Electra Product Case Study Analysis
1. 0 Introduction This case study is based on the company Elektra Product Inc . It is enough mature publicly held company that had once been a leading manufacturer and retailer of electrical products and supplies. But, nowadays the company is facing a host of problems. Market share was declining in the face of increased foreign and domestic competition, new product ideas were few and far between and departments such as manufacturing and sales barely spoke to one another. The confidence was becoming low and many employees were switching other jobs.
Few decisions are taking which are not productive for the company and the employees as well. Barbara Russell is the one of the top management tries to make a change for the company. But her assumptions are not good enough for betterment of the organization. 1. 1 LESSON LEARNED FROM THE CASE Barbara Russell, Elektra’s Vice President of Manufacturing, has been tasked by Martin Griffin, Elektra’s new President, to head one of the teams that will devise a plan to change Elektra’s management style from a traditional top-down firm to a de-centralized organization that emphasizes employee empowerment in the management process.
Ms. Russell forms an enthusiastic team that works extra hours to compile management changes that would allow employees at all levels to make decisions appropriate to their positions. However, When the recommendations are presented to department heads, they receive a cold reception when Mr. Griffin is called away from the meeting. Ms. Russell is now faced with the problem of implementing change against the resistance of the mid-level management. 2. 0 ANSWER TO THE CASE QUESTIONS 2. 1 QUESTION 1
How might top management have done a better job changing Elektra Products into a new kind of organization? Elektra products are facing many problems that we have already mentioned earlier. At this time they need some solution in order to recover from this dangerous situation. Company management has launched some implementation programme in the business. Here Barbara Russel who is the one of the top management could restructure the function of management. The problem is they have not discussed the matter with all department heads.
After that, few skills should need to apply in this company like human skill, technical skill. Barbara Russel must need to use management theories to change the company in a new organization. Managers must need to work perfectly in their positions by following the instructions of top management. In the company there is dispute between themselves and newly appointed CEO Martin Griffin. Barbara Russel must need to handle the situation tactfully because conflict could be larger in future. Without that, she needs to follow the managing roles and use it properly to solve the problems.
He should follow the basic functions of management Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling. At last, top management should need to follow the theories of management perfectly, and then they can change Elektra Product Inc. into a new kind of organization. What might they do now to get the empowerment process back on track? Martin, who take the situation as a challenge was appreciateable, because the company had no hope of recovery. He needs a new idea and new force to make this company great. So he wishes some help from the top management and employees.
The company needs to reform its Planning process since there is a problem of future forecast of product innovation and the competition is very high; managers shifts from control to facilitation and Coordinating of work process, Selection of right people for the right place at the right job is an important for a good flow of efficiency in work; currently employees from different departments facing the problem of communication barriers between department to department so it should be down by communicating each other. For the employee empowerment few things are needed.
At first, training in the skills necessary to carry out the additional responsibilities. Lack of knowledge in work will reduce efficiency and effectiveness, so it should be developed by training in the skills an important task for employees to carry out the additional responsibilities. Then, initiative and confidence is needed to the employees to take greater responsibility. Empowerment management means granting authority to subordinates. Her team actually tried to “empower” lower level management without including them in the solution. Employee communication is one of the strongest signs of employee empowerment.
Managers also must take on new roles, knowledge and responsibilities for employee’s empowerment. The Research & Development department must study about current development in the electrical product which improves the innovativeness of the company products. Actually, the main objective is to implement empowerment and innovation as a form of salvation to the company’s declining market share, lack of new product ideas, lack of communication, low morale and lack of employee’s trust to the corporation. 2. 2 QUESTION 2 Can you think of ways Barbara could have avoided the problems her team faced in the meeting with department heads?
There are other ways that Barbara could have done to avoid the problems her team faced in the meeting with department heads. First and foremost, even though the top management has already assigned several problems-solving teams, Barbara and her team should not limit the idea to implement Employees Empowerment Process from their own team perspectives alone. Instead, they should seek inputs or opinions from other managers as well. Surely, other managers will feel pleased to be given the opportunity to express their views on the issue and will appreciate being consulted before decisions are made.
Eventually, Barbara and her team will be deemed as more collaborative in the workplace, and the rejection is unlikely. Second, they should have more convincing suggestions that mention personal benefit that everybody will get if the suggestions are implemented. The personal benefits mentioned could be in the form of increased job security or more profit to the company that will lead to salary increment not only for the employees, but also for everybody from top to the bottom of the organization.
This kind of suggestion, according to Jack Welch in his book “Winning: the Answer” will answer the question of “What’s in this for me” on everyone’s mind. Lastly, they should always come out to the meeting with good preparation and planning by having contingency proposals. They have to come out with Plan A and Plan B. In fact, the more alternative is the better. By doing so, it will give the top management choices that will significantly help them in making an informed decision and deal with the crisis faster. 2. 3 QUESTION 3 If you were Barbara Russell, what would you do now?
