Research Project Organizational Theory (MGMT5305)

ACME Industries, Inc., a major manufacturer of explosives and weaponry for the civilian enthusiast and Roadrunner exterminators, was founded in 1949, by Friz Freleng, who passed away in 1995. Mr. Freleng’s vision was to ensure the eradication of the pesky roadrunner that was the bane of his existence in his youth. He was often taunted by roadrunners (with their incessant “beeping”) as he walked to his Mesa, Arizona school. He swore that he would do his best to stop this pest from overrunning the country. This experience inspired Mr. Freleng to invent ACME’s first and most enduring product, the Boulder Catapult, which is still in production to this day.

Since its inception, ACME has invented many innovative products and has been on the forefront of the roadrunner extermination business. They also cater to the thrill seeker, producing such products as the ACME Rocket Sled, the ACME Spring Loaded Sandals, and the always popular ACME Shoulder-Mount Bazooka. In 1955, ACME branched into the bird seed market, producing over 20 million tons of lead-based bird seed annually. Sales of ACME’s products in 2009 topped $2 billion; however, in 2010 and 2011, sales dropped below $1.5 million. In 2012, sales did not reach the $1 million mark. ACME has a fairly limited customer base (one major buyer) and caters to a very elite clientele. Their products range in price from $50 retail for the Spring-Loaded Sandals (size 12 and up are an additional $10) to $25,000,000 for the ACME “Super Blaster” Canon.

ACME Industries, Inc. did some major organizational restructuring during the years 2014 and 2015. In September of 2014, ACME decided to replace its President/CEO, Yusef “Yosemite” Sam. Mr. Sam had been in charge of ACME for over 50 years, and literally ran the organization with an “iron fist.” During his tenure, the organization had been financially sound, but over the course of the last ten years, many ethical and legal issues have come to the forefront regarding Mr. Sam and his unorthodox management style, mostly in ACME’s effort to adhere to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. ACME also faced a number of lawsuits levied by the EPA for lead contamination in residential areas, as well as civil suits for personal injury due to product misuse and failure. Mr. Sam’s termination was effective as of September 1, 2014 after he was charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of two ACME employees in a suspicious warehouse fire in Louisiana.

On November 1, 2014, it was announced that a new CEO had been hired by the Board of Directors, Mr. Phillip “Plucky” Duck. Mr. Duck had been part of ACME’s Sales team for five years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and got his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2005. Mr. Duck is young (he was born in 1984), ambitious, hard-charging, and has plans to take ACME in new and innovative directions. The majority of ACME’s current employees (including upper management) have been part of the organization for a minimum of 25 years. Many have been with ACME since its inception in 1949. The implementation of new rules and policies, and the major change in management style has not been easy for them, and a few have left the company. Mr. Duck has done many other things to help rebuild ACME since he started, including the removal of lead from the birdseed recipe, bolstering R & D to create new products to expand and diversify the current product lines, and overhauling marketing strategies to attract new customers, just to name a few.

In its long history, ACME has been a traditionally structured organization, that had little need for worry in terms of competition or the need for collaboration. No other company made the products that they do, and because their customer base is so small and its products are so unique, they are not considered to hold a monopoly; however, they have also not kept up with the changing tides of the business world. They now find themselves unable to keep up with the times. Their main customer has never been particularly successful, and ACME has only survived financially through creative accounting, which they were caught at and prosecuted for in 2012. Their former CFO, Percival “Porky” Pig, is serving time along with Mr. Sam for those infractions. Competition has risen from overseas, and while Mr. Duck has been slowly rebuilding the organization through the various efforts described above, with some success, he realizes that he must make some more major changes, or ACME may not see its 75th anniversary.

One theory espoused in the textbook is that of James F. Moore’s “Organizational Ecosystem,” which basically states that organizations today cannot survive in a vacuum. They must collaborate and work with other organizations in order to survive. Competition, according to Moore, is all but dead. Mr. Duck has been reading some of Moore’s work, and has been studying the Open Systems Model, and feels that this may be the way to save ACME from drowning. This would require more restructuring, and reaching out to other organizations for help, including those new international competitors. Mr. Duck also knows that this will not be a popular decision among the employees, who have been through a significant amount of change already.

You will create a “proposal” for the Vice President of ACME Industries (your instructor) that outlines your suggestions for how Mr. Duck can implement this change to a more organic and collaborative structure. You will also need to suggest what types of companies ACME should collaborate with and what processes might be best to ask for help with (e.g., suppliers, outsourcing of manufacturing processes, and so forth). This is a research paper, so it is a proposal in name only – you will not produce this in formal proposal format. You will find Chapter 5 in your textbook helpful in the completion of this project, as well as the following article by James F. Moore: https://hbr.org/1993/05/predators-and-prey-a-new-ecology-of-competition. This article must be included in your paper and must be used as one of your resources. You may also use other articles by Moore, but this one is required. If you use the textbook, you must also cite it.

Your report is a written document and will be graded on the following criteria:

• Maximum of 5 pages of text (not counting title page or reference page(s)).
• Organization of information (clarity, logical flow, proper introduction and conclusion).
• Showing support for ideas presented (quality, applicable research)
• Giving sufficient information (quantity, sufficient research – minimum of 4 sources, not counting the Moore article which is required. You must have 4 additional sources, for a total of 5)
• Proper APA (version 7) format (12-point font-Times or Arial, please)
• Error-free (i.e., good spelling and grammar)
• Citation of sources – in text and reference page(s) in correct APA version 6 format

There will be research necessary to complete this project, so citing your sources is imperative, both in-text and in a references page. Papers with no or limited citations will at the very least be graded down significantly. Please submit the final product through BlackBoard.

Also, if you are unfamiliar with APA format, please let me know. I have some excellent resources to assist you. Please note that I do not accept any other format (e.g., MLA, etc.).

This assignment is due in Week 7 and is NOT accepted late. NO EXCEPTIONS!


PROJECT:
You will create a “proposal” for the Vice President of ACME Industries (your instructor) that outlines your suggestions for how Mr. Duck can implement this change to a more organic and collaborative structure. You will also need to suggest what types of companies ACME should collaborate with and what processes might be best to ask for help with (e.g., suppliers, outsourcing of manufacturing processes, and so forth). This is a research paper, so it is a proposal in name only – you will not produce this in formal proposal format. You will find Chapter 5 in your textbook helpful in the completion of this project, as well as the following article by James F. Moore: https://hbr.org/1993/05/predators-and-prey-a-new-ecology-of-competition. This article must be included in your paper and must be used as one of your resources. You may also use other articles by Moore, but this one is required. If you use the textbook, you must also cite it.

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