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CF&F and Organizational Change Strategy

CASE SCENARIO: Custom Food and Feed Corporation (CF&F)is a major manufacturer and marketer of food and animal feed ingredients. Over the past 10 years, there have been several major investigations and allegations of company mismanagement. In question is CF&F's compliance with federal and state regulatory regulations (safety, environment and quality), Federal and State Labor Laws, and Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines. In the light of recent negative publicity and to regain and maintain the company's market share, a new CEO was appointed by the Board of Directors. The CEO has insisted that the president of the company look into the recent allegations and make recommendations for changes in company management practices in resource management. The president has outlined the CEO concerns for change and has tasked the Vice President of Human Resources to analyze the current company culture and to give recommendations to him for change. The Vice President of Human Resources has decided to use the Tech Division for this corporate analysis.

The Tech Division is the newest division, being 12-years old. This division has grown from a single product to seven products. The Tech Division is a non-union facility which has a staff of 92 managers and 300 hourly employees. This division uses fermentation technology to convert dextrose (sugar)into a variety of food and feed ingredients. This division operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Following are major results of the study:

There is no real concern for safety, environmental and/or quality controls. Tech's managers use an authoritarian approach to managing human resources. This approach over the years has built many barriers between the hourly employees and management and there has been some talk of unionizing. The plant manager's responsibility is to make all the daily production decisions. His staff of production supervisors is to monitor the production cycle and report to him for direction.

Frontline Supervisors have been promoted from within the company. There was no apparent consideration to who would be promoted and no guidance and training was given to them. There is a history of nepotism that runs throughout the culture of this division. Up until now, the Corporate Human Resource department has been responsible for all of the Human Resource activities for each of its divisions. The Vice President of Human Resources has convinced the president of the company that the first change is to put a Human Resource Manager (HRM) in the Tech division. The president agreed. You are the newly hired Human Resource Manager for the Tech Division. Your responsibility is to diagnosis the present culture, develop strategies for implementing a plan for change, and implement the plan. The Vice President of Human Resources has pointed out that you will face many challenges and a strong resistance from different levels of management not to change the established culture.

The project which is currently needing assistance:

CYBRARY PROJECT: You have been working for CF&F for the past 5 months as the Human Resource Manager. Your company has recently had a large turnover of upper management and has hired a number of new middle management persons from other companies. It has also integrated a few engineers freshly out of college to help optimize production and lower cost. Historically, Frontline Supervisors have been promoted from within the company and without any management development training. Eighty-five percent of your hourly employees have been with the company 5+ years.

In past few months you have heard from some of the hourly employees that management has not been keeping their promises concerning employee training and promotion. Some of the employees even fear for their jobs if they complain about the work environment. Employees are also concerned that management is not adhering to company polices, yet forcing the employees to follow company policies. Employees feel resentment over this.

Because of the overwhelming production schedule, you feel that Frontline Supervisors are not training employees properly and they leave a lot of the decision- make up to the hourly employees. Some of the employees are coming to you and voicing concerns that because of the lack of communication, professional development and leadership from management, they are concerned for their personal safety.

As you start to investigate the allegations from the hourly employees, you find out that Frontline Supervisors are not happy, either. Their concerns are that no one from upper management will back them up when it comes to making technical or managerial decisions.

Using the Cybrary and internet, develop a detailed plan that will increase communications, training, professional development and teamwork across all functional areas of your division.

The plan should include the following:

1. A complete diagnosis of the problem.
2. Developed strategies that will guide management in their decision-making process regarding plan implementation.
3. A clear plan regarding how you will advise management on direction and focus as they implement the plan.
4. Remember to consider that every member of the CF&F team should embrace the plan for change. Include the indicators or trends will you could track to tell management if the plan is/will be successful.

Which diagnostic model would work here?

-- The Analytical Model- Differentiation Integration Model

-- The Emergent-Group Behavior Model

-- The Management Consulting Model

-- The Socio-technical Systems Model

-- Cause Maps and Social Network Analysis Model

-- The Force-Field Analysis Model

It was stated to use the Cybrary (which is the online library) and the internet. The websites found at the cybrary for this phase were the following:

http://www.joe.org/joe/1999april/tt1.html
http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu/Publications/Leadership_Moments/LM_2001/Building%20a%20Collaborative%20Team%20Environment.doc

I am looking for information, ideas and suggestions. Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you!

Solution Preview

Please see response below (some of which is also attached).

RESPONSE:

Potential Problem: Authoritarian style top down decision-making versus preferred collaborative/participatory/team approach decision making where the whole team embraces the decision-making process through the forming of groups, team meetings, team discussions, etc.; authoritarian versus participatory leadership/managerial style = low decision-making capacity, low job satisfaction, low morale and low productivity and the reverse is true with participatory/collaborate/team approach.

Using the Cybrary and internet, develop a detailed plan that will increase communications, training, professional development and teamwork across all functional areas of your division.

The plan should include the following:

1. A complete diagnosis of the problem. (See below)

We will use Force-Field Analysis Model since this problem is, at least in part, structural. The main problems SEEM TO BE that CF&F operates out of an authoritarian structure with top down decision-making RESULTING IN A CULTURE OF RESENTMENT AND FEAR; and retention (lack of training and professional development) amongst managers and other staff.

Goal (Hypothesis) is to improve communication between managers and staff and between staff (i.e., move away from authoritarian structure to a more participatory/collaborative/team approach), as well as investing in retention at the managerial level as well as the front-line staff.

2. Developed strategies that will guide management in their decision-making process regarding plan implementation.

Use the results from the force-field analysis and the participatory/collaborative checklist in strategy building (See below - team approach, forming groups, involving whole team in decision making process, top management use transformative techniques - let their presence be known by regularly walking through work areas, talk to staff, listen to their ideas, encourage them through incentives, be open to suggestions - in other words implement participatory/collaborative/team style management techniques to replace authoritarian).

3. A clear plan regarding how you will advise management on direction and focus as they implement the plan. (This will follow from the information below and also consider the following).

Initially, you would advise management about the collaborative/participatory approach:

In this new environment of innovation and change, one of the primary management challenges is to design more flexible organizational structures. The participatory/collaborative model of management must be founded on principles and values, which, together with a statement of aims, can form the basis of a mission statement. An organization needs a broad, shared vision of the future, an identity, a destiny, a perspective with regard to its goals and how they can be achieved, a management that knows how to get everyone to pull in the same direction and a leadership that is a driving force for change and which draws its strength from a culture of complete trust and commitment. Organizations are replacing their old vertical hierarchical structures with new horizontal or matrixbased structures, linking traditional functions through interfunctional teams, and establishing strategic alliances with suppliers, customers and ...

Solution Summary

Based on the case of CF&F, this solution provides assistance by addressing the questions and provides three highly relevant articles on collaboration, participatory management and leadership techniques.

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