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Buck & Pulleyn`s is an advertising company with a good reputation for its hard-working, yet caring organization, that is able to retain both employees and clients. 3 years ago, the CEO Chris Pulleyn introduced a restructuring process to render the organization more team-based. This concept was fairly new for advertising companies which were usually organized hierarchically. Today, Chris Pulleyn is observing an increase in revenues and a still favorable reputation. Nevertheless, she sees that there are still internal conflicts among individuals and teams and wonders whether there is space for improvement or potential risks.
We see a multitude of potential problems at Buck & Pulleyn´s, but we want to analyze them within 3 major problem areas of the corporation. As the first area we identified problems arising from individuals, like resistance to the new structure and conflict of interest. The second area is problems arising from the teams. We can see for example that some employees complain that too much time is spent in meetings without output for the client, so efficiency suffers. The third and largest problem area is linked to the structure of the organization. Communication between management and teams, communication between the teams, job descriptions and succession planning all show areas where improvements are necessary. In the following, we want to take a closer look at these 3 areas in order to develop short and long-term recommendations for Chris Pulleyn to improve the situation:
In order to find out whether there are problems or conflicts arising from specific individuals, we want to take a look at the persons mentioned in the case: Chris Pulleyn initiated the change and is now pleased with the process in general, although she is aware of potential risks. This might be due to the fact that the company is still profitable and performing well externally (B&P recently won a prestigious award and is increasing its revenues). She was also responsible for firing the Creative Director (CD), Robert Messina, without any replacement. In this decision we see that she has good understanding for her employees as Messina was not accepted in the company. On the other hand, the goal of these advertising agencies is to have a Creative Director with a centralized idea which then trickles down to the other employees and then to the customer. Without a clear leadership, many organizational problems arise. Robert Messina was the Creative Director when Chris Pulleyn started the restructuring process. He was released when major employees complained about his leadership style. His release might have caused difficulties and have led to the current situation but cannot be changed anymore. Another important person in this case is Chris Lyons. As the Associate Creative Director of the Red Team he has a leadership position in the organization. A major problem we identified here is that Chris Lyons is also a stockholder in the company. In his position, he definitely should not be on a middle management position in the corporation. An important observation here is the monthly management meeting. Having a stockholder meet with management and the other Associate Directors is surely not a good combination concerning decision making power when he is also on an Associate Director level. From his comment about the previous Creative
Directors, we deduct that he might contribute to the problems of the CDs because he might not accept leadership. This is under the assumption that he has a significant share in the company. The other stockholder in Buck & Pulleyn, Dan Foster, was promoted to COO and is on a senior management level. The case doesn`t specify whether he is still the Business Unit Manager (BUM) of the Green Team, but as Bob Kiesow is the ACD for this team, we assume that Foster is...