Ramord Stockwell

Introduction

The Benson Metal Company has been a producer of steel in the world for many years now and they have curved out a sizeable amount of the specialized steel market for themselves.

They have for a long time specialized in the innovative and creative management, production and marking strategies to maintain their competitive edge in the market. The company has for some time been identified to have a leadership that invests in vertical sources of power (Jones, 2007).

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The bureaucratic nature of their management structures may be identified as an advantage to the managers in regard to their particular authority in the company, but this may be detrimental to the motivation of line managers especially in an industry that relies so much on innovation as well as creativity in almost all aspects of its production and market structures (Thompson & Strickland, 2003).

This has been particularly evidenced by the fact that most of the line managers have to confirm with upper management especially when making personal decisions.

The problem

The character of the management teams has been identified to quite impressive even though their efforts are being compromised by a weak top level management (Jones, 2007).

The lack of delegation or rather job definitions among the top management has been identified to be quite frustrating. Stockwell has been reported to take up the other managerial jobs as he sees it fit, which is compromising the particular efforts of the rest of the managers especially due to the innovative efforts that they have pursued and put in place (Hill & Jones, 2007).

The lack of individual responsibility in as far as managerial positions are concerned has been detrimental for the company especially in light of the increasing competition in the market where innovation and creativity is giving rival companies a competitive edge (Saloner, Shepard & Podolny, 2006).

The leadership structures as well as the communication structures in the company lay very little emphasis on inter-departmental communication. This is evidenced by the fact that the marketing and the sales departments have been complaining that they are not getting the right amount of support from the production departments and this is compromising their work (Donkin, 2009).

It is identified that although the sales department is quite creative and hardworking they are unable to obtain information such as the particular release dates for the different products of the company. This information is identified to be quite crucial especially to the sales teams as they are currently not able to advise the company’s clients on the particular dates that they can expect the new steel products to be ready and delivered (Jones, 2007).

They are currently unable to compete with some of their competitors who are providing high capacity clients with custom orders since they are not able to communicate the particular needs of the market to the production departments due to the breakdown in communication structures (Freeman, 2010).

This breakdown of communication structures is further precipitated by Stockwell’s habit of overlooking bureaucratic structures and giving specific orders to lower managers and even line foremen. This is identified to compromise the whole organizational structure as communication of the organizational strategies is not effectively done (Daft, 2011).

The fact that there is currently less emphasis on performance based promotion as it were previously goes to show how politically polarized the management structures in the company have become (Jones, 2007). The micromanaging character of Stockwell further undermines any efforts of other top managers as well as lower managers of making any major decisions on their own.

It is identified that the fact that the company holds weekly meetings that are attended by top managers as well as other lower level managers, all they discuss is later ignored by Stockwell who prefers to put in place his own strategies without identifying the particular needs or capabilities of the different departments through consultation with other managers.

This is identified to be one of the reasons behind the lack of moral especially in the research and development departments of the company with some of its officers being identified as redundant.

This problem is, however, identified to be one portrayed by Stockwell alone as it is identified that he is less social and doesn’t associate with other managers or even employees even during corporate events (DeWit & Meyer, 2008). While team work and cooperation between all the employees of a company is identified as crucial in the success of their growth strategies, the management style adopted by Stockwell seems to ignore this fact.

Recommendations

It is identified that competition in the steel industry is growing globally and there is the need for companies to come up with innovative production as well as marketing structures that will give them a competitive edge in the market (Jones, 2007).

The current situation that the company is in doesn’t portray a very bright future as most of their competitors seem to have a more composed management structure than their and this means that they will lose their market share soon (Cole, 2003). While most organizations identify management strategies as specifically crucial in their success, Benson Metal has a problem in the implementation of their management strategies (Daft, 2011).

It is identified that even though the company has been able to identify the particular needs of the market that they serve they are still unable to service it due to inefficiencies in their management structure. The formulation of a more flexible management structure with emphasis on horizontal sources of power may serve to remedy this situation.

This should allow the company to adopt a more flexible communication structure where all the company’s efforts in regard to their competitive production strategies can be synchronized though out all the departments in the company (Amason, 2010). Communication has been identified as quite critical in the long-term success of an organization as it is identified that any efforts made on innovation and creative servicing of the clients’ needs may not work (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008).

The fact that the company has a very bureaucratic management structure means that most decisions have to be approved by the top manager and this offers a particular challenge especially where the top manager is identified to be weak or uncooperative.

There are some cases where this may have worked especially in the top management is cooperative (Donkin, 2009). In this case, however, a restructuring of their management structure so as to give departmental managers more responsibilities may work to increase their efficiency as well as promote innovative as well as creative thinking in the company (Godwyn & Gittell, 2011).

The fact that there is less delegation only serves to centralize power at the top levels of management and this is identified to be particularly challenging for lower level employees who seek to improve the overall position of the company by implementing superior production as well as marketing structures.

References

Amason, A., C. (2010). Strategic Management: From Theory to Practice. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Cole, G., A. (2003). Strategic Management. Upper Saddle River: Cengage Learning.

Daft, R. (2011). Management. Upper Saddle River: Cengage Learning.

DeWit, B, & Meyer, R. (2008). Strategy. Process, Content, Context. An International Perspective. New York: Thompson Learning.

Donkin, R. (2009). The future of work. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Freeman, R., E. (2010). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Godwyn, M., & Gittell, J. (2011). Sociology of Organizations: Structures and Relationships. Boston: Pine Forge Press.

Haberberg, & Rieple, A. (2008). Strategic Management: Theory and Application. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hill, G, & Jones, G. (2007). Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach. Upper Saddle River: Cengage Learning.

Jones, G. (2007). Organizational theory and change. New York: Prentice Hall.

Saloner, G, Shepard, J, & Podolny, J. (2006). Strategic management. Los Angeles: UO C.

Thompson, A, & Strickland, A. (2003). Strategic management: concepts and cases. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.