High Noon at Alpha Mills

Topics: Management, Problem solving, Leadership Pages: 2 (481 words) Published: November 7, 2012
High Noon at Alpha Mills Case Study

Zuochen Lu

This case “High noon at Alpha Mills” talks about an oil plantation which name is Alpha Plantation Sdn. Bhd. This plantation consists of an oil palm estate and one palm oil mill. Mr. Ang started to work at here when he was 15, then he acts as gatekeeper, anyone who wants to see mill manager should meet Mr. Ang first. The oil palm faced many challenges in 1999. World oil price were diminishing in an amazing speed, and palm oil hit a 15-year low. Captain Chubb, the mill manager said “We are doing nothing wrong, and have met all our efficiency targets. It’s the market that is killing us!” Of course after this, he was given his marching order. Instead of him, a new mill manager, Mr. Ian Davison, came this mill in early 2000. He was not a career plantation engineer and had never managed an agricultural product-processing mill befor.He came with some new idea, and Mr. Ang expressed his full support for his plan. This plan were not going so well, Mr. Davison think Mr. Ang effect his plan, but after Mr. Ang leave Alpha Mill, team performance began to deteriorate and no amount of pep talks could improve it.

In this case, we can find some management problem in Alpha mill. First is a different skill requirement within different management context. In this case, Mr. Ian Davison had never been a plantation manager. In china, we have slang: “Difference in profession makes one feel worlds apart.” This one is a good example; he is not a plantation manager before this, even he graduated from Ivy-League MBA, and come with some good idea, he cannot fix up the mills’ problem, maybe he can be a good electronics engineer. He wanted to use his experience on this company, his plan like improve technology, adopt more stringent performance measure. This maybe not good for Alpha mill now, because their faces huge deficit now, install new technology and automation means huge...
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