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Assignment #3 Chapter 8
Concept Application


1. The integration of the different units of Wilson Sporting Goods Company can be determinant for the successful marketing performance of the company because, in the contemporary business environment, the company needs to develop an effective system of interaction between units in order to maximize its flexibility and its ability to respond on the changing business environment. In this respect, it is important to underline that the integration of different units of the company should be based on the development of the common corporate, organizational culture and the formation of clear strategic goals of the organization which should be accepted by all people working within the organization. What is meant here is the fact that the Wilson Sporting Goods Company should primarily focus on the development of universal principles of the functioning of the organization. In practice, this means that all people working within the organization will act in accordance with these principles. Therefore, in such a situation, Billy and Jeannie cannot act in absolutely different ways because they will work on the same ground.
However, such integration rather refers to the cultural sphere of the organization, while the Wilson Sporting Goods Company also needs the integration on the technical level. In this respect, it is possible to recommend the development of the special program of integration which could enrich the experience of employees and managers of the company and contribute to sharing knowledge and experience within the organization. For instance, it is possible to apply the delegation within the organization to achieve this goal. It is not a secret that the delegation implies that managers and employees can share their duties and perform different functions, which were not originally their own functions. As a result, Billy and Jeannie can substitute each other. Consequently, they will acquire new experience and, what is more, they will learn how their colleagues work. In such a situation, they are likely to better understand what they need and they will be able to develop new models of relations and cooperation which can unite them.
2. On analyzing the current situation in the Wilson Sporting Goods Company, it should be said that it is possible to distinguish several levels of differentiation. First of all, the company is oriented on the differentiation on the basis of the geographical locations. In other words, units of the company are oriented on the specific environment of particular geographic locations. Basically, such an approach may be very effective, when the organization operates in different regions of the world or nationwide. On the other hand, it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that such a geographical diversity makes the organizational structure and the personnel quite difficult to change or substitute. What is meant here is the fact that professionals employed by the company and operating in a specific location can hardly be able to operate successfully if they are transferred to a different geographical location within the company. In such a way, professionals working in the company turns to be specialized on very specific cultural environment which they get used to work in within the specific geographical location.
Furthermore, the differentiation within the company occurs on the basis of various sporting goods categories. This means that the personnel of the company is trained to work with specific categories of goods. Such a differentiation may have quite a negative impact on the performance of employees and organization at large, because employees often prove to be unable to work with a category of goods they are not acquainted with. As a result, the narrow specialization of employees contributes to the high professional level and competency of employees but only within the specific category of goods the employees get used to work with, while they are incompetent in regard to other products. Obviously, in such a situation, the flexibility and substitution of employees is practically impossible.
3. In terms of Lawrence and Lorsch’s three subsystems, the Wilson Company has a bit misbalanced structure. To put it more precisely, the Wilson Company is apparently oriented on the sales subsystem, while the production subsystem and the research and development subsystem are, to a significant extent, under-developed. In this respect, it is important to underline the fact that the orientation on sales is quite logical since the company attempts to increase it sale rates in order to maximize its profits. However, the company has poorly developed research and development subsystem which slows down the development of the company substantially since it proves to be unable to introduce innovations and apply new, more effective tools to improve its marketing performance. In fact, today, the research and development subsystem is one of the most important, crucial subsystem. As for the production subsystem, this system should not be well-developed a priori because the company focuses on sales but not the production process. Consequently, the organization can use the production of existing suppliers instead of producing its own goods. In actuality, such an approach is quite logical due to the popularity of various sporting goods brands which the company could not replace in the market if it decided to enter the market with its own products.
As a result, the company operates in a highly competitive environment where it attempts to avoid the competition with producers of sporting goods and, instead, focuses on sales. However, the under-developed research and development subsystem exposes the company to the risk of backwardness compared to its major competitors.
4. On analyzing roles of Billy and Jeannie, it is possible to estimate that they are absolutely different, Billy is focused on sales of sporting goods, while Jeannie, in contrast, is focused on purchasing. As a result, they perform absolutely different functions within the organization. Basically, Billy works with customers directly, he should know their needs and be able to define basic advantages of sporting goods he sells. As for Jeannie, she is mainly focused on needs of the company’s departments and she has little information on actual needs of customers. In fact, she is dependent on information she receives from units. Therefore, she is in a kind of isolation from the external environment, i.e. from customers. In contrast, Billy is perfectly aware of needs of customers since he occupies with sales. In such a situation, it is extremely important that Billy and Jeannie could cooperate effectively since Billy should define the current needs of the department while Jeannie should provide the supply of essential sporting goods.
5. Today, the differentiation and integration of units within a company is quite popular and the system applied within the Wilson Company is widely spread by other companies operating in the same market. For instance, Dick’s Sporting Goods uses the similar system. To put it more precisely, the company has developed different units which are specialized on sales of specific sporting goods. However, the level of integration of the units is relatively low since the interaction between them is poorly developed. Nevertheless, the company attempts to maintain the effective performance by means of the management of all units by the company’s headquarter which defines not only strategic goals and directions of the development but controls the current performance and operations of its units.
6. Basically, it is possible to distinguish the sales subsystem, the production subsystem and the research and development subsystem within the Wilson Sporting Goods Company. At the same time, the sales subsystem is well-developed and focuses on the direct work with customers. The aim of this subsystem is to convince customers to buy products and services offered by the company. However, the company does not does not have a well-developed production unit and it is rather focuses on the exclusiveness and originality of its products than the mass production. In such a situation, the sales subsystem should promote the company’s products. The effective promotion may be provided due to the effective performance of the research and development unit which should provide new approaches and marketing strategies along with the development of new products the company can sale. However, the production and research and development units of the company are not as developed as the sales unit.
References:
Dick’s Sporting Goods. (2008). Retrieved September 7, 2008 at http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/home/index.jsp
Leads, G. and F. Von Allen. (2003). The Economics of Sports. New York: New Publishers.
Wilson Sporting Goods Company. (2008). Retrieved September 7, 2008 at www.wilson.com


 

 
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