Clark Faucet Company case study on culture
BACKGROUND By 1999, Clark Faucet Company had grown into the third largest supplier of faucets for both commercial and home use. Competition was fierce. Consumers would evaluate faucets on artistic design and quality. Each faucet had to be available in at least twenty-five different colors. Commercial buyers seemed more interested in the cost than the average consumer, who viewed the faucet as an object of art, irrespective of price. Clark Faucet Company did not spend a great deal of money advertising on the radio or on television. Some money was allocated for ads in professional journals. Most of Clark's advertising and marketing funds were allocated to the two semiannual home and garden
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Since new product development is four to six months in duration, we have to beat up on engineering to make sure that our marketing schedules are met. Why can't engineering understand the importance of these trade shows?" "Because of the time required to develop new products [4-6 months], we sometimes have to rush into projects without having a good definition of what is required. When a customer at a trade show gives us an idea for a new product, we rush to get the project underway for introduction at the next trade show. We then go back to the customer and ask for more clarification and/or specifications. Sometimes we must work with the customer for months to get the information we need. I know that this is a problem for engineering, but it cannot be helped." The consultant wrestled with the comments but was still somewhat perplexed. "Why doesn't engineering understand marketing's problems?'pondered the consultant. In a follow-up interview with an engineering manager, the following comment was made: "We are currently working on 375 different projects in engineering, and that includes those which marketing requested. Why can't marketing understand our problems?
1. What is the critical issue?
2. What can be done about it?
3. Can excellence in project management still be achieved and, if so, how? What steps would you recommend?
4. Given the current non-cooperative culture, how long will it take to achieve a. good cooperative project management