OC professors win North American Case Conference gold

By Public Affairs | November 10, 2020

Kerry Rempel and Kyleen Myrah hold up conference plaques in the Centre for Learning
Professors Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel hold their NACRA gold medal plaques

OC’s Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Professor Kerry Rempel took home the gold medal award for best case overall at the North American Case Conference, hosted by the North American Case Research Association (NACRA), over the Oct. 8 – 10 weekend.

The case, titled “Change in the time of COVID: Determining How a Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness Adapts Their Team Development Model,” details how the Kelowna community strove to embed the voice of lived experience individuals into every aspect of their plan to functionally end homelessness and the challenges of continuing this vital work during a global pandemic.

“We were thrilled to receive this recognition,” said Myrah, “not only because of the calibre of the case researchers from all around the world who participated, but also because of the opportunity to highlight pioneering organizational practices from our own region.”

The NACRA conference was attended by over 250 lead case researchers and publishers from 30 countries and was facilitated virtually this year. Online sessions included intensive case roundtables, workshops on case writing, teaching and publishing topics, case networking opportunities as well as one-on-one publisher gatherings. The awards ceremony capped the weekend off, with the duo from Okanagan College taking top prize.

The NACRA win adds to the impressive portfolio of 2020 successes for Myrah and Rempel, having captured the top award in the case division at the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada Conference (ASAC) in June 2020 alongside OC instructor Dean Warner for the case on the Journey Home Society and its governance model.

“To have received best case awards for two different cases at two peer reviewed academic conferences in the same year is not only impressive but very rare,” said Dr. Gina Grandy, Editor of the Case Research Journal and Dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina.

“Dr. Myrah and Professor Rempel's case was selected as Best Case from a pool of 165 cases - this speaks to the quality of their work. In addition, the focus of their case study work is an excellent example of the role that business schools should play in our communities, that is, research with impact while bridging theory and practice."

“What I enjoy most about this research,” Rempel identified, “is that we are able to showcase smaller organizations and communities. Many of the cases available for use in classrooms focus on large cities and big organizations, but we are able to highlight how innovation can happen at any scale. It’s exciting to think that our cases can be used to build organizational capacity in other communities.”

Both cases are being taught in two different business courses this fall at the College in addition to a third case on social enterprise for those who have experienced homelessness.

“Cases are a really powerful example of how to infuse the local context and our research into the classroom for students to learn about complex and important issues,” adds Myrah.

To learn more about further research work Myrah and Rempel are conducting in the Okanagan on homelessness, click here.

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