CASE STUDY: UNMOVABLE TEAM
TOP EXECUTIVE AT AVIONICS:
In the given case study, Paul Riley was a top executive at AVIONICS and had returned from a personal meeting with the general manager where Riley was asked to work with slow-moving electronic sensing group. But Riley wasn’t confident that he would be able to manage and deliver as promised.
AVIONICS was a subsidiary of National corporation Alliance which was a market leader in a number of businesses. AVIONICS was a subcontractor in defense industry corporations as well. The electronic division had three subsidiaries of which AVIONICS is one of it and is located in San Diego country in Southern California. AVIONICS focused on research and development of electronic systems instead of manufacturing products.
• One of the several divisions of AVIONICS
• Focus on electronic sensing devices
PURCHASE OF NEW DIVISION:
AVIONICS purchased a new property in Northern San Diego County and built a beautiful facility in the mid-1970s by hiring engineers, technicians and scientists at the required positions.
NATURE OF DEFENSE CONTRACTS:
However, the company till 1995 never realized its full potential. From the 1970s to 1980s, engineers had the opportunity to work beyond the specifications by designing better than the specified systems where the government paid them through cost-plus systems but in 1980s beginning, the government decided not to pay any cost-plus profit. Engineers were effective but facing difficulty in adhering to cost and time. For this purpose, the project manager of AVIONICS took a more significant position.
AVIONICS CURRENT BUSINESS:
AVIONICS continued to struggle with ways to reduce cost and increase profit. AVIONICS top executives had decided to take technological advances in electronic sensing systems to the commercial market by analyzing the need of products and then commercializing it. They found this to cost-beneficial aspect. They also considered setting up of small facility near the current facility by transferring some of administrators and engineers to a new division.
THE ANALOG GROUP:
General manager asked Riley to work with the analog team in leading engineering activities where he had to work with senior engineers who managed various Analog teams. a year ago, the group had the responsibility of helping the company acquire new business, increase profit and manage engineering activities.
DESCRIBING YEAR AGO SITUATION:
The challenged faced by Riley was the resistance of change from the management team in finding more profitable markets. Also, the manager complained to him about not clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the team. However, Riley believed that clearly defined roles were not the reason for resistance. Facing the difficulties forced Riley to get away from the team structure. He had to adopt a directive style which had made him frustrated.
Late 1980s come up with various problems for the management team due to the changing nature of defense contracts. Members of the analog team faced difficulty in adjusting. They had to pay more attention to cost and schedule to bring success to the company. Riley found that team members enjoy work and loyal to the team which is not bad but to bring change and identifies new market and opportunities, he found it difficult. As team members were motivated only on professional pride and self-protection but not on the financial side.
The dilemma faced by Riley is a way to manage the budget as other team members were only thinking of the ways to protect their team without considering the other groups. They advised Riley to get funds from other teams that have excess funds due to good performance this year. He is in the dilemma if he would be able to change this unmovable team.