Sunflower Incorporated Case Study Solutions
Sunflower Incorporated case study Overview: Sunflower Inc. is a large distribution company with over 5000 employees that functions as a bureaucracy, which needs to formalize its pricing and purchasing practices. The company purchases and distributes snack foods to retail stores across North America. Sunflower has one corporate office and the company is divided into twenty-two regions. Each region operates as an autonomous small business, which consists of its own leadership. characterized by emphasis on being fast and flexible in responding to the environment.
Even though Sunflower prefers to use the small business approach to increase profits the company as a whole is ill-equipped to respond to environmental and market shifts, as well as some small companies, this is evident by the company’s inability to stay competitive. In addition to that, the company is suffering because it has not focused on improving its technology . Its primary focus or concern is optimization, increasing profits and standardizing business functions. While organizations should be concerned about its bottom-line, it should also focus on flexibility, innovation and technology.
These components are the true essence of a true organization. However, organizational size is not the primary challenge for Sunflower but rather how to simultaneously function as both a large and small company. Joe Steelman, Sunflowers president understood that the company needed some restructuring if it was going to survive in the then current market. And Sunflower Inc. has hit the formalization stage in its organizational life cycle, hence the implementation of a standardized financial reporting system.
Then the Organization appointed Agnes Albanese to flourish and resolve the issues and change things around to be in favor of the origination. Q1 How well did Albanese manage the pricing and purchasing changes at Sunflower ? Were the changes implemented ? How would you find this out? Answer: Agnes Albanese, the newly appointed Director of pricing and purchasing may have been a bit hasty in her management approach and failed to follow through with her planned change. Without a comprehensive understanding of company structure and culture, she suggested a solution after a mere three eeks. After a mere three weeks, she suggested a solution but did not communicate or liaise with managers and staff specialists who work with and through people to achieve organizational objectives, and OD can help them form effective relationships with others. As the above diagram , Planned change involves four sets of activities entering and contracting, diagnosing, planning and implementing, and evaluating and institutionalizing . Albanese’ approach may be typical for many organizations but unfortunately it doesn’t return anticipated results for numerous reasons.
Organizational development theory tells us that change, in order to be effective, must be led and managed. Albanese only provided a quick solution to what she regarded as a simple problem while making no efforts to establish a change plan that would have included such elements as providing the leadership and vision to promote the change, cultural assessment to align behavioral norms, communication and stakeholder management, performance management, training and development .
Q2: What might Albanese have done differently? What should she do now? Answer: •Ensure all analysis, information and resources are adequate to establish clarity of out come •Involve all executives and managers as well as subordinate to increase motivations and personal involvement to reach desired targets. •Plan carefully and allow adequate time for the plans to result in favorable out comes . To manage the transition from the current state to the desired future state, it requires creating an effective plan for managing the change activities as well as planning special managing structure for operating the organization during the transition. •There was inadequate supply of information, and lack of coordination from theregional executives regarding purchasing and pricing decisions. Therefore she was unable to create a clear vision regarding the importance of the change program. Participatory approach was lacking while designing the change program. Thusthere was lack of ownership. For a change to be effective identification of thekey players whose support is requird for success is an important aspect to befulfilled but Albanese refused to visit the regions to discuss the purchasingand pricing policies with the executives giving the reason that the trips would be expensive and time consuming. Also there was no personal motivational reason for regional executives to pursue the change program.