After reading the scenario Ann Lyman’s Proposal below, review Table 5.9 and Table 5.10 for information that will be helpful in answering the questions . Answer the questions as thoroughly as possible.
1. What factors, both organizational and managerial, should Ann consider in selecting an influence strategy or strategies?
2. What sources of power might Ann possess, and how do her power sources factor into her choice of influences strategies?
3. Which influence strategies seem most relevant in Ann’s situation (use Table 5.9 and Table 5.10 for help)? Why?
4. How would you advise Ann to implement the chosen strategy (i.e., what should she say and do)? 5. What is the likelihood of your chosen strategy or strategies working? a. Is there a fallback strategy that might work if your first choice fails?
Ann Lyman’s Proposal
Ann Lyman was recently hired by the Challenge Products Corporation (CPC) as a senior marketing executive for the electronic housewares division. Her previous experience at Pearces, a major competitor, had earned her a reputation for being a creative and hardworking manager. Her department at Pearces had increased its sales at least 15 percent per year over the past five years, and she had been featured in a lead article in Contemporary Management. This combination of competence and visibility was what attracted the attention of John Dilworth, the CEO of Challenge. John was troubled about the two-quarter decline in electronic sales. This was the core of CPC’s business, and he could not risk losing market share. In the past, CPC’s products had dominated such a large market share that, ironically, marketing wasn’t considered very important. Production touted its high quality and low costs, purchasing emphasized its contribution to keeping costs low, and engineering stressed the durability of its designs. CPC products, it was argued by many, “sold themselves.” But that was before the cheaper, “look-alike” products from Asia flooded the discount stores. No longer could CPC expect high customer loyalty simply because it was the oldest, best-known, most reliable name brand on the shelf. Ann was convinced that in order for CPC to stay competitive, the company needed to expand its product line, offering more options at different price levels. She felt it also needed to branch out into “trend designs” that appealed to the contemporary lifestyles of young adults. These options would require the company to find new channels of distribution, such as specialty mail-order catalogs, as well as to manufacture generic products for department stores’ private labels. These changes had far-reaching ramifications for other departments at CPC. For one thing, they meant engineering would have to shorten its design cycle, provide support for a broader range of products, and emphasize customer-oriented, rather than functional, features. These changes would obviously not sit well with the production department, which jealously protected its long production runs based on standard orders and relatively few model changes. It also stressed ease of fabrication and assembly. In addition, purchasing would be required to find new sourcing alternatives for nonstandard parts, which would make it more difficult to get volume discounts and ensure quality. After three months on the job, Ann felt she was ready to make her proposal to John. She pushed her staff hard to add the finishing touches before John left on his two-week vacation to Lake Tahoe. She wasn’t disappointed—he thought it was a winner. He was excited and ready to “sign on.” But he was also realistic about the difficulty they faced convincing others that these changes were necessary. Ann’s counterparts in production, purchasing, and engineering would certainly object. “It’ll be a hard sell, but I think you have some good ideas,” he concluded. “While I’m away, I’d like you to design a plan for getting the cooperation of the other departments. You can count on me for general support, but the culture in this organization isn’t consistent with sending out an edict. You’ll have to figure out how to get their support some other way.”