Essay on Case Studies from Gareth Jone - Ob

8055 Words Nov 1st, 2012 33 Pages
Case 14 “Ramrod” Stockwell Teaching Notes Copyright © Gareth R. Jones, 1994

Synopsis This case considers conflict and politics in organizational settings. Ramsey “‘Ramrod” Stockwell, vice president for Production at Benson Metals, is becoming very uncooperative and difficult. Ramrod is having frequent run-ins with sales, who are exasperated with his uncooperativeness and refusal to supply them with reliable information concerning delivery dates, and production scheduling. Most students feel the problems stem from Ramrod, his obstinacy and “rough diamond” personality. They favor firing to reducing conflict and getting Benson Metals back on track. The problem is due to the internal power structure, unchanged in a changed
…show more content…
Because of the centralization of authority in production, subordinates do not possess information. Only Rob Bronson, the vice president of sales, can get information from Ramrod, and he is too busy to do so (and too proud since he would have to admit

dependency on Ramrod). Stockwell says something can be done but fails to provide an accurate timeframe, making planning difficult for sales and other departments—making them dependent on Ramrod. Ramrod is a “rough diamond” and has little social contact with other top managers at Benson Metals, which further isolates him. Managers have suggested sensitivity training to help him better communicate and delegate. The conclusion is that Ramrod is the problem—his attitudes and values. What is the solution? Fire Ramrod? After the pros and cons have been considered (the firm would lose his valuable skills and expertise), the instructor can turn the discussion to the issue of the company power structure; students rarely raise this issue.

4.In the past, which function has had the most power in Benson Metals? How has the power relationship between production and sales been changing recently?

Traditionally, sales has enjoyed most of the power: • President Tom Hollis worked with Fred Benson and was the sales director. • Most of the “assistant to” managers groomed for promotion come from sales. • Sales gets the

Related Documents