Allentown Materials Corporation

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The analysis of the Allentown Materials Corporation case study reveals a number of issues mostly related to the untimely death of a respected leader, the subsequent change in leadership, and also the management style of the newly appointed upper-level managers. This paradigm shift in operational management strategy is one of the root causes of the conflict between departments, absence of teamwork, and low morale. Additionally, radical changes are required to bring Allentown Materials Corporation into a new era of manufacturing and ensure their continued success in the marketplace.

The willingness to change is critical in a manufacturing organization where the means of maintaining a competitive advantage change frequently. (ReVelle) The former General Manager of the Allentown Materials Corporation Joe Bennett was very authoritarian in nature, preferring to make all nearly all important decisions by himself, and no decisions at all were made without Mr. Bennett’s approval. Many of the managers reporting to Bennett were considered political and manipulative by their employees, and as a result few were willing to challenge his operational management style. When Don Rogers took over Joe Bennett’s position as general manager the aggravating factors of a major down turn in business were already present, but the effects were not necessarily being felt throughout the organization. A revolutionary change should have been implemented under Bennett when the business shifted from primarily military applications to private sector uses, however manager’s perspective may cause them to overlook important organizational changes or respond to these changes inappropriately. Both general managers are at fault for the current situation at Allentown; Mr. Bennett for overlooking when change was required and Mr. Rogers for responding to the need for change inappropriately. The military market revolved around highly reliable and consistent components for crucial military...
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