Corning Case Study

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Corning Case 7-3

Corning is a decentralized company currently being plagued by both external and internal threats, such as market uncertainty and poor communication and planning systems. The company has just recently started to recover from a large layoff in 1975, which reduced worker job confidence. The Houghton family has a preference for an informal workplace with an ambiguous leadership style that contradicts the formal and strict resource allocation system designed for their international strategy. The current strategy being employed differs with the owner’s philosophy, which is important, since the President must buy into the plan to understand and communicate it effectively. This miscommunication creates goal incongruence, which is exemplified by the confusion of corporate divisions about whether they should be focusing on reducing cost or being an innovator. Also, each officer has been described as having work that overlaps, showing no focus and a lack of efficiency. The fact that each of the over 150 businesses groups have to write up a resource allocation request and business strategy creates the issue of finding time to read each report. Corning shifted their focus from a domestic and exporting company to a multinational manufacturing company. The lack of specialization and ambiguous leadership imposed by the Houghton family faced the problem of a required organizational structure change. However, changing the corporate structure while imposed by these demands led to an inefficient structure hybrid structure that refuses to give specialized responsibilities to MacAvoy as a Chief Operating Officer, as he has to not only watching over operations globally, but is solely in charge of the North American market, creating an inefficiency with the Chief International Officer. Corning’s resource allocation process shows another ill fated effort towards an organized and objective budgeting and planning process. The inefficiencies and...
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