Frye seems to have developed an important idea for how to enhance the company’s performance; at least her boss is quite impressed with her work to date. Although the company’s performance is strong, the competition is heating up. However, Frye has neglected to build a network of relationships
with those on whom she is dependent. Frye has a very complex network of people on whom
she is dependent (especially corporate marketing, sales-corporate and field operations, and
technical support service). Given the culture of Quaker Steel and Alloy, relationships matter!
Frye should have devoted more time and energy to building her relationships and credibility
in the company.
However, Frye’s first attempt to change the salespeople’s call patterns failed. In particular, Frye has focused most of her attention on developing the model and very little of her attention on its implementation. She adopted a strategy that was inconsistent with her limited sources of power and credibility (outsider, limited
relationships, woman), the culture of the company
(relationship-driven, informal, participative), and the motivation and incentives for the sales force.
There is little motivation for change in this situation. Apparently, only Frye and Salk are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, and even Salk acknowledges that there is no real urgency. Although the competition, especially from the Japanese, is on the rise, the company is still quite successful. Frye does have the explicit backing of her boss and it appears (although we do not have proof of their commitment yet) that the vice presidents of sales and marketing are behind her.
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