Organizational BehaviorAston Blair’s WAC Submitted to: Mr. Awais Afzal[Pick the date] Submitted by: Aneezah Arif 09108018 Wafa Khushnood 09108025 Haad Naveed Nagi 09108023
“WRITTEN ANALYSIS OF ASTON BLAIR’S CASE”Team members: Michael Bacon (task force leader, had good relations with most of the task force members instead of Mier. Lacked the qualities of a good leader). Vicki Reiss (Representative of the corporate planning, enjoyed good relations with Bacon. Was well known for her analytical ability, quickness and perceptiveness). Robert Holt (Rep of Corporate Planning, known for competence, knowledge and thoughtfulness). Peter Ratliff (Rep of marketing division). Charles Paulson (Rep of marketing division). David Kolinsky (rep of marketing). Emile Bodin (Rep of Sales division, worked hard to find out the problems but wanted to save his boss embarrassment). Randy Mier (Rep of Economic Analysis and Economic Forecasting, had a personal conflict with Bacon, felt jealous of him, his department was notorious for poor economic forecasting).Problems & their reasons: Improper sales forecasting. Slow in responding. Poor management and planning. They are sticky to the old trends. No innovation in the product line could be seen. Weak team structure and effectiveness. Weak communication. Early consensus was developed. (In the first meeting). Isolation was also a problem as the team did not interact with the outside people. Only the product managers were involved in the task force who made the final forecasts. The market managers were not included in it that was actually resistant to any changes.
The professionals had no interest in the task force. This can be seen in the relationship of Bacon and Mier. The working relation of Bacon and Mier was described to be “less than satisfying” as they had several arguments regarding different issues. The team members knew little about each other and right after a brief introduction of the problem, they were divided into subgroups and moved on towards their respective assignments and the meeting was dismissed. The task force did not have any interim project deadlines. The first time it reported to Trott and Casey was when Bacon thought they had done enough progress to report to the upper management. Credibility of the task force was also an important issue. The market managers made it clear that they do not intend to even consider the recommendations made by Mier (Dr. Cornelius’ group). One of the managers even insulted Holt for this type of work. The team lacked the ability to defend itself. This can be seen when no one stood up to back up Mier’s ideas. Absence of specific roles was also an important issue noticed. Lack of norms within the group. The development of norms at this stage would only lead to arguments regarding individual preferences as almost all the task of the task force was completed. The task force had diversity in its members. Although diversification is good as it brings variety of skills and different thinking styles but in this case the blend of the old timers and young lot to some extent created problems as they had a friction between them. Poor sharing of information was also present in the task force as when Bacon called a meeting before the August 4 meeting to discuss the findings of the task force, Mier was absent in that meeting and missed an important information (systematic Biases in the Sale’s Division’s input into the forecasting) that would have helped Mier a lot. In a task group, all information should be shared with all its members while in this case; some information was kept confidential in order to save a few people embarrassment. The lack of sharing of information with all the members created a sense of distrust and disloyalty among the key team members. (After the incident when Mier found out about Bodin’s report).
Another issue due to the problem of confidentiality rose, when Cornelius found out about Bodin’s report. This brought Bacon’s credibility and his admirable relation with Reiss in doubt. Personal clashes were also present and a problem of jealously was also evident. Mier and his boss (Dr. Cornelius) were jealous of Bacon. (Cornelius was worried why he wasn’t made the team leader). Lack of brainstorming was also present. The team leader should have treated all the members equally while this was not the case here. As Bacon’s meetings with Mier were strained and short. Lack of regular meetings. Upper management was kept uninvolved and uninformed by Bacon that kept the task force in isolation and no help from the upper management was taken. Bacon lacked the abilities of a strong-minded leader who would defend his team I the hour of need. They lacked reliable relationships with the upper management. Their recommendations were considered worthless because the upper management was not aware of their intentions and plans.Recommendations: Sales forecasting should be made better by analyzing the data more accurately and y using quantitative techniques. They should try to respond efficiently to the persistent problems. They should stop going with the old trends and conduct a thorough marketing survey about the demand of the customers and afterwards should apply the customer oriented approach in some of its key departments. The task force should be effective in solving problems and should have a pre-defined structure. (In which it is clear that who will report to whom). It should be a comprehensive team. (Trott and Casey did not work on effectively structuring the team).
The two vice presidents (Trott & Casey) are the founders of the task force and possess certain powers. They can work to build the group’s image and credibility in front of others especially the market managers. The team members should be given the rights to express their thoughts and ideas to solve the issue. According to us, Bacon could get out of the situation after the first session of the meeting by following any of the below mentioned recommendations: Bacon can call a task force meeting to discuss the importance of the task force and what they will do in the 3pm meeting. He should also ask for feedback from the members. This will unify the team. A feeling of responsibility should be created in all the members of the task force. They should call Trott and Casey in the impromptu meeting. This will prove an encouragement for the task force members and will motivate them to move forward to defend their team. It would also help in increasing the power of the task force by gaining support of the two vive presidents. The report of Bodin should now be shared in this impromptu meeting with all the members to dissolve the issue of poor information sharing. Another solution could be this that Bacon should call a meeting with Trott and Casey only instead of the whole team, it will save him time and also help in gaining the support of them (Trott and Casey). They should also take steps that would make the management realize that what they were recommending was in the favor of the organization.______________________________________________________________________________