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This project aims at presenting the case from the “consulting” point of view. In order to understand the situation in detail, it seems appropriate to provide a brief summary. There is a dilemma within KaiXin Electronics Co., Ltd operating in the field of electronic products and services. A number of issues occurred as a result of weak management include the following points: the lack of strong competitive advantage, improper leadership management, and weak cultural organization. The identified key decision-makers are Jason, a general manager, and David, a vice manager. The core objective of the case is to consider the dilemma, analyze it from the perspective of a “consultant”, and provide relevant recommendations based on scholarly publications to improve the current situation of the company.
Methods Used to Obtain Information
The primary information was received through examining the annual report. After that, the key decision-makers and the employees were invited to take part in interviews that allowed revealing their attitudes towards the company’s performance based on the research questions that will be listed below. At that, no personal information was collected either in written notes or the audio recordings. Furthermore, no other data such as observations or artifacts was taken from the respondents. No deception of any kind was used, and the participants had full knowledge of the purpose of the study in advance. Data was processed and organized accurately to analyze obtained qualitative data.
The research questions:
- RQ 1. What are the attitudes of respondents towards the company’s performance?
- RQ 2. What are the drawbacks of the company?
- RQ 3. How can the company improve its performance?
Analysis of the Situation
Evaluating KaiXin’s goals for a change, it is essential to note that the general manager understands that the company is in need to change its strategy and develop a corporate mission. Jason supports the strategy of the consistent improvement and strives to implement it yet the fact that he works for the company for only half a year does not allow to speak of his strong knowledge or skills. However, Jason’s experience as a CEO makes to believe that he is a good leader.
The management of KaiXin understands that it lacks certain important points, but the company has excellent product development capacity, production capacity, and quality assurance capabilities. Hill and Jones (2012) consider that “capabilities refer to a company’s skills at coordinating its resources and putting them to productive use” (p. 108). Knowing of capacity, the general manager emphasizes that there is a need to develop the corporate mission, the competitive advantage, and the integration of staff. Therefore, it is possible to state that KaiXin’s change goals identified clearly.
Speaking of the structure of KaiXin, one can note that it consists of the head company and one subsidiary. Each of them has significant registered capital that can be used as one of the resources to initiate change. Thus, the structure of the company fits its goals. As for human resources frame, it sets some challenges requiring more efforts in leading the company towards success. Currently, the employees have to encounter decreased rewards and the lack of promotion caused by the vague organization of the company where they disoriented in defining the company’s direction. Bolman and Deal (2008) state that it is necessary to “fulfill the needs of people” (p. 123). This statement concerns both employees’ and customers’ expectations. Most importantly, without the satisfaction of the first, KaiXin is not likely to create loyalty of the latter.
The case presents KaiXin that is a Chinese company offering its products and services to the local market. Although there is a strong international competitor, the company have perfect opportunities to become more successful.
Knowing the Chinese market in detail as well as the customers’ preferences and peculiarities of their perception, KaiXin is likely to participate in a healthy competition. However, the cultural organization of the company lacks proper management and clear objectives. The employees feel the ambiguous atmosphere and tend to disintegration. This issue can cause some problems in the decision-making process related to change.
The political frame is also useful to analyze the leadership management. “Power in organizations is basically the capacity to make things happen” (Bolman & Deal, 2008, p. 196). It is obvious from the observations of the case that the company’s leader is strongly motivated to develop change strategy and implement it in a timely manner. The fact that he points half a year or one year as a deadline shows his resoluteness and readiness to enhance the situation. Nevertheless, according to Bolman and Deal (2008), “goals are not set by edict at the top but evolve through an ongoing process of negotiation and bargaining” (p. 197). Following this, the employees are also to be motivated to perform their responsibilities. The challenge is compounded by the fact that the employees are not satisfied by their working conditions. Consequently, among the goals of the leadership management, there is also an increased motivation of the staff members.
Recommendations and Solutions
Based on the above analysis, several alternative courses of action can be suggested. First, KaiXin should determine the corporate mission clearly and specifically. It should be simple, relevant, and creative meeting the expectations of customers. Second, the company should identify its strong points in the framework of the competitive advantage. Hubbard, Rice, and Galvin (2015) emphasize that the competitive advantage focuses on the “value that the company creates for customers” (p. 87).
Therefore, the company should determine its competitive originality to attract customers’ and succeed. The key question to be asked to determine the competitive advantage is what are you best at. It might be useful to ask employees and customers as they can help to observe the situation from different angles. What is more important, the competitive advantage should be integrated into the company’s strategic plan and support its mission, vision, goals, and objectives.
In order to compete with the rival successfully, KaiXin might follow Porter’s approach who claims that five elements of the market are the driving forces of market competition. The competitive analysis by Porter helps to determine the “intensity and extent” of the competitive forces in the industry finding a position in which the company will be maximally protected from the impact of competitive forces (Hubbard, Rice, & Galvin, 2015, p. 115).
More to the point, the golden rule of Porter’s model is the following: “the weaker the influence of competitive forces, the more opportunities to obtain high profits in the industry” (Hubbard, Rice, & Galvin, 2015, p. 123). On the contrary, the higher the impact of competitive forces, the higher the probability while the industry average profitability is determined by the most powerful competitive forces.
Furthermore, cultural organization and leadership management should be improved. In this connection, it seems quite interesting to mention an article by Isaacson (2012) who summarizes the lessons provided by Steve Jobs. In particular, the lesson of the full responsibility reflects the integration of hardware, software, and peripheral devices of Apple. Likewise, KaiXin’s leadership is to embrace every process and the employee to ensure successful change. To achieve such high results, Jobs tolerated only the best players, conducted face-to-face negotiations, learned both the big picture and the details, and combined the humanities with the sciences always “staying hungry for new” (Isaacson, 2012, para. 55). This example shows that the leadership management should be comprehensive and specific.
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To conclude, it is essential to note that KaiXin’s readiness to change can be evaluated as an average that needs to be improved. A range of issues related to human resources and strategic management require additional preparation. However, there are strong capacities to overcome current difficulties. The usefulness of the analysis provided in this paper cannot be overestimated as it contains valuable points and recommendations promoting effective solutions.
Moreover, the analysis was useful to me as a perspective organizational leader. I learned to use my knowledge and skills in practice creating and analyzing this “real” case. Considering the whole situation in general and each of issues separately, I understood the interrelation in the organization, namely, that one decision is likely to affect all the company. This should be remembered while taking decisions aimed at change.
It should also be stated that KaiXin’s leadership was notified of this study project and expressed its consent to the data processing along with the subsequent analysis.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Hill, C. W., & Jones, G. R. (2012). Essentials of strategic management (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Hubbard, G., Rice, J., & Galvin, P. (2015). Strategic management: Thinking, analysis, action (5th ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.
Isaacson, W. (2012). The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs. Web.