Richard Murphy and the Biscuit Company Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Q2. Applying the relevant theoretical framework, analyze and evaluate the role of cultural, social capital and networks in organizational change happening at Biscuit and Company. Specifically, focus on some of difficulties faced by Richard Murphy in managing co-worker relationships and resolving tensions between operational functions in your decision.

Social Capital Theory was developed by Robert D. Putnam in 1993. According to this theory, networks, norms and trust play a very important role in order to achieve similar goals for a group. People who work together and have trust, norms and networks among them will be able to achieve their goals effectively as well as efficiently. According to that theory, if there is an increase in networking, then there will be an increase in social capital. If there is an increase in support among the employees, then there will be an increase in social capital. If there is an increase in social capital, then there will be an increase in equality. If there is an increase in social capital, then confidence on the organization will increase. If there is an increase in social capital, then it will become easy to get support from colleagues to resolve the problems.

If we apply this theory on Biscuit & Co, then we will be able to find the possible impact of organizational change on the company. Issues had been discussed in the first question that Murphy had, when he started to bring change in the organization so it was found that two groups emerged; one group was in the support of change and another group was acting as a barrier towards the implementation of change in the organization.

It was clear that these two groups had different views. It was difficult to find trust among those groups. In addition, according to social capital theory, if there was trust among employees, then productivity will increase. However, in the case of Biscuit & Co, there was a lack of trust and it simply showed that collective action was not possible in Biscuit & Co. It had become difficult for Murphy to bring change until collective efforts were made.

It was observed that two departments (finance and production) were against Richard Murphy’s policies while marketing and sales were supporting Murphy’s policies. So it was clear that networking between these two groups would decrease. There would be less collective action and the productivity would also decrease.

The concept of social network theory was introduced by J. A. Barnes in 1954. According to this theory, there is a relationship between individuals and these individual are denoted by actors and the relationship is denoted by ties.

If we apply this theory on Biscuit & Co, then it will help to understand the impact of networking on organizational change. Employees had opposite views against the change so closeness among employees was low. Relationship among employees was low so they were not able to provide the best quality work.

Every organization has its own culture and it can be differentiated from any other company. Organizational culture is referred to how employees behave in the organization. Edgar Schein’s model is widely being used in organizational structure and it was developed in 1988. This model consists of three levels and these levels include: artifacts, values and underlying assumption. Artifacts can’t be measured because it is intangible and it can be felt and observed. Values are something that can be measured and underlying assumptions is referred to beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and feelings.

Application of orgnaization culture theory would help us to know the impact of culture on organizational change. It was observed that employees of Biscuit & Co had strong beliefs, perceptions and feelings related to the company. They had been working for companies for many years so it was very difficult to change those beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and feelings in a short period of time.

Different models and theories have been used to analyze and evaluate the role of cultural, social capital and social network in organizational change. It was found that cultural, social capital and social network had the significant impact on organizational change. Richard Murphy was supposed to consider these factors before introducing the change. Trust level had gone down and there was a lacking in networking so interaction among employees had been reduced, which had a negative impact on company’s productivity.......................................

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