Harvard Business School Case: Specialty Medical Chemicals (SMC)

Upon reading this case study-being skeptical as usual, I wondered why a company would feel the need to hire an outside resource regarding the assessment of their management.  What is the role of a CEO?  Shouldn’t a CEO already possess enough knowledge to be able to do this assessment?  To me, the role of a CEO is to be able to figure out each individual’s strength and weaknesses who is on the management team and place them around where he sees fit.

This especially seems like a waste of resource when the ultimate decision is made by the CEO of the company.  Another thing that concerns me is that Carl Bruke had been with the company for 4 months; how does someone from outside, unfamiliar with the concept of the business, can get a good assessment of the company’s management team in a few weeks?  I realize that Carl Bruke does not possess a Ph.D in psychology and I realize that an outsider’s point of view can be valuable, but I think the CEOs make their salaries for a reason: to evaluate top management, organize top management (at the very least), put in place a system that each individual (in top management  at the very least) can contribute to the overall objectives and goals of the company.

I also find it interesting that although Carl Bruke, the CEO, was assessed during Laura Well’s evaluation, his assessment, other than a very small portion in the feedback section, was not included in her report.  I see that Laura has views some of the management staff as being incompetent in making decisions by themselves and slowing the process.  What about the CEO?  Could he perhaps be the bottle-neck here with his lack of ability to make fast decisions?

The overall conclusion drawn from the study seems good.  I do agree that making the existing teams into smaller teams, not only improves performance but also opens up opportunities for people within the organization to get involved in the management, but there is also risk that some of the existing management would see this as a threat to their position within the company.  Plus there is always risk of over dividing the company into small organization where ultimately results in a company that is very top heavy and not focused enough in labor and innovation.


~ by aliahmadian on February 24, 2010.

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