In a narrative format, discuss the key facts and critical issues presented in the case.
In May of 2003, Christine Brooks faced a dilemma. She was tasked with consolidating the four branch offices she supervised. Factor in the different cultures and personalities of the offices, this would prove to be a daunting task. Christine decided her best strategy was to hold a meeting among all of her management staff, using this platform to ease uncertainty and discuss the upcoming changes with her staff. She would utilize this opportunity as a chance to develop and implement a strategy for the upcoming move.
The insurance industry is an integral part of the American economy. The industry essentially began in Philadelphia and grew from there. As time progressed, the citizens of America began to have growing needs for insurance. In 1869, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that placed regulatory rights on the states, claiming that insurance was not interstate commerce, but instead local business transactions.
As the nation continued to grow, the types of insurance products began to change. There were new worker's compensation laws, new laws requiring car insurance, and a broad array of products being sold on the insurance market. The Great Depression began to take hold on the U.S. and with it came new needs for insurance products. After the nation began to recover from the Great Depression, the population saw the onset of Social Security. Blue Cross Blue Shield came into existence and provided an excellent array of coverage.
After the war, the industry continued to expand. In the 1980's, many in the industry began to feel that the Depression Era regulations placed on the industry were suppressing growth. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the industry fought for looser regulations that would allow them to expand their array of products. In 1999, the U.S. Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act of 1999. This act allowed for deregulation of parts of the banking and insurance industries and allowed financial institutions to expand the services that they offered their customers.
Christine Brooks worked for an organization that offered a variance of financial products. Now that the industry was less regulated, Christine's company appeared to be blossoming. However, the global economic downturn that started the new decade began to take its toll on her company. The company suffered in the new economy for three straight years, before they made the decision to reorganize and stratify their operations.
Christine decided to implement a survey among her managers. After conducting the survey, she learned many key facts about her staff. Most of her staff claimed to be satisfied with their jobs, and most reported a high job satisfaction in their work. The survey results varied for the other factors. The managers were split on how they felt the company managed change. Many of the managers voiced their opinion against having to re-interview for their jobs that they already held. Among other chief complaints, many of the managers felt that the organization offered better compensation and benefit packages for their tenured employees only. Finally, the one constant complaint that Christine heard was referencing how poorly the changes were being communicated to affected staff and a sense of disorganization among the top management.
After holding her meeting and soliciting feedback, Christine was faced with two options. They could either do the relocation in one weekend, which would be sudden change, but also likely to adjust quicker, or they could slowly relocate and ease into the transition but risk losing more staff along the way. Christine faced a great challenge.
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