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Gulfport Transit Company’s Challenges and Goals Case Study

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2020


The transport industry is currently experiencing diverse changes in most parts across the globe. Many of these changes emanate from modifications in social-cultural, political, economic, and technological factors. In a bid to shed more light on this subject, this paper will analyze the challenges and opportunities facing Gulfport Transit as it seeks to expand its strategies to meet the current demand within the transport industry in the US.


Important Areas and Topics that the CEO Barges Should Identify Regarding Performance Issues at Gulfport

Gulfport Transit provides us with several indicators that help define how it operates in diverse places in California. Firstly, Gulfport Transit seeks to acquire a competitive edge by diversifying its market to other regions through a strategic alliance with palmetto Transit. This strategy, according to Lee, Lim, and Tan (2000), facilitates market penetration. Secondly, Gulfport Transit’s HR embraces diversity in the recruitment exercise, as this enhances creativity and innovation within the organization (Klarsfeld, 2010). The presence of diversity is confirmed by the presence of a management team that is comprised of workers from different ethnic groups, genders, and ages. But despite these practices, it is evident that Gulfport is faced with diverse challenges, especially in HR management. It is from this background that Barges, the CEO, should identify the challenges facing Gulfport Transit in the HR, taking into account the two major levels: departmental and individual levels.

At the organizational level, it is evident that Gulfport Transit is faced with the challenge of integrating various departments within the organization. For case in point, even though the maintenance department can perform its works exceptionally, it is evident that the department is very autonomous and lacks a viable way of standardizing its procedures with the rest of the departments, especially with the Engineering department. Moreover, the Engineering department expresses displeasure after it failed to be assimilated into the labor unions, stating that the workers are treated as second-class citizens. This position is contrary to Fayol’s equity principle, which states that equity should be observed within an organizational setting, as it promotes loyalty, leading to long-term service (Rodrigues, 2001).

At an individual level, it is evident that the challenges facing the organization are diverse. For case in point, while Steve Douglas, the Director of Operations, possessed extensive experience in unionized and transit operations, it is still evident that he had a personal weakness while accommodating the needs of the operators, as he failed to take into account the cost involved in the process. Moreover, Gulfport Transit portrays challenges based on inter-personal relationships, as confirmed by a lack of teamwork, even amongst workers in the same department. According to Fayol’s management principles, a company cannot achieve its goals and objectives without adopting a common vision (Rodrigues, 2001).

Diagnosing the Forces for and Forces against Changes at Gulfport Transit

According to Daft and Marcic (2010), force field analysis is a development tool that highlights the forces that support changes as well as the forces that oppose the proposed changes within a particular organization. Thus, this tool helps assess the extent to which an organization is ready to adopt the proposed changes. The Gulfport Transit case study provides us with several factors that help establish the forces for changes and the forces against changes. Further, these forces can be grouped into two major viewpoints: the managers’ viewpoint and the subordinates’ viewpoints, as illustrated in Table A below

Managers' View Point
Managers’ View Point

The Feasibility of HRDV Course to Gulfport’s Strategic HRDV Change Plan

Training and Development

Training and development within an organizational setting are aimed to develop workers’ abilities following organizational roles and responsibilities (Reed & Vakola, 2006). According to Reed and Vakola (2006), the best approach to training and development is aligning the programs with short-term and long-term goals. Team-learning theory is one of the best theories that can help Gulfport Transit to achieve this end. Adopting this theory would be critical since it would help Gulfport Transit to develop a strong organizational team with shared vision amongst all the departments (Dochy, Gijbels, Segers, & Van, 2011). Moreover, it would help the management team to develop transformational leadership skills that enhance teamwork.

