A Note for Analyzing Work Groups Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

A Note for Analyzing Work Groups Case Solution


This case is about the work groups of Merit Corporation, work groups are considered a key element in the success of any business. Merit Corporation manufactures and sells children’s furniture and has a respected position in the market. Initially, the John Krischner was the CEO of the corporation; he was actively involved in the company’s operations during his tenure. Krischner has maintained an effective and strong work culture, he firmly believes in continuous training and education of employees. The employees exhibit a high level of satisfaction and therefore, the company has low turnovers.

However, due to competition and changing demands of customers, the management was considering to bring new product designs. Therefore, Krischner wanted to hire a group of competent employees to develop new product ideas. Krischner hired eight new people (Christopher, Andrew, John, Robert, Susanne, Joan, Mathew, and Raynor) whom he felt bear appropriate background, intelligence, and enthusiasm to handle things. He appointed Christopher as their group head. Moreover, Krischner believed in giving the extensive freedom to the group so that they could perform effectively.

The people in the group belonged to different cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles and were not familiar with the company or each other. However, Krischner believed that this diversity could lead the company towards a better approach. Furthermore, the new product development team began its work with Krischner’s coordination and became familiar with each other, and with the company. After the six months of the NPD team operation, Krischner and others in the management evaluated satisfactory results and were pleased to see that NPS team had developed a variety of products ideas. The management found the team enthusiastic and devoted to its work. Krischner had given the team full autonomy concerning its style of work and created a flexible environment for the team to work. Therefore, despite of differences in working style, backgrounds, and opinion; the team soon evaluated common factors and began to work as a team. Furthermore, Krischner had adopted an effective approach to allocate the tasks between the teams that align the group’s performance to expectations. Therefore, it is considered that Krischner’s approach to manage the team had given satisfactory results and the group itself enjoyed its work. Members of the group exhibited a high level of satisfaction as they received recognition that motivated the team to work harder and better.

However, after retirement of Krischner, the team began reporting to the new CEO Joe Donaldson. Joe noticed that the new product ideas were delaying in production. Therefore, Joe had made certain changes and moved the team to second floor of the office, to provide them greater assistance and interaction, as the team was previously located at the fourth floor of the office. The team were also provided new updated computer with technical and administrative assistance coupled with an increased budget. Nevertheless, the problem remained the same and the team constantly gave unsatisfactory performance.

Problem Identification:

The problems in the case started occur when the new CEO joined the organization and noticed a delay in the idea transforming process. However, soon he realized that the team has received problems due to the lack of access as the team is located in the fourth floor. Furthermore, the group head Kane told Joe that the team is in depressed but soon it would be out of it. Moreover, Joe has shifted the team on the first floor and then after some time shifted  them on the second floor. Joe also increased the team’s budget and encouraged the team to adopt to a formal dressing code as the members of the team used to wear informal dresses....................

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