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    The Wallace Group and Organizational Change

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    A. Read "The Wallace Group," Case 2

    1. What is the most important problem facing the Wallace Group?
    2. What recommendation(s) would you make to Mr. Wallace, and in what order of priorities?
    3. How do you educate a manager to manage an organization as it evolves over time from an entrepreneurial structure to a more sophisticated and complex organizational structure?

    B. Evaluate each of the following approaches that a business firm could use to gather information about competition. For each approach, mark your feeling about its appropriateness using the following scale:

    1. definitely not appropriate, 2. probably not appropriate, 3. undecided, 4. probably appropriate, and 5. definitely appropriate

    The business firm should try to get useful information about competitors by:
    _____ Careful study of trade journals
    _____ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors
    _____ Posing as a potential customer to competitors
    _____ Getting loyal customers to put out a phone "request for proposal" soliciting competitors' bids
    _____ Buying competitors' products and taking them apart
    _____ Hiring management consultants who have worked for competitors
    _____ Rewarding competitors' employees for useful "tips"
    _____ Questioning competitors' customers and/or suppliers
    _____ Buying and analyzing competitors' garbage
    _____ Advertising and interviewing for nonexistent jobs
    _____ Taking public tours of competitors' facilities
    _____ Releasing false information about the company in order to confuse competitors.
    _____ Questioning competitors' technical people at trade shows and conferences
    _____ Hiring key people away from competitors
    _____ Analyzing competitors' labor union contracts
    _____ Having employees date persons who work for competitors
    _____ Studying aerial photographs of competitors' facilities

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    Solution Preview

    Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I also attached two relevant and supporting articles. I hope this helps and take care.


    1. What is the most important problem facing the Wallace Group?

    I agree with Wallace, that the problem facing the Wallace Group revolves around how the company manages people. "It's a personnel problem". (Wallace). This is reflected by a number of people interviewed. "Being head of human resources around here is a tough job. We don't act. We react." (Campbell). However, these problems are rooted in management style and how Wallace rules with an "iron fist."

    So the most important problem facing Wallace Group is that of increasing employee morale by making the corporate structure more employee-centered by letting the employees have a say in the decision-making process (i.e., participatory/collaborate/team approach) and this would help to increase the employee motivation and morale.

    2. What recommendation(s) would you make to Mr. Wallace, and in what order of priorities?

    - Create a strong employee-centered (i.e., participatory versus authoritative) management team employing the team approach using groups with all team players being involved in the decision making process
    - Develop a management development program for the employees who need extra training in their new job positions
    - Revisit position entrance requirements to attract high quality employees
    - Increase pay scales for engineering positions and lower the job specs and find new ways recruiting channels.
    - Develop Groups/Marketing/Sales function to lead the company in business expansion effort
    - Integrate marketing planning efforts between our group and Corporate. This is especially true if the Wallace group is to successfully grow in non-defense oriented markets and products.

    3. How do you educate a manager to manage an organization as it evolves over time from an entrepreneurial structure to a more sophisticated and complex organizational structure?

    As a business emerges, the owner of the business needs to continually assess the training needs of his or her employees and managers. There are a number of steps to follow to ensure that the company is focusing attention and investment on the areas that will add most value. Effective Training and Development can make a tremendous difference to the business and employees, especially as the company becomes more complex. As with other key business decisions the principle should be - do the right thing right, at the right time. Information technology has come to the fore, for example.

    Effective Leadership and Management is based on making the best decisions and for this, you need to have the best information. That's why analyzing your business and assessing your training Needs (meaning employees and managers) are essential parts of the planning process and provide you with the opportunity to prioritize - Who - What - How - When - Where. You also need to know what options you have to train and develop your people. (See http://www.mln.org.uk/trainingneedsassessment.asp).

    Example: Integrated Management and Leadership Development (article)

    What is Leadership?
    What is Management?
    Are all managers leaders?
    Are all leaders managers?

    Many people have struggled to come up with definitive answers to these questions without much success - perhaps it is better to adopt a more common sense approach. After assessing the company and managers, I would suggest and an integrated approach such as one developed through the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership. It is a very useful tool to help organizations train their managers to be effective leaders and highly effective when combined with the information (obtained through the assessment phase above) to make the training specific to your organizational needs.

    See attachment for a framework, which highlights the key skills associated with managing and leading. One point to remember is that people in management, or coming in to management, will bring their own specialist knowledge with them which might be absolutely essential in some industries but not in others. What this framework will concentrate on is the transferable or generic skills of managing and leading. These generic transferable skills are synergetic (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) necessary for the success and productivity of a business. Success managerial training and knowledge in an integrated technology (IT) is more than likely essential for a manager of a large corporation.
    The IT management lens is just such a tool. As illustrated in Figure I.2 below, this framework consists of six critical drivers of IT success. Within each driver are from one to four component levers (a total of 14) that must be managed.


    This performance driver includes three component levers that deal with the ability to identify, highlight, plan for, measure, and improve on the critical areas that drive a quality IT organisation and directly links these to the business's strategies and objectives. These component levers are important in ensuring that the focus of IT is always the same as the focus of the business.

    Figure I.2 IT Management Lens.

    IT Governance and Leadership involves (1) the ability to focus, lead, and govern the activities and efforts of centralized and locally dispersed IT staff to enable them to deliver cost-effective, world-class IT services in a high-performance manner; (2) the ability to build a culture of continuous improvement of IT management processes, controls, and support based on internal and external best practices; and (3) the ...

    Solution Summary

    Based on the case scenario of the Wallace Group, this solution identifies the most important problem facing the Wallace Group and makes several recommendations to Mr. Wallace, in the order of priority. It also discusses how to educate a manager as it evolves over time from an entrepreneurial structure to a more sophisticated and complex organizational structure. Then, 11 approaches to gathering information about the competition are evaluated on appropriateness using a five-point Likert scale, including a rationale for each rating. Supplemented with two exceptionally applicable articles, concerning participatory management techniques and collaborate team creation.