How did Electrolux Chief Executive Straberg break down barriers (and increase communication) between departments?
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Teamwork is essential in every business establishment (Bontis, Crossan & Hulland, 2002; Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson, 2012; Kotler, 2011). The Electrolux CEO broke down the barriers of communication that negatively impacted the productivity of workers and the overall performance outcomes of the firm. Before he took the drastic changes, departments were working independently, with limited communication and exchange of ideas among personnel (Ivancevich, Konopaske & Matteson, 2012).
The CEO was worried that the company would lose out to cheap products in the market. There was increased competition in the United States and the company could be forced to close, unless the CEO effected the drastic changes within the business establishment. He urged his marketers, designers and engineers to work together so that they could design and produce products that could fetch good prices in the market. He believed that the quality of products of the firm could help it remain in the market, which was characterized by a high level of competition.
To speed up the rate at which the communication changes could be implemented, the CEO hired business executives from business organizations that were characterized by an unrivalled history of innovation (Ivancevich et al., 2012). For example, he ensured that he recruited executives from Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo. The new executives could lead other employees in all the departments within the firm to increase their communication, which would be utilized to increase the efficiency of the organization.
What are the advantages for Electrolux of having individuals from different departments and functional areas work together on product design?
Departments within a firm specialize in certain production activities. However, all the activities are aimed at producing one final product. Coordination of production events in all sections within a company is essential because it improves the quality of products that are manufactured. At Electrolux, there were concerns that the products that were produced were of low quality (Ivancevich et al., 2012). Thus, it was prudent for the CEO to aim at linking all the departments so that personnel would work on the product design in a collective manner.
Coordination of events across departments has an advantage of correcting mistakes before a final product could be produced. For instance, marketers could let the production team know that the design of a product could not attract customers. Thus, the product design would be changed to reflect customer needs. Also, linking activities across departments and focusing on the product design has the potential to reduce production costs significantly. For example, if design errors are detected early during product design and development, then changes could be made before production is conducted. This could hinder Electrolux from incurring losses that could result from faulty products that could not enable the firm to make profits.
How can Electrolux use teamwork and group to succeed?
Electrolux needs to realize the importance of using teamwork and groups in order to succeed in the competitive market. The market is also characterized by low-cost products. The management team should encourage personnel to work toward achieving the goal of producing high quality products at reduced costs (Easterby-Smith et al., 2012; Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch & Topolnytsky, 2002). Team members should be motivated to design, produce and market unique products.
High quality products could enable the firm to have an excellent brand. Team members should be rewarded on the basis of their innovations (Kotler, 2011; Tidd & Bessant, 2011). They should also be encouraged to share ideas with their colleagues so that they would increase their levels of production. In fact, the firm should motivate various groups and teams through offering them incentives. For example, the management could encourage teams to compete against each other so that the best team could be taken for a holiday abroad.
Bontis, N., Crossan, M. M., & Hulland, J. (2002). Managing an organizational learning system by aligning stocks and flows. Journal of Management studies, 39(4), 437-469.
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2012). Management research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Ivancevich, J. M., Konopaske, R., & Matteson, M. T. (2012). Organizational behavior and management (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Kotler, P. (2011). Reinventing marketing to manage the environmental imperative. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), 132-135.
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Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of vocational behavior, 61(1), 20-52.
Tidd, J., & Bessant, J. (2011). Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.