Basic Company

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Mr. James Pierce had recently received word of his appointment as general manager of the Jackson Plant, one of the older established units of The Rose Company. As such, Mr. Pierce was to be responsible for the management and administration at the Jackson Plant of all functions and personnel except sales. Both top management and Mr. Pierce realized that there were several unique features about his new assignment. Mr. Pierce decided to assess his new situation and relationships before undertaking his assignment. He was personally acquainted with the home office executives, but had met few of the Jackson personnel. This case contains some of his reflections regarding the new assignment. The Rose Company conducted marketing activities throughout the United States and in certain foreign countries. These activities were directed form the home office by a vice president in charge of sales. Manufacturing operations and certain other departments were under the supervision and control of a senior vice president. These are shown in Exhibit A. For many years the company had operated a highly centralized-functional type of manufacturing organization. There was no general manager at any plant; each of the departments in a plant reported on a line basis to its functional counterpart at the home office. For instance, the industrial relations manager of a particular plant reported to the vice president in charge of industrial relations at the home office, and the plant controller to the vice president-controller, and so on. Mr. Pierce stated that in the opinion of the top management the record of the Jackson Plant had not been satisfactory for several years. The Rose board had recently approved the erection of a new plant in a different part of the city and the use of new methods of production. Lower costs of processing and a reduced manpower requirement at the new plant were...
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