The Team That Wasn't

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A Case Analysis: The Team That Wasn’t

Abstract:
This case analysis presents an objective assessment of FireArt’s team concept. It offers a critique of the company’s failed attempt to establish a team of department heads assembled with the objective of realigning FireArt’s organizational structure in order to address its decreasing revenue share in the novelty market. This is not an assessment of the company’s business practices, but it does present an intuitive review of some of FireArt’s current managerial deficiencies that may be hindering their ability to accomplish their stated goals. This review identifies the overall problem, provides an assessment of the issues related to the stated problem, and offers recommendations for addressing those issues. The idea is to mitigate the negative affects caused by the current business environment in the short run, and work to prevent their reoccurrence in the long run. This analsis was produced after a thorough review of the information provided in “The Team That Wasn’t”, review of information received during the EMBA Retreat at Mercer University, and the compilation of topic specific research articles retrieved from a variety of academic databases. The Team That Wasn’t - Case Analysis

Problem Statement:
FireArt, Inc. is not prepared to use the “team” concept in its managerial structure; as a result, middle management cannot make the adjustments necessary to meet their assigned objectives. Assumptions:

• The relationship between Randy and CEO is unbreakable. • The CEO’s desire/direction for the company is to correct issues – not dissolve the company or remove individuals from their current positions. • The CEO is not unwilling to assume a more active/assertive role in the decision-making process. • The CEO and middle management are aware or will be made aware of the severity of FireArt’s financial situation. • Randy will continue to be a distraction if left unchecked/unchallenged by individuals with real authority. • Eric will remain the head of strategy at FireArt.

• Eric will continue to oversee the development and progress of the team. • FireArt has equal technology or access to equal technology similar to its competitors. • FireArt has the capacity to make basic technological upgrades/changes if needed.

Analysis:
The issues in this case are: (1) Adapting to technological changes; (2) Middle management decision-making; (3) Bad Team dynamics; (4) Lack of direction; (5) No team leadership; (6) Disruptive charismatic leader. (1) FireArt Inc. is struggling to adapt to technological changes.

For many years, FireArt has enjoyed a competitive advantage across a variety of sales markets. It has depended on the size of its company rather than focusing on innovation to ward off competition from new firms. One of the major benefits afforded to firms in this age of technology is the constant development of better, faster, more efficient methods of production. Trahant, Warner, and Koonce (1997) addresses this issue and identifies two typical responses to the ever-changing competitive advantage – downsizing to meet financial needs and realigning business structure to shift chains of command. Rather than getting smaller, FireArt should get better. When advancements in technology make it more affordable for smaller firms to produce similar or substitute products, smaller firms can become viable threats to existing firms that might not have a system in place that allows them to predict or anticipate external market changes. FireArt has failed to access it internal operations against the external business environment (Turner, 2003). When FireArt constructed its ‘team’ of leaders to address the issues that led to their decrease in sales, the directive to develop a plan for strategic realignment should have included objectives designed to create a research task force that would ensure that FineArt is technologically relevant in...
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