Allentown Materials Corporation: The Electronic Products Division (A), Essay Example

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Essay
  1. What was Joe Bennett’s style of leadership?

According to Tom Reed, Bennett applied the authoritarian style of leadership in the Company and prompted successful individuals to be manipulative and political in their dealings. This has led to increased pressures and impractical standards transmitted to employees of the organization. As a result, the commitments become unrealistic and contribute to minimal support of top management personnel with regard to group activity and decision-making. Bennett, described as, “a man of paradoxes.”

  1. What program did Bennett start before his death?

His interests on organizational behavior to management facilitated the onset of a program (organizational behavior) capturing on management and development of the organization division wide.

  1. How did Don Rogers qualify to be the vice president after the sudden death of Bennett?

Don lacked the line experience, but due to relevant background and knowledge on EPD’s technology and business, he qualified. Additionally, his grasp of both managerial and technical problems impressed the managers. He possessed all the leadership qualities and thus, was the best man for the job. For example, he promoted sharing of information and ideas and involved other individuals in solving existing problems, and consultancy during the decision-making process.

  1. Did Rogers have critics of his leadership style?

In every organization, it is difficult not to have critics. In Don’s case, some of the managers were quick to respond and gave negative attributes to his leadership style. For example, they commented of his poor listening skills, differential problems arising from functional goal departments, he is not tough enough for the position, and top management are not allowed to create nor confront conflict.

  1. What organizational changes did Don add after his takeover?

He moved Barnett (headquarters) to Allentown; geographical decentralization of divisions; replacement of key managers apart from the manager of product development (Ted Moss); efforts of cost cutting and handing over responsibilities to the marketing function; improvement of customer service and delivery time.

  1. What frustrations do managers address?

The sales and marketing departments are not performing their responsibilities and functions in meeting organizational goals and objectives. For the sales function, they are getting gross margins that are low and are not making any effort to change the price factor. This has resulted in a mutual distrust between the two functions. Consequently, the manufacturing department complained that, the leader lacked “strong leadership.” The managers were upset and called it “disappearing carrot syndrome”, which implied that projections made by sales function did not compensate for the millions of dollars set aside for new capacitors due to smaller profits and sales.

  1. What reason contributed to this syndrome and how did it affect EPD?

Marketing forecasting of trends was not accurate and contributed to incompetence in the manufacturing function. This employed the change of managerial leaders in the department to reduce the weak EPD in marketing, lack of direction in marketing, and expand the narrow base of products.

  1. Describe the sales component.

The department used a direct selling method and employed older college graduates with a passion for marketing and sales. Compared to other divisions of Allentown serving OEM consumers, had an increased market segment. Success was obtained through the development of relations with agents of purchasing and engineering, and excellent interpersonal relations for obtaining intelligence in the market and contract bidding opportunities. Negotiation was also employed, by the two groups, to obtain the best price to gain and accomplish goals and objectives of the organization.

  1. What problems did the organization experience in the new development process?

Modifications of the product aimed at reducing costs, but this was not possible because of technical assessment of feasibility. One of the problems is when the salespeople ordered samples, while the manufacturing and marketing department had the idea killed. The resistors new coating brought about conflict among the personnel of marketing and plant. Marketing distrust judgment also contributed to change in the product development.

  1. Why did Don Rogers attend the meeting?

In the previous meetings, the division manager did not attend, but on this day, he was asked to come and help move decisions, which he took active parts in the technical aspect.

  1. What was the Outlook for year 1993?

Division growth is the main problem experienced by the company and hampered development of new products. Moreover, achievement of operating margin budgeted by the top management, morale, communication barriers, and coordination are problems that need addressing the following year. Strategies, profitability criteria and priorities are disagreements that brought about conflict in the organization.

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