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Six Box Organizational Model: The Boeing Company Case Study

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2022

Introduction

According to Palmer, Dunford and Akin (2009), the six box organizational model addresses the major issues related to an organization functionality where various data, research and theories are applied to analyse a situation. The six variables of the model are the purposes, purposes, structure, rewards, helpful mechanisms, relationships, and leadership (Palmer et al., 2008). The major benefits associated with the model is that the variables are interrelated and persons seeking to improve a situation need to address it by looking at all the relationship between the variables. Furthermore, the model offers a framework which succinctly points out the different key factors which were at the center of the Boeing situation.

Analysis

To analyse readiness for change for Boeing, the six box organizational model is most appropriate. This is because, the model focuses on different variables which affect the operations of an organization. The model addresses issues related to the functionality of an organization. For instance, the variable purpose can answer the question: What business are we in? ((Palmer et al., 2009).

By analyzing the structure of Boeing, the model can address the question: How do we divide up the work? (Palmer et al. 2009). By addressing the structure, the model enables one to know whether the organization is on right track, what changes have been carried and what problems are being experienced. For instance, through the use of the model, it is clearly shown that the structures did not function as expected. Although the company had a merger, there was no clear definition of routes to be taken or the target markets. However, through the use of the model variable, one can identify that Boeing was undertaking some structural changes such as implementing changes to overcome bureaucratic structure, unnecessary process and outdated technological systems (Palmer et al. 2008).

By using the model, it has been possible to identify whether the employees of Boeing were being motivated through rewards and incentives. As noted in the case study, Boeing employees were extremely demoralized (Palmer et al., 2009). The moral of the employees was very low and as a result, the issue needed to be addressed. This is an indication, that the model is strong in addresses issues which touch the improvement of performance which is reward system and motivation.

As noted by Palmer et al. (2009), helpful mechanisms help an organization to coordinate different departments. Through the use of the model, it is possible to answer the question: Have we adequate coordinating technologies? (Palmer et al., 2008). This helps in the identification of communication and communication channels within Boeing. It also shows some of the efforts which were adopted by Boeing such the adoption of lean manufacturing principles to reduce cost of production and rejuvenation of its reputation by ensuring that production becomes more efficient (Palmer et al., 2008). It shows some of challenges which were being faced such lack of communication which is believed to have been a major cause of the problems experienced in the organization.

It also shows some of technology coordination mechanisms which were adopted such as updating its technology systems as a way of increasing efficiency, decentralization of technology system, use of technological platform to regulate the lifecycle of products, and adoption of a web based procurement system which would allow monitoring of stock levels by suppliers (Palmer et al. 2009). This is a clear indication that the model was the right choice as it addresses communication and technology which enhance competitiveness in an organization.

Technological platform model

According to Palmer et al. (2009), technological platform was adopted to cut down manufacturing costs and encourage rapid production of 7E7. In addition, the new platform would improve innovation, collaboration, time-to-market, product quality and return-on-investment. This is an indication that the company was ready for change.

Through the use of model, it is possible to answer the question: How do we manage conflict among people? With technologies? (Palmer et al., 2009). Based on the case study, there was lack of communication and collaboration within the company. To address the issue, the organization decentralized technology system (Szymczak & Walker, 2003). In addition, a web based procurement system was put into place to facilitate and coordinate communication internally and externally (Palmer et al., 2009). The adoption of technology based application, is a clear indication that the company was ready for change and ready to regain its market share and confidence from its different clients.

The model answers the question: Does someone keep the boxes in balance? (Palmer et al. 2008). After noting the leadership was in a mess, its CEO resigned where a new one was appointed to keep the boxes in balance. Overhauling leadership is part of organizational change which shows its readiness to adopt new leadership.

Recommendation

The leadership of Boeing was faced with major leadership challenges which led to the resignation of its CEO. In addition, ethical leadership was not present. Therefore, it has been recommended that Boeing to bring another leader instead of recycling existing leaders. This would bring new change and method of leadership. There is also need to bring ethical leadership and encourage accountability. This is because, according to Hussein (2007) encourages, accountability, responsibility, and the ability to make ethical and effective decisions. Lastly, the organization need to improve its communication channels further to facilitate and coordinate departmental communication.

References

  1. Hussein, M. (2007). Ethical leadership makes the right decisions. Journal of Technology and Business, 57-69.
  2. Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2009). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  3. Palmer, I, Dunford, R & Akin, G. (2008). Managing organizational change: a multiple perspectives approach. (2nd edn). McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.
  4. Szymczak, C, C & Walker, D, H, T, 2003, ‘Boeing: a case study example of enterprise project management from learning organisation perspective’, The Learning Organization, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 125-137.
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IvyPanda. 2022. "Six Box Organizational Model: The Boeing Company." June 30, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/diagnostic-models-in-boeings-case-study/.

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