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Sunflower Incorporated: Analysis of Case

Introduction Sunflower Incorporated is experiencing some competitive and quality problems. An evaluations of the company branches indicated that some companies are making huge profits by offering substandard products while other are struggling to keep up with competition. Albanese, who was hired to solve this situation, proposed implementation of standardized pricing and purchasing decision across all regions. Though Albaneses proposal was great, it was unable to achieve the desired outcome. This is because the proposal involved major changes to the organization purchasing and pricing processes and Albanese did not use the right strategies for managing the change process.

Managing Change Change is inevitable especially when an organization has to make improvements on the prevailing situation. However, change involves moving from known to unknown and if not well managed the change process may result in failure and experience resistance (McLean, 2005). Organizational development (OD) is one of the approaches that are popularly used to manage changes within organizations. The concept of OD suggests that change should begin by analyzing the system and diagnosing problems (Cumming & Worley, 2005). Albanese was successful in diagnosing the problem. She identified that Sunflower Incorporateds problems arose from lack of standards for guiding the organizations pricing and purchasing decisions. Consequently, some regions struggled to remain competitive while others made huge profit as result of offering substandard goods.

The next step in managing change, according to OD concept, is developing interventions (Cumming & Worley, 2005). This are specific strategies that are meant to address the problem (s) identified in the assessment and diagnosis stage. Albanese was relatively successful in developing interventions. Albanese recognized that in order to enhance the company competitiveness and protect the companys image, it is important to introduce standards for guiding the pricing and purchasing decisions across the organization. Though Albanese was able to identify interventions, her interventions did not work because of her failure to consult the

relevant stakeholders when developing the interventions. OD principles emphasize on the need for collaboration, inclusive participation and team work when planning for change within the organization (McLean, 2005). Albanese did not meet with the regional executive to discuss the importance of the proposed changes, the viability of the changes and how the changes will be implemented given the unique business environment in each region. This led to the failure of the strategy.

Change Implementation Albanese sent emails to the regional executive giving direction on the implementation of the new policy that concern pricing and decision. The policy required the executive to communicate with the headquarters whenever they were making major purchasing and pricing decisions. Eight weeks down the line, Albanese had not received any communication from the regional executive meaning that the implementation of the new purchasing and pricing policy had failed. One reason for the failure was because Albanese did not identify a clear methodology for implementing the proposed changes. OD concept suggest that implementation of changes should take place systematically (McLean, 2005). This involves dividing the change process into phases and defining goals, milestones and deadlines for each phase. Albanese did not do this. She instead wanted to implement all the changes at once and did not give clear instructions on how the changes were going to be implemented.

Another reason for implementation failure was due to Albanese failure to involve and work together with the executive in implementing the changes. The concept of OD suggests that changes should focus of the entire system and should be implemented in collaboration (Cumming & Worley, 2005). Albanese did not want to wait until the next general meeting in order to discuss with all the regional executives concerning the changes and how they were going to be implemented. She instead worked with each executive separately and did give the room for them to make input during the development phase of the proposal.

Way Forward Albanese should change her strategies for implementing the change process. One thing that she needs to do differently is to prepare the organization for the change process (McLean, 2005). This involves making the relevant stakeholders aware of the problem and its impact on the organization. This will enable these stakeholders to see the need for the changes. Another thing that she need to do differently is to ensure active involvement of the regions in developing solution to the problem (Cumming & Worley, 2005). Each region has its own unique business environment and therefore experience different challenges when it come to pricing and purchasing decision. Therefore, Albanese should invite all the regions to contribute towards the development of standards for guiding purchasing and pricing decisions. This will ensure that the challenges and concerns of each region are addressed, making the change process easier. Involvement of the region in developing the plan will also create a sense of ownership of the change process among the regions thereby minimizing resistance. Finally, Albanese should come up with a systematic plan for implementing the changes (McLean, 2005). This includes breaking the change process into continuous phases and defining the goals, deadlines and milestones for each phase.

Conclusion Sunflower Incorporated is experiencing challenges that arise from its pricing and purchasing policy. In order to address these challenges, Albanese propose changes that would see the standardization of the organizations pricing and purchasing decision. After communication of the changes, it was noted that the region were still conducting business as usual 8 week down line. Though Albanese had identified a good strategy for addressing the problem, the strategy had failed to deliver the desired outcome. This is because Albanese propose entailed major changes within the organization which Albanese did not manage effectively. Albanese failed to collaborate with the regions when developing the plan and did not develop a systematic methodology for implementing the plan in line with the OD concept.