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Organizational Change and Development: The Stanley Works Corporation Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: May 11th, 2019

The Stanley Works organization was a well respected company in its field of expertise, which involved the manufacture of bolts, hingers and other hardware equipment. They are regarded as the pioneers of the hardware business. As a successful organization, they were making great strides and raking in terrific revenue, giving way to the dream of expanding to other countries.

This dream was fulfilled by setting up a branch of their business in Australia. Due to their superior product differentiation, business continued thriving as usual for the Stanley Works Corporation. This was achieved through the production of durable and high quality products, coupled with their superior brand recognition.

As time went by, The Stanley Works Corporation started facing competition from Asian industries. While, the Asian companies made improvement on their products and retained the subsidized prices, The Stanley Works was regarded pricy, but their product quality and ability to deliver matched up to their price.

The Asian manufacturers started pushing for the acquisition of a larger portion of the market share, a goal they achieved in a short period (Erlod 2002).This acted as a wake up call for Stanley Works Corporation, owing to their realization that they were loosing a higher percentage of their market share at a very fast pace.

This culminated to the decision of not only restrategizing, but also acknowledging that the Asian competition was a force to reckon with. As much as the Asian companies’ main goal was to acquire larger percentages of market share, they never increased their prices even after making improvements on their products as per international standards.

To counter the effects of its Asian competitors, The Stanley Works Corporation decided to offer positive unrivalled competition to them. As such, at the beginning of 1997, the Stanley Works Corporation effected changes in their management by bringing in John Trani as their new C.E.O.

Mr. Trani came in with a new strategy that encompassed technological changes, strategic changes and structural changes which would work in conjunction with operational changes.

As part of operational changes, the new CEO implemented strategic and structural changes with the aim of enhancing the company operations towards a competitive direction. Strategic change includes augmenting the management understanding of the corporation’s strategy for achieving the set company goals (Walinga 2008).

This might involve changing a number of key things, not over looking the changing of the Corporation’s mission statement. This also involves looking into recapturing lost markets as well as and venturing into business in new fronts. Essentially, it involves looking into the chance of partnering with other companies situated in various global areas.

In line with structural change, The Stanley Works Corporation decided to introduce a series of changes inclusive of setting new goals, new administrative procedures, hierarchy of authority and structural characteristics.

Inherently, The Stanley Works Corporation effected people change by replacing the previous workforce with a new workforce that brought in bright ideas and advanced technological innovations. People changes forms the major organizational change effected by The Stanley Works Corporation, as it was aimed at improving employees’ performance and skills (Hempel & Martinson 2009).

A high level of sensitivity is linked to such a change as implementing it wrongly culminates to negative impacts on the organization. As such, it is a process involving constant communication, regular employee motivation and constant reassurance of the employees’ importance to the company, regardless of the radical changes implemented.

Essentially, such a process requires constant contact with the Workers Union with the intention of discovering the best manner in which to implement such changes (Stewart & O’Brien 2005). As part of the people change, The Stanley Works Corporation invested heavily on its employees by introducing radical trainings as well as exceptional promotion and reward systems.

In this case, the company engaged in the promotion of workers from the sales department to the management department. This acted as a motivational factor for the employees as they felt that their hard work could eventually be rewarded through the accordance of a place in the company’s management team.

Essentially, a good relationship was forged between the managers and their subordinates, as this worked towards encouraging the subordinates to share their innovative ideas with their managers for effective company operation (Struckman & Tammanno 2003).

Essentially, it enhanced the problem solving process, as the managers could easily work out solutions for their subordinates’ problems without involving the top management. As part of the strategic changes, Trani ventured into the introduction of a product management structure that would enhance efficiency; enhance new product management strategies, strengthen the company’s brand as well as centering more on customer needs.

In this case, the company formed eight new product groups that acquired support from sales, engineering, service, centralized manufacturing as well as the formation of new brand and corporate development functions. Changing a company’s management is a very essential aspect, especially in the marketing and creative segment. This enhances communication change and an understanding of corporate dynamics and leadership styles.

Use of performance metrics is enhanced by organizational change in terms of communication effectiveness, management of people training and team integrations. Technological changes are fundamental for corporate improvement in the modern world of technological inventions and developments.

Embracing technological changes on the part of an organization forms the core aspect for moving the organization ahead. This however depends on the company’s ability to manage the innovative process as well as its capability to coin new products while making improvements on existing products (Stace & Dunphy 2001).

Embracing technology is crucial in creating unique as well as high quality products and services. In this case, it should form part of the restructuring process of the company (Senior 1997).

As part of the technological changes, the company embraced ADAM’s digital toolkit, with the aim of aiding customers to easily access the company’s literature on its products as well as product images and the data in their catalog.

