Metric Division Case

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  • Topic: Problem solving, Goal, Need
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Written Case Analysis: Metric Division Case

The Metric Division is a division that is currently undergoing significant change within an organization. They have recently reorganized, and are now responsible for an entire product line. Top management has been in place for five months and is now seeking ways to improve the working relationships within the division. Don, the national sales manager, feels that it would be very informative if all the staff members were interviewed to determine what could be done to help them work more effectively. To gather this information they have hired an OD consultant (me) to conduct the research and help them develop solutions to any problems that the division might be facing. To go about obtaining the needed information to conduct an analysis on the division, an action research model was used. Don was the one who was the problem identifier, and felt that the division could work better together. I am the OD practitioner that will help the division obtain this information. I will do this by gathering data, from the interviews with staff members. After the data is gathered a feedback session will be held with everyone to talk about the results, here the group and I can develop a joint diagnosis of any problems that were found. From there we can go on to develop a joint plan of action to fix the problems and improve on the current divisions working relationships. Then the action to fix the problems is implemented into the division, which can be assessed at a future date to see if it is making a difference by interviewing the staff after the changes have been put in place. This is one of the many models that can be used to access companies and determine how leadership and follower relationships can be improved.


The process of diagnosis is being able to understand a system’s current way of functioning. (Cummings-Worley, 2006). To find out this information a good way is start out by asking how well the division is currently running. It is important to focus on the strategic orientation of the division, and the alignments among the different sections of the division. As Cummings and Worley mention, this process starts out with determining what the company’s general environment is and what their strategy is. One can then find out about the companies cultural values and other information that would describe how things are run on a day-to-day basis. To find out how the staff members felt about the current way the division was running the case listed ten questions that the staff were asked and responded to. In response to question number one, what does this staff do well as a team, there was a general consensus that the division does not function well as a team, and has a hard time making decisions as a group. Most staff has a hard time listening to each other and there is more one-on-one communication going on then group communication. However, the positive answers showed that staff has mutual respect for one another, they cope well with business situations, and they all have an interest in doing well in the company. Question two asked, what does this staff not do well as a team? Again it was mentioned that they do not function well as a team. Staff is not good at solving problems, and all problems are treated alike with no ground rules for how the staff should go about solving problems, which leads staff to ignore problems instead of trying to address them. When they do try to solve a problem they discuss a subject forever, and most of the time it is a non-relevant subject, and then they look to Joe for a decision instead of trying to come up with their own solution. Also mentioned, was that staff is consistently unaware of what is going on in the division. Question three asked, how effective do you feel staff meetings are? The consensus was that staff meetings were mostly ineffective to semi effective. They felt that time was not utilized well and that...
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