S216 OB Assignment help

Assessment Item 2

Get Assignment Help for this with hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com for only 100 AUD














Description/Focus:Case study analysis on cultural change in organizations
Value:40%
Due date:Week 13, Friday Midnight (CST Darwin time)
Length:2500-3500 words
 

 

Task:
     Read case study 5 from the textbook (also posted on learnline)

titled “Leadership, cultural and performance change at meatpack”.

Answer the questions at the end of the case study

Use additional academic sources to support arguments.
 

 

 

Presentation:
         Assignments are to be typed, 1.5 spacing between lines, and 12-point font

Students are to use the CDU Harvard referencing system, available at http://libguides.cdu.edu.au/cdureferencing/harvard

In-text citations are included in the word limit. The reference list at the end of the report is not included in the word limit.
Assessment

criteria:
 

Please view rubric available on learnline
Discussion questions
  1. 1. Should Bison be taking a more hands-off or a more hands-on approach to the business?Justify your response.

  1. 2. How far has the senior leadership change been effective? What else might senior leadership do to influence change more positively in the near future?

  2. 3. To what extent has MeatPack’s flatter structure helped create cultural and performance change? Have there been any barriers to the cultural change?

HND Assignment Help

CASE STUDY 05

LEADERSHIP, CULTURAL AND PERFORMANCE CHANGE AT MEATPACK

 

BY WILLIAM S. HARVEY, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, UK

 

 

Context

 

MeatPack is a family-owned food-processing business based in Sydney, Australia. The company, which has over 27 years’ experience in meat products, fresh soups and prepared meals, has processing plants in New South Wales and Queensland. Its customers are the major retail chains and food-service companies in Australia and abroad. MeatPack is led by the founder and CEO, Derek Bison, who is the fourth generation of his family to work in the meat  industry.  In  2013,  the  company  was  performing  well,  with  group  sales  of  over AUD$300 million. One of the strategic goals MeatPack set in 2002 was to become a 1 billion dollar company by 2020. However, in order to meet these targets, the company is currently dealing with two major sets of changes: senior leadership changes and cultural and performance changes.

 

Senior leadership changes

 

Over the past two years, Bison has been keen to develop the leadership competencies of his senior strategy team. He feels that there are a number of ways in which his leaders could develop further and he recognises that he could have helped with this more in the past. He describes himself, for example, as ‘interfering, visionary, driven, competitive, obsessive, never satisfied and restless’. With a view to changing the mindset and behaviours of his senior  strategy  team,  Bison  started  working  with  an  executive  coaching  and  senior leadership development company. A number of his team members said that they were gaining a lot of insights from this exposure. Initially, Bison was very enthusiastic about this, too,  but  in  the  past  year  he  has  stopped  his own  direct  involvement in  the  coaching, although the senior strategy team continue to be involved.

Influenced by the activities of a respected business colleague and personal friend, Bison

 

has introduced the Human Synergistics Circumplex to MeatPack. This outlines 12 behaviours into three colours: red (aggressive/defensive), green (passive/defensive) and blue (constructive). Bison found that the organisational culture of MeatPack was red and he recognised that it would need to switch to blue if his growth plans were to be realised. He understood that MeatPack would need to shift its structure from a hierarchical organisation to a more horizontal organisation, with front-line workers having greater responsibility and accountability for their performance (Stayer, 1990).

Underpinning  this  transition  have  been  the  following:  a  number  of  changes  to  the

 

company’s human resources set-up; a company-wide leadership development program; and a coaching consultation for members of the senior strategy team. Bison feels that these have had a positive impact on members of his senior strategy team but confesses that he himself has struggled with this transition. He finds it difficult, for example, not to intervene, jump in or direct others when he feels that sufficient progress is not being made or when decisions are not being taken expediently.

There  has  generally  been  a  positive  dynamic  in  the  senior  strategy  team,  which  is

 

composed of the CEO, COO, CFO, head of People, head of  Sales and head of Business Development.  Bison  has  fostered  an  open  dialogue  with  his  team  and  it  is  clear  that members are encouraged to speak frankly with him and each other, both on a one-on-one basis as well as during meetings. There has, however, been some uncertainty about the composition of the senior strategy team, with one attendee at a strategy meeting being unsure of whether he was officially part of the senior strategy team. This led to subsequent discussion among the group about the matter, as well as over whether another member, who was not present at this point, should be part of the team. There is also a separate senior leadership team, which includes all of the senior strategy team members above, plus the senior line managers. There has been some discussion about the exact purpose of both of these teams. Because Bison is one of the founders of the company and the current CEO, some members of the senior strategy team are a little reluctant to question his decisions, despite Bison actively encouraging an open dialogue. The CFO wonders whether the board should hold Bison more accountable and whether Bison should hold the senior strategy team more accountable. The COO expressed concern that MeatPack has lost some of its senior leaders within the past few years. This has caused some anxiety for the following

