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The Keyboard Company

Essay by   •  May 15, 2019  •  Case Study  •  1,477 Words (6 Pages)  •  867 Views

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The Keyboard Company

  • Medium sized manufacturing firm
  • Supplies computer keyboard to many National Computer Manufactures
  • Company has experienced rapid growth
  • Moving towards advanced electronics
  • John Zoltan is the president of the company
  • He recently attended a university seminar and is now impressed
  • Brought in the professor from the seminar as a consultant.
  • At one meeting Zoltan has now deceided to achive organisational excellence that Zoltan has desired for his company. He decieded to start and OD consulting group
  • John ran an advertisement in the wall street Journal.
  • He and the professor slected four young MBA and one young internal person from HR and they were called the OD.

Problems and underlying causes:

Leadership of John Zoltan: John only attended an executive seminar and has decided to achieve organisational excellence. In order to manage organisations in the fourth industrial revolution, the integrative implementation link between corporate strategy, business strategy and operations strategy. (Steyn & Schmikl: page1). John had not looked back at the company strategy or even consulted with the other stake holders, and took it upon himself to run an advertisement in the “Wall Street Journal” and appoint 4 MBA graduates. According to (Steyn & Schmikl: page 20) “The leadership process consists of the vision and mission, organisational culture, relationships and chaos.”

Although John vision for the company was good, he failed to direct and inspire his subordinates and obtain followers commitment. (Steyn & Schmikl: page 22). “Industry 4.0 management functions requires spending more time on employee and management selection and the job matching processes. Industry 4.0 management functions: (Steyn & Schmikl: page 57)

Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and learning (Steyn & Schmikl:page 236) and the highly prevalent barriers as follows:

  • An ineffective senior management team: Zoltan only recruitment 1 member from his current workforce in order to develop the OD and rather employed 4 other new recruitments and the professor whom he had only meet for the first time at the seminar.
  • Top-down or laissez-faire senior management style
  • Poor vertical communication-most of the staff in the organisation were not even aware of what was going on.
  • Unclear strategy and conflicting priorities
  • Poor co-ordination across functions, business,or borders: Intially the OD team held weekly meetings with Zoltan, thereafter the team saw less of Zoltan.
  • Inadequate down –the line leadership skills and development.

Organisational Culture and Climate:

Staff motivation results from positive organisational climate according to (Steyn & Schmikl: page 42. It is evident from the case study that the staff are not motivated as indicated by the comments “Zoltan could take the job and shove it” Also indicated in the case study that Kay and Pete said that they were going to resign from the company. From the case study it is evident that there is np trust amongst employer and employee’s, when the OD group decided to hold the company wide training program at an offsite location. It evident is the diversity of dress, when the OD group meet with employess, they should have been seen as once voice with one dress code. There are no rules regarding dress code within the organisation. As indicated when Pete,George and Bill were more conformational in approach. The key charateritics lacking(Steyn&Schmikl:page42,43), autonomy,cohesion,fairness,innovation,pressure,support,recognition and trust.

To summarise, the following leadership behaviour elements are of utmost importance:

 It is imperative that leaders provide proper strategic direction to individuals

and teams in order to establish a clear focus on what needs to be achieved operationally.

 A major motivational component is for leaders to build trust with individuals

and teams.

 At the same time leaders must provide encouragement and give assignments

to team members that are challenging and grant them with opportunities for

growth, learning, and innovation.

 Realistic performance expectations must be clearly defined by leaders, followed

by honest appraisals of individuals and teams. Trust must be promoted

and confidence instilled amongst team members.

 Team-based creativity and innovation must be encouraged to promote free

expression of ideas amongst employees.

 It is important that leaders are fair to all employees, and give recognition

where it is deserved.

 Since team spirit is a crucial requirements for success, leaders must focus on

building cohesion amongst team members.


 Non-beneficial change must be prevented at all cost since it puts pressure on

individuals and team members team members, resulting in demotivation.

 Empowerment and involvement must be encouraged to promote decentralised

decision-making, responsibility, and accountability that lead to a high degree of

autonomy in teams.

According to (Steyn & Schmikl:page 53,54) A breakdown of trust has a negative effect on oral informal communication in the

organisation, and impedes the flow of information so vital for managerial decisionmaking.

A negative organisational climate leads to poor job satisfaction, job

involvement and organisational commitment, with dire consequences. One can

conclude that organisational improvement is impossible where a poor organisational

climate prevails. The authors’ practical experience with transformation and change

programmes has proved that transforming the behaviours of executive leaders,

managers and employees, is the most difficult task. People’s attitudes and behaviours

Employee Engagement:  John has alienated his employees by taking it upon himself to hire the professor and the MBA graduates. The houses path –gaol Theory dictates 4 leaders’ styles. Participative leadership: consulting with subordinates and considering their ideas when making decisions and achievement-oriented leadership-encouraging subordinate/employee to perform at their best by setting for them challenges, goals ((Steyn & Schmikl:page38,page 39)



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