Cases for Analysis ~ Aquarius Advertising Agency

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1. Analyze Aquarius with respect to the five contextual variables. How would you describe the environment, goals, culture, size, and technology for Aquarius? ANSWER: Aquarius is a middle-sized firm operating in a relatively unstable environment, particularly because in the industry it was common to lose or gain clients quickly because of consumer behavior changes or product innovation, sometimes with no advance warning. The technology is predominantly nonroutine because of the emphasis on creativity and art. The structure is functional with full-time integrators who provide horizontal linkage. The goals of the firm are to be creative and to satisfy customers. 2. Design a new organization structure that takes into consideration the contextual variables in the case and the information flows in Exhibit 3.22. ANSWER: You may give students a hint of the general approaches that could be taken: One approach would be to treat account managers as project managers; another general approach would be to design a product structure with departments reporting to each account executive. Ask students to draw their specific alternatives on the board. A hybrid form of structure would be one specific possibility, with account executives reporting to client group vicepresidents (comparable to the "product" form), and most functional departments such as research, media, merchandising, copy department and art department reporting to each of the account executives. The functional heads who would still report directly to the president would probably be legal counsel, finance, and personnel. The structure matches the uncertainty of the environment, and would enable the organization to allow for unit or customer-driven adaptation to changes. There is high coordination across functions relative to any given customer's account, necessary for the projects being designed. The emphasis is on client satisfaction with vertical and horizontal...
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