Initially managing information on their large product range had proven to be very hard; but with the application of the ADAM’s digital toolkit, informational management became easier. This enhanced customer loyalty as well as the company’s sales volumes because more customers began to stream into the company.

Global Implications of Parent Company

Organizational change encompasses scheduled or unscheduled plans. The ability to differentiate between these two change processes aids managers to understand both the external and internal forces operating in the company. Unplanned change however, may not be as effective as planned change and it can be catastrophic, culminating into unknown as well as undesired results (Waddell, Cummings & Warley 2011).

Failure by the management of an organization to plan for change may lead to the loss of market share and escalating operating costs. Conversely, this will cause the organization to tilt towards the negative side of the economic market; causing lack of economic resources, which in turn catapults unexpected delays in daily operations.

Planned organizational change works its way down from the top of an organization, heading down the ladder. That way the organization makes steady decisions leading to change and growth (Samson & Draft 2009).

Today’s organizations face massive radical changes, judging by their past operations. Market opportunities and revenue have been on the increase due to globalization. Nevertheless, this brings about a variety of needs and expectations which must be put into consideration if the organization intends to maintain their customer loyalty and market share.

In the modern world, stakeholders are more involved in the running of organizations and any mistakes by the executives may culminate into legal action (Robbins et al. 1998). This is the reason for considering stakeholders’ needs before implementing change in the organization.

Leaders and managers who focus on implementing positive change in their respective organizations are perceived as more accomplished and successful in their jobs.

Organizational change is not only implemented for the sake of change, but for the improvement of the entire organization (Sirkin, Keenan & Jackson 2005). The group implementing change should have a broad perspective and understanding of the change effort to be put in place. This majorly involves understanding the organizational structures, typical terms and roles as well as the basic systems.

This in a nutshell is referred to as organizational theory. Under organizational development, improving the organizational and people productivity of an organization forms its main focus.

Organizational development encompasses splendid research and a sense of professional practice in terms of organizational change (Kakabadse 1984). Restructuring the entire organizational structure of The Stanley Works yielded some piece of mind to the stakeholders. Understanding the stakeholders’ concerns is very pertinent since they are indirect employers.

As part of moral accountability, Stanley Works Management should have also made an effort to call for a general meeting and offer information on the cause of the loss of the market share. This would have accorded the management some form of leverage in arresting the problem. They would have explained what strategies they had put in place and how they intended to implement them.

One of the main responsibilities of a leader encompasses the encouragement of positive communication in the organization as well as establishing an attractive reward scheme for the employees (Hirsch & Sourcey 2006).

As a leading organization, putting in a handsome pension scheme in place would ensure employees’ loyalty and long service. Focusing on structural change, people processing, strategic management change and technological change was fundamental in transforming Stanley Works Corporation into a new yet well seasoned and experienced organization.

Of all these changes, research and technological changes were the most crucial. The managers failed to meet their required responsibilities and duties in their respective departments. Relieving them from their duties would have been the best way forward. To enhance employee morale, these positions would have been advertised internally to be filled by already existing company employees (Sashkin & Burke 1987).

This would have been a good change as initially such advertisements were made externally, locking out existing employees. Coming up with new production ways should have been the research department’s major focus as this would augment the product quality due to their production in accordance to customer needs and specifications.

This in turn would culminate into cost cutting on the part of the company since every single dollar is quite important to the organization (Cummins & Worley 1997). Risk management is a vital issue that should have been tackled seriously. A survey done among top companies C.E.Os ascertained that most of them were considering strengthening their risk management strategies as well as talent development of their employees.

Risk management is very vital in all organizations; hence, a risk management unit would come in handy. The loss of market share in the Stanley Works Corporation would have been avoided through risk management. Countering competition from all corners requires complete preparedness on the part of an organization and its various departments (Genus 1998).

The management of Stanley Works capitalized on their brand name without the implementation of various methods to enhance change in the company, culminating into their eventual failure.

Their competitors however edged them out when they improved their quality and still went on to maintain the low prices they had initially started off with. This was a big blow to the Stanley Works organization culminating to the loss of revenue and leading to lying off of workers in their other subsidiary plants.

Global implication Subsidiaries Perspective

Diversification from one product is also very important as this would have given Stanley Works Corporation an edge over their competitors. This would have also been a revenue generator because they would not have felt the pinch of the competition from the Asian markets.

This however requires a lot of technical knowhow and some substantial form of capital. An overall active research needed to be followed, typically planned and some form of systematic organizational development implemented. Most of the sudden changes in any organization are perceived to be negative especially if they involve the top management leaving office suddenly without prior notice (Pasmore & Fagans 1992).

This seems like a form of unorganized fashion of doing things. Most of the times if a C.E.O leaves office unexpectedly, the organization’s stakeholders tend to become unstable and the stocks sometimes go down because of the created uncertainty. That is why top managers are sometimes given some reasonable time before they are relieved of their duties or they are given an opportunity to resign.

