Case Analysis Sunflower Incorporated

Published: 2021-09-06 15:05:15
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This case focuses on the planned change program that was implemented on the financial reporting system of Sunflower Incorporated, a large distribution company which resells salty snack foods and liquor. It also focuses on the management of the change program that was implemented to monitor pricing and purchasing decisions. Issues: •The major issue that this case highlights is manipulation in products in some regions to increase the sale and the profit of the company. The other issue is ineffectiveness in implementing the change program that Agnes Albanese initiated. •Inability to maintain the sustainability of the change program as even after agreeing with the change program, not a single regional executive bother to send the pricing and purchasing report. Analysis: After Sunflower began to use financial reporting system that compared sales, costs, and profit across regions, management found out that there was lack of congruence between the pricing and purchasing decisions across regions.
Due to this, profit varied widely from one region to other. The head office encouraged each region to be autonomous because of taste and practices, the management found that highly profitable regions were sometimes using low-quality items to boost profit margins and increase the market share. Here, Leon Steelman has acted as the initiator of the change who hired Agnes Albanese as the change agent for the change program.
The nature of change was the planned change to bring about congruence in the pricing and purchasing decisions across regions. Analysis of the Change Process according to the Change Management Model: Sunflower incorporated initiation for change program was a reasonable step but the process of change program was ineffective. According to change management model, Albanese needed to consider certain parameters that deterred the change process. Motivating change:
She had inadequate analysis and resources which failed to establish clarity of the outcomes to the executives. She only considered the existing problems and created a vision for change. Creating vision: There was inadequate supply of information, and lack of coordination from the regional executives regarding purchasing and pricing decisions. Therefore she was unable to create a clear vision regarding the importance of the change program. Developing political support:
Participatory approach was lacking while designing the change program. Thus there was lack of ownership. For a change to be effective identification of the key players whose support is required for success is an important aspect to be fulfilled but Albanese refused to visit the regions to discuss the purchasing and 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.
Managing the transition: Albanese was not able to manage the transition from the current state to the desired future state. It required creating an effective plan for managing the change activities as well as planning special managing structure for operating the organization during the transition. During the transition state the communication medium i. e. sending email used was inappropriate and there was no adequate exchange of information between Albanese and regional executives. Sustaining momentum:
The change management program also involves the activities towards sustaining and completion of the change program through reinforcement of the new behaviors needed to implement the changes but there was no activities towards reinforcement of the new behavior among the regions. Similarly, the pushing forces that were prevalent were: 1. Top management pressure 2. Other brands were pushing hard to increase market share by cutting prices and launching new products. Hence this had created competitor’s pressure. 3.
Profitability needs. From the force field analysis it is known that there are more restraining forces than pushing forces prevalent in the system making the change program ineffective. Albanese was able to unfreeze the existing situation and create an environment in which executives accepted the need for change. She was also able to move the behavior of the regional executives in the desired direction but failed to freeze the change that was desired as there were prevalent restraining forces than pushing forces.
The other thing contributing to the failure of the change program was that change process was initiated during the peak sale season which was an inappropriate time for the implementation for the change program. Recommendations and suggestions: 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, and the impact of the change on the organizational structure.
In order to make the change program a success, Albanese should have taken following measures: •Proper analysis of the resources should be done to establish clarity of outcomes so as to get support from the regional executives. •As suggested by Mobley, she should have personally visited the regions and discussed purchasing and pricing policies with the executives so that refreezing of the change would have been possible. Effective communication medium should be used to enhance coordination from the regional executives. •She should have institutionalized the change by passing through the board meeting. •She should have used participatory approach while designing the change program which would have developed ownership among the regional executives so that they support the change. •She should have considered personnel motivational factors while implementing the change program.

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