Organizational Structure

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Case Study 02 – BoldFlash: Cross-Functional Challenges in the Mobile Division

Introduction:

In this case study Roger Cahill has been acting as the head of mobile division for less than a year. Currently he is struggling as he faces great difficulties adapting BoldFlash to a changing marketplace. The problem really started a year ago when Mr. Jim Harrison appointed the young Roger Cahill to a VP position. Although Roger has led a research project in his previous work, he is only 24 years old and inexperienced to manage a company at VP level. Positions at those levels require years of strategic leadership and management skills. Nevertheless in the last 12 months, the company focused primarily on the redundant production of customized chips without further research or product development in new and upcoming areas like the storage device. This negligence from both product development and marketing is a huge loss to the company as they missed out on the opportunity to launch new product line; therefore missed the opportunity to penetrate the potential market. Now the company has old products not priced competitively and struggling to penetrate the marketshare. Also the four groups within the division, product development, marketing, sales and manufacturing are constantly in conflict and don’t have the reinforcement from the leadership to work as a team. Although Cahill has observed the dysfunctions, he has not implemented any processes or trainings to work as a cross functional team. The company’s profit margins are low and Cahill has to take initiatives to suggest number of changes. With the staff that has low morale and lacking motivation, Cahill has to develop action plan for improvement. He has to define roles and propose organization change design to deliver an outcome necessary to be successful and generate higher profits.

1. What are the main problems that the Mobile division is experiencing?

The company is experiencing various problems that need to be addressed immediately. First they missed the opportunity to develop a new product and therefore lost the opportunity to penetrate the market. Poor leadership style and negligence in the marketing areas, profits margins are lower than previous year. The four groups of staff are constantly in conflict and are not able to collaboratively work as a tem and lack crossfunctional tem efforts. Therefore staff has low morale and lack motivation.

2. How do the conflicting performance metrics of each group contribute to the problem?

3. What is it about the current organization design and product development process that fosters the problem of coordination we in the case?

4. How does the division culture play a role in the discord? What has shaped this culture?

5. What is the role of the business head, Cahill, in leading change?

6. Should one particular group (marketing, manufacturing, etc..) or individual bear more of the responsibility than any other for fostering cross-functional coordination? Why or why not?

7. Were all roger Cahill’s changes necessary?

8. How would you improve the organization’s design to enable better coordination and collaboration between functions? Are people changes needed to enable the new design to be effective?

9. How would you improve the product development process?

10. Discuss the upcoming meeting. What should Cahill do to increase its productivity?

|Year |Leadership |Department |Title |Expertise | |1984 |Roger Cahill |R & D |Coop student |Electrical Engineering | |1995 |Vice president & |Mobile division | |Moved the mobile division to | | |manufacturing employees |...
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