General Management

How does Flagstar deal with diversity

John Godwin, Chief executive of Tri – State Telephone, leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling.  How was he ever going to get out of this mess?  At last night’s public hearing.  150 angry customers had marched in to protest Tri – State’s latest rate request.  After the rancorous shouting was over and the acrimonious signs put away, the protesters had presented state regulators with some sophisticated economic analyses in support of their case.  Additionally, there were a number of emotional appeals from elderly customers who regarded phone service as their lifeline to the outside world
  1. Who are the stakeholders in this case?
  2. Which stakeholders are most important?
  3. What are the critical trends in Tri – State’s environment?
  4. Why do you think Tri – State’s customers are so upset?
  5. What should John Godwin do?

Fresh Fields may be a supermarket, but what it’s super at selling is its image : “Good for you foods.”
A New Age grocery store – ‘Fresh Fields’ falls somewhere between a health food store and a traditional supermarket.  It is not merely a health food store, because it carries a wider variety of foods including fresh pasta, baked goods, sea-food and deli selections.  What distinguishes Fresh Fields from supermarkets lies in what is absent from the shelves, rather than what is present, for Fresh Fields shoppers will not find foods containing lots of preservatives and artificial flavorings, such as Jell – O and Oreos, that they can purchase at other supermarkets.  What Fresh Fields offers is “ organic and conventional produce, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods from an in – store bakery, deli items gourmet and vegetarian prepared foods, a wide array of cheese, a full grocery department, an extensive selection of supplements, skin enriching cosmetics and natural health care products and environmentally friendly household goods.”
  1. What economic and social factors should Fresh Fields managers watch?
  1. Suppose you manage a local supermarket and Fresh Fields comes to town. How would you reinvent your organization to meet the challenges posed by Fresh Fields?
The 1990 s have witnessed an increased emphasis on valuing diversity.  With both the marketplace and the workforce becoming more and more diverse, many managers have redesigned their companies cultures to reflect and encourage multiculturalism.  Changing a company’s culture, however, is often more difficult than managers might first believe.  At Denny”s for example, promoting multiculturalism required a reworking of its corporate culture from top to bottom.
  1. How would you describe the organizational culture at Flagstar?
  1. How does Flagstar deal with diversity?
  1. What challenges could Flagstar face in its near future?
The Walt Disney Company is heralded as the world’s largest entertainment company.  It has earned this astounding reputation through tight control over the entire operation : control over the open – ended brainstorming that takes place 24 hours a day ; control over the engineers who construct the fabulous theme – park rides; control over the animators who create and design beloved characters and adventurous scenarios ; and control over the talent that brings the many concepts and characters to life.  Although control pervades the company, it is not too strong a grip.  Employees in each department are well aware of their objectives and the parameters established to meet those objectives.  But in conjunction with the pre-determined responsibilities, managers at Disney encourage independent and innovative thinking.
  1. What environmental factors influenced management style at Disney?
  1. What kind(s) of organizational structure seem to be consistent with “Dream as a Team”?
  1. How and where might the informal organization be a real asset at Disney?
When Robert Frey purchased Cin – Made in 1984, the company was near ruin.  The Cincinnati, Ohi-based manufacturer of paper packaging had not altered its product line in 20 years.  Labor costs had hit the ceiling, while profits were falling through the floor.  A solid quarter of the company’s shipments were late and absenteeism was high.  Management and workers were at each other’s throats.
  1. How were principles of delegation and decentralization incorporated into Cine – Made operations?
  1. What are the sources and uses of power at Cin – Made?
  1. What were some of the barriers to delegation and empowerment at Cin –Made?
  1. What lessons about management in a rapidly changing marketplace can be learned from the experience of Cin – Made?
When a manger finds that demand exceeds inventory, the answer lies in making more goods. When a manager finds that inventory exceeds demand, the answer lies in making fewer goods.  But what if a company management finds that they just do not know which situation applies?
This is the situation that recently confronted management at Rollerblade, the popular skate manufacturer based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Rollerblade has been one of the leading firms in the fast growing high performance roller skate marketplace, it matters a great deal for Rollerblade managers whether demand and inventory are in balance, or not.
  1. With retailers as their primary customers, what customer competitive imperatives could be affected by Rollerblade’s inventory problems?
  1. How appropriate might a just – in – time inventory system is for a product such as roller skates?”
  1. What opportunities are therefore Rollerblade managers to see themselves as selling services, instead of simply roller skates?

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