Essays on Change Management in Dryburgh Footwear Company Case Study

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The paper 'Change Management in Dryburgh Footwear Company" is a perfect example of a management case study.   For constructive recommendations, a change agent is required to learn operations of the organizations thoroughly, through working as a proxy employee or manager in the organization. From the case study, the change agent is able to get information on Dryburgh Footwear Company use of technology, company structure, financial strength and employee base. The best location for the change agent is a proxy employee so that he is able to understand both the needs of the employees and the management.

The agent should come up with recommendations that are unbiased so as to help the company make significant changes. The role of a change agent requires that one understands how the company is operated before giving recommendations (Rhodes and Steers 1981). Dryburgh Footwear Company started as a family business in the early 1950s but was later purchased in 1971 by the Australian Imperial Enterprises. The government in 1986, decided to raise taxes which caused a reduction in profits and it was, therefore, difficult to incorporate the use of new technologies and that was the beginning of the company’ s downfall.

The company, therefore, resulted in paying the minimum wages ranging from 40-60 dollars per week. Absenteeism and high turnover became the order of the day and it resulted into workers being shifted from one section to another to replace the absent employees, moreover, the cost of replacing one employee was 1,945 dollars. The workers were also given bonuses if they superseded the daily target and anything less than the daily target would warrant for a reduction in wages.

Basically, the employees were unhappy with the system. Currently, Bill Brown is the new personnel officer; he has established that employee turnover has risen to over 100 % in one year, per month this translates to 4.5 %. However, according to Bill, absenteeism would not affect organizational output performance. Brown found out that direct costs were associated with sick pays while indirect costs were associated with lost production, low employee productivity due to lack of proper training and experience and lastly, reduced quality of work due to lack of morale. Bill believed that one cannot place a cost figure on individuals. Bill had to tread carefully because the management of the company does not accommodate being challenged as was the case of Allan Stone his predecessor.

Allan tried to change the system from authoritarian to open communication but he lost his job on claims that he did not understand how the industry worked. Basically, the footwear industry was experiencing low profits in Australia and wages were relatively low for the workers. More so, the general manager Gregg Jackson believed that employees were lazy and would skip work at any excuse they got. The other problem that the company faced was that the employees had no forum to express their views because they feared to lose their jobs if they gave negative views.

Secondly, the employees could not work with the employee unions because the union was weak and the management took advantage of that. The supervisors concentrated on production problems instead of employee relationships.


Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Harvard Business Press.

Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(1), 1.

Rhodes, S., & Steers, R. (1981). A systematic approach to diagnosing employee absenteeism. Employee Relations, 3(2), 17–22. doi:10.1108/eb054966

Fullan, M. (2011). The six secrets of change: What the best leaders do to help their organizations survive and thrive. John Wiley & Sons.

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