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Peter Browning finds himself in a precarious situation. It is a situation that is more common in today’s environment due to increased globalization and rapid technological innovation. He is tasked to take necessary preventative action to retain White Cap’s profitability in the capping business in an environment of rapid change and increased competition. Browning has recently been successful in turning a non-profitable company around and achieving remarkable results. But now he must improve upon an already successful company.
This creates a different set of challenges including creating a sense of awareness and urgency to change, despite being profitable.
Other factors contribute to make this a difficult task to accomplish, and they primarily stem from the prevailing culture. However, solutions to the task and appropriate actions can be developed by examining the prevailing culture and deciding which aspects of the culture to change and which aspects to reemphasize in order to develop continuance during a period of change. White Cap has a family oriented culture that identifies loyalty as its cornerstone.
An example of the prevailing culture based on family was witnessed when Mrs. White, one of the founder’s wife, cooked lunch for the company’s employees. Another example of family orientation is the fact that Mr. White would give loans to individuals during inordinate events such as medical emergencies. The establishment of the organization as a family exists heavily today, despite being bought by Continental Can Company. In fact, the cultural effects created by the buyout were insubstantial because Mr.
White used his influence to remain aloof from corporate headquarters. Browning recognized that the family oriented culture would constrain his efforts to change the organization. This fact coupled with the company being very successful over the last 50 years are the two obstacles that Browning identified at the onset of the change initiative that he must overcome. With this knowledge, Browning can plan to successfully overcome these two obstacles or more precisely to work within the constraints that the obstacles establish.
However, Browning must first analyze the division in detail in order to establish the direction that he intends to move the division. A cursory analysis of the competitive forces affecting White Cap reveals the threat of substitutes in the market place. Plastic has the potential of displacing White Cap’s market share despite failed previous attempts. However, as the technology of creating more durable plastics continues to increase the threat of gaining market share is sure to become substantial.
White Cap is faced with competitive pricing by competitors and the potential internal conflict common in change initiatives. Headquarters’ purpose in bringing Browning into White Cap was to create a leaner, more efficient and more flexible operation, one capable of responding to the evolving market conditions. This guidance provides the characteristics of the desired organization, but it does not address anything further. Evidence suggests that a flattened structure, team oriented, and empowered organization can provide those characteristics.
Therefore, the organization that Browning will want to develop will most likely be along the lines that I just described. Browning can start to gain support for the change effort by involving the employees in the visioning process. Browning may already have a good idea of the desired vision of the company, but he needs the employees to develop their own common vision and internalize that vision. This needs to be accomplished by creating an urgency to change. The competitive threat analysis that Browning completed needs to be clearly communicated to all employees.
This will invoke the need to change, because clearly if White Cap does not change they will slowly lose market share until they are no longer profitable. Because the culture has been consistent for such a prolonged period of time, the realization of the need to change will be a relatively slow process. The key in this type of firmly established culture is to gain support from respected members within the organization, perform an action that signifies the importance of the initiative, communicate with the employees regularly, and create advantages to change.
Another important factor is to properly train the employees to work in the new environment. Portfolio Writing 6 Texcom and Falcon: Translating a Vision into Reality According the guidance given in class, I analyzed Texcom and Falcon according to the action research model. The model is a form of systematic problem identification and solution. It is broken down into data collection, diagnosis , action, and evaluation. Texcom data collection. The vision statement was a 3 sentence collective statement from executive management.
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