Webster Industries

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Webster Industries: A Critical Analysis of Carter's Process for Decision Making There are several weaknesses in the process that Carter used for decision making. Perhaps the most severe of them all was the lack of sight with respect to the strategy of the Webster Industries. The financials for the company clearly show that by October 1975 the company was probably recovering from the downturn. If that was indeed the case, Carter should requested an adjustment to the anchoring bias of 15% downsizing target and examined the list of criteria that Stevens’ laid out in the light of sustained growth. Healthy growth requires people who are competent in their current job as well as people with potential. Consequently the group should have avoided using criteria such as lack of future potential in competent people or seniority for downsizing. Stevens’ suggestion for reviewing people’s potential and seniority, put in an anchoring bias that could well have been avoided. Stevens also thought that people with seniority might choose to retire which indicated a representativeness bias on his part, while his somewhat callous attitude towards fairness was concerning. These aspects were clearly incongruent with the original strategy laid out by Abe Webster and Webster Industries’ paternalistic culture. To align the organization with Webster’s strategy, Carter should have laid out the organization structure before he started the deliberations and then focused on filling them with the most suitable candidates. Carter’s approach for downsizing did not take into account the loss of morale that would result because of his actions. For example, Carter did not include his immediate report Brown in his discussions. Given Carter’s previous conversation with Davis, Brown clearly had more experience than Stevens. For this reason, Carter should have approached Brown first with the proposal of demotion and asked him to join the team for reviewing the employees. Brown’s experience...
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