November 20, 2014
1. Analyze the Schlitz organization from a subsystem perspective. What are the inputs and outputs? Can you identify some of the major subsystems of Schlitz? Input in general is the people, material and information. In this case, the people are anyone that associated with the Schlitz’s company, like the managers, employees, stockholders, retailers, wholesalers, etc. Materials are the ingredients that are used to produce the beer, and the can. Information is the feedback, responses, and research that the company did to improve their product. The outputs of Schlitz are the product and service they produced. The beers, 24 ounce aluminum can, “Barbican”, “White mountain cooler”, “Schlitz Malt Liquor.” Some major subsystems are Production Subsystem, concerned with how the product was made; Marketing Subsystem, how the company advertise and compete with other companies; Maintenance Subsystem, how well the company communicate within themselves and how well the use people; and Managerial Subsystem, how different departments works together to achieve the goal of the company.
2. Some subsystems in organizations perform a boundary spanning role. That is, they link the organization with the environment and thus cross over the boundary between the organization and the environment. Primarily, boundary spanners tend to be those subsystems that are most interactive with the environment. Can you identify the boundary spanners in Schlitz case? Are they effective? The main subsystems here are Marketing Subsystem, Production Subsystem, and Adaptive Subsystem. For Productive Subsystem, Schlitz was not effective at all since they have terrible marketing strategy. For instance, they launched a product that has a new stabilizer, which create small flakes in the beer. Which Schlitz have to remove all of these products from the environment. This failure not only involved the problem in production subsystem, but also the marketing subsystem. For the marketing view, it shows that the company did not do enough research before the launch the product, how could you not know what reaction you will get from your product when you add in a new ingredient. And now the company would have to try to come up with new marketing strategy to make up their poor image.
3. Systems theory tells us that organizations have the capacity to receive feedback (I.e, information) from the environment, and to adapt organizational processes to that feedback. We speak of open systems as organizations that actively solicit and consider environmental information. Closed system, on the other hand, are organizations that essentially do not consider environmental information. Give examples from the Schlitz case of the kinds of environmental information that might have provided important feedback for the owners and managers of Schlitz. What did the author mean to imply when he quoted the Schlitz executive as describing Schlitz as “a big lion dozing in the sun?” When the different departments in Schlitz started to work independently, managers started to focus on the product in only one perspective, which is cutting down the expense. Everything now is expense oriented. They did everything to cut down the expense when producing beers. The manager thought that the customers would not notice the difference in the change of ingredients as long as