Planned change is normally followed by successful implementation of the strategic plans put in place. Incremental changes might comprise improvements in the organization. This however must also be conducted in a careful manner in order to avoid unwanted resistance from the employees in the organizations (Hilmer & Donaldson 1996).

When change is conducted in organizations, the main goal is usually to introduce new products and services in order to enhance customer satisfaction and foster employee growth (Harvey & Brown 2005). If this can be achieved, then the implemented changes are said to be successful in their respective rights.

It has been said that cultural change is also very effective and this may involve reduction of some products. Business re-engineering is also another splendid form of change (Brunes 2004). It incorporates taking a product out of the market for a while and then deciding on how to better it. Afterwards, the product is brought back into the market as a new and improved product.

Organizational change has been a thing that has been practiced for a while. This has involved mergers, lay-offs, process enhancements, acquisitions, and enhancements. This has been driven by the need to increase revenue and expand profits. It is a well known fact that internal environment from the organization increases the chances of product delivery that meets demand of the market.

This happens if the new product is in a position to adapt to the market changes quickly. When the collaborative change works in conjunction with members of an organization, it is more likely that the change process will be successful (Garcia & Haggath 1980).

When conducting change management through articulation of ambitions and compounded visions for change, it is best to make sure that the importance of the critical discovery phase is well adhered to. It is often regarded as unethical to conduct a project that is meant for the organizational change.

Putting much attention to the change efforts in a bid to achieve a robust vision without careful discovery can cause harm to an organization because of the symptoms which may crop up, such as employee resistance (Armenakis & Bedeian 1999).

In conclusion, the changes that were implemented by The Stanley Works Corporation were unique and right on track. Though they could have done more, it is quite evident that this was a wanting process that was implemented at its due point. However the minimal changes that were conducted were critical but it was of importance that they implement all the necessary changes.

Reference List

Armenakis, A. and Bedeian, A. 1999, Organisational Change: A review of theory and research in the 1990’s. Journal of Management, 25, 293-315.

Brunes, B. 2004, Managing change: a strategic approach to organizational dynamics. Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Cummins, T. G. and Worley, C. G. 1997, Organizational development and changes. West Publishing, Minneapolis.

Erlod, P. D. and Tippet, D. D. 2002, The death valley of change. Journal of Organisational Change Management, 15, 273-291

Garcia, J. and Haggath, C. 1980, OD Interventions that work. Personal Administrator, 90-4

Genus, A. 1998, The management change, perspectives and practice. Thompson Business Press, London.

Harvey, D. and Brown, D. R. 2005, An experiential approach to organizational development. Prentice Hall International: Upper Saddle Rivers, New Jersey.

Hempel, P. S. and Martinson, M. G. 2009, Developing international organizational change theory using cases from China. Human Capital, 62, 459-99

Hilmer, F. G. and Donaldson, L. 1996, Management redeemed: Debunking the fads that undermine our corporations. The Free Press, Sydney

Hirsch, P. M. and Sourcey, M. 2006, Organisational restructuring and its consequences: Rhetorical and structural. Annual Review of Sociology, 32, 171-179

Kakabadse, A. 1984, ‘Politics of a process consultant’. In A Kakadabse & C Parker (eds) Power and politics and organizations; A behavior science view. John Wiles, New York.

Pasmore, W. A. and Fagans, M. 1992, Participation, individual development and organizational change. Journal of Management, 18, 375-397.

Robbins, S. P., Millett, B., Cacioppe, R. and Walter, M. 1998, Organisational behaviuor: Leading and managing in Australia and Newzeland, 2nd edition. Prentice Hall, Sydney.

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Sashkin, M. and Burke, W. 1987, Organisational development in the 1980’s. Management, 13, 393-417

Senior, B. 1997, Organisational change. Prentice Hall, Sydney.

Sirkin, H. L., Keenan, P. and Jackson, A. 2005, The hard side of change management. Harvard Business Review, 83, 108-18

Stace, D. & Dunphy, D. 2001, Beyond the boundaries leading and recreating the successful enterprise 2nd edition. McGraw Hill, Sydney.

Stewart, T. A. & O’Brien, L. 2005, Transforming an industrial giant. Harvard Business Review , 83, 14-122.

Struckman, C. K. and Tammanno, F. J. 2003, Organisational change: A categorization scheme and response model with readiness factors. Organisational Change and Development, 14, 1-50.

Waddell, D., Cummings, T. G. and Warley, C.G. 2011, Organizational development and change, Asia Pacific, 3rd edition. Thomson Learning, South Melbourne.

Walinga, J. 2008 Toward theory of change readiness: the role of appraisal, focus and perceived control. Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 44, 315-347.

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