CASE ANALYSIS: Two Men and a Truck International
Canthey continue to be a close-knit, family company with the growth theyare experiencing?
Itcan be argued that the company has the capability of remaining aclose- knit family business with the growth they are experiencing. This is because over the years the company was able to resolveexisting problem as a family. As claimed over by scholars, the pasthas the capability of influencing the future.
Oneof the problems that occurred in the initial years of the company wasthe existence of incompatibility ofgoals. It can be stated thatthe goals of one party where not similar to the goals of anotherparty and therefore resulting to the existence of incompatibility ofgoals. As noted in Chapter 11, such a situation can result toconflict in the organization. From the case, the problems begunwhen Ellen’s two sons Brig and Jon returned to the NorthernMichigan Universityfor their study. Ellen had to hire two newmovers Joe and Elmer, problems for the company begun to arise.
First, we see that Ellen changes the practices of the business by adopting new practices which includes not providing any sort of contact information with the customer after the move in the eventthat the movers happened to damage something. Additionally, hertrucks are also pulled over by the State Trooper due to lack ofproper license to operate a truck.By the end of the year she makesa total of 1000 dollars as profit which is definitely too small as anannual profit. Thegoals set by Ellen for the business werenot similar to the goals of his sons therefore resulting to the existing challenges that the company begun to face. For instance,we see that after his sons leave for collage Ellen changes the charge of the customer pay from $ 25 an hour to $10 an hour andthen uses the rest of the money for placing classified adds andbuying gas. Additionally, she gives most of the companies’ profitsto charity organizations an action which Jon was not in agreementwith. Such actions definitely affected the earnings of the business.
How to fix the problem- In order to fixthe problem of incompatibility of goals, as the years went by and thecompany begun to experience growth and expanding its Franchise.By1994, Ellen become to be more efficient in running the business afterquitting her job which made the business to grow very fast.Additionally, when Malanie got into the business after her motherwent to run for the Senate seat, she brought her experiences inrunning the Franchise in Georgia and her skills in sales. Forinstance we see her go to all the franchises and increasing the rateof royalty from 4% to 6%.Also, with the entry of Jon as part of the board, the operational and financial challenges experienced by the business begun to be resolved an indication that thebusiness has the ability to remain a closely knit family business.
Anotherinitial problem that the company wasfacing was the lack of trust.Mishra and Mishra (2009) argue that trust is everything when it comesto leadership. The two authors emphasize that when it comes toleadership trust is one of the significant factors that a leadershould posses. Although Ellen trusted her two sons, her actionsindicated that she did not trust the two new employees which furtherresulted to the problems that the company was facing. For instancethe new practice of not leaving any contact information with thecustomer in the event that the movers happened to damage propertyindicates that Ellen did not trust the capability oftheemployees in handling the work effectively as a result in order toavoid problems the solution was not to give contact information tothe clients.
How to fix the problem- The issue of lack of trust is however fixedwhereby we see that as the years go by, with the entry of Melanieinto the company initiatives to bring trust and employee commitmenthave been adopted and therefore creating a work environment of trustbetween the employer and the employees.
Howcan they help a franchise continue to grow without alreadyexperiencing that? type of growth themselves?
Inorder to assist a Franchise to continue growing, the company shouldadopt key elements of an effective organizational culture which is tohave shared values and practices. It is essential for a franchise tobe aware of the common values that are held by all the otherfranchise. As noted by the case Ellen had the desire to see thatevery franchise would experience growth, shewas therefore lenientwhen it comes to the franchisees makingroyalty payments.
Howto fix the problem -when Melanie took over the company, she wasable to fix the existing issue of differences in values andpractices. She ensured that the Franchise agreements were appliedfairly across all the franchisees with an objective of protecting thevalue of the TMT brand. Melanie also ensured thatthe Franchisethat were not paying their royalty had to do so. The application ofsimilar practices and shared values in all the Franchise is a remedythat can assist a franchise to continue to grow. This is becausewhen all the franchises use one practice or norm, uniformity can begained whereby all franchises will work hard to ensure that they areableto pay their royalty and also make profits. Growth cantherefore be attained in those that need growth despite notexperiencing that type of growth themselves.
Alsoadopting effective strategies or approaches of conflict management isanother effective way of assisting the franchise to continue to grow. The existence of conflict between a franchise and the Home Companycan result to lowering the progress of growth of a franchise. As highlighted by the case when Melanie came into the company hermanagement approach resulted to numerous conflicts with theFranchises to the extent of getting into court battles.
Howto fix the problem- In order to fix existing conflicts effectiveconflict management approaches such as problem solving andnegotiations should be adopted in order to resolve existing problems.This will lead to the adoption of good organization culture and aconducive work environment that can facilitate continued growth.