Why? Elektra Product is a mature company, so there should be rapid growth of production and sales. But due to some mistakes in decision makings, conditions of the company have become critical. Barbara Russell, the vice president of manufacturing who has lots of responsibilities. Barbara Russell has several options to consider after what happened to the meeting. Her first option was to keep her mouth shut. In doing so, nothing can ever be proficient. Although it can eliminate argument from the other department heads, it will not solve the problem.
Her ideas would only be put to waste if she decides to keep quiet about them. Another option is to deal with the CEO. This will open the line of communication for managers. If she confronts Martin Griffin about the ideas, he might even back her up if they see eye to eye. He is an important figure in the implementation of the empowerment campaign as he directs and decides for the organization. Approaching him would help Barbara gain more confidence in her ideas. Barbara Russell can choose to push for reform slowly and work for gradual support from the other teams.
Because change does not happen overnight, Barbara Russell can take small steps in trying to gain the support of her losses. She can try to communicate with them first and slowly they can begin to understand the advantages and benefits of her suggestions. And finally, she can choose to leave the company and work for another. In cases when all hopes are lost, this may be her only option as she hopes to be heard and acknowledged in another company. If I ware Barbara Russell I would have doing this types of activities to reform the organization. 4. 0 REVIEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
One of the best characteristic of Islam is its comprehensive approach of human life. There is no field in our life except Islam has given directions and rules to be applied there. This is why we can see the business field is also full with Islamic rules and laws in order to make success and satisfaction for both seller and buyer. The importance of business in Islam Islam encourages hardworking to earn money for life and to take care family, it is considered as the responsibility of a Muslim after his worships as it is explained in Qura’n: “???? ??? ?????? ???????? ?? ????? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ” (Al Jumu’a: 10). The last prophet Muhammad(s) himself was also a businessman in the starting of his youngster and he was known as an expert in this field before his prophet hood. It is written in Islamic history that the prophet has been given the name of “Al Ameen” because of his honesty in the dealing with the people. If we send our eyes through the Islamic history we see that the companions of Prophet(s) like Abu baker, Abdurrahman bin awf (r) were businessmen, those who helped Islam with their health and wealth.
Planning and good behavior The best way to get the elements of a successful business is to analyze the Islamic teachings which belong to the dealings. The plan and strategy are most important parts in a business project. Islam doesn’t allow a Muslim to work rapidly without any planning as it is discouraged by Prophet Muhammad (s): “the urgency is the act of Satan”. All ideas should be consulted and discussed to other workers and keep attractive behavior with both colleagues and customers. So we can see the Qur’an gives more importance for discussion and consultation as Allah says “???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ??? ??????? ?? ????? ” (?? ????? : 159) Holding best techniques It is worth to mention here that the Prophet advises that a Muslim should hold best techniques whatever he does “?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? “. A businessman should not try to finish his project the way he likes, but he has to finish it in its best quality. Satisfaction of both parties Another teaching of Islam for a successful business is considering the satisfaction of both seller and buyer.
We should not focus on our profit unless we care that whether buyer is satisfied or not. The disappointment of the customer will lead to decrease the popularity of a product. So we see the Qur’an states very clearly that the satisfaction of both parties is necessary for dealing. “?? ???? ????? ” Cheating In quality of product and its quantity There are many Islamic teachings which order to avoid bad behaviors in business like cheating, black market and hording. Islam has strongly handled the cheating in business where it is in the quality of a product and its quantity.
The best evidence of this is that the one chapter in Qur’an is named as “one who reduce the quantity” “???????? “. Its first fourth verses talk about the cheating in quantity. “??? ????????. ????? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ???????. ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ??????. ??? ??? ????? ???? ???????. ” (???????? 1-4) There are many understandings related to this matter as we mentioned before. So it is our responsibility to take these teachings and bring to the light in order to understand the miracles of the Holly Quran and to make a standard business project. 4. 1 Conclusion and recommendation
It is imperative for the entire company to become aware of their roles, responsibilities and worth in the company. Once they become aware that they mean something and that they can contribute to the betterment of the organization, this will surely uplift their morale and they can all start working and cooperating towards the common goal. More importantly, managers must be completely aware of their specific tasks and that they effectively and efficiently accomplish their tasks in the company because their subordinates rely on their capacity to direct the entire company towards their goal.
It may take time to open this line but slow reform is better than none. And once communication is open it becomes easier to gain the support of the other teams. Another recommendation is team-building. If the company works as one and each member works towards one common goal, then empowerment and all other campaigns are attainable. If the employees learn how to cooperate and participate, then no problem can put down a united Elektra Products, Inc. References: http://www. eham. net/reviews/detail/4212 http://www. antiessays. com/ http://www. scribd. com/doc/ http://www. papercamp. com/group/