Marie Jackson: Revitalizing Renfield Farms Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Key Facts

Ren field was founded in 1964 by Donald Franklin. The major product offered by the company was organically produced milk that was distributed to the retailers with the brand name Nourish. The company was an instant success under Franklin who promoted the culture of authority and accountability at all levels in the firm.

In 2002, he retired, which created a tough period for the firm. The major criticism faced by the firm came in 2012 where a video was leaked over the internet and social media where cows were being abused at dairy in Belvidere, Illinois. This affected the image of the company quite negatively.

Lack of social media involvement made the video a major source of building negative image for the company. The result of the negative publicity made many senior employees to leave the firm. The overall morale for the firm hit an all-time low during this period.

As per 2014, Renfield had four major product lines, which are Milk and Cream, Yogurt; Plant based beverages and the Frozen Dairy. In 2013, Marie Jackson was hired as the first outside the firm CEO who had the challenge of ensuring the customer once again trust the firm.

Problem Statement

            The major problem that has been identified in the case “Marie Jackson: Revitalizing Renfield Farms” is the fact that Marie Jackson developed a new vision statement in the year 2014, which has been met with some success where the company has introduced innovative yogurt based dessert. Moreover, the firm has also developed successful social media campaign also. However, in spite of early success, the vision statement has been met with skepticism from the internal employees where they believe the organizational systems and structures do not support the vision statement.

Marie Jackson Revitalizing Renfield Farms Case Solution


Organizational Structure:

            The organizational structure for the firm Renfield has been a decentralized organizational structure. The company has been quite committed and focused under the leadership of Marie Jackson, where the decisions are made by the managers from different departments.

            This has been the norm and culture of the firm where the departmental heads are given the responsibility of making decisions for the firm. This has been a major source of finding the solutions to the problems. Along with this, the firm has been practicing the similar culture for a long time, which has reaped in reasonable results for the firm in the past.

Transformational leadership style:

            The type of personality that Marie Jackson has been in the past and even at Renfield, it is quite evident that she has been convinced with the fact that the decision making authority should rest with the team members and the final decision should be taken by her. As the case states, Marie Jackson has been committed and has involved the leadership of the company to come over and help in the decision making process for the firm.

            Along with this, the company has also been gauging in more customers with the introduction of decentralized organizational structure, where constant support of different team members has been a source of generating revenues and reasonable end products.

Alternative Actions

Based on the problem that has been identified in the case above, the following alternatives have been presented for the problem.

Centralized organizational structure:

            The first alternate based on the problem identified in the case where employees have been skeptical with the vision of the company, the management’s head, Marie Jackson, should rather make decisions and implement it across the firm. As for now, the management has been taking constant inputs from the team members that has been a major issue because many employees differ to one another, which has created issues for the firm. The major advantage of this alternate is that the company has been quite proactive where it has launched new products with the current business strategy.

Focus on innovation:

            The second alternate for the company would be to focus on innovation in the coming period. The reason is simple, as the case states the competition amongst the organic food manufacturers has increased. In order to sustain in the market and to overcome the threat of competition, Jackson needs to introduce new products so that the firm can gauge in reasonable profits. Along with this, investing in innovation would also motivate and encourage employees to find methods and ideas, which can help in innovation rather than focusing on the credibility of the vision statement..................................

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