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Scenario Problem Solution Global Communications

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Situation Analysis and Problem Statement

Global Communications faces a future with many challenges. These challenges can be overcome by understanding the situation, identifying issues, turning those issues into opportunities, and understanding stakeholder perspectives and ethical dilemmas. After examining these components, a future-oriented problem statement and end-state goals will be proposed that will provide the foundation for exploring and analyzing alternative solutions and assessing the risks involved in selected alternatives. Once the risks are analyzed, an optimal solution, implementation plan and appropriate measures of success will be proposed.

Situation Background (Step 1)

With over 20 years in business, Global Communications has long-standing relationships with many key stakeholders. The publicly traded telecommunications company is facing stiff competition from local, long distance, and international calling competitors. Among their chief competition are the cable companies who have newer technologies and the ability to offer customers a wider range of services including Internet, television and regular phone service. Offering new calling features and innovative packages has produced limited results. Stock prices continue to decline and are less than 50% of their value three years ago. Stockholders are wondering if the industry can bounce back (University of Phoenix, 2005b).

Under the leadership of a new CEO, Katrina Heinz, the senior leadership team has devised a "two-pronged" plan to revitalize the company. First, they will offer new services to their small business and consumer markets. These services are designed to compete directly with local telephone and cable companies by partnering with a wireless provider to offer satellite TV and broadband Internet service. The key selling point is "anytime-anywhere" telephone and Internet access (University of Phoenix, 2005b).

Second, they will implement cost cutting measures to include outsourcing their business call centers to India and Ireland saving the company an estimated 40% on unit costs for handling calls. In addition to providing cost cutting measures, this outsourcing are will provide the opportunity to branch into the global markets (University of Phoenix, 2005b).

The primary stakeholders have met this plan with mixed reaction. Seeing the plan as an opportunity to increases profitability and increase shareholder value, the company's Board of Directors completely agrees with the plan. On the other hand, the Union representative and Board see the plan as a way to manipulate around the current contract. (University of Phoenix, 2005b).

Issue Identification

There are several issues that must be addressed by Global Communications in order for them to be successful (Table 1). These issues include over a 50% decline in stock value, no clear competitive advantage in their market, overcoming obstacles presented by a recently negotiated union contract, making decisions consistent with stated corporate values, and effective planning to ensure success in international markets.

Opportunity Identification

After reviewing the list of issues, Global Communications appears to have many opportunities as they face the future (Table 2). Global communications can increase profitability by both lowering costs and increasing profitability. This can be accomplished by increasing their competitive advantage in existing and future markets through the introduction new services and technologies. Introduction of new technologies in domestic and international markets can also provide the opportunity to maintain and increase their customer base. Additionally, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their corporate values as they make major corporate restructuring plans both domestically and internationally.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

The opportunities presented by Global Communications' future present several ethical dilemmas that must be considered (Table 3). They consist of several right-versus-right decisions which are typically complex and challenging and at least one potential right-versus wrong dilemma. (University of Phoenix, 2005a).

Right-versus-right dilemmas include decisions by the Global Communications leadership team and Board. They are faced with the dilemma of satisfying the rights and values of company stockholders versus the rights and values of employees and the community. Stockholders have the right to expect a return on their investments while the employees and communities have the right to gainful employment (University of Phoenix, 2005a). The viability of communities depends on its members being gainfully employed. Another consideration in this area are the rights of the leadership team to profit from an increase in company stock value since some of their personal compensation is derived from increase in stock value (Frise, 18 Oct 2005).

Another right-versus-right dilemma exists between the right of Global Communications' customers to expect competitively priced products and services and new technologies and the right of their employees to retain meaningful employment.

A right-versus-wrong dilemma may be present since Global Communications is under a current contract with the Technology Workers Union. While the scope of that contract is unknown in this scenario, depending on Global Communications execution of future plans, one can assume that the Technology Workers Union will work to protect the rights of its members in court if needed.

Problem Definition (Step 2)

After considering the issues, opportunities and ethical dilemmas, the following problem definition is presented for consideration: Global Communications can develop a competitive advantage, increase profitability in existing markets and expand into international markets while reallocating and investing in their human capital. This future-oriented opportunity statement can be used to develop a broad set of end-state goals.

End-State Goals (Step 3)

Possible solutions in the Global Communications scenario can be evaluated against a set of end state goals. Global Communications will become the global leader in the telecommunications industry while maintaining a strong corporate people-oriented philosophy. This will be accomplished by: (a) retaining existing customer base, (b) expanding market share both domestically and internationally, (c) introducing new services and technologies, (d) communicating corporate objectives regularly and, (d) creating employee retraining and redeployment programs.




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