Itis also essential to create an adaptive culture in the workplace asan avenue for developing a strong corporate culture, as noted inchapter 14. An adoptive cultural environment is significant based onthe fact that the business environment is always dynamic and manythings change over time. For instance in the context of TMT Companya change in management has been a frequent occurrence whereby Ellenhas often left the management of the business to her children.
Howto fix the problem -It is essential to ensure that an adoptivecultural environment is created in order to avoid cultural conflictswhich can affect the performance of the business.
CanJon’s franchisees maintain their guinea pig status far ahead enoughfor others to learn from them?
Itis possible for Jon’s franchisees to maintain their status to thelevel which they can be emulated by others. This is based on the factthat when Jon took over the Lansing franchise he found that hismother was giving out all the profits to the local charity yet thefranchise was not performing financially.
Howto fix the problem – Jon stopped the existing practice andensured that the company was able to perform effectively financially.Once he was able to improve the financial performance of thefranchise then he continued with his mother organizationally valuesof giving to the community.The initiatives adopted by Jon areevidently able to create stability in the business which can leadto good organizational performance as well as advance the Corporatesocial responsibility of the company. Through such an approachJon’s franchises can actually maintain their guinea pig status tothe level of being emulated by others.
Additionally,Jon’s franchisees can maintain their guinea pig status far aheadenough for others to learn due to his ability as a leader to providegrowth opportunitiesfor the employees. As argued by the ResourceBased View (RBV), the human resource is one of the key resources thatcan assist an organization to maintain a competitive advantage. As aresult, it is vital to ensure that employees have opportunities forgrowth in order for them to excise their potentials. Earlier when thebusiness was managed by Jon’s mother employees only remained at thelevel of movers without getting into higher positions.
Howto fix the problem- As indicated by the case when Jon took overas the Lansing franchise he created opportunities for growth foremployees such as Rob Felcher, who was elevated to the position of amanager. By ensuring that there is growth for the employees, theywill be committed to the business and therefore work hard to improvethe performance of the franchisees. In the long run Jon’sfranchisees will maintain their guinea pig status far ahead enoughfor others to learn from them.
Whatwill happen when Mary Ellen retires?
WhenMary Ellen retires, the business will still be functional based onthe fact that her children are able to manage the businesseffectively. As noted by the case the children for instance Melaniehave adequate capability to run the business. Melanie takes herresponsibility at the key office seriously through communication andstrategic planning and later implements her ideas. In addition, shealso has good initiative for dealing with employees and alsoimproving their welfare.
Howto fix the problem- As noted in chapter 14 when an organizationhas a strong culture then the outcomes include good performance andemployee wellbeing. When Ellen retires the business will still befunctional.
Alsothere is probabilitythat conflict may arise between thefranchisees that Jon manages and the Home Company managed by Melanie. Conflict is an inevitable aspect in any organization. Themanagement approaches adopted by Melanie are to some extent similarto those adopted by Jon, however conflict can manifest itself in avariety of ways.
Howto fix the problem- In order to resolve conflict that may existin the business it is vital for Ellen’s children to be aware andadopt conflict management strategies such as compromise and problemsolving.
DoesHome Office have the necessary professional talent to grow thebusiness?
Itcan be stated that the Home office does not have the necessaryprofessional talent to grow the business. Melanie is very thoroughat doing her job and she is also goal oriented. However, it can beargued that her professional qualifications in sales and managementare not adequate enough to grow the business.
Howto fix the problem- It is essential for Melanie to create otherpositions of management that can provide valuable management ideas to the company that can assist in growth. The experience that Jon hasas a mover, a manager of a franchise can also be valuable for theHome office.
Whatwill happen if Melanie and her brothers decide to sell-out and takethe company
Inthe event that Melanie and her brothers sell out and take the companypublic, the company will not attain the level of becoming apowerhouse in the moving industry. This is because going public hasseveral disadvantages which will make the family loose their moralein running the business and therefore the growth process will bederailed. For instance one of the key challenges is the loss ofcontrol whereby the family will sell part of their ownership and thuslosing control of the business. Another challenge is that goingpublic has many regulations which may affect the performance of thebusiness.
Howto fix the problem- It would therefore be best if the companyoperated as private in order to avoid the existing negativeimplications that are associated to going public.
Chapter 11, Conflict &Negotiation in the Workplace
Chapter 14, Chapter 14Organizational Culture
TrustIs Everything: Become the Leader Others Will Follow Paperback –April 6, 2009
byAneil K. Mishra (Author), Karen E. Mishra