This case discussed the occasions that happened throughout a change in DSS Consulting's organizational structure. Three retired school district administrators developed DSS Consulting during the late 1990's. The company offered administrative support to little school districts located within the mid-west and mountain west region. They concentrated on managing the negotiating of labor agreements along with execution of irreversible system solutions created to enable those organizations to run efficiently.

The company experienced a considerable degree of success throughout their early years, which was primarily credited to the founder's personal relationships within each school district that used their services.

The demand for the services provided by DSS grew quickly offered the altering dynamic of challenges faced by each district. Some of those challenges associated with reductions in budgets and subsequent reduction of administrative personnel. The firm structured themselves to accommodate the change in services needs of their customers. As an outcome, DSS developed an organizational structure that included the four locations of specialization: Procurement and Systems, Infotech, Agreement Negotiation and Facilities Preparation.

Get quality help now
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Business

star star star star 4.7 (657)

“ Really polite, and a great writer! Task done as described and better, responded to all my questions promptly too! ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

By the mid-2000's, DSS experienced some considerable changes in their organizational structure and their customer base. It was throughout this time that the founders of the company lowered the quantity of time they were spending in client engagement and relying upon the competence of the management teams for each specialized area. As an outcome, a gap was produced appearing the requirement for a technique for drawing in and retaining brand-new business. This would require adjusting their service offerings to fulfill the needs of quickly changing market base.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

These aspects led to a stop in the company's development and forced the company to redefine the organizational structure to stay a rival.

The key issues of this case involved successfully redesigning the firm’s strategy, implementation of those changes while maintaining their level of success. The firm would need to realign their management structure and create functional teams to design, develop and implement product offerings that would appeal to an expanded market (i.e. larger school districts). A major consideration for the firm was how to achieve this goal and maintain the level of commitment from employee’s as change in any form can be a daunting task.

A new management structure was determined and Meg Cooke was appointed the Chief Operating Officer of DSS. Ms. Cooke and the Board of Directors made the decision to adopt a new structure that created cross-functional teams each assigned to a specific region for which they would design and create products for customers specific to their region that could potentially be marketed to additional regions with similar demands. Based on my review of the case, the major issues identified can be categorized as communication, leadership, organizational culture and organizational change.


The manner in which the new strategy was communicated at all levels of the organization appeared to lack a clear concise message which defined the redesigned strategy, new organizational structure and a detailed implementation plan to achieve the desired results. The communication of these changes wasn’t handled in the most efficient manner and subsequently not received by all employees in a favourable manner. Study results that have been published by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School have indicated that effective communication skills have become one of the most important factors when recruiter’s are screening candidates for potential managerial positions. Both Ms. Cooke and Ms. Peterson failed to communicate in all phases of the organizational change. Although it appeared that Ms. Cooke met regularly with other department leaders, she and Ms. Peterson never had regularly scheduled planning meetings or informal weekly check-ins to ensure that she and her team were on target for successfully delivering the team’s objectives.

Although, Ms. Peterson communicated and fostered open, collaborative conversations with her team, she failed to communicate with her manager to ensure that she understood expectations for herself as the leader and for her team. Successful communication is only achieved when the sender and receiver of information have the same understanding of the information presented. (See Figure 1) For example, when Chris Peterson was assigned to lead her team in delivering new products that would appeal to larger districts within and outside of her designated region. She received the message as “ create/design new product offerings that would appeal to districts within the southwest region.


The style of leadership varies with every individual. It has been stated that today’s successful leaders have created in their organizations an atmosphere where every employee believes in management, their strategy and the importance of their individual contributions in achieving the organizations goal. Blake Mouton’s Managerial Grid is a model using in identifying leadership style that is based on the concept that there are two behavioural dimensions: concern for people which can be defined as the degree to which leaders are aware of and consider the needs of their staff, their skill sets and development potential when making decisions about specific tasks to be completed. The second dimension is concern for production and is defined as the degree to which leaders place importance on objectives, efficiency and production specifically what it takes to meet the desired result.

Based on these definitions, I would classify Ms. Cooke’s driving leadership behaviour dimension to be in the latter category of concern for production and Ms. Peterson’s as concern for people. It was evident that Ms. Cooke’s leadership style resulted in a disorganized and poorly motivated organization. Her lack of leadership to Ms. Peterson resulted in the team being led in the direction of focusing their efforts on a project that would not be approved. Ms. Peterson clearly valued the skills of each team member as well as taking extensive steps to ensure that a collaborative, innovative environment existed for her team to design and develop a new product offering for the districts in the southwest region that would meet their needs.

Organizational Culture and Organizational Change

The culture that exists within any organization plays a vital role in the behaviour and actions of employees. Organizational culture as defined McLean and Marshall is a collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do and think in an organization. Based on this definition, DSS’s original organizational structure could be classified as so-called Power Culture (Handy, 1993). This culture is typical for small entrepreneurial organizations similar to DSS, where the founders had a strong influence and played a central role in managing the company and securing contracts from their school district contacts.

These types of cultures rely heavily on trust, personal communication and empathy. The structure is very informal and there are few rules and guidelines in this culture. However, the changes implemented at DSS to redefine their strategy forced a culture change as well. The organizational structure changed from functional to a more structured matrix type. The appointment of the COO position shifted the organizational culture from the personal interactive environment to one of project and task oriented nature. This shift made implementation of the new strategy increasingly more difficult as this was new to everyone at all levels of the organization.

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
Cite this page

Occasions in DSS Consulting. (2016, Jun 12). Retrieved from

Occasions in DSS Consulting essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment