As with many companies, globalization's introduced competition into industries that had typically been services by a single leader with no real competition. This was the case for Modern Appliance. Throughout the early years of the company it had maintained its leading role in appliance market. This position did not spur innovation or evolution within the company. Jeffery Gandz describes the state of the company when he says, “Bradshaw was aware that, over the years, Modern had become more than a little complacent with its position as the market leader in quality appliances. Design was a little old fashioned but, more than that, there were issues with both costs and quality.”(Gandz, 2007) Other issues included Modern Appliance’s communication from upper levels the other areas of the company. The feeling was that lower level employees were not aware of larger company goals and did not a since of ownership in the company’s success. This culture led to a decline in overall quality that created larger production costs and decreased Modern’s ability to compete with less expensive products from foreign producers. Understanding these challenges, Modern Appliance induced a number of employee center and quality centered programs. Eventually, employees would return to the process that had led to the company’s decline. Along with these cultural challenges facing Modern Appliance, modernization of product design was lacking. The company had failed to understand that the marked was transitioning from the demand of larger industrial styles appliances to more streamlined designs that could be used in a variety of places. Other global manufactures understood these new trends and were able to capitalize where Modern had failed. This trend only widened the competitive gap that had developed.
Running head: Recommendations for Modern Appliance 3
Analysis of Cultural Shifts
As previously stated, Modern Appliance had implemented short term programs designed to reconstruct company culture with no real success. These programs would work well in the short term but eventually employees would return to old habits. Looking to the example of General Electric Bradshaw began to understand that these programs would only be successful if they focused on long-term changes. Bradshaw examined Jack Wentz’s leadership of General Electric and in doing so began to implement long term programs for culture change. Bradshaw began with two large ideas. First, as stated by Gandz, “The entire overhauling process would be accompanied by a fundamental redefinition of the roles of managers, different measurement systems would be put into place that were aligned with a changed culture, and it would be made clear to all managers that establishing and maintaining an engaged workforce would be as important as achieving financial goals.”(Gandz, 2007) The second principle would be that the people who would be affected by these changes, the individual employees, would be involved in the process of defining the changes that would need to be changes. This process of cultural changes would affect every portion of how Modern Appliance did business. These changes would be met with mixed reviews within the company and worries that outside clients would possibly view these changes as Modern losing its historic control of employees. Never the less Bradshaw understood that the ongoing success of Modern depended on these changes in the way they did business from the inside out starting with its employees and managers. Early in this culture change process Anne Armstrong, vice president of human resources, presented possible challenges from the staffing perspective. She was skeptical that the
Running head: Recommendations for Modern Appliance 4
union leaders would embrace these changes for…