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Assignment management of change - CalTek
Working with case study material is an essential tool in postgraduate management learning as it
provides the vehicle for practising the application of skills, knowledge and techniques to quasi-real
situations. It also allows you to digest information and make decisions, and to follow these through to
meet your task objectives.
The case revolves around Cal-Tek, who are a major player in the call centre industry. They are renowned
as a fast moving organisation and have recently appointed Sam Smith as the new Marketing
One of Sam ‘s first tasks is meeting with Jane king who will be Sam s new boss. Jane has arranged a
meeting with Sam to sort out a large contract for a customer called JPK Associates. The JPK contract is
due for renewal and things have gone badly over the past two months. Sam has been brought in to sort
things out and secure the contract, which is important to Cal-Tek.
Sam feels that it is important to meet as many of the team responsible for the JPK contract as possible
before he meets Jane king. Having spent most of the day talking to people Sam grabs some coffee to
consider what he has learnt from his discussions with the staff.
. People tend not to stay long at Cal-Tek
. Jane King seems only to be interested in giving robust speeches and then disappears. She also has a
high profile in this industry.
. Little time has been given over to training, and trying to persuade Jane that training is important is
going to be a real challenge.
Sam goes back to his office and sees an e-mail from Jane King;
From: Jane King
To: Sam Smith
Subject: JPK contract
I ‘ve left the JKP complaints file in your tray. Basically, we ‘ve handle the calls for JKP for past two years
since they outsourced the contact to us .JPK carry out on-site maintenance on computers ,both business
and home-based contract s. we take the calls for their maintenance staff and then pass them on .
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I ‘ll let you have the call figures ,but JKP are concerned about the number of complaints they have
handled about our service have a look at the file and I’ll see you tomorrow .
Before the meeting with Jane king, Sam has arranged a brief meeting with sue Wright who runs the JKP
contract at Cal-Tek. Sam wants to know that the problem is with the contract. Sue outlines the
1. High rate of sick leave
2. Jane king puts pressure on call staffs, which has not gone down well with the staff.
3. We have good staffs that lack the necessary training, which has resulted in poor morale amongst
4. Fixation with cost reduction.
5. Senior staff doesn’t want to know and won’t let us organise work in the right way.
6. Problems in pleasing both customers and management – we cannot do both at the moment.
Sam leaves Sue’s office and tries to reflect on what is wrong and writes a report for Jane to discuss at
their meeting ,which he e-mail.
Jane: “All I want to do is to solve the JPK Problem and keep the contract.”
Sam: “There are many problems, not just one. The whole system is wrong- costs, morale, staff turnover
– they are all part of the equation.”
Jane:”This doesn’t seem a complicated problem, and I brought you in to Cal-Tek to solve problems such
as these quickly. I want answers not analyses. Your report does not provide a `quick fix` to the problem.
Sam:”If you look my recommendations you will see that there is a need for new strategies for change.”
Jane:”you know my view that if we don’t have the right people, we need to get rid of those that cannot
keep up and bring in people who can. We need to solve the problem fast.”
Over the weekend Sam works on how to save the contract and to put in place new systems. He makes a
list of things that need to be done:
1. Talk to JPK
2. Set up a meeting with call centre teams.
3. Look to teams for some of the solutions.
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4. Discuss the implementation of self-managed teams.
5. Draw up a plan for change.
Sam meets with the call centre teams and the result of this meeting is :
1. Better monitoring of calls.
2. Reducing waiting times.
3. Throw away the scripts for call centre staff.
Sam calls for another meeting with Jane is impressed with what Sam has achieved. “it seems we have
the JPK contract given my reassurances that we will put these changes in place as soon as possible.” Sam
feels there will be a great deal to achieve, but what has been promised should mean the contract is safe.
Sam, however, warns Jane about being too complacent and the problem of recruiting, retaining and
training staff is of key importance. Plus, Sam feels they have still a long way to go with the idea of self-managed
1. What are the external and internal forces driving change at Cal-Tek?
2. Given the short time scale and necessary speed of change, what sorts of change strategy should
Sam think about adopting?
3. As your change programme is rolled out at Cal-Tek, what can go wrong, and how would you deal
with these problems?
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