Case Study Analysis: Jess Westerly at Kauflauf GmbH
Date: 03- 13-2016
CMN 6000: Introduction to Organizational Communication
Jess Westerly is the assistant product owner of CRM applications for computer and office supply wholesalers and retailers at Kauflauf. It is a fast-growing provider of subscription enterprise software headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany. Being new and outsider Westerly tries to implement a change in sales call patterns and failed. She introduced and explained the changes to the sales department through a memo that outlined her directive and explained the reasons behind it. Field consultants (FC) immediately offended and complained about the infringement on their decisions about how to spend their time and the insensitivity to the relationship-oriented nature of developing business. Three months later, however no discernible changes occurred in call patterns. Westerly felt that her efforts had amounted to failure and feeble attempt at change had cost her heavily in terms of credibility within the organization and with Regional sales directors (RSD) and filed consultants (FC) in particular. Then she revisited, analyzed and developed a robust proposal and presented it to key senior managers and is given three weeks to come up with a comprehensive plan. If the plan is acceptable, she will be asked to implement it (Gabarro & Kaftan, 2012). Introduction
Westerly failed at her 1st attempt to change sales call patterns, because of her lack of understanding of Kauflauf’s organizational culture and communication networks. All these can be rectified in future attempt by relationship building, communicating the vision, and using rich media to share message. Analysis
After considering information regarding Westerly’s training, problems, goals and concerns, I recognize that the problem is tightly connected with the concept of implementing a change. I think that Westerly’s assimilation process is not effective because she moved rapidly on implementing a change within 3 months’ period after the orientation program, before understanding the organization culture in which she has no experience before. “Jablin describes organizational assimilation as “the processes by which individuals join, become integrated into and exit organizations” and the terms assimilation, socialization and identification all relate to organizational culture and communication” (Zaremba, 2010, P.160). As Westerly recognized opportunities for the company during the orientation, she began to engage herself in working towards the change. During her 2 months’ orientation program (which started in March), Westerly noticed that FCs were spending large portion of time on relatively small accounts. She started to work on a proposal during her orientation by gathering extensive data to support her findings and she concluded that the FCs should redirect at least 30% of the time they allocated to small customers (under $100,00) and redeploy it towards the large customers (above $500,000) and found that by switching it to large customers, the organization can increase its annual revenue by minimum of 30%. After completing her analysis, Westerly shared her results to Roeder, her boss in early May. Roeder was interested to ask her for further analysis using variety of additional assumptions. Each new stimulation reinforced the previous findings. She explained the implications to Roeder, he finally agreed and with his blessing she sent out her memo to the field sales force in mid-June through email. According to the case, she didn’t have adequate time to work with RSDs and FCs as she had only one opportunity to get along with RSDs and FCs during the orientation. And also she failed to communicate the vision before sending the memo (through email) in June. According to Kotter’s (1995) Why Transformation Fails “not creating a powerful enough guiding coalition and not...
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