TERRACOG GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMS: CONFLICT AND COMMUNICATION ON PROJECT AERIAL HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL CASE STUDY 2184.
1. How have departmental and individual objectives led to the current situation? 2. What is the current decision-making process?
3. What are the strategic and organizational implications for each of the company’s options? 4. What should Emma Richardson do?
This paper provides a case analysis and case solution to an organizational communications case BY Michael Beer and Sunru Yong concerning problems in organizational communication and group conflict management at TerraCog, a high-tech company that develops GPS products for the consumer market. The case focuses on contentious meetings over the recent failure to meet a competitive challenge. The paper includes problem identification, discussion of main issues, problem analysis, identification and assessment of alternative solutions, recommendations, and implementation plan. KEYWORDS: terracog case study case solution organizational behavior communication meetings group dynamics decision making human resources management personnel management conflict groups. APA Style. TerraCog, a successful privately held high-tech firm that develops GPS (global positioning system) and similar products for consumer markets, has recently been caught off-guard by a competitor's new product that makes novel use of satellite imagery. When TerraCog pursues development of a directly competing product, dubbed Aerial, the projected costs threaten to scuttle the project. The key unit managers gather in a pair of contentious meetings that feature anger, blame, and bewilderment, but produce no effective conclusion. At the end of the case it falls to Emma Richardson, a newly-promoted executive vice-president, to push the group toward a go/no-go decision. Enclosed report deals with the launching price problem being faced by TerraCog for its forthcoming GPS product Aerial, different options that are available to the company, selection criteria for evaluation and proposed solution along with action plan and contingency plan.
There is significant disagreement over the proposed pricing of Aerial between the different departments. Presently TerraCog has 3 options. It could offer the product at a price which is substantially higher than its competitors, try to offer the product at a price which is slightly higher than its competitors or defer the launching. Each of the 3 options is assessed separately against the 3 criteria that have been used for evaluation. Conclusively, it is recommended that the launching should be deferred by 3 months. A contingency plan is also discussed which suggests that the product should not be launched to the market at all.
Traditional leader of handheld GPS market
Executive team in turmoil
TerraCog has an executive team in flux,
lacking true leadership, effective
communication, and cohesive vision.
Creation of two cross-departmental teams to research and
recommend cost savings or value added options.
Create framework for company wide inter-disciplinary approach to challenges / projects •
Provide combinations of subject matter experts in each department optimize outcomes •
Ensures each department has ownership of recommendations enhancing buy-in and acceptance of ultimate implementation •
Enhances Friendly competition motivates teams to explore all avenues
Likely will delay launch of Aerial by several weeks
Department Leaders, Executives and Board may not embrace options presented •
“Losing” team could suffer morale drop
Resource use could negatively affect other projects
Emma Richardson works one on one with
Team Leaders to address underlying agendas
Coordination between teams can fix problems...
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