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Intuit Inc. Transforming an Entrepreneurial Company into a Collaborative Organization (B) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1328 1024 Words (4 Pages) Morten T. Hansen, Christina Darwall Harvard Business School : 403135
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

This case focuses on Intuit Inc. The company is in the business of developing and selling software for managing small business accounting. Some of the famous software sold by the company include Quicken, QuickBooks, and others. The company also offered tax preparation products for consumers and accounting professionals.

The company is currently headed by Steve Bennett, who joined the place in 2000 as President and CEO. The management at Intuit focused on how everyone felt about a decision before implementing it. This led to unnecessary delays in decision making and loss of opportunities.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Company and Management Introduction

  2. Case Summary

  3. Analysis of Actions of the Company and its Management

  4. Issue

  5. What could have been done Differently?

  6. Alternative Approaches

Case Analysis for Intuit Inc. Transforming an Entrepreneurial Company into a Collaborative Organization (B) Case Solution

2. Case Summary

Before the changes were implemented by Bennett, Intuit lacked clarity of roles as no one was sure how their actions affected others. The functional staff was also weak and was not well respected by those in business units. The structure was such that each department focused only on their tasks, and there was little (if any) collaboration done by the employees. This problem had to be addressed otherwise the company could not achieve a higher level of growth. This case discusses some of the improvements that Bennett implemented in the company and how things changed as a result of his efforts.

3. Analysis of Actions of the Company and its Management

In order to bring change within the organization, Bennett started following a two-pronged strategy which increased individual accountability and ownership of decisions along with collaboration between functions and units. The most significant change was when Bennett became directly involved with each of his senior executives. This not only increased his span of control but also gave him easier access to monitor the performance of different units.

i. Strengths

One of the key strengths of this new approach was that managers not only had to ensure best results within their units, but they had also to focus on collaboration with other departments and see that the overall goals of organization are being achieved. This improved their vision. The plan also helped in getting the advantage of both centralized as well as decentralized structures. This was done by restricting some activities to the centralized area while others were decentralized, and business unit leaders were given major discretion.

ii. Weaknesses

A major weakness of this program was that it put too much burden as doing what was best for the company as well as one’s unit became stressful and demanding. Another weakness emerged from the need to have rules, processes and procedures for all sorts of activities.

4. Issue

One of the major issues to occur at the company was the Architecture and Standards Issue. During the spring of 2002, Hall was running the e-store as well as being the acting CIO. To make things more systematic, Hall wanted to hire an architecture and standards leaders within CIO to manage all the technologies and systems in place. After this new appointment had been done, it was found that Intuit was using 730 different technologies making a very complex technical infrastructure. There were more than 260 standards as each business unit had made their separate standards. It was eventually decided that the company should promote technological standardization, but it was not clear how this objective should be achieved.

There were two options that were initially considered: Centralized and Decentralized. In the centralized solution, the corporate CIO group would be tasked with developing company-wide standards. Once these standards were established, then their enforcement and mandate would be done by CIO group. This option would be easy and quick to implement, but it could also lead to problems when standards became too restrictive or stifled employee creativity.

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