DYNACORP CASE STUDY
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSSETTS BOSTON
Dyna corporation, also famously recognized as Dynacorp, is a global information systems and communication company. Historically considered an industry leader, Dynacorp had a faithful clientele comprising tech-savvy consumers. However, since the 90s’ it found itself slowing down due to inefficiencies generated due to time lags caused by manufacturing and engineering departments. To address this issue, the company CEO shifted the organization structure from ‘functional’ to a ‘front/back’ organization design. This transformation however was not smooth and caused a ripple effect of problems. To iron out the ...view middle of the document...
Power and interests, coalition building and negotiation, conflict and conflict resolution are essential aspects of organizational life (Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen and Westney,M2-33,2005).
This theory means that just like in governments, the root cause of a conflict can be due to an issue of conflicting interests and that such discourses require a political solution that involves negotiation, coercion, coalition, exercising power and influence.
To understand the politics at a work place, I need to define interest and power and their respective attributes. Interests and power are derived from position and strength. Interests are defined as what people want-what’s at stake for them in a decision or course of action (Pfeffer,30). Interests are of two kinds: a. Individual interests- a common economic currency that allows the individual to compare the relative value or ‘utility’ of meeting each interest and b. collective interests- interests that are shared by others who belong to the same group or category and center on the welfare and maintenance of the group (Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen and Westney,M2-34,2005). Power is defined as “the potential ability to influence behavior, to change course of events, to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things that they would not otherwise do” (Pfeffer, 1992). The three attributes of power are- influence, authority and coercion.
Using the aforementioned definitions of interests and power, our analysis of Dynacorp begins with the structural changes and their impact on employees. As a part of the transition, members of the engineering and manufacturing departments were put together into ‘business units’, each of which was targeted to a specific product category. In addition, some members of the marketing department were then asked to join these business units. The new structure meant that support services, technical support and a new industry solutions development group all worked together and reported directly to the Carl Greystone, the executive vice president. This group was referred to as ‘U.S customer operations group’ and represented the ‘front end’ of the company. The engineering and manufacturing departments represented the ‘back end’.
This transition when looked through political lens highlights the conflict due to overlooked collective interests of the members of the three departments (manufacturing, engineering and marketing). Here in I noticed the first possible obstacle to Dynacorp’s business model. The business unit now comprised members that had never before worked together in the same team. The shuffle could have most easily resulted in resistance possibly reflected in the dissatisfactory results shown by these teams. The disgruntled employees could as a result be looked upon as potential stakeholders. Stakeholders are defined as “those who will be affected by what you are trying to do” (Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen and Westney,M2-42, 2005). ...