Case Study of Mars Inc

Topics: Organization, Management, Organizational studies Pages: 6 (1811 words) Published: May 13, 2012
1.0 Introduction
Organisation structure is extremely important to a company. Without proper structure the company cannot run effectively. The authors will critically analyse the goals and objectives and the current operating structure within Mars and give recommendations. The authors will design an appropriate operating structure for Mars. The chosen operating structure is based on a product structure. Organisations are not a new concept; despite this there is varying opinions in the business world on what defines an organisation. Hodge, Anthony, and Gales, (2003; p10) defines an organisation as “as two or more people working together cooperatively within identifiable boundaries to accomplish a common goal or objective.” A further definition is provided by Daft,( 2007;p10) and states organisations are “(1) social entities that (2) are goal-directed, (3) are designed as deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems, and (4) are linked to the external environment.”

2.0 Background of Mars Corporation
Mars is a powerful player in the confectionery, pet food and food vending business with annual sales estimated at $13 billion. It has a rich brand mix such as Snickers, Milky Way, and M&M’s. Mars operate in a highly competitive market which has seen major consolidations of its competitors Hersey’s, Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes. Mars are no longer the market leader, yielding market share to its competitors in both the domestic and foreign fronts.

Mars is a Family owned business run by Brothers John and Forrest Jr. who enjoy running their business very much. Mars enjoys excellent brand awareness and equity in the market place and it pursues a strong quest for product quality. There are tight control elements in Mars. Cost reductions and production utilisation policies are the main mantra at Mars.

There is a lack of trust between employees and management and the organisation is disjointed from a customer and staff perspective.

The company seems obsessed with its strategy of global expansion: finding converts to its brands in new countries, not worrying about those in existing markets whose reliance has lapsed.

3.0 Goals and Objectives

The lack of goals and objectives, within the Mars organisation is evident on the company’s recent loss of market share. The brother’s lack of knowledge in understanding the changes to the external environment, its competitors, lack of sensitivity to distributors, and issues in dealing with internal unrest within the company are all impacting on the overall performance of Mars. However, they are bent on pursuing a global expansion strategy, whilst also implementing an aggressive cost cutting strategy. Overall Mars plans, strategic or otherwise are not clear or communicated; furthermore there are no action plans in place to enable the Company to achieve its goals.

4.0 Organisational Structure

The organisation chart shows the overall shape and function of the organisation. The Mars structure is a product based structure which has functional lines of authority.

With this structure, divisions can be organised according to individual products, services, product groups, major projects or programs, divisions, businesses, or profit centres.

The distinctive feature of product structure is that grouping is based on organisational outputs. The structure is centralised, because it forces decisions all the way to the top before a problem affecting several functions can be resolved.

The product organisation structure is excellent for achieving co-ordination across functional departments. It works well when organisations can no longer be adequately controlled through the traditional vertical hierarchy, and when goals are oriented towards adaptation and change Daft (2007).

The product structure typically works best in organisations that have multiple products or services and enough personnel to staff separate functional units. However, unless effective horizontal...

Bibliography: Burns, T. & Stalker, G.M., (1961) The Management of Innovation, London, Tavistock.
Daft R. L. (2007) Understanding the Theory and Design of Organisations, Thompson South-Western.
Griffin, R.W. (1999) Management, 6th edition, New York, Houghton Mifflin.
Hodge et al (2003) Organisational Theory, A Strategic Approach, 6th ed. New Jersey; Prentice Hall.
Jones (2007) Organisational Theory, Design and Change, 6th edition. New Jersey; Pearson & Prentice Hall.
Peters, T.J. & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In search of Excellence; Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies, New York, Harper Collins Publishing Inc.
Mintzberg, H. (1979) Theories of Organisation Structure: A Synthesis of Research, New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
Tiernan et al (2006) Modern Management; Theory and Practice for Irish Students, 3rd edition, Dublin: Gill & Macmillian.
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