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Date Submitted: 09/22/2012 09:45 AM

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1. Describe the management style at Rondell Data Corporation.


Rondell uses a functional structure to coordinate its activities. It is a relatively small company, with only800 employees, and it appears to have about five levels in the hierarchy, counting first-line supervisor and shop floor employees. The arrangement of functions has grown rather haphazardly over time. The rationale for having both R&D and engineering services report to the director of engineering is historical precedent, as the head of R&D also has a dotted-line relationship to the president. Similarly, the rationale for having purchasing and materials control in the control department while quality control is in engineering services developed as a temporary wartime need. 

There is no separate production control department to coordinate manufacturing, engineering services, and sales. Manufacturing seems to do its own scheduling, and preproduction engineering is weak and under developed. Rondell’s pattern of differentiation contributes to its problems because task and role relationships among functions are not well defined. There are few formal integrating mechanisms, which promotes conflict. Going through Galbraith’s list of integrating mechanisms shows few formal links between functions such as task forces and teams. Most cross-functional contact is high up in the organization between the heads of the functions, not between lower level personnel. The single high-level executive committee was the brainchild of the controller and a relatively recent development. It was not working well because the president used it to pass on routine information, not for integrating among the functions.

Rondell is not making the best use of its managers’ functional skills and abilities. Rondell uses the informal more than the formal organization to coordinate activities, and this causes conflict. The power of the key managers results from their historical contribution to the company. Even though...

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