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Mattel Corporation And Emotional Intelligence

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Running head: MATTEL CORPORATION AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Mattel Corporation and Emotional Intelligence

Mattel Corporation and Emotional Intelligence

Mattel Corporation faced disaster in 2000, losing a million dollars a day. The company was not only losing money, but also market share and many of its key leaders. "Morale was at an all-time low and the stock price wasn't far behind" (Robert A. Eckert, 2001). By 2005, however, the company was in excellent financial shape, with sales of $5.2 billion and a net income of $417 million (Gina Ruiz, 2006). What accounted for this dramatic turn around? The shrewd use of emotional intelligence on the part of Robert Eckert and his staff is one key reason.

The Problem

In May, 2000, Mattel consisted of three main splinter groups, each of which was characterized by a successful product line. The girls unit had Barbie. The boys unit had Hot Wheels. The infant and preschooler group had Fisher Price (Gina Ruiz, 2006). Each group had its own identity and culture. According to CEO Robert Eckert, "Employees within the silos knew what they were trying to accomplish, but they had no clue of where Mattel was headed as an organization". The disparate nature of the three groups was exacerbated by competition for scarce corporate resources and an innate distrust of each other. The result, and a key problem facing Mattel, was 30,000 employees working against each other.

The Solution

Robert Eckert realized that a common purpose and corporate identity were needed across the entire workforce of Mattel. To realize this goal, Eckert initiated several strategic changes including bringing nearly all product lines under the Mattel brand, development and implementation of a corporate vision, and individual and corporate performance metrics. These changes could not be implemented, however, without a change of behavior in the workforce. To effect change in the workforce, Eckert employed the relationship management aspect of emotional intelligence. Relationship management includes several key points,

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