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MGT517 Organizational Behavior

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MGT517 Organizational Behavior

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Course Code: MGT517
University: Grantham University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United States


Case Study: Leadership, Cultural And Performance Change At Meatpack
MeatPack is a family-owned food-processing business based in Sydney, Australia. The company, which has over 27 years’ experience in meat products, fresh soups and prepared meals, has processing plants in New South Wales and Queensland. Its customers are the major retail chains and food-service companies in Australia and abroad. MeatPack is led by the founder and CEO, Derek Bison, who is the fourth generation of his family to work in the meat industry. In 2013, the company was performing well, with group sales of over AUD$300 million. One of the strategic goals MeatPack set in 2002 was to become a 1 billion dollar company by 2020. However, in order to meet these targets, the company is currently dealing with two major sets of changes: senior leadership changes and cultural and performance changes.
Senior leadership changes
Over the past two years, Bison has been keen to develop the leadership competencies of his senior strategy team. He feels that there are a number of ways in which his leaders could develop further and he recognises that he could have helped with this more in the past. He describes himself, for example, as ‘interfering, visionary, driven, competitive, obsessive, never satisfied and restless’. With a view to changing the mindset and behaviours of his senior strategy team, Bison started working with an executive coaching and senior leadership development company. A number of his team members said that they were gaining a lot of insights from this exposure. Initially, Bison was very enthusiastic about this, too, but in the past year he has stopped his own direct involvement in the coaching, although the senior strategy team continue to be involved.
Cultural and performance changes
In the past two years, MeatPack has introduced an enterprise resource planning (ERP) initiative, which seeks to integrate multiple divisions of the company such as finance, production, investment and management. At the heart of this system is the desire to be more structured and efficient in ensuring that each line is hitting and exceeding its targets. Part of this system is also about encouraging managers to change their methods of communication. In the past, dominating, shouting and other aggressive forms of confrontation were quite common practice. There was a focus on making things happen instead of understanding how things worked and why they were not working. As with any results-driven organisation, this created a culture with a top-down environment for the managers, in which targets had to be reached.
Bison has been strongly influenced by his executive training at the Harvard Business School and one of his major goals at MeatPack has been to install a flatter structure across the organisation, which empowers managers and supervisors to take on greater responsibility and accountability. For example, he has encouraged line managers to take a more hands-on role in terms of the recruitment of personnel and performance appraisals. In general, there has been an overall drive to get people across the company to lead rather than manage (Kotter, 2001). The CFO and COO both feel that this has been a positive endeavour, but find that this is taking place ‘in pockets’, and that Bison could lead more by example with respect to the senior strategy team.
Discussion questions

Should Bison be taking a more hands-off or a more hands-on approach to the business? Justify your response.
How far has the senior leadership change been effective? What else might senior leadership do to influence change more positively in the near future?
To what extent has MeatPack’s flatter structure helped create cultural and performance change? Have there been any barriers to the cultural change?


Bison has been playing a key strategic role in the business domain and has been keen on the development of various leadership competencies for the senior strategic team. He has been taking a hands on approach in the organization since a long period of time and has develop a large number of ways in which the different leaders can improve themselves and make them visionary, driven, obsessive and competitive in nature (Borkowski 2015). With this respect, Bison has been working with the executive coaching and senior leadership closely and this has resulted in positive outcomes for the organization as well but in the past few weeks, he stopped his direct involvement in the development program but had then developed a Human Synergistic program according to which he believed that MeatPack needs to evolve a new structure into the firm.
Although these programs tend to have positive impact on the firm but as some of the decisions Bison tends to impose his own decision without even considering the adequate competencies or the views of the senior management. This then turns out to be an awkward situation for the management who are on one hand asked to work for the welfare of the firm and engage in an open discussion but on the other hand get into trouble in case they discuss against him (Elsbach, Kayes and Kayes 2015). Moreover, as his vision lies to become the chairman and the CEO of the CEOs he often considers himself to be above all other employees which makes it difficult to conduct decisions at a par level and has an overall negative impact on the different employees at large.
However, in this regard it can be rightfully stated that being a leader of an organization is much more than just instructing the members and expecting them to work accordingly but to actually apply those things to even their own activities. According to Luthans, Luthans and Luthans (2015), it becomes considerably difficult to decide upon the hands on or the hands off approach of the organization and in this regard both the approaches need to be analyzed considerably and then one decision can be made. According to Kong (2016), as the different organizations have become diverse in nature the managers would be required to engage in various difficult techniques to ensure success with the team. Hence, the key points of both the approaches are required to be analyzed.
A hands on leader can be one who is involved in the in the similar work which the employees have been conducting. The leaders are not detached from the work of their employees and carry out coaching and assistance in a similar manner to ensure overall success. The lines of communication are kept open by the manager and they undertake a regular feedback system which would contribute towards ensuring that they can coach the different members of the organization easily. However, it is critical that in order to ensure success, training needs to be given to the different managers so that they can carry out the work easily (Schaerer et al. 2018). The different advantages of the hands on management are as follows:

