To decide the course of action to be taken for improving the cross functional communication and coordination between the top decision makers of All-Sport Catalog Division.
Don Barrett, president of All- Star Sports Catalog Division, which dealt in catalog selling of sports goods, hired a consultant to study his staff's strategic decision making process. His objective was to improve his organization's ability to identify and exploit the strengths of the division's businesses and to get effective cross-functional communication and coordination out of his team.
The company had recently shifted to a functional organizational structure and the General Managers, the former owners of acquired firms were appointed as Vice Presidents for each division.
Don Barrett had a diverse team of 12 members, who had the expertise as well as the values and culture to drive the company successfully. It comprised of both senior as well as junior level members with varied backgrounds like entrepreneurs, financial and strategic planning, human resource etc.
Don Barrett's team found him to be a good listener and willing to accept challenges.
Their decision making process consisted of two hour meetings on Mondays, where all the 13 members met and spent the first one hour discussing and reviewing issues, updating each other on key projects and presentations about new plans. The second half was spent on in-depth discussion of a particular topic. The stages of decision making followed were framing the problem, identifying the alternatives, analyzing the alternatives, making the choice and finally ratifying the choice. For most decisions, a thorough analysis of the alternative was carried out.
Apart from diverse backgrounds, the decision making techniques of the team were also varied; some relied on instinct and experience, while the others used analytical approach for decision making. Moreover, their speeds of decision...