 

reasons: they were direct reports to Bison; their personalities were in conflict; Bison had involvement in their area of operation; they were making a positive impact before they left; and relationships with some suppliers and customers have been lost as a result, causing business to move to a competitor.

The senior strategy team was about to embark upon some major structural changes—

 

with the arrival of a new CEO of the soups and meals business at the end of 2013, and the existing COO of the meat division replacing Bison as the CEO of meat. Bison said that in the short term he saw himself moving to group CEO alongside these two CEOs. In the long term, he envisioned that he would move from group CEO to executive chairman, with both CEOs reporting to him. In his own words, ‘I’m not really a big people person and the people thing will go to the CEOs. I want CEOs to be CEOs.’

In five to 10 years, Bison’s vision is to move from executive chairman to chairman. When

 

this was broached in one of the strategy meetings, there was some heated discussion about who  would  be  reporting  to  whom  in  the  new  structure.  For  example,  the  CFO  was concerned  about  whether  benefits  would  be  derived  if  MeatPack  decentralised  the functions of support teams such as Finance and IT. The head of Business Development asked how the new structure was different from the old structure, and it was debated what, if anything, the other employees should be told before the company’s annual meeting the following week. It was decided by an independent chair of the meeting that discussions would be paused and discussed further at a later date. Some members were clearly frustrated that the issue was not resolved during the meeting.

 

Cultural and performance changes

 

In the  past  two  years, MeatPack has introduced  an enterprise resource planning (ERP) initiative, which seeks to integrate multiple divisions of the company such as finance, production, investment and management. At the heart of this system is the desire to be more structured and efficient in ensuring that each line is hitting and exceeding its targets. Part of this system is also about encouraging managers to change their methods of communication. In the past, dominating, shouting and other aggressive forms of confrontation were quite common practice. There was a focus on making things happen instead of understanding how things worked and why they were not working. As with any

[caption id="attachment_12516" align="alignleft" width="583"]HND Assignment Help HND Assignment Help[/caption]

results-driven organisation, this created a culture with a top-down environment for the managers, in which targets had to be reached.

Bison  has been  strongly influenced by his executive training at the Harvard  Business

 

School and one of his major goals at MeatPack has been to install a flatter structure across the organisation, which empowers managers and supervisors to take on greater responsibility and accountability. For example, he has encouraged line managers to take a more hands-on role in terms of the recruitment of personnel and performance appraisals. In general, there has been an overall drive to get people across the company to lead rather than manage (Kotter, 2001). The CFO and COO both feel that this has been a positive endeavour, but find that this is taking place ‘in pockets’, and that Bison could lead more by example with respect to the senior strategy team.

Bison’s aim across the organisation is for there to be six to eight people per report in

 

order to ensure that managers and supervisors have the opportunity to lead and be more clearly  accountable.  He  argues  that  if  he  was  coming  into  the  company  now  with  no previous  ties  then  he  would  remove  certain  people  immediately,  but  he  won’t  do  so because he and the team all know these people and there are established relationships and emotional ties, making such decisions significantly more difficult.

There is a strong sense of loyalty on the ‘floor’ and staff turnover is low in an industry that

 

is known to have problems with retention because of the repetitiveness of the work. One interviewee remarked that given that the factory floor is cold and noisy, there is a certain type of person who can work in this environment. Staff are employed almost continuously on  the  production  line,  the  work  is  physically  demanding  and  standards  are  exacting. Despite a diverse array of cultural backgrounds, with employees from multiple countries, there have been few cross-cultural clashes.

The majority of the workforce has worked at MeatPack for between six and 10 years, with many others having been at the company for at least 15 years. While this is positive in terms of loyalty, it is also potentially challenging with regard to changing attitudes towards the proposed cultural changes. MeatPack is perceived internally as trustworthy and honest, and employees feel ‘safe’ because decisions seem to be made with the ‘best intentions of the company’. The company has developed quite a collegial and family atmosphere. While there are  ‘serial  complainers’,  as  one  employee  put  it,  most  are  happy  in  their  positions.

