Case Study Analysis: L. J. Summers Company
The problem in this case is L. J. Summers Company’s recently implemented cost reduction plan is causing degradation in the organization’s laissez-faire culture and has put the company at risk while challenging their competitive advantage. Furthermore, the inexperienced production manager (owner’s son, Blaine) is using his unearned power as an authoritarian leader to drive change. However, due to poor leader-follower relations, his management style is negatively influencing the synergies ultimately causing a decrease in group productivity and member satisfaction. In addition to causing turbulence between management and the ...view middle of the document...
The solution to the problem in this case is to develop a strategic plan that will modify the employee behavior, redefine the roles and responsibilities of management, and manage the organizational culture while reducing production costs and gaining a competitive advantage. The solution will require management to examine and modify the current leadership style. In addition, management should address the issue of valence within the motivation equation and establish well-defined goals that will enhance the employee’s perception of their role within the organization. Reformation to the overall morale and culture is critical in order to terminate the work stoppage, reduce costs, and get the shipments back on schedule.
The first step in driving the necessary change within the organization is to secure an outside consultant to serve as a change agent. The change agent will facilitate and guide the organizational development (OD) through process consultation intervention. In this process, it will be necessary to identify sources of resistance through Force field analysis. Once the sources are identified, one-on-one meetings and group meetings will be conducted to educate the employees on the changes and the reasons why change is necessary. This step will find the management team working to re-define the vision of the organization. As part of motivating the employees, management will conduct a wage analysis to determine the correct pay scale – this may result in immediate wage increases based on the analysis outcome.
The next step will require the production manager, Blaine Summers, to successfully complete formal leadership training. In addition to this training, it will be important for Blaine to develop compassion for others and learn how to nurture healthy relationships. This will require him to undergo intense critical assessment of himself through offsite sensitivity training. The consulting change agent will oversee this interpersonal intervention.
The authoritarian leadership approach will be the next focus for management. Jon Reese and Blaine Summers will work together to transition into a unified supportive leadership team. Using the path-goal theory, the two will stimulate the individual employee’s valences and increase motivation by working with each employee to establish goals. The goals will be specific, quantifiable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. In...