It will give Bison an access to gaining more ideas from the different consumers as well as the other employees. If the manager conducts the work from an open mind they can easily work better.
Moreover, it will also assist Bison in getting a deeper insight into the business.
A hands on approach with an open mind allows the leaders to gain respect from the different employees for their active work in the organization/
It will enable the employees to work consistently, as their boss is in constant communication with them.

The different disadvantages of the hands on management by Bison are as follows:

There might be risks where he may micromanage and not be able to look out at the critical issues.
It may have a negative impact on the employees who may want to work in an autonomous manner (Wagner III and Hollenbeck 2014).
When a leader like Bison will be dealing with the different demotivated employees then even his morale can drop considerably.

The hands-off management on the other hand involves delegation of the various tasks in a manner such that the different employees as involved in the organization continue to do their own work without much intervention from the senior management. As the digitalization has become a common procedure, this kind of management has become increasingly popular. Moreover, these managers rely on other crucial aspects of the business which need more attention. The advantages of these methods are as follows:

It provides the employees with a sense of fulfillment and they are trusted to work on their own.
It fosters a sense of creativity and growth at the workplace
It reflects on leadership confidence

However, this method has several disadvantages as well. These are as follows:

It tends to make the leader overconfident
It can create a distance between the employees and the leader
It can lead to a loss of control.

Hence, it is being suggested that Bison is required to follow a hands on approach of leadership as creating a distance between his employees will tend to create a loss of control and he will not be able to successfully get involved in that case. If bison maintains a hands on leadership approach, he will be able to successfully ensure success in the long run and see to it that the different employees are working actively under him and that his views are respected. In the same manner, his involvement will also ensure that he takes in the views of the employees as well and ensure harmony at the workplace.
Bison understood the crucial importance of the leadership competencies which are present in an organization and stressed upon the development of the same. According to him, leaders have a consistent impact on the performance of the company and for this reason, he came up with an executive leadership as well as coaching development program (Konopaske, Ivancevich and Matteson 2016). This is because he wanted the different employees to be visionary as well as driven in nature. And thus for this reason, the program started with effectives and some of the consequences of the program was as follows:

The team members gained insight from the exposure: The team members were very pleased with this initiative and benefitted overall from this.
The overall performance of the organization improved: As the senior management improved, the overall performance of the organization also improved (Pinder 2014).
A new system of Human Synergistic Circumflex was introduced which reflected that the organizational culture was rather aggressive in nature and had to be evolved in to be able to successful achieve the goals of the organization.
Moreover, the human resources set up of the firm also went through a change and a coaching for the senior team was analysed.

