MGT1FOM Case Study Question on Foundation of Management


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Assignment Details:

  • Course Code: MGT1FOM
  • Course Title: Foundations of Management
  • Referencing Styles: Harvard
  • Words: 6000
  • University: James Cook University
  • Country: AU


Case Study 1 For Assessment 1


Creating an innovation culture Shutter stock, 25th on the most innovative companies list in 2014, is certainly not one of those companies that can be accused of becoming slower innovators after going public. The company achieved a 40% growth in revenue and has been consistently releasing new programs. In addition to integrating with Dropbox, Shutter stock’s images are freely available to Face book advertisers who formerly littered the site’s ad space with cheap but poor-quality photos.


Shutter stock’s founder and CEO, John Oringer, explained to Fast Company that the Face book advertising deal is a win-win: advertisers are happy as their ads have high-quality photos for no cost; Face book gets more advertisers and better-looking ads, and Shutter stock sells more images. Oringer said that Face book pays Shutter stock a fee per image, with the photograph contributor receiving approximately 30% of that fee.


That all of Shutter stock’s images are ready to be used commercially also helps advertisers avoid the threat of litigation that they would be exposed to had they simply copied and pasted an image from the internet. The company has brought in the concept of collaborative experimentation, which can help companies boost their products and instil a progressive innovation thoughtfully into the company culture. Shutter stock’s Vice President of Product, Wyatt Jenkins, argues that a culture of experimentation can begin to manifest in the organization through the continuous testing of ideas.


Jenkins says that an experimental culture’s benefits include the death of ‘Hippos’, which he describes as the ‘highest-paid person’s opinion’. ‘A/B testing is a sure way to get to the bottom of a decision without relying on anyone’s gut instinct. At Shutter stock, if a senior executive has an idea in a meeting, the response is simply, “Let’s test it”.” This process spills over into teams, which results in better engagement since their ideas are values and will be tested. Even if the result is a failure, many positive spin-offs are achieved, such as improved self-esteem and employee growth, especially the growth of critical ideas.


Jenkins is an advocate of keeping the testing team’s small, for example, a business analyst, an engineer and a designer/front-end developer (in the case of Shutter stock). The idea is to get a mix of different business functions but related to what is being tested. The concept of the ‘20% time’ phenomena of the tech world is relevant here. In essence, it allows employees to use some of their work time to work on any company-related product they want. They experiment with ideas that would not normally see the light of day. This kind of experimentation has led to Gmail, Ad-sense and many other Google initiatives.


Question 1

Shutter stock is empowering its employees by investing in a culture of experimentation. What are the benefits and limitations of allowing lower-level employees to have a say in the business’s strategic direction? (max 500 words)


Question 2

What risks to the organization do you identify in the initiative Shutter stock executives have taken and what actions can they take to minimize such risks? (Maximum 2 risks) (max 300 words)


Case Study 2 For Assessment 1


COLES the first Coles grocery store was started in 1914 by George Coles in Collingwood, with the philosophy of lowering the costs of living for Australian families. He used a small inheritance to start the small grocery store, and it was immediately successful.


The location was good, and George had given careful consideration to the needs of balancing family and work life, maintaining a contended staff and creating a store environment that others would respect. Following World War II (WWII), the organization went through rapid expansion, shifting from full-service stores where staff would help pick products for customers to what we consider normal today with self-service stores.


The store’s expansion meant that the organization had to give more focus to activities other than food retailing, with logistics, warehousing and distribution systems becoming increasingly central to business operations. Coles has continued to grow and adapt with technological innovations, a hallmark of the company’s approach to business. In 1993, the internet provided a new opportunity for the business to explore value creation, and the flybys program attracted 3.5 million members within its first year of operation.


Coles was also early to market in trialling online shopping, with trials in Melbourne starting in 1999. Further market innovation came with the diversification to petrol stations, with Coles Express service stations forming parts of Cole’s market offering in 2004. Coles has continued to expand and break new ground under its new ownership. Acquired by Wesfarmers in 2007, Coles has focused on a mix of customer experience and sustainability initiatives.


Question 1

Based on the information available in the case, identify and describe the organizational structure that would best describe Cole’s structure after the rapid growth following WWII (but before 1993). In your explanation provide reasoning as to why that structure was selected. (max 350 words)


Question 2

Based on the information available in the case, identify and describe the organizational structure that would best describe Coles structure following the adoption of modern technologies (such as the internet) and diversified products (such as service stations). In your explanation provide reasoning as to why that structure was selected. (max 350 words)