 

Recruitment is often via word of mouth, with many employees coming from the same family group working at the factory. Employees who have moved from MeatPack’s competitors have commented on the company being more organised, methodical and collaborative in culture.

Bison has made a significant investment in his staff’s training, and employees with proven

Get Assignment Help for this with hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com for only 100 AUD

skills  and  a  strong  work  ethic  can  move  up  the  company  chain  quickly.  The  CFO,  for example, started out as the assistant accountant, which indicates that there are good opportunities for talented individuals to develop within the company. Bison has invested in management and team leader development courses, with newly promoted shift leaders being put through a front-line management course. This aims to improve their leadership skills and enable them to better manage and lead their teams. The development of a line focus has created a culture of accountability for each position, which has allowed line staff to have a hand in developing the efficiency of the company front line, and this has made them feel a valued part of the team. One manager remarked that without his team he would not be in the job.

Since the start of the cultural change program, there has been a shift from managers

 

‘managing’ to ‘leading’ their teams. In particular, there has been a more systematic process of managers sitting down with employees and talking problems through. There have been some important cultural changes taking place as a result of managers being encouraged to take  some  time  out  to  ‘step  back’  and  reflect  on  their  ‘tool  box’  to  address  certain situations.  Bison  has pushed  for  a focus on the  ‘Rockefeller  Habits’—created by  Verne Harnish (2002) and based on the leadership and management principles applied by John D. Rockefeller, business magnate, philanthropist and co-founder of Standard Oil. There are three pillars to the Rockefeller habits: priorities, data and rhythm, and Bison has placed a strong emphasis on MeatPack’s strategic goals (priorities), performance feedback (data) and accountability (rhythm). Bison has also invested in the leadership training of his front-line and middle managers, whereby they have developed skills through an external provider on the life cycle of a leader, including attracting, hiring, developing, mentoring and appraising, as well as confronting and removing, where necessary. The feedback from senior managers has been that their managers have appreciated such level of investment in their development.

 

The managers are generally considered quite young, ‘fresh’, ‘open-minded’ and ‘close’. Some managers feel that although they are now much better at saying things without offending their teams, jobs are often left incomplete because what people say is different from what they do. There are 17 line managers who plan for the following day’s production and  there  is  general  concern  that  while  it  is  good  practice  to  codify  this  on  a  large whiteboard next to the factory floor, there are too many managers going over the data and not enough people on the lines to deliver the targets. The vision is that the targets, which are manually inserted on the whiteboard, will eventually be inserted electronically.

A  major  challenge  with  regard  to  reaching  daily  targets  stems  from  the  difference

 

between the day and afternoon shifts. The day shift starts at 5:30 am and finishes at 2:30 pm; the afternoon shift starts at 2:30 pm and finishes at midnight. Bison has encouraged

‘huddles’ at the beginning of and between the shifts—at these, workers can discuss what

 

the day shifts have done and what the afternoon shifts need to do. The cultural norms of the  shifts  are  significantly  different.  The  day  shift  is  described  as  taking  a  ‘gung-ho’ approach, which leads to higher yields. This is partly explained by the day shift choosing the lines that make it ‘easier’ to hit their targets. The afternoon shift is under greater pressure because of specific cut-off times at 3 and 3:30 pm, when lorries arrive to pick up particular products for delivery to the supermarkets. In short, there are differences in priority—with the day shift focusing on maximising yields, and the afternoon shift on being ready for time- sensitive lorry pick-ups. In general, there is growing pressure for managers and workers to increase their line’s productivity. Despite this, yields have increased and there has not been any loss time injury (LTI) in the past year.

 

Sources:

Get Assignment Help for this with hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com for only 100 AUD

 
  1. Harnish, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. What You Must Do to Increase the Value of


 

Your Growing Firm (Ashburn, Virginia: Gazelles, 2002)

 

 

Human  Synergistics  International,  ‘Our  Measurement  Model—The  Circumplex’  (2010), www.human-synergistics.com.au/TransformingCultureAndLeadership/Circumplex.aspx, accessed 17 February 2015

 
  1. P. Kotter, ‘What Leaders Really Do’, Harvard Business Review 79, no. 11 (2001): 85–98


 
  1. Stayer, ‘How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead’, Harvard Business Review (November


 

1990): 66–83.

 

Get Assignment Help for this with hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com for only 100 AUD

Comments