Group Development and Change

Group development is currently considered as one of the strategies aimed to achieve a competitive edge. Belbin’s team roles theory is one of the group development theories that seek to address the roles of each member of the group. These roles are defined as thought-oriented, people-oriented, and action-oriented (Belbin, 2010). Gulfport Transit should adopt Belbin’s theory to manage performance at both individual and group levels. Thus, this theory can be used in Gulfport Transit’s case to establish why Gulfport Transit’s staff members prefer individual work to teamwork. The answer to this question will play a critical role in eliminating diverse inter-group conflicts facing this organization.

Organization Development and Change

Organizational development is evaluated by assessing the degree to which the prevailing developments reflect organizational performance, organizational capacity, organizational motivation, and the external environment (Cummings & Worley, 2005). Thus, organizational development and change should follow a systematic approach to achieve this end. Lewin’s change model is viable in facilitating organizational changes through three main levels: unfreezing, change, and refreezing (Cummings & Worley, 2005). This theory can be used by the Gulfport Transit case to highlight the need for change, including challenges experienced by the firm due to poor cooperation between individuals and the organizational teams. Subsequently, the change process should be achieved by motivating the workers towards the proposed changes. This can be achieved through intermittent reinforcement theory. Lastly, the firm should come up with ways of sustaining change. This should entail increased levels of communication between the staff members and the external stakeholders.

Career Management

Career management entails coming up with an action plan of ensuring career growth and development. This starts with self-evaluation concerning the career in question (Yarnall, 2008). Thus, the theory of personal development holds promise in ensuring career management at the Gulfport transit. A career management program can improve Gulfport Transit through the promotion of employee empowerment. For case in point, even though the Gulfport has provided the workers with an opportunity for decision-making, it is still evident that some of the workers do not feel empowered since they have inadequate skills in their area of operation. Thus, career management, through a personal development program, can eliminate this challenge (Yarnall, 2008).

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Training and Development in Enhancing Teamwork

The evaluation of training and development should be premised on the topics adopted by the Gulfport Transit. These topics should be in line with the achievement of the company’s mission and vision statements (Taschereau, 1998). Through questionnaires, the Gulfport can correlate training material with increased levels of teamwork. The training effectiveness should be confirmed through the following quantitative indicators:

  1. The rate of enrollment for acquiring new skills through on-the-job training programs;
  2. The degree to which the firm is advancing towards a shared vision; and
  3. The degree to which specific individual behaviors are decreasing within the organization


The analysis of the Gulfport Transit case indicates that the company is faced with diverse challenges, which inhibit the achievement of its goals and objectives. These challenges are mainly based on integrating various departments within the organization and poor motivation amongst individuals and teams. Through force field analysis, this paper has highlighted that Gulfport transit is in a good position for adopting change initiatives. Moreover, the paper has highlighted the presence of forces against these changes, calling for the need to adopt groundbreaking theories from four major areas: training and development, group development and change, organization development and change, and career management. Finally, this paper has addressed how training and development can be evaluated quantitatively, in a bid to establish the feasibility of the initiative.

Reference List

Belbin, R. (2010). Team roles at work. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2005). Organization development and change. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Daft, R., & Marcic, D. (2010). Understanding management. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Dochy, F., Gijbels, D., Segers, M., & Van, B. (2011). Theories of Learning for the Workplace: Building blocks for training and professional development programs. London: Routledge.

Klarsfeld, A. (2010). International handbook on diversity management at work: Country perspectives on diversity and equal treatment. Cheltenham, Glos, UK: Edward Elgar.

Lee, K., Lim, G., & Tan, J. (2000). Feasibility of strategic alliance as an entry strategy into markets dominated by major competitors. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 7 (1), pp.43-57.

Reed, J., & Vakola, M. (2006). What role can a training needs analysis play in organisational change?. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 19 (3), pp.393-407.

Rodrigues, C. (2001). Fayol’s 14 principles of management then and now: a framework for managing today’s organizations effectively. Management Decision, 39 (10), pp.880 – 889.

Taschereau, S. (1998). Evaluating the impact of training and institutional development programs: A collaborative approach. Washington, D.C: World Bank.

Yarnall, J. (2008). Strategic career management: Developing your talent. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.

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