Case #1 – Ben and Jerry’s
October 7, 2012
This essay focuses on the case of Ben and Jerry’s – Keeping the Mission(s) alive and its relationship to Bolman and Deal’s four frames model for leadership. “Formal roles and responsibilities minimize distracting personal static and maximize people’s performance on the job” (B&D 47). Ben and Jerry’s had a strong structure in terms of employee roles, marketing, production, and product placement frameworks and the company brought in revenues from every profit avenue in the super premium ice-cream industry, but the structure was not built to support growth. The main criteria of organizations structure states that organizations exist to achieve established goals and objectives (B&D 47). The problem was the lacking of established profit based goals, only a mission to conduct business in a socially responsible manner. “The growth and success of the firm had not been the original intention nor expectation for the two founders; the two had serious misgivings about the idea of building a substantial profit-making company” (Theroux, 7). Managing with the structural frame, Lacy’s should streamline labor, maximize efficiency, and use rationality over personal moral agendas. This type of approach directly contradicts the philosophies and mission of the company founders who supported blue-collar family farm labor, socially purposeful resourcing, and top down companywide compensation at a 5-to-1 ration. “Organizations exist to serve human needs rather than the converse” (B&D 122). Ben and Jerry’s cared more about serving their employees than driving big profits. The company was progressive and caring for employee needs. In this case you can draw correlation to Ben and Jerry’s with Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. From a concept of self-actualization Ben promoted creativity from his employee’s as equal partners in product development. Self-esteem philosophies were...
References: Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Hellriegel, D. and Slocum, J., W. (2011). Organizational Behavior (13th ed., pp. 105-125). Mason, OH: South-Western.
Theroux, J. (1991). Ben & Jerry 's Homemade Ice Cream Inc.: Keeping the Mission(s) Alive. Harvard Business School (22)
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