The Changing of Organizational Behavior Patterns: A Case Study of Decentralization

By Paul R. Lawrence | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
Plans for Changing Organizational Behavior

IN THE PRECEDING chapter we have been looking at the traditional behavior patterns in the Food World organization. By many standards this was a picture of a successful organization. It was growing, it was making money, and to some extent it was providing satisfaction to its employees at all levels. But we also saw certain potential trouble spots in this organization. In this chapter our focus will be more on these trouble spots, and more particularly on the way these problems were diagnosed by a group of five executives who, in 1953 and 1954, were making an intensive review of the organization and its competitive environment, and working out plans for introducing some sweeping organizational changes.

In 1953 these five men had various top management assignments, but to simplify matters we shall refer to them by the titles they assumed under the 1955 reorganization; namely, vice president of sales, merchandising manager, store operations manager, personnel manager, and a fifth who had left the company by 1955. This small group of five executives had worked closely with one another for many years. They had found as they worked with one another that they tended to have a common view of the organization's problems, as well as common aspirations for its future. The senior man in the group and its leader in these planning functions was the vice president of sales. While these were not the only men involved, they were the prime movers in assessing the organization, in developing plans, in getting these plans approved by others, and in implementing them.

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