Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Case Study 3 - (Successful and 'sleepy' Organisation)

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Background to Organisation

Based on size and turnover, it is one of the top 4 in its industry

It is a privately-owned company that was established in 1877 with one family being the dominant shareholder

Board is divided between descendants of the original shareholders and some recent shareholders; the latter shareholders are in the minority and want to diversify (including moving along the value-adding and supply/demand chain)

There are 13 production units in 2 States

Most managers worked their way up the corporate ladder from the bottom

Recently started to employ young graduates in middle management positions

Traditionally the organisation values loyalty rather than professionalism of staff

Despite much strong opposition from management within the organisation (in fact, some senior managers left), started a revolutionary production system that is very successful, ie increased production by 20% with no significant increase in inputs

Decision-making is centralised in Head Office

The company has minimal debt.

General Manager is about to retire after 13 years as GM and 5 years as Assistant GM. He will go onto the Board. His management style is that of a benevolent autocrat and is reactive, ie knee jerk responses and lunges from crisis to crisis

Some issues confronting the organisation are

- uncertainties associated with volatile markets (including export), unpredictable weather patterns, environment (mainly land degradation) and Native Title

- most appropriate management style such as whether to continue with an autocratic, centralised system of decision-making or to acknowledge the need to increase professionalism, etc

- succession planning, such as retaining the young graduates on staff

- significant growth from 6 to 13 production units in a couple of years

- computerisation (accounts are only partly computerised)

- inadequacy of procedures to handle administrative and accountancy requirements that have resulted from the growth

Your Role

To lay the basis for a change in management style to more delegation and decentralisation, and to prepare for diversification.

Time schedule is 6 months to prepare a plan and set in motion the transformation


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