of action for a challenging social program. This case is appropriate for courses involving social issues, public administration, organizational behavior, and organizational theory.