In reference to the classic article by Larry Greiner, explain what is happening between growth and change in VRD industries.

Develop a set of realistic assumptions that you can add to the issues and problems expressed. These might typically be related to each other

You should write the case study in such a way that you start your answers from line 1. That
is, there is no need for large introductions that we see in essays. You should apply the
principles you have learned from lecture material/tutorials/readings that are specific to the
case study. Case study 1 answers should be written in narrative form (i.e. sentences not bullet
points), and should be 2000 words long, single spaced. Each case study should be referenced
by including these at the end of the case. More marks are gained by the quality of research
applied in practice and the overall quality of the answer.

 

Task/Questions for the case can be found at the conclusion of the case.
Individual Case Study 1
Problem Statement:
You need to consider how you will identify the range of issues and problems in the following
problem statement.
Lee Bineesh is a highly qualified but aggressive Singaporean CEO educated in Sydney who
has just taken over as CEO of a company we shall call VRD Industries located in Singapore.
Lee had a track record of working in fast cycle markets and achieving above average growth
in developing industries. Lee’s arrival at VRD was greeted with much initial surprise

 

followed by a steely resolve to change things. For over 40 years, the company manufactured
component parts for the auto industry in both Europe, GM in the US and other US
automakers. Recently, VRD has also exported to GM in China which has been identified as a
growth market. VRD operated as three product-divisional strategic business units (SBUs) all
located within the same industrial complex: 1) Automotive Parts 2) Infotainment and 3)
Electrical & Energy. Each SBU has its own Divisional General Manager with a small office
staff, a manufacturing manager, Quality Control Engineers, Process Supervisors, leading
hands and upwards of 150 staff working within each factory centre. The three SBUs shared
the normal Head Office functions of R&D, Technical, HR, Sales & Marketing, Accounting
and Warehouse and Distribution. The top management team comes from the main VRD
Head Office structure (8 senior managers). Middle management consists of about12
managers in each factory. Functional or line managers consist of another 6 managers.
Lee took over from Frank Delacy who had worked his way up in the business from the
factory and had retired at age 70. For over 30 years, Frank had a steady team of managers at
each of the SBUs including middle managers. Staff turnover was low with most managers
(functional staff included) having been with the company for over 20 years. Staff loyalty to
Frank was extremely high. Changes had been few. Despite discontinuities within the auto
industry, Frank and some senior sales staff had built up long-term relationships at Detroit
© University of Southern Queensland
Assessment 5

 

resulting in a fairly consistent sales growth with consistent supply contracts to Europe.
Recently, discontinuities and the relentless pace of competition from China, Taiwan and
Vietnam for component exports placed heavy pressure on VRD to compete. A new line of
managers at Detroit following the GFC and aggravated supply contracts out of Europe meant
sales had halved. This coincided with Frank’s retirement placing heavy pressure on Lee and
the top team. Lee also appointed a change manager, May Wong, to assist the divisional and
manufacturing managers to implement a change agenda. After some weeks of constant
review, Lee realised that the company was too slow in production, had old job design
methods and that conflict existed between the SBU divisional managers and their teams and
between each SBU.
The basis of the conflict related to maintaining the current processes and systems that had
held the company in good stead for many years and the type of change being imposed by
Lee. For his part, Lee wanted an agile company, highly responsive to shifting markets, a
cooperative team, and a highly efficient production process. It was no surprise then that each
divisional manager had been advised that a staff reduction of 10 per cent had to occur within
the next 6 months. This was difficult for senior management who had long-standing
friendships with lower managers and line staff dating back to the 1990s and in some cases,
the 1980s. Indeed, some factory staff had been on the same machine and processes for over
20 years. That processes needed to change and that manager’s had to “get off their backsides
and do some real work” had suddenly become the ‘new’ culture. This shocked the senior
team as they were more familiar with Frank’s easier fine-tuning and collaborative style. The
problems and issues facing VRD came to a head for Lee after May’s quite detailed
interviews and assessment of staff practices and policies. Mays exit polls consisting of

 

qualitative questionnaires and several focus groups revealed further issues. Warehousing and
Distribution staff accused sales and marketing of imposing unrealistic delivery estimates.
Sales and marketing accused warehousing of being ‘too slow’. Fractious lines of
communication started to appear within groups in each factory since more pressure was
being placed on divisions for more efficiency. Also, following Frank’s departure, the impact
of less capital expenditure and funds for resources appeared to create conflict between each
SBU manager competing for a decreasing slice of the pie. This led to falling morale, a clash
between managers for updating technical processes, and lower-level staff accusing managers
of ruining a perfectly good company. After 6 months of constant conflict and falling sales,
Lee asks May to also hire an outside change consultancy firm to assist the organisation deal
with its next phase of growth. Lee was struggling for control and May was being flooded
with an increasing list of day-to-day issues.
Task -required: Based on less than perfect information supplied about the VRD
problem statement, you are required to act as an external change consultant to assist
the firm to:
1. Develop a set of realistic assumptions that you can add to the issues and problems
expressed. These might typically be related to each other at: a) the organisational level,
b) the group level, c) the individual level. For instance, you might develop assumptions
about leadership, about teams at each level, about creative thinking or lack of creative
thinking, about innovation. List each assumption and discuss in a paragraph why you
have chosen this assumption. (Total 150–200 words)
2. In reference to the classic article by Larry Greiner, explain what is happening between
growth and change in VRD industries. (150–200 words)
3. May Wong advises Lee that the experiences of the company relate to incremental change
and that solutions will gradually come to be realised. Is that right? Why or why not?
Explain your answer with reference to three or more readings cited in the course
© University of Southern Queensland

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6 MGT8033 – Leading organisational change
4. Why is the company finding it difficult to change given the theory-to-practice link?
(100–150 words)
5. Using the open system model outlined in your study book and text, identify the issues
(from the problem statement and from your own assumptions) by redrawing and
populating each connecting box. Complete this exercise for as many times as you see
connecting systems within (or external to) the company that is influencing change. (600–
700 words excluding boxes)
6. Evidence: From point 5, use theory to justify your selection of the open systems
identified. Here, you should use at least 7-10 separate references from the study book that
support your selections and systems’ linkages. (900–1000 words).
Note: Please use all theory based on the readings in Module 1 and 2 including your texts and
references included on the StudyDesk. Please use the Style Guide below for listing and
quoting references. More marks will be gained by students showing adequate evidence of
readings in their case answer by using theory in ways that solve the problem. Please see
marking criteria and guidelines below. Note: these marking criteria will be used to assess
your case study.

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