Case Study: XYZ Construction

12 January, 2024

Organisational Ethics is a topic of interest among many up-and-coming Professionals. UniAthena’s upcoming Live Session, ‘Organizational Ethics: Case Study Discussion’ is a golden opportunity to build one’s understanding of this concept. Eager to attend the session? Here is the Essential Reading you need to complete before the big day. This is the Case Study of XYZ Construction.

Case Study: XYZ Construction

Within four years, XYZ Construction changed its culture and structure by using emergent and planned approaches. According to Burnes (2004) and  Allaire and Firsirotu (1984), there is a strong relationship between culture and structure, and when one is changed, there is a need to change the other. XYZ Construction has done that.

XYZ Construction is a highly competitive Organization in the UK. However, there was a poor relationship between contractors and subcontractors, and they had an authoritarian Director who was not liked by others. However, when he retired, there was low-performance management of the organization, and a new director was appointed who transformed the organisation's culture by using emergent change.

The new Managing Director’s strategy was to improve customer service by introducing new practices and changing the attitudes of individuals in the organization. The director knew that there was a need for cooperation, so team meetings between managers and staff were organized. He introduced the Kaizen Approach to perform improvements at low cost, develop teams, empower employees, and acquire new skills for employees. The Managing Director knew how to communicate this initiative and made them believe it would work. Then a Customer Care Program was developed to better understand customers’ needs and values. This company invested in employees to make sure that they have the necessary skills and attitudes toward their change roles to deal with customers efficiently. 

All his process was done within four years, and XYZ transformed its culture with sufficient changes that led to higher performance. Indeed, the culture change was an experimental change that decentralized the organisation by changing the behaviours and attitudes of individuals (Burnes, 2004). Additionally, the Managing Director used planned change to restructure the organization because of the poor relationship between departments and functions in the Head Office. They had poor communication and teamwork, and they considered each other rivals. 

He hired a Change Consultant, who helped develop the change process with different activities. The first activity was to understand Change Readiness and it involved different interviews to discuss and analyze the problem of reducing the number of departments. Some of the employees did not like this change, because they felt that opportunities for career development would diminish. However, most of the employees were open to change, because they trusted the Managing Director’s positive track record.

In the second activity, workshops were organized for the Senior Management Team to propose a new structure. Based on evaluation criteria, they selected the preferred structure. The new structure was a Process-Oriented Flat, which involved team development and new roles. There was resistance from managers to change because their power and responsibility were reduced, and employees had to work as a team even with people they did not like. Then team members communicated the new structure to the lower level of the organization and explained its impact on them. Employees had to bring changes,  and training took place to develop new skills. Lastly, managers evaluated the new structure by presenting steps to increase effectiveness and develop the team.

Pankhury Sharma
Teaching and Research Associate

IIM C and MDI Gurgaon in the PGP Group


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