Chattanooga Ice Cream Division Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


In the year 1996, Chattanooga ice Cream (CIC) lost one of their major customers who were Stay and Shop. The issue was addressed at the executive leadership meeting where tactical decisions were required to be made by the leadership of CIC.The major issue which was identified in the case is the fact that the division president had to deal and manage a team of underdeveloped vice presidents. The leadership style of Moores is quite difficult; it actually needs transformation because with the current style it will actually be difficult for the organization to transform. The paper basically looks to analyze the team. Along with this, the paper also looks to explain the dysfunctions of all the teams, where Moore the president has to find out ways in which it can rebuild and reconcile the situation. Similarly, Moores also needs to rethink about his leadership style and has to become inspirational and proactive in his approach.


The company Chattanooga Ice Cream Division (CIC) has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Chattanooga Foods Corporation which was founded in the year 1936. The company basically offered reasonable priced ice cream products to the food chains and supermarkets. In the recent past, the company has been facing the issue of decline in sales.

The reason for the decline has been the increasing competition from the premium and super-premium ice cream brands that have been available in the market. In the year 1995, the total revenue for the company was almost $150 million which was a drop of over $30 million over the past four to five years. The main reason which made the sales decline or decrease for CIC was because; it did not have variety in its product line.

CIC generally offered traditional flavors as compared to variety of flavors offered by competitors which included candy bar, nuts, cookies fruit, mix in flavors, etc. to overcome the threat of competition, CIC launched a line of frozen yogurt, along with this, the company even appointed Charles Moore to the position of division president and the general manager. 


Dysfunctional Team

Absence of Trust

The team discussed in the case is dysfunctional because it did not have the level of trust that is actually required. The team members did not trust each other. None of the team members at CIC were not ready to accept their mistakes and weakness.

In fact, each and every employee was focused on blaming others for the faults and issues. Each team member has been looking to blame concerned departments for the issues. Another issue was the fact that the level of comfort has been missing which indicates that the required trust cannot be developed.

As per the case, Chattanooga in the recent past has lost their contract with one of the top three customers for Chattanooga. The company Stay & Shop has actually discontinued the contract with CIC; the company therefore has faced a loss of $6.5 million in sales. To overcome the issue, and to improve the situation for the company, Moore called all the division heads to make a plan where the issue does not rise again.

During the meeting Moore realized that instead of identifying the root cause for the problems all the Division Head’s started to negate each other’s view point for the future and were more focused to identify the loopholes. In fact, the situation was such where, the sales unit head blamed operations for the loss of contract, production had blamed the operations, and marketing head blamed finance head or the department for the loss of contract.

The basic or the prime objective of the meeting was to find a solution to the problem rather than blaming each other and in fact, negating each other’s proposals. Another issue which Moores identified was the fact that, previously the manager took all the decisions and none of the teams interacted with each other which created a communication barrier among all the teams.

Charles Moore’s Leadership Style


As the situation in the case indicates, Charles Moore has actually failed as the General Manager of Chattanooga Ice Cream Division because he has been unable to lead the team in an efficient and effective manner. The major cause of the failure of Moore has been the over dependence on the team members to make the decisions for the company.................

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