The Unsuccessful Change In Sigtek Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The Unsuccessful Change In Sigtek Case Study Solution


The case illustrates the dilemma faced by John Smither, at Sigtek, the company that makes the signal-catching equipment’s for AT&Tand other telecommunication businesses. The company in start failed to make its operation profitable, however, in the later years, Sigtek, started making the profits. Since, after the acquisition of Sigtek by Telecom, a new business strategy has been proposed based on total quality management.However, the organizational culture, does not support the change in the organization. The main reasons attribute for the resistance and implementation of change lie within the power of position which the Vice-president of the operation department posits on Smither and Murphy for bringing change, and the conflict of opinion and view between the engineering and operation department, resisting employees to adapt to change due to polarity in the organization. However, the issue still persists in the organization since Patrick, the Vice president of the operation department is being promoted to the General position, who by utilizing the power of position has replaced or demoted Cross, poising high threat to the position of Smither in future.

Keywords:  Total Quality Management, Power of position, Change management, Conflict Management


Sigtek is the manufacturer of Signal-catching devices and offers the services to telecommunication and mobile service providers. Over the period of time, the company gathered the technological expertise, which enabled it to devise the equipment itself. The company has two main division (1) Operational and (2) Engineering. These two divisions worked in ultimate isolation from each other, causing the company to lose the market share due to inability to meet the customer demands on time,while also due to the increasing cost of the operations.Also, since the market has been captured by other competitors, the sustainability the company became a risk.

In such time, Telecom acquired the company at 5 billion 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 drives the strategy at the corporate level. For this purpose, the management selected Murphy as Assistant manager Operations and John Smither as the Assistant manager Engineering, to lay down the foundation of change in the organization.

Since, the organizational culture practiced remain exposed to extreme polarity between the two department, employee’s depicted resistance and reluctance to adapt to the change,due to multi-directional power of position. Also, in the initial period Smither 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 helped the two to bring about the change in the organization, due to the resistance, non-corporation of Patric off in offering the rights and empowerment to the employees and the urgency of the management (Telecom) to implement the change without incurring cost and offering the authority and power to the change anchors in implementing change in the organization.

Lastly, Smither, who joined the organization 3 years ago and has been seen as charismatic and enthusiastic personnel to bring the change in the organization feel the threat of being laid-off due to the organizational politics disseminating from Patric off and the reluctance to pursue the change instructor leader in the organization.


1.      Analyze the approach to change taken at this company

Telecom acquired the company Sigtek and designed a new business strategy of implementing the total quality management in the organization and in all of its other SBUs to centralize the processes.In doing so, it chose Richard and Cross to pursue the change by developing the team of two change anchors. Indenim so, Cross chose Smither who have been accompanied with the reputation of strongen trusted employee and the one who has knowledge of the business practices and has been successful in redesigning the design process in the organization.On. the other hand, Richard nominated Murphy to pursue the change. However the two person nelchosen for the change implementation did not shared the same perspective and viewpoint against each other, which slowed the process of understanding the change in the organization.

In addition, the management chose to implement the process of change overnight without creating the urgency of change and making employees understand the need of change. Along with this, the company also failed to develop a team structure in the organization which could have been used as an anchor to change,Due to high polarity and power of politics, the management failed to inculcate change in the organization.Also, since Sigtek failed to develop any change adaptive culture in the organization, the new proposal resisted the implementation of the process and caused delays.

Also, due to autocratic system and tall organizational structure, Cross and Richard failed to understand the need to bring the employees who would be the real change holder to be involved in designing the change. Lastly, the change process established in Sigtek, failed to embrace the importance of notifying small wins which would have helped the employees in taking the change seriously.Due to these pertaining factors, employees failed to understand the crux of the change and took another plan for the organization which resulted in delays, -un-useful change implantation results and also lead to further power politics in the organizations.It is also analyzed that due to the power politics and positional power, the total quality management process failed to be implemented successfully,since it created the tug of war between the two departments.Lastly, in establishing the change in the organization, the company lacked to understand the need of integrating all the department in the change process so to minimize the impact of resistance from overall implementation...............

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