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Leading Change Analysis

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Leading Change Analysis

University of Phoenix

Leading Change Analysis


When it comes to diagnosing if a company succeeds or not, it takes more than their sales numbers, their stock price and new products. Sometimes it takes looking deeper into the heart of the corporation, and understanding the organizational structure and culture it represents, the difficult political standings of senior executives, the power structures that are set up to keep the company successful, the most effective way to lead the company and how it would deal with its several inevitable conflicts. In this analysis, the fictional corporation of Good Sport is examined and each of these topics is explained.

Good Sport

Every company has at one time or another experienced change, whether it is in its infancy, or at the end of the company's life. Sometimes a simulation can more accurately represent a company's future than that of a real company. Take Good Sport (GS) as a simulation. GS is a company that was founded by Jason Poole (a former NBA star) over fifteen years ago in Coral Springs, Florida. GS primarily manufactures exercise equipment and fitness based products and is relatively successful. Piggybacking off of his popularity as a basketball star, Jason had little difficulty overcoming the usual difficult beginnings that a small start up might incur. His business sense has helped the company stay up with the latest trends and has given them an image that would not have been possible any other way. Current trends are a staple of the exercise equipment industry and this ability, along with Jason's advertising image, as made the company well known through mediums such as television. Jason is the current chairman of the board. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position (early in the simulation) was being taken care of by Marvin Wallace. As CEO, Marvin lead the company to four years of prosperity by putting significant capital on increasing performance various teams including research and development, sales and production. Pioneering the use of GS equipment in hospitals, Marvin has taken the company towards solid growth and expansion into areas like Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. GS's products are also sold in hotels and fitness clubs. The simulation was handled by a user in three different parts: 1. Where the user is a senior manager in charge of R&D (and must convince those above and below them to undertake a new offering, both sales and production in separate exercises), 2. Where the user is the promoted to the Vice president of Production (and must deal with those managers above and below them) and 3. Where the user is promoted to CEO (and must take care of the previous CEO's political decisions).

Organizational Structure

When discussing GS and its information, it is helpful to identify its organizational structure. "Organizational structure refers to the division of labor as well as the patterns of coordination, communication, work flow, and formal power that direct organizational activities."(Mcshane & Von Glinow, 2005, 446) What kind of structure does GS represent? When considering the structure of a particular company, there are several aspects at which to look. Is the structure formalized (where the product is adhered to based on exact standardizations, much like McDonald's) or non-formalized (where every product is made to specification at that time, or customized)? Does the company have centralized power (where the power and information is in the hands of few at the top of the hierarchy) or decentralized power (where the span of control is spread over many seniors and leaders)? How about a balance of both? Is the company mechanistic ("Some companies, such as McDonald's, have a mechanistic structure, which is characterized by a narrow span of control and high degree of formalization and centralization."(Mcshane & Von Glinow, 453-454)) or organic ("it has a wide span of control, decentralized decision making, and little formalization. Tasks are fluid, adjusting to new situations and organizational needs. The organic structure values knowledge and takes the view that information may be located anywhere in the organization rather than among senior executives."(Mcshane & Von Glinow, 454)? Further, how are the employees departmentalized? In the case of good sport, it is a mixture of many of the available options. Although the concepts did change throughout the simulation, the main structure of the company was a mixture of mechanistic and organic functional departmentalization. This means that there is standardization to the way things are, and while some of the power stays at the top, it is given out to distribute power. This increases morale and helps keep managers happy. This is sustained by early traits of a mechanistic structure (when the user was a senior manager) and then moving into a more organic form later (when Eartha is CEO) to a mix of both (when the user is CEO). GS also had the foundation of the functional departmentalization structure throughout the simulation which "organizes employees around specific knowledge or other resources" (Mcshane & Von Glinow, 456). Since the company revolved around the each department individually, this structure identified how the employees were departmentalized.

Organizational Culture

In addition to the organizational structure, an organizational culture must be identified. Organizational culture is defined as "the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs governing the way employees within an organization think about and act on problems and opportunities."(Mcshane & Von Glinow, 2005, 476) So what kind of culture is GS? Since there are no specific classifications for organizational cultures, GS would be considered a performance-based, customer-focused, and adaptive culture. While many of the decisions in the simulation are done by the user, the culture could really be whatever the student would like. In the early stages of the simulation, it seemed like GS was more growth and performance based than anything else. The CEO had invested significant capital in the growth of the company, while the profiles of both vice presidents Eartha Simpson and Tamara Watkins showed that each is not easily impressed and need to see results before trust is issued. The simulation stated that under Eartha Simpson, production



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