The Dim Lighting Company Case Analysis

The Dim Lighting is facing a major decision. They are deciding whether or not to undertake a new project. This project is an extremely costly and time consuming one but on the other hand it may bring great benefits to the company. There are many considerations that are going into the big decision. Jim West is the general manager of the Dim Lighting Company and is thinking over all the ideas and alternatives. There are some problems that deal with the company as a whole. Does the company want to wait until they are “going down” to think of new innovations?

The company knows that they can’t just sit without change. In an ever changing market, a company that wants to be successful must keep up with change. On the other hand, investing in a major project when the company isn’t in the best financial form may not be so beneficial as well. In theory the company may want to react to the situation but in practice they just don’t have the means. There are some problems micro problems with innovation as well. Firstly, it is possible that Spinks has a major influence on the decision because of his autocratic personality.

The other managers know that Spinks is a vital member and losing him may really hurt the company. Their decision may be swayed to satisfy Spinks. Another issue on the micro scale is West’s needs for a profitable year. Jim West needs to see the company profitable after a year of slowed profit. This may cause his decision to be biased. There are a few causes that may lead to a change in the company. Firstly is the need for an additional source of income. The company needs to come up with new ways to bring in income and a new innovation look like a great way.

Another cause may be the need for new innovation after the same product type has been sold for many years. The workers may be itching for a change and grab the first possible moment. Lastly, the cause for the change may be the overbearing personality of Mr. Spinks. A change like this one can really affect the entire sociotechnical system of a company. Obviously, the technical subsystem of the company would be changed to focus on outputting a new product. In addition, the company currently has a traditional structure if indeed the change does take place the structure will change.

As far as the psychosocial subsystem, there are some behavioral problems displayed in the case that can really have a negative effect on the company. The stubbornness of Spinks is just one example of such a behavior. The goals and values of the company and parent company seem to be making income with no need for innovation. The parent company didn’t want to support this change. If the change is made the whole goal of the company will be changes. Lastly, the managerial subsystem will be affected as well. The way the management deals with things will be altered for good. (Brown, 2011)

There are some alternative plans that West should consider. Firstly, West should consider a compromise with Spinks and his proposed plans. He can suggest that the project be spread over four years instead of two. He can also tell Spinks that he had to lower the budget a little to make the project feasible. Another option would be to find a private investor. There are people who will invest in new products in the hope of gaining from the profits. If there is a private investor, the company will not make as much profit but at the same time they will save millions on research and development.

One last idea, the company can lay out the benefits and pluses of the new product and represent it to the parent company. Perhaps the company will decide to contribute to the funds. There are a few things that should be recommended to West. Firstly, he needs to be very cautious around Spinks. He needs Spinks in the company because of his many attributes. He needs to validate Spinks and be sure to work with him and not against him. Angering Spinks may lead to his resignation, which would be a big loss for the company.

West also needs to be told that he needs to think long term. He needs to put aside a one year income improvement and look at the long term picture. I would recommend that West meet with an external practitioner to discuss the issues. The practitioner can talk to all the managers, hear them all out, and then help the company make the best decision possible. An external practitioner is one that comes from a different viewpoint and position of objectivity. ( Zainbooks. com) Lastly, I would suggest that West be sure to do some morale boosting activities during this time.

It is a stressful time for all those in the company and West needs to make sure that it has no effect on the employees and managers. Conclusion: This case was a real eye opener for me. I have not been in the business world for long and never at a managerial level. This case showed me how real issues come up and people can be very influential. This case also showed me the importance of consulting a practitioner when issues that are large come up. I also saw the amount of time and consideration that goes into every step that a business takes. It was a great case to display the needs for organizational development in the business world.

References:

Brown, Donald R. (2011). An Experiential Approach to Organization Development. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

www. Zainbooks.com, The Organization Development Practitioner, http://www.zainbooks.com/books/management/organization-development_10_the-organization-development-practitioner.html, April 4, 2011

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