Ben & Jerrys (A): Team Development Intervention – Case Study Example

Ben & Jerry’s (A Team Development Intervention Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield head Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., an autonomous ice cream manufacturer that has emerged over it rivals in the market. The company’s plan was to initiate OD using teambuilding in an under-organized structure. However, this approach seemed conventional and conservative. The case is about organizational structural change to support organizational development. The company’s approach to embrace teamwork demanded that the administration structure be flattened and authority decentralized. Team building demanded that the founders gave up their authority, which proved a challenging task for them. In their pursuit for growth, the company’s managers were at loggerheads with the founders who argued that the organization’s social mission was being forfeited for growth (Cummings & Worley, 2009).
The factors to consider when determining whether a company or a team is under-organized include readiness of the managers or team leaders to take responsibility, cede responsibility, slow response by leaders to group problem-solving proposals. Under-organized company is also deficient of clear work structure and responsibilities, conflicting goals of team managers and founders.
Teambuilding is not a good way to launch OD in Ben &Jerry Inc. This is because the company’s tall structure cannot allow effective functioning of the teams. For example, the founders are reluctant to decentralize power to team level, which hampers the ability of the teams to execute their development proposals. The approaches available for the company include structural strategy, which focuses on organizational design, and environment approach, which focuses external environment of the company.
The next step I would recommend is for the company leaders to utilize various organizational change management approaches such as Kurt Lewin’s three step model of freeze, change and refreeze to ensure successful organizational development. Also, the company should flatten its management structure so that the already built teams can function properly.
Reference
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organization development and change (9th Ed.).Mason, OH: Cengage. ISBN 0-324-42138-9