All the wrong moves
The article is a case study on Nutrorim’s decision-making process. Everything in the case study is fictional but it presents common managerial dilemma. Four experts’ opinions on the case are presented as solutions for this case.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The main concern in this study is Nutrorim’s problem in decision-making. In particular, this study gave a concrete solution for Rifkin’s inability to make sound decisions for some major issues because of certain factors. Rifkin does not have difficulty in making decisions but when it comes to issues that involve clear winners and losers, Rifkin’s decision-making process seems not to work. He may employ a democratic approach to solving issues but this only leads to resentment because there are voices that are unheard or disregarded.
Garvin gave a sufficient background of the Nutrorim case, which gives a clear and understandable view on the company’s decision-making problem. He also provided sufficient information on the key characters.
DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH PROCEDURE
Garvin used case study as his research design. He first gave a comprehensive account of the major issues Nutrorim has faced. He then asked four experts’ opinion on the right decision-making process for Nutrorim. These four experts include Christopher J. McCormick, president and CEO of L.L. Bean in Freeport Maine, Hauke Moje, partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Hamburg, Germany, Ralph Biggadike, professor of professional practice in the management division of Columbia Business School in New, York, and Paul Domorski, vice-president of service operations at Avaya in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
FLAWS IN PROCEDURAL DESIGN
It should be noted that Garvin did not give his own opinion on the Nutrorim case given that he is the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Furthermore, he should have summarized Nutrorim’s problem and the experts’ opinions into a conclusion section so that readers could better understand the major issues in the case and the solutions presented.
ANALYSIS OF DATA
The problem emphasized in Nutrorim’s case is Rifkin’s inability to make sound decisions. Rifkin, in wanting to be a better leader than his former boss, just made himself an inconsistent and volatile leader. It may seem that he does not have any problems in making decisions but his method in managing his company seems to backfire during situations involving clear winners and losers because of his inability to use objective analysis. Furthermore, he seems to be a feeble leader because of his inability to set firm management rules. He also avoids conflict to the point that some issues are unaddressed such as the rift between Steve Ford and Nora Stern, which leads to the frustration of top managers.
LIMITED AND JUSTIFIABLE CONCLUSIONS
The general aim of this study is to give concrete solutions on Nutrorim’s case. Garvin concluded his study by giