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Bold Flash Case Essay

BoldDisk, currently known as Boldflash, was founded in 1982 in Waltham Massachussets. Originally manufacturing computer storage medias like floppy disks for original equipment manufacturers and consumer markets, BoldFlash’s product mix has evolved in due course of time. In 2012, the company began offering customers contemporary solutions in flash memory for products such as digital cameras, mp3s and most importantly smartphones, the latter accounting for 40% of the overall market .

However, the inability of the company to keep up to date with the dynamic nature of this 20 billion dollar market has led to the decline of the company in regards to product innovation and customer satisfaction. Even though there are macroeconomic factors that brought about this predicament, the effect of managerial inefficiency also has to be taken into account. This essay will do as such by critically viewing the top-down management approach this company has used from both the human relations and power perspectives.

The situation that the company currently finds itself in can be attributed to several factors. When looking at Boldflash’s management from a human relations perspective, the issue of bad management becomes more apparent. The previous vice presidents decision of tackling issues through a top down approach can be one cause to the company’s failure in creating value for customers. One problem with this autocratic approach in an innovation company is that it leads to the breakdown of communication and teamwork. The numerous conflicts between manufacturing and sales can be attributed to the simple fact that the culture of the company was not based on communication between the two parties, it was based on following orders from corporate. This lack of vertical loading, or dispersal of authority, has on one hand an effect of inefficiency in trying to create value for the company and its customers, but it also causes the employees to feel neglected.

This apparent disconnect between management and workers can and has caused conflicts within the organization that when not addressed can become, according to Herzberg, hygiene factors that inhibit motivation and therefore innovation in the company. Another problem with this management approach is that it acts as hindrance to the development of new products. The ramifications of taking this McGregor’s Theory x approach, neglects non economic factors such as performance appraisal and participation which are considered as key motivators. Moreover, Maslow’s theory supports the argument that autonomy and room for personal growth are the key motivators for employees to add value to their company through the process of satisfying their own need for self actualization.

When looking at this company from a political perspective, the question of how Harrison’s style of management had an effect on the company’s structure is relatively obvious. It is more important to emphasize that the crux of the matter was the major deficits in product development (2nd paragraph; further examined pp.2). According to the present paper, former vice president Jim Harrison commanded a rather strictregiment and had a management style that can be described as autocratic. That suggests the assumption that he made use of Luke’s first dimension of power, namely orders. A clearly visible way of solving conflicts with the results he was in favour of. It’s hardly surprising that this proceeding didn’t lead to a multifarious company culture, or a structure which encourages employees to bring in their ideas. in fact, it shows a second possible reason for BoldFlash’s failure in the tablet-chip market: the market’s potential was not recognized to its full extent and was therefore the opportunity was underplayed by management.

Another side of BoldFlash’s structural problems are highlighted by the fact that the actual product development group was being led by the marketing department. Disregarded by Harrison ,Cahill notices a loose form of leadership, which – in his view – does not succeed in integrating the talents of the employees. Contrarily to the general culture of strict orders, power is not used much in this group – leaving Cahill with the impression that there were neither clear achievements nor direction in which to move the company.

However. the structure of the company is changing as a result of the new vice president. under the structure of a divisionalized form, Robert Cahill leaves to its managers of divisions (Sales, Marketing etc.) the freedom of decision and then controls the results. This enterprise makes sure that the standardization of outputs are respected through an important performance control. (meetings: definitions of targets, objectives and strategies for each division that decisions makers must keep in mind as they make specific decisions in the front).

One can now notice that a formal communication exists -limited to transmission of results- between Cahill and the supervisors of each department. Nevertheless we can focus on what create a discord between all workers. It is mainly due to the division’s culture. We notice that even if all the members work at the same final goals, they all have a different vision of how to perform. Thus their main goal becomes to keep it like a “treasure” and make sure that nobody will treat it; they are on guard and make their best to keep their “territory” safe, acting without considering the others.

In conclusion, the top down model used by the late Jim Harrison and its autocratic nature hinders organizational performance in respect to understanding the market as well as having a cooperative and innovative environment. this approach neglects the inputs of employees and affects their performance as well as their ability to stay motivated, ultimatly affecting the company’s overall success and profitability, as is the case with BoldFlash.Considering that Fiona Wilson wrote a whole book questioning the totalitarian ambition of management theories, it is not surprising that a vice president with an ambition like that analogically narrows the view of the whole organization.


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