A NOTE FOR ANALYZING WORK GROUPS Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

A Note For Analyzing Work Groups Case Study Solution


Merit Corporation is one of the companies which manufactures and sells children furniture. It operates from the industrial park, located outside Boston. The company had been operating for three generations and had held a dominant position in the children’s furniture market. John Kirschner was the CEO of the Merit Corporation and was considering to retire in the next few years. The company had recently earned sales of $750 million, and the rise of competition in the market had been significantly increasing. Most of the competitors entering the market were offering low price products. While being cost effective they had placed tremendous pressure on the company. For Merit Corporation to capture the market, it was essential for them to provide differentiation in their products such as about attractive designs, safety and better quality.

The success of the company was mainly due to the employees, as they provided with the ideas and knowledge for developing attractively designed furniture and also for reducing costs. John Kirschner had sent a number of employees for Harvard Advanced Management Program and also provided many benefits to the employees which caused less turnover, satisfaction and kept highly motivated.

John Kirschner’s main responsibility when joined the company was working on newly developed products which were assigned by his father. Before retiring he had decided to hire an independent team which would work on development of new products. It was his belief that the success of the company lies on the hiring of right and motivated people who would help the company flourish by developing new products. He had hired a team of eight persons who had been assigned for developing new products. These people were given their own area on the fourth floor and had been working informally such as no dress code was given, less corporate rules were applied to them such as they can come to office early or late but were required to be in the office during the team meeting hours to discuss about the new development in the product. At first, the teams lacked coordination with each other, but after some time they had gained trust upon each other and which also led to a successful new product and made the company dominant in the market.

Problem Identification

The problem for the company arose when the new CEO was appointed by the name of Joe Donaldson. The leader of the team Christopher Kane asked the new CEO to solve their issue for limited access on the fourth floor in which the entire team were moved to downstairs on the second floor. This led to a complete change of culture, rules and regulations for the team and also there were many new other people working on the second floor. This caused less collaboration among the team members which eventually resulted in most of the members resigning and the team had been disbanded.


For analysing the case which would help in developing alternatives and recommendations, the most appropriate would be the SWOT analysis in analysing the changes in the group culture. The SWOT consists of the company’s strength, weakness, opportunities and threats which would help in conducting the internal analysis whereas analysing the changes in the team’s culture would also help in understanding as what went wrong.



The strength of the company is mainly the employees who had led the company gaining competitive advantage in the furniture industry. The company had very few employees turnover, as the employees were gaining many benefits from the company and additional Harvard management program was being provided to the employees which enhanced their skills and talents. The company had recently appointed a new team which would be completely independent among the other employees and which would lead to improved collaboration and innovative ideas for developing new products. The new team were given freedom as the company’s culture, rules and policy were not being applied to them which led to encouragement. The team member had their own complete floor which improved the communication among the members and caused fewer distractions to them.


There were few weaknesses occurring to the company due to the newly appointed team members in the company for the development of new product. The team members were given freedom and could come to the office whenever they wished. They also wore informal clothes and were not required to follow the most of the rules and regulation of the company. This caused injustice among the employees who viewed themselves not being treated fair whereas they had to follow the rules and procedures of the company and the new team did not. There was also another issue in which one of the members did not liked to work in a group and considered himself as a solo worker. He considered the team meeting as an interruption on his work.  The team member would also not be given any bonuses on their good performance as it would cause differentiation among the team members. Some of the people in the team with different backgrounds found it difficult in working together and also trusting each other with the tasks....................

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