Dynacorp Case Analysis

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The political lens sees an organization as “an arena for competition and conflict among individuals, groups, and other organizations whose interest and goals differ and even clash dramatically” (Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen, & Westney, 2005: M-2, 33). It assumes that “In the political perspective, the roots of conflict lie in different and competing interests, and disagreements require political action, including negotiation, coalition building, and the exercise of power and influence, all of which recognize that rationality is local” (Ancona et al., 2005: M2, 33). I will analyze and explain the concepts within the political landscape to explain the new front end / back end structure at Dyna Corporation, “known in the industry as Dynacorp, a major global information systems and communications company” described in the case Dynacorp revisited and I will also explain what aspects of the political landscape will contribute to the success or failure of the new structure (Dynacorp Revisited, 2005: M-2, 85).


Stakeholder Interests and Relationships

In the political perspective conflicts arise when stakeholders have competing or conflicting interest. Interest refers “to what people want- what’s at stake for them in a decision or course of action. Depending on how an action affects their interests, people will support or oppose it”. We will discuss how the stakeholders in the case Dynacorp revisited have been affected by the new Front / Back End Design and determine their interest to attest whether they will support or oppose the new design. To clarify who we identify as a stakeholder we will use the textbook definition of a stakeholder as “a group that has a shared ‘stake’ (ie. a set of collective interest) that is affected by what the organization is and how it carries out its activities” (Ancona et al., 2005: M2, 34). The new Front / Back Design at Dynacorp was a strategic design put in place to help the struggling company come to terms with the new environment of the 1990’s. In the 1980’s Dynacorp had established itself as “an industry leader, known for its technological innovation”. However, in the 1990’s with new competitors emerging and an ever changing business world, Dynacorp soon saw itself having difficulty adapting to bring fast, cost-effective products to market. “Since its founding Dynacorp had a functional structure, with the principal line divisions being engineering, manufacturing and marketing”, the new design “created a ‘back end’ that put the engineering and manufacturing functions together in a set of business units (BU’s) each focusing on a particular product category. In addition, a small number of people from the old marketing division were assigned to each BU to deal with market strategy and product positioning” Moreover, “Most of the old marketing division was relabeled ‘customer operations’” organized by geography. The goal of the new design was to provide customers with “account teams” that could provide an integrated view and approach to the Dynacorp products. As Carl Greystone, the Executive Vice President of the U.S Customer Operations group described it, “Customer teams must now function as consultants by helping the customer identify their needs and providing high-quality products, integrated solutions, and customized services to fit those needs” (Dynacorp Revisited, 2005: M-2, 85,86,87). The customer operations group “just reorganized its regions into industry-focused branches to improve customer responsiveness and better support the business unit”. Carl Greystone is very optimistic about this new proposed change although, he does admit the shortcomings they have encountered. “Mr. Greystone admits that for the past year and a half, the U.S customer operations group has consistently been behind plan in both revenue and profit…but he is confident that the new initiative will turn the situation around”. My Greystone is an EVP at...
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