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Should This Team Be Saved? (HBR Case Study) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1395 1837 Words (6 Pages) Hollis Heimbouch Harvard Business School : R0107X
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The case primarily revolves around the dilemma faced by Peter Markles to revitalize Vigor skin care, cosmetic and skin-care company. Vigor skin care produced a line of cosmetics, soaps, and skin-care lotions. The company was only breaking even and profitability wasn't impressive. Peter was worried about the direction in which company was steering; he has to devise some strategy to overcome the situation. Peter accompanied Sandy, who has been working for the company for years and had known the company from stem to stern. Sandy assisted Peter through the details and history of the company and proposed some marketing strategies and campaigns. Josh Bartola, formerly the founder of Snap, a small cosmetics company, later sold it to Vigor and then started to work for Vigor in its research lab. He also played a vital part in rejuvenating the company. He came up with a formula of new kind of skin conditioner that was all natural.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Summarize the case, highlighting what you believe to be the key problem or dilemma

  2. Analyze the problem, drawing on course content (theory, models, typologies, definitions, etc.) from the textbook, assigned readings, or any other appropriate source, 

  3. Recommend well-reasoned strategies for managing the problem—in this case, a recommendation for how the protagonist of the story, Peter Markles, should proceed. 

Case Analysis for Should This Team Be Saved? (HBR Case Study) Case Solution

Josh named it ageless vigor, the product was not only beneficial for the existing cosmetic line, and it was a potential product for future sales as well. Peter, Josh and Sanday anticipated that the product is going to make a huge difference for the company regarding profitability and the product will revitalize the original mission of the company, to provide safe and healthy skin-care products. Peter, Josh and Sandy called themselves "fearsome threesome", and their bond became stronger. The process took four years of working for the company’s success, uncountable meetings, presentations, and phone calls. When the company started to stabilize, the "fearsome threesome" started to lose their interest and moved on. Josh and Sandy were not the same, Josh started his research work again, inventing some new formula, and Sandy seem to be worn out by the pace of the last four years, and the intense work pressure had taken the charm away. The ones who worked for the success of Vigor didn't enjoy their share, and the team was no more together.

Now, the dilemma for Peter was not the profitability of the company but the “fearsome threesome”. The team was not together as it used to be, the enthusiasm of the members vanished away as the success came closer.

2. Analyze the problem, drawing on course content (theory, models, typologies, definitions, etc.) from the textbook, assigned readings, or any other appropriate source,

The cause of the declined motivation of the team members after the Ageless Vigor was launched, primarily remains in the reason that the goal which united the team was achieved and Vigor skin care had reached to new heights. Josh and Sandy didn’t find themselves useful in the team anymore. The company had moved to a different stage of its life span, which was the key reason “fearsome threesome’ had formed. Peter, Josh, Sandy took the company to an unimaginable success.

Josh’s contribution in the formulation of the new product, Sandy’s belief that Vigor was worth saving when everyone else was hopeless, and Peter’s enthusiasm to uplift the company proved to be a huge success for the company, which was previously drowning. These three contributed significantly to the company's revival. However, when the target was achieved Josh and Sandy started to lose their interest in the operation of the new product. Josh and Sandy need some motivation to be back in the team.

The situation can be related to the Herzberg’s Motivational theory, which states that there are two factors contributing to the motivation of an employee. One of the factors is motivators and the other is hygiene factors, the former results in satisfaction and the later results in dissatisfaction of the employee. The diagram clearly depicts the factors of motivators and de-motivators (Hygiene Factors) (DeShields Jr, Kaynak, & Kara, 2005).

The theory can be related to the prior part of the case, in which the team was formed. The chief reasons for the motivation of the team members were achievement and advancement, and for them, the success of the company was their success. It had given recognition to the team members and sense of achievement. Also, responsibility was a contributing factor. Josh, Peter and Sandy had taken the company's rejuvenation as their responsibility and dedicated their efforts to accomplish their target. Achievement, advancement and responsibility motivated them to form a team and get themselves recognized through their achievement and work for the betterment of the company.

However, on the flip side, when the team had accomplished the goal, and the reason behind forming a team was achieved, leadership started to diminish and the need for achievement and growth declined. The team members started to feel that their work is completed and the team no more needs them. The life span of the company had changed, so did the working conditions, and the team members’ relationships. These factors were responsible for the demotivation of the team members and the team was no more the same. New problems started to arise with regards to the product, which made Josh and Sandy to lose their interest. Josh moved ahead with his research work and Sandy in her job with less enthusiasm. Sandy is a kind of person who likes to take up challenges, and when the challenge was over and the company started its routine operations she was least bothered about what was happening around. She didn't show up at meetings on time and usually didn't pick up calls as she used to. The challenge she had taken, although, contributed to the success of the company but she lost the charm in the company and needed some change.

3. Recommend well-reasoned strategies for managing the problem—in this case, a recommendation for how the protagonist of the story, Peter Markles, should proceed.

There is an immense need for Peter to bring the team back to proceed the operations smoothly as it were once. The company need to progress at every stage; the product launch is not an end. The team needs to unite and work for the success of the company, come up with new strategies and campaigns to take the company to new heights. Peter has to play a vital role in restoring the team "fearsome threesome".

However, there is a flip side to the situation. Josh is busy already and back to his routine work. Inventing, research and formulating different skin care solutions. He does not have time to look back and keep on celebrating the success of Ageless Vigor.

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