Field International Case Study

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Field International is a large production company that operates for fifteen years. This company has three divisions: Field Production, Field Music, and the new venture, Field Advertising. The president and chairman of the board, Lawrence Field, has operated this business in a pooled interdependence fashion. Each division is directed independently by a vice president, and evaluated in the same independent basis. Recently, two major clients complained directly to Field about some production delays of the Advertising Division. Therefore Field decided to meet with his three vice presidents on a weekly luncheon; so the two experienced vice presidents could contribute to the one that is having problems. In addition, he taught that this would be a good occasion to change the usual independent method of operation of each division to a new reciprocal interdependence form of operation where all can cooperate with each other. However this sudden change cause a negative reaction on his vice presidents, and Field had to drop this idea of change. Consequently, Field International is going through communications problem that could damage the growth of his company.
First, Mr. Field tried to impose a radical change on the operation of the business without notifying to the vice presidents of each division. During long time, the production vice president and the music vice president have worked in an independent basis and during this time they get used to it. So, when they get Mr. Durkey’s memo they probably thought that now the authority that they used to have was been restricted without any reason. Also, they could feel offended by the sudden show of distrust of Mr. Field. After all, they had been working for long time for the company without having major problems. In the same way the new advertising vice president was aware of this independent way of operation within the company. Thus, he also must felt professionally underestimated. In addition, the two major clients of the company made the mistake of going over his head which cause an immense indignation on him. In the same way Mr. Field made the mistake of exposing the advertising problems in front of the other two divisions without knowing the magnitude of the problem. All these complications contribute to the gloomy atmosphere of the meeting.
Next, characteristics like the setting of the meeting and the personality of the employees also contribute to the development of the problem.

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The setting of the meeting was not the most appropriate to discuss the problem. Since Mr. Field didn’t want to lose his potential clients, he should first meet in a formal way with the advertising vice president in order to clarify the situation. Then, he could see if he would really need the help of the others vice presidents. He also must analyze first how each of his vice president would react to a new way of operation. Working for fifteen years, Mr. Field should know the personalities of his employees. For instance, the vice president of the music division showed a drastic reaction to the change. In addition, Durkey’s memo also contributes to the problem. This memo was too general and gave the vice presidents a reproaching sense. All this factors contribute to the development of the conflict.
Finally, in order to avoid this kind of circumstances Mr. Field should completely change his way of approaching to the problem and his new way of operation. First, he should analyze the problem whit the help of the vice president of advertising in a private meeting. Next, he would be able to see which the most favorable ways of solving the problem. If the problem would require his participation and the collaboration of the other vice presidents, then he would raise the problem to them. However, it is very important the way in which he would raise this new change of operation in the company. Mr. Field should first unfreeze the change by telling them why is necessary the change, how would help to each division and to the entire company. Then, he would explain the new way of operation and the effects that this would have on each division. Finally, he would refreeze the new kind of supervision on the company by emphasizing the benefits of the new supervision method. Therefore, Mr. Fields needs to reinstate the confidence within his company.


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