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Case 1: Rondell Data Corporation
Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Rondell was established in 1920 by Bob Rondell as engineering company, and pretty much depend on research and development to sustain their journey in electronic business. Rondell had a long standing reputation of innovative and high quality products. By 1978, Rondell had 800 employees and offered two groups of product to the market, broadcast equipment and data transmission. Since most of their employees were engineer, which pretty much did not like policies or procedure, the corporate relation is based on personal relation between employees. The close relation between employee and the fluidness of procedures had become the value of Rondell. Rondell had several departments, R&D, Engineering Services, Sales, and Production. For several years, Rondell had experienced increasing disputes between those departments. Some managers associated the dispute with the company’s recent decline in profitability.
1. HR Management
Rondell seemed to failed in managing their human resources. They had many qualified engineer, experienced worker, yet still struggle to get a job done. If we look from the 802 Model story, Frank Forbus had pulled draftsmen off three other overdue projects just to get the 802 model done. The draftsmen had worked overtime again and again. What we can infer from the story is that, the engineering department was needed more human resources and when anyone do overtime for days or even weeks in a job that require high accuracy like draftsmen, they will make mistakes. The mistake was happened again and again, the 802 model draft was sent back by production department for four times because such mistakes. Unfortunately, Rondell did not see this phenomena and blaming between departments.
2. Lack of trust and cooperation among departments
When a problem occurred in Rondell, let say the mistaken production design draft. Production departments just kicked it back to engineering service dept. by pointing where the mistakes was and let the engineering do what supposed to be their job. However, the production department actually had enough resources to also point out how those mistakes should be corrected. But they didn’t do it, simply because they felt that it wasn’t their job.
Looking to the fact that the corporate relation based on personal relation, and personal relation strengthened by time. The engineering department head, Frank Forbus, an outsider who has work for only months, simply did not have the trust from his colleagues. This made Engineering department in bad position, subject to be blame. Thus, morale was low among engineering service department.
3. Lack of Leadership from the top management
It was not hard to find the example of the lack of leadership from Bill Hunt as the president of Rondell. * Bill hunt knew the disputes between engineering service and production, yet he never try to make any resolution and let the two department head solve it on their own. * Bill Hunt seemed not fair to all department, he was in favor of R&D and Sales department. Long before the deadline of 802 model, the engineering service had told Hunt and the other that if the model should be on schedule than any last minutes changes should be avoided, a fair thing to say. But what happened was Hunt forced last minute changes based on R&D invention, making pressure to engineering service department who had to make major changes in design to accommodate the changes. * At December 6 1978, in executive committee meeting, Frank Forbus tried to open discussion about interdepartmental coordination, Bill Hunt shook his head and changed the subject. Personally, I can’t figure it out why Hunt avoided Forbus’s subject. If Hunt has had a bit of leadership, he would be the first men to open discussion about interdepartmental...
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