Hign Noon at Alpha Mills

Topics: Palm oil, Oil palm, Subsidiary Pages: 2 (605 words) Published: August 15, 2010
1. Background & key issues

The purpose of this case study is identify key issues causing the failure of introducing new leadership to Alpha Mills, providing an analysis and recommendations on how the directors/manager could have prevented these problems.

Key facts: Alpha Mills is an oil palm plantation wholly owned subsidiary of a British multinational company located in Malaysia, it supplies crude palm oil for its parent company’s detergent manufacturing business. Most of the managers have been recruited from UK, with many British ex-soldiers and policemen joining up.

In 1999, the palm oil industry in Malaysia faces many challenges with the drop in palm oil prices; costing the organisation to make losses regularly. In early 2000 a new mill manager Mr Davison was appointed, with no management experiences in agricultural product-processing mill before. His first action was to reduce production costs and increase profits, such as empower operators by recognising the shifts into self-directed production teams, supervisors now play the role of assisting team members; installing machinery based on new technology; adopt more strict performance measures. But later on, team faced problems during processing, So Mr Ang as a senior production supervisor has to teach them and solve the problems all the times. With the new tighter performance standards and reduced manpower, performance is still underperformed. Mr Ang has to tell everyone what is wrong in the team meeting without feedbacks from teams. Mr Ang push himself very hard, spend a lot of time on troubleshooting process, and became annoyed at his role, and finally losing interests and incentives on his position. He became quieter and talks less than before. The poor performance is continued, Mr Ang was terminated.

2. Analysis of the case

Leadership: it was identified that the appointment of new leadership failed to address key issues prior to implementing multi-dimensional change in the structure of...
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