Case Study: L. J. Summers Company
Case Study Analysis: L. J. Summers Company
The problem in this case is L. J. Summers Company’s recently implemented cost reduction plan is causing degradation in the organization’s laissez-faire culture and has put the company at risk while challenging their competitive advantage. Furthermore, the inexperienced production manager (owner’s son, Blaine) is using his unearned power as an authoritarian leader to drive change. However, due to poor leader-follower relations, his management style is negatively influencing the synergies ultimately causing a decrease in group productivity and member satisfaction. In addition to causing turbulence between management and the employees, the cost reduction plan resulted in increasing waste and costs while putting productivity behind schedule. In order for L. J. Summers Company to increase efficiencies and reduce production costs, management should develop a plan that will lead to a re-organization of the company’s culture and create a new competitive advantage over their competition.
L. J. Summers Company has remained in existence primarily due to one major customer driving 90% of their revenue. Although the informal standards and norms the company is founded on seemed to work, it had many deficiencies that were either not recognized by management or simply overlooked. The perception owned by the employees indicates that it is acceptable to assume a lax work ethic, which includes stealing company property in lieu of below standard wage earnings and causing a hostile work environment. The deficiencies were exposed once management attempted to drive cultural change to increase efficiency and cut production costs. The inexperienced manager’s (Blaine) methodology of driving change caused many issues among the employees, some that put the company at risk. With process consultation intervention, the L. J. Summers Company
References: Wagner III, John A. & Hollenbeck, John R. (2003). Organizational behavior securing competitive advantage. New York: Routledge.