Case Study 1: Initiating Change in the Manufacturing and Distribution Division of Polyprod

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Through an informal analysis, Roberta Jackson has begun to clarify the organizational issues facing M&DDiv manufacturing division. From this analysis she has clarified key organizational issues that need to be addressed in order to fix the documentation problem. It is evident that the documentation problem is actually a symptom of the following underlying organizational issues. 1.The organization lacks a clear vision or strategy.

2.The organizational culture is rigid and reluctant to change. Earlier attempts at improving the documentation system saw some initial changes but change soon halted and the company slipped back into old habits. 3.The company is experiencing inconsistencies in workflow due to rapid hiring, regular turnover, cross divisional promotions, and lack of mentoring. Much of the staff has little to no training or experience in documentation. 4.There is a lack of coordination between locations, as well as within locations. 5.The Rapid growth of the company has not been a smooth process. The resulting documentation issues are the following:

1.There is widespread employee and manager dissatisfaction with the current documentation process. 2.Delays and usability issues discourage workers.
3. Headquarter personnel have unmanageable workloads.
4.Constant change in temporary workers.
5.Many workers lack experience or training.
6.Production sites have difficulties using documents transferred from headquarters. Through the collection of preliminary data Jackson was able ascertain a clear sense of the organizational culture and the issues facing the organization. Interviewing a few relevant clients Jackson is able to learn that the organization is quite segmented and departments/locations feel their issues are isolated from the rest of the organization. Jackson Identified Stewart Jones as the most likely project sponsor with the power to approve or reject the project. In this case there are multiple relevant clients in each location because of the complex organizational structure. Jackson had to interview various members from multiple locations to understand the scope and magnitude of the problems. Many in the organization were surprised that someone was interested in their plight. This was an important step in building rapport with members in each location and will aid in making them enthusiastic supporters of the change process. From this information, Jackson will formulate a formal proposal that includes project goals, an action plan, roles and responsibilities lists, intervention recommendations, and proposed expenses. If the project is accepted, Jackson can develop a contract with M&DDiv that outlines mutual expectations, time and resource allocations, and working parameters. An important step in creating a successful strategy with a positive outcome is to properly and thoroughly diagnose the problem. The open systems model will enable Jackson to diagnose M&DDiv. Through Jackson’s initial interview, it is evident that M&DDiv can be diagnosed at the organizational, group, and individual level. At the organizational level Jackson should work with relevant clients to develop a documentation strategy and improved work processes for the documentation system. M&DDiv’s external environment can be characterized by its rapid growth and growing consumer demands. In addition, new global economic conditions have pushed M&DDiv to offshore its older manufacturing processes as well as hire inexperienced temporary workers. Because of insufficient inputs in the manufacturing process, a malfunctioning transformation processes the outputs and feedback generated by M&DDiv are unusable or inaccurate. For example, the external environment of M&DDiv is highly competitive and they transform new technology into documents designed to create innovative technologically advanced consumer products. However issues arising in the documentation process are affecting the organizations ability to respond quickly and...
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