Club Intrawest Research

How can a for-profit firm take control of a non-profit organization?

One of my current research projects asks: How can a for-profit firm take control of a non-profit organization? I look at this question through the case of Club Intrawest, a non-profit non-stock association that was created by Intrawest ULC (a for-profit firm).  The field of research is the timeshare industry. I look at the case over a 25-year period, using institutional theory.  The research also has an applied component: the intent is to share findings to concerned stakeholders (members, government officials, regulators, etc…) on both how the industry operates and potential corporate wrong-doing / ethical issues.

I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank all of the Club Intrawest members who have participated and continue to participate in this project, by providing valuable documents, analysis, insight and perspective. The research is being performed directly by a small group of individuals, but so many members have contributed in various and special ways.

Below is an overview of the case and the academic research questions. Please contact me if you have any questions about the research at gwyneth.edwards at

The case of Club Intrawest – providing an overview of what launched this research

Research questions

As it relates to Club Intrawest, this research looks at the following questions:

  1. How has the timeshare industry evolved over time (through the lens of institutional theory). What role have developers, trustees, investors and consumers played in this evolution?
  2. How does the timeshare industry operate, at the club level? How are nonprofit timeshare associations (also referred to as Home Owner Associations) created and operated? What is the role of the developer in this process?
  3. Who owns the property that underlies the timeshare programs? What is the role of trusts? – CURRENT FOCUS
  4. Are there ethical and/or legal issues in the timeshare structures? If so, what are the implications?

Details on the data and analytical methods