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Cushy Armchair Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1987 1076 Words (5 Pages) Brian R Golden Ivey Publishing : 9B01C019
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Cabletronica, increased its investment stakes in Cushy Armchair considering the potential growth of reclining chairs industry. Cushy Armchair is a leader in the global reclining chair business. It was expected that the recliner chair industry was to consolidate speedily, and competitors were to centralize their operations to achieve cost advantages. Cabletronica announced the appointment of Alison Sampson to make the changes aimed at reducing cost etc. Upon taking the role, Sampson shot an email to the respective managers for the shift towards the centralization of important decision making by the New York head office. However, she found that her proposed policy changes had been ignored.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Overview

  2. Problems

  3. Causes

  4. Goals

  5. Action Alternatives

  6. Recommendations

  7. Implementation

  8. Contingency

Case Analysis for Cushy Armchair Case Solution

2. Problems

The major problem was that Cushy Armchair was operating with a decentralized business model in different countries. Due to cultural differences, the management in different countries was responsible for the distinct design and the purchasing decisions in accordance with that particular market. Centralization of the operations took the autonomy from the regional managers, who were unwilling to accept the change, considered Alison as a native person, and hence did not abide by the policy change proposed by her.

Secondly, the mode of communication used by Alison was not appropriate as she just emailed the relevant managers about the policy shift without meeting them in person. Lack of physical social interaction may have resulted in the managers being unclear about the proposed policy changes. This, hence reflected in their inability to abide. Alison also did not ask them for their acknowledgment to ensure their proper understanding, nor met them personally to discuss with them about the proposed changes. 

Thirdly, Cabletronica hired Alison and just sent a global email to make its employees aware of Alison's appointment. No internal meeting was kept that would have involved all the relevant managers and the head of departments to discuss the industry changes and the company's response. Rather, Alison just took on her role without meeting the heads and put forward the changes without considering their opinions and feedback, which in turn resulted in her proposed policy not being implemented.

3. Causes

Firstly, there was a lack of fit between organizational structure and the tasks. Cushy Armchairs' organizational structure was shifted towards becoming a centralized one with centralized operations. While the organizational structure changed, the senior regional managers responsible for managing operations in different countries continued following their existing business practices. Hence, there were higher chances of conflict and resentment from the senior management towards the proposed change.

Secondly, there was a lack of fit between the processes and the people. The communication process that was used to deliver the changed policy was unsuitable, given the gravity and the impact of the change proposed. Alison undertook an unreasonable approach to deal with the respective department managers operating in different countries by just communicating with them through email and following an autocratic style of leadership rather than democratic, making her policies unpopular among them and increasing the level of resistance.

Thirdly, there was a lack of fit between the organizational structure and the process. Cushy Armchair's previous organizational structure comprised of decentralized decision making, where the managers enjoyed a higher degree of autonomy. However, the process implemented to lead the change was quite hasty which did not account for the feedback of the managers and rather just informed them about the shift in the organizational structure, This was a major cause which led to the managing heads to be non-serious and unwilling to accept the new policy.

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