The team`s perspective transited considerably, but this move had a critical impact on the performance of the organization at large. However, this program was causing troubles to Bison himself. There has been an enforcement of the open dialogue in the team and the managers have begun to be quite open with one another which has fostered a positive environment at the workplace.
However, there were some negative aspects well. These negative aspects have been given as follows:

Bison has not really benefited from the leadership program and has found the transition rather difficult. Moreover, although he has encourage an open dialogue in the team, he is unable to stand discussions and tends to take the various decisions on his own without consulting the different members of the organization. According to Lazaroiu (2015), in addition to this, a certain blame was also blamed on Bison that his relationship with the different senior leaders have often led to a loss.  This is because, Bison seems to have a conflicting personality which leads to a conflict with different leaders and an ultimate loss to the firm.
However, before the organization was on a path to make some structural changes for the overall welfare of the organization, the personal aim of Bison and the aim to become the chairman came in the way and caused a rift among the people.
Moreover, although he decided upon the fact that the organization is required to follow a flat structure and that the delegation of authority must be simple, it ended up in a heated argument (Robbins and Judge 2014).

Hence, with respect to the program it can be rightfully stated that although the aim of the company was to ensure the development of the senior membership of the organization and to ensure that each of the members benefit from it, this was not the case and it was Bison who could not benefit at all (Kooshki and Zeinabadi 2016). It seemed that although on one hand, he wanted considerable changes in the structure of the firm and in the manner in which the other processes in the firm seem to work but on the other hand, he was unable to cooperate towards the welfare of the organization and ensure an overall success.
In order to ensure that the senior leadership is successful in the future and easily able to engage in a considerable change, the following can be adopted:

Employee engagement: If the senior management is successfully able to engage in a program of employee engagement whereby the viewpoint of all the employees are successfully gathered then this will go a long way in ensuring that the attitude of the firm changes and that the organization is successful in the long run.
Fair opportunities: According to the Graham, Ziegert and Capitano (2015), the management must ensure that fair opportunities are provided to the different employees present. This is because if there exists biasness in the given system, then the trust factor is lost which then leads to an overall loss.
Meetings: The senior management must hold regular meetings with the different members of the organization which ensures that they remain updated with the different activities of the management and that they are successfully able to ensure overall success of the firm at large.
Performance Appraisal: The senior management should also actively participate in the overall performance appraisal of the organization which shall ensure that the employees can move up to the ladder faster (Miner 2015).
United Planning: The united planning aspect is considered to be an appropriate plan whereby the different members of the organization conduct the planning phase together which will then go a long way in ensuring success for a sustainable future (Gelfand et al. 2017).

According to the case study, Meat pack came up with a concept of enterprise resource planning whereby it took an initiative to integrate the different multiple divisions of the organization like the production, finance, management and investment. The main reason why this move was undertaken was because of the purpose of ensuring that a flatter organizational structure was required to be implemented (Kinicki and Fugate 2016). The flatter structure was planned to be adopted because of two broad reasons. These reasons were as follows:

To ensure that the effective communication at the firm can be converted into a more approachable method such that the aggressiveness which took place in the organization could be reduced.
To ensure a focus on the positive aspects of the organization so as to improve upon the overall morale of the firm at large and convert the organization into a result driven organization.

According to Dipboye (2016), Bison believed that the training which he received in Harvard would help him in the flat structure application across Meatpack which would then encourage the managers to take in more accountability. There were many instances, that the managers were encouraged to take a hands on rule for the organization at large.
Moreover, in terms of a strong sense of loyalty, he wanted to ensure that staff turnover was low, and that his organization would have people for a longer time frame. Moreover, career enhancement and promotions were a common aspect of the organization whereby the different members were allowed to climb up the corporate ladder. Along with this, the workforce retention period of the organization was considerably fair and recruitment mostly took place through a procedure of word of mouth (Borkowski 2015).  Hence, in this aspect it could be stated that in terms of cultural dimension, the organization was performing considerably well and that the different members of the firm were happy with one another.
When the large investments were made, the outcomes of the flatter structure in terms of cultural change as follows:

It brought up a sense of resentment in the employees because the lessons which were being preached by Bison were not being followed by him. He encouraged the employees to have a hands on approach but was himself unable to do so because he was not willing to take up a hands on approach for the firm at large (Gagné 2018).
Moreover, the manner in which the employees have been interacting with the management has changed considerably and thereby the different problems in a firm have been changing.  People have been talking about their problems and there have been considerable changes in the workplace whereby the managers have been emphasizing on a proper cycle of mentorship , appraisal and feedback
In this manner, the employees feel appreciative of the moves of the management and the overall atmosphere of the organization has improved (Greenberg 2014).
The flatter structure has thereby assisted the different members of the organization to communicate effectively with one another and agree with each other thereby slowing done the conflicts.

