In the case ‘Leading Change at Simmons’, the fundamental issue for Simmons Company is whether or not it should go ahead with Eitel’s proposed idea of a culture change program which would cost $7.2 million at a time where the company is encompassed in a myriad of problems and severe economic crises’. The program has had initial success but its future profitability still remains largely uncertain due to high levels of stress and resistance to change found amongst the company’s employees.
Analysis and Evaluation
Simmons is a well-established, trademark producer of bed mattresses but the company’s organizational structure is not in line with its promulgated set of cultural values of ‘CHOICES’, that promote a friendly, engaging and rewarding system for the employees. The majority of the many plants owned by Simmons operate as a type of monarchy with the general manager perceived as the dictator imposing his/her own rules and regulations without any regard for the working employees. This creates high stress levels among the workers due to constant work pressures from their leaders and an unfavorable work environment with strict rules created to maintain operational discipline (such as a sergeant walking the paths of plants as if on patrol). The plants also compete with each other rather than collaborating with little or no information being shared among different plants. These hindrance stressors debilitate the workers’ morale and profoundly affect productivity.
Eitel forms a strategy to change this culture of dictatorship in most plants and instill a working environment similar to the company’s Janesville plant which produces the highest revenue of $150 million out of the total $900 million due to a friendly and stimulating culture of work where the employees are given rewards for performance and have a say in major decisions.
From the very beginning of his tenure, Eitel...