Group 5: Acorn Industries, Continental Computer Corporation, and Goshe Corporation
In the case study on the Goshe Corporation, we are introduced to the head of the organization, Banyon. He announced that there would be an average salary increase of 7% for workers. The problem began to arise when the Finance division only received a 5.5% salary increase. The scientific programmers in the Finance division felt that their Electronic Data Processing (EDP) efforts should be duly rewarded, at least as much as any other employee at the Goshe Corporation, considering that this software shortened work schedules and lowered manufacturing costs. This inherently contributes directly to the bottom line, corporate profitability. The EDP programmers felt they did not receive a proper chance to prove they are acting to create profits for the Goshe Corporation. As a response to their perceived ill-treatment, the EDP programmers created a close shop environment and developed a hostile attitude towards other departments. As time passed, EDP became a division of its own, which was a project driven division. EDP became renamed MIS, Management Information Systems, and the head of EDP became the head of MIS.
The MIS department had a problem in that they were one to three months behind on all projects. There seemed to be many personality clashes among all departments regarding things that involved the MIS projects. MIS was overloaded with projects, therefore they only got on-the-job training without any Project Management related training from Human Resources. Banyon never heard of this problem from Grandy. Demands were made by MIS to other departments so that MIS would accomplish its milestones, however, no consulting was done by MIS regarding the milestones. MIS submitted a purchasing proposal without consulting with the manufacturing division, even though the manufacturing division was part of the project. Because of this the project ended up being too expensive and behind schedule. MIS felt that the Manufacturing division needed to make performance tests. It seems that functional management was afraid of MIS succeeding and this could impact future raises, therefore functional management acted to sabotage MIS’s efforts.
The problem with Goshe Corporation seems to be the way its organization is structured. As a whole, Goshe Corporation needs to adapt. New policies must be established so that the involvement of people from different divisions will not occur in the form of “favors”. A potential suggestion would be to truly apply a matrix structure. A matrix structure might cause lower efficiency for some departments but there would overall be a more cohesive structure and less conflict between employees from different divisions. MIS and representatives from other departments need to be involved in the planning stage in order to avoid unreal demands, milestones, and schedules. In lieu with altering the structure of the organization, the MIS department also needs to improve its communication skills. MIS employees as well as the functional managers must be trained in order to understand what is expected from a project driven division that functions under a matrix structure. By understanding this their communication skills will improve as well. Although these things may cost money and time, these measures will pay off in the long run.
Acorn Industries initially sported a traditional organizational structure, although it possessed a somewhat decentralized management philosophy within each of its subdivisions. Acorn began with a single product line and focused on short-term production. Acorn Industries ended up fully operating their commercial product line so they didn’t have to rely solely on government contracts. Acorn had a great reputation for their technological capabilities and the products they manufactured as well as possessing a strong marketing department. In 1993, upper management at Acorn...
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