Hence, it can be stated that the flatter structure of the organization has been quite beneficial for the overall benefit of the organization and has gone a long way in improving the communication which takes place at the workplace, however there has been one short come with respect to the meetings which take place (Chen, Chen and Sheldon 2016). This states that due to the flat structure, there have been various people seeking to solve the same problem but not enough to deliver the target.  Moreover, it is difficult to carry out workplace huddles which would encourage the employees to perform well due to the shift differences and the timings clash.
Therefore, in this aspect it can be stated that, although the implementation of a flatter structure for the organization can be considered to be a good move and proved to bring about various positive aspects for the organization where the processes can be carried out easily and the different employees can perform effectively, however, it needs to be understood that the different members of the organization are required to prepare the resources effectively in order to ensure that the implementation of the structure is easier. In the case study it was observed that although the idea of the flatter structure as good, various barriers like lack of planning and the schedules bought about barriers to the proper implementation of the flat structure of the organization at large.
Borkowski, N., 2015. Organizational behavior in health care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Borkowski, N., 2015. Organizational behavior, theory, and design in health care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Chen, M., Chen, C.C. and Sheldon, O.J., 2016. Relaxing moral reasoning to win: How organizational identification relates to unethical pro-organizational behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(8), p.1082.
Dipboye, R., 2016. Exploring industrial & organizational psychology: Work & organizational behavior.
Elsbach, K.D., Kayes, A. and Kayes, D.C., 2015. Contemporary Organizational Behavior: From Ideas to Action. Pearson.
Gagné, M., 2018. From strategy to action: transforming organizational goals into organizational behavior. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20, pp.S83-S104.
Gelfand, M.J., Aycan, Z., Erez, M. and Leung, K., 2017. Cross-cultural industrial organizational psychology and organizational behavior: A hundred-year journey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), p.514.
Graham, K.A., Ziegert, J.C. and Capitano, J., 2015. The effect of leadership style, framing, and promotion regulatory focus on unethical pro-organizational behavior. Journal of business ethics, 126(3), pp.423-436.
Greenberg, J., 2014. Behavior in Organizations: Global Edition. Pearson Higher Ed.
Kinicki, A. and Fugate, M., 2016. Organizational behavior: a practical, problem-solving approach. McGraw-Hill Education.
Kong, D.T., 2016. The pathway to unethical pro-organizational behavior: Organizational identification as a joint function of work passion and trait mindfulness. Personality and Individual Differences, 93, pp.86-91.
Konopaske, R., Ivancevich, J.M. and Matteson, M.T., 2016. Organizational behavior and management. McGraw-Hill Education.
Kooshki, A.S. and Zeinabadi, H., 2016. The role of organizational virtuousness in organizational citizenship behavior of teachers: The test of direct and indirect effect through job satisfaction mediating. International Review, (1-2), pp.7-21.
Lazaroiu, G., 2015. Work motivation and organizational behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, 7(2), p.66.
Luthans, F., Luthans, B.C. and Luthans, K.W., 2015. Organizational Behavior: An EvidenceBased Approach. IAP.
Miner, J.B., 2015. Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.
Pinder, C.C., 2014. Work motivation in organizational behavior. Psychology Press.
Robbins, S.P. and Judge, T., 2014. Essentials of organizational behavior. Pearson,.
Schaerer, M., Lee, A.J., Galinsky, A.D., Thau, S., Schaerer, M., Lee, A.J., Galinsky, A.D. and Thau, S., 2018. Contextualizing social power research within organizational behavior. The self at work: Fundamental theory and research, pp.194-221.
Wagner III, J.A. and Hollenbeck, J.R., 2014. Organizational behavior: Securing competitive advantage. Routledge.

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