Goodman Case

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The Goodman Company is a manufacturing company that specialises in producing small rubber automotive parts such as boots for floor-mounted automobiles and truck transmissions, boots for brakes and clutch and accelerator pedals. The president of the Goodman Company is Mr. Robert Goodman and directly under him is Mr. Joe Smith who is the production manager. The organisation consists of three shifts, each of which is headed by a different supervisor. The three shifts referred to in this case are shift one, supervised by Mr. Cleverson Anthony, shift two, Mr. Norm Leonard and shift three, Mr. Bob Jackson.

The president had recently hired a production analyst by the name of Ms. Ann Bennet in hopes to obtain recommendations that would facilitate greater output throughout the organisation. Her main intentions were to replace the existing process, which had entailed each employee to complete each step within the process individually to job specialisation, where each employee would be responsible for a specific function within the process. Although this seemed like a good recommendation it proved not to be totally effective since output decreased on the first and second shifts whilst the third shift was able to maintain their level of output. But was hiring Ms. Bennet the initial problem?

This led us to identify what we thought to be a concise and applicable problem statement which states that “The core problem of the entire implementation process was the ineffective structure employed by the management of the Goodman Company on the basis of their poor leadership styles/skills which then resulted in a breakdown in communication, a lack of motivation amongst employees that caused them not to be satisfied with their jobs therefore influencing how they behave.”


The Core Problem
After thorough analysis of the Goodman case, we had identified many variables that would suggest that the company was neither driven by positive and conducive work behaviour nor guided by tactful and well constructed policies. Moreover, the business practices presented within the case concluded that the management of the Goodman Company had failed to design an effective organisational structure that would have enabled them to properly deal with the change in the production process. With this being said, it was fair to declare that this was the core problem of the Company and as a result the business was unable to operate at its full potential. For change to be fostered and the new techniques successfully implemented, a modification of the organisational structure would have been required. According to Laurie J. Mullins (2005, p. 596) “structure is the pattern of relationships among positions in the organization and among members of the organization. Structure makes it possible the application of the process of management and creates a framework of order and command through which the activities of the organization can be planned, organised, directed and controlled.” From this definition, we gathered that structure is one of the core components of any organisation as it facilitates the execution of all other functions (planning, controlling, leading, organising). Nonetheless, before analysis it was conceptualised that the organisational structure of the Goodman Company could not be classified as a recognised genre of structure, outlined by early OB/management theorists, such as Max Weber’s theory of Bureaucracy. However, after thorough analysis we closely identified this structure with that of a simple structure. It became further apparent that this structure lacked some of the key elements needed when designing an effective structure. Those elements include span of control, work specialisation, chain of command, centralisation and decentralisation, and formalisation. There was...
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