JOHN SMITHERS Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

John Smithers Case Study Solution


Sigtek is the producer of signal-catching devices and offers the services to mobile service providers and telecommunication companies.The company has two main divisions that include engineering and operations. These two divisions work separately, the separation between two of the divisions was carried to extreme, as both the divisions were isolated and both hadtheir own building.

The company required the change in its operations to compete with its competitors and earlier to seven months, company introduced the total quality management and Smithers was appointed as one of the two site managers to run this program.

John Smithers thought that this program would be helpful in a way that this will enable both the divisions to work together effectively and efficiently and would increase the profitability of the company.

The isolation between the two divisions was giving the company less profitability and less market share as company was unable to meet the consumer demand in time.

Telwork acquired the company and reinstated the new procedures and organizational strategy to pursue in the future. The strategy proposed has been the implementation of total quality management program throughout the organization and ultimately drive the strategy at the corporate level. For this purpose, the management selected Murphy-assistant manager operation and John Smithers-assistant manager engineering, to lay down the foundation of change in the organization.

Since the practiced organizational culture remained exposed to extreme polarity between the two departments, employees depicted resistance and reluctance to adapt to the change, due to the multi-directional power position. Also, in the initial period Smithers and Murphy found it difficult to work with each other, yet in the later time, the understanding of perspectives developed, leading to effective team building. But this did not help the two change anchor to bring about the change in the organization, due to the resistance, non-corporation of Patricoff in offering the rights and empowerment to the employees and the urgency of the management (Telwork) to implement the change without incurring the cost and offering the authority and power to the change anchors in implementing change in the organization.

Lastly, Smithers, who joined the organization 3 years ago is seen as the charismatic and enthusiastic person to bring the change in the organization feels the threat of being laid-off due to the organizational politics disseminating from Patricoff and the reluctance to pursue the change instructor leader in the organization.


Situation faced by the Smithers

Smithers is currently facing a situation that he is in a dilemma that he is being fired from his current job from the position of site instructor for implementing the total quality program that was under the six sigma factors.

This dilemma is triggered by the news that his boss Cross was demoted to an insignificant position in the company, after his demotion, Smithers had a thought that it would not take long that he would be demoted or fired from the job.

What are forces inside and outside the company likely to push for change?   What forces are likely to act as a hindrance to change?

Factors that push for change


Competition is one of the key factors that push for change since the competition was causing lower market share to the company in the industry and lower profitability as well, it was necessary for the company to develop the winning strategy to increase its market share and profitability.

The company was unable to meet the customer demand on time and that results in the deterioration of the brand image in the mind of consumers.

Also, the supply of the defected product in the market was causing the negative image of the company in the mind of consumers.

It forced the management to incorporate the change to bring the efficiency in the operations of the company.

The change would help the company to reduce the cost of manufacturing and increase the profitability and market share as well. It also would help the company in effective utilization of the resources along with the implementation of total quality management.

Efficient processes

The company aims to improve its organizational processes in order to reduce the cost of goods sold and making it cost-effective while developing the cost-leadership strategy.

Since with the passing time, technology is getting cheaper, the businesses in this industry require low priced components in order maintain the cost structure, and since the product offering of the company is technology based, it needs to cut the additional operational and functional cost, so to maintain the criteria. This need develops the urgency and requirement to bring change in Sigtek.

Growth and sustainability

Sigtek was acquired for 5 billion dollars by a telecommunication company named as Telwork. Telwork has different subsidiaries of telecommunication companies and due to this,it requires the centralized system of information processing and single corporate strategy, which can help the organization in maintaining the competitive advantage in the market, along with the sustainability of sales so to sustain market growth and customer analysis.

Telwork introduced six sigma quality program to bring efficiency in its operations.

The goal of that program was to gather all the different telecommunication companies that it had acquired under the single corporate umbrella, this program was also intended to improve the product quality and encourage the better management practices in the organization......................

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