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Joe McBride began working at Custom Printing Corporation while he was still in high school. He worked hard to learn all that he could about the printing business, since he had decided he wanted a career in this industry. Two years after Joe's graduation from high school, when the original owner of the print shop retired, Joe borrowed money from his parents and bought Custom Printing for $10,000. At that time, the shop employed two persons besides Joe.
It was at about this time, in the early 1990s, that Custom Printing began to experience the typical symptoms of organizational growing pains. Some of these symptoms were more severe than others, but nearly all warranted attention. These symptoms will be discussed in order of severity, ranging from most to least severe.
Joe McBride realized that despite the company's growth in sales, it was in trouble. He had to make changes in the way the company was operating as well as in his own style of running the business. He knew that both he and the firm had to make a transition from the present entrepreneurial style of operation to a more professional style of management.
Phase I: Assess the company's current state of development as an organization and its future development needs.
Phase II: Design a program for the development of the organization as a whole.
Phase III: Implement the organizational development program.
Phase IV: Monitor the program and make changes as needed.
In order to assess the company's current state of development and future needs, an organizational audit was performed by collecting information from the company's employees about their perceptions of Custom Printing and its operations. One tool used in this process was the Organizational Growing Pains Questionnaire described in Chapter Three. The score that was calculated from responses to this questionnaire revealed the severity of the company's organizational growing pains and indicated that it was time to make some changes. Specifically, the audit revealed that the company needed to do the following:
Having identified its current needs, Custom Printing proceeded to the next steps in its organizational development program: designing and implementing a program that would meet these needs and help the company prepare for its next stage of development. Management decided that the program should have three parts: organization design, strategic planning, and management development.
Joe McBride wanted to be sure that the changes brought about by the organizational development program would have a positive impact on his company's performance. He therefore established a system to monitor the program's progress in accomplishing its goals. By monitoring the program, Joe was able to change it whenever he determined that it was no longer successful at meeting its goals or whenever employee resistance to the changes being implemented became too great.
In order to make the transition from an entrepreneurship to a professionally managed firm, a company must first recognize that change is needed and then design and implement a program that will facilitate the required transition.