The minimum word count for this assignment is 750.
Please keep the following in mind about your assignment response:
To fully address this case assignment, please read and analyze the assigned case. Your response should be numbered and provide the following:
1. Define and summarize the key OB issues in the case relative to this week’s material (at least 2 key issues MUST be identified). Be sure to speak in OB language, using appropriate terminology to identify the concepts and issues you identify. OB issues MUST reflect concepts covered in this week’s chapters.
2. Clearly link the key issues in the case back to relevant and specific course material covered. Be specific by identifying specific instances and scenarios in the case which demonstrate the OB issues and concepts identified. Explain how they are reflective of those specific OB issues.
3. Make at least one recommendation(s) of how each of the key issues you identified should be handled at the organizational level of the case’s main character. Justify the merit of each of your recommendations and be sure to include your rationale for why you expect them to be effective in addressing the issues.
4. Propose at least one executive or corporate level intervention for any one of your key issues to recommend how upper management can also play a part in addressing that issue. This response should be different from any of the recommendations offered in #3. Be sure to clearly identify which OB issue your organization level/executive level intervention is meant to address and how the intervention would be of benefit.
Case: Difficult Task Force
José has been appointed chair of a steering task force to design the primary product line for a new joint venture between companies from Japan, the United States, and South America. The new joint venture company will make, sell, and service pet caskets (coffins) for the burial of beloved pets, mostly dogs and cats. One month earlier, each company had assigned personnel to the task force:
These members were chosen for their expertise in various areas and were taking valuable time away from their normal assignments to participate in the joint venture.
As chair of the task force, José had scheduled an initial meeting for 10:00 A.M. José started the meeting by reviewing the history of the development of the joint venture and how the three company presidents had decided to create it. Then, José reviewed the market for the new high-end, designer pet coffins, stressing that this task force was to develop the initial design parameters for the new product to meet increasing demand around the world. He then opened the meeting for comments and suggestions.
Mariana Preus spoke first: “In my opinion, the current designs that we have in production in our Argentina plant are just fine. They are topnotch designs, using the latest technology for processing. They use the best woods available and they should sell great. I don’t see why we have to design a whole new product line.” Noto Takeshi agreed and urged the committee to recommend that the current designs were good enough and should be immediately incorporated into the plans for the new manufacturing plant. José interrupted the discussion: “Look, the council of presidents put this joint venture together to completely revolutionize the product and its manufacture based on solid evidence and industry data. We are to redesign the product and its manufacturing systems. That is our job, so let’s get started.” José knew that the presidents had considered using existing designs but had rejected the idea because the designs were too old and not easily manufacturable at costs low enough to make a significant impact on the market. He told the group this and reminded them that the purpose of the committee was to design a new product.
The members then began discussing possible new design elements, but the discussion always returned to the benefits of using the existing designs. Finally, Tex spoke up: “I think we ought to do what Mariana suggested earlier. It makes no sense to me to design new caskets when the existing designs are good enough to do the job.” The others nodded their heads in agreement. José again reminded them of the task force’s purpose and said such a recommendation would not be well received by the council of presidents. Nevertheless, the group insisted that José write a memo to the council of presidents with the recommendation to use existing designs and to begin immediately to design the plant and the manufacturing system. The meeting adjourned and the members headed to the golf course at 10:45 A.M.
José returned to his computer and started to write the memo, but he knew it would anger the presidents. He hoped he would not be held responsible for the actions of the task force, even though he was its chair. He wondered what had gone wrong and what he could have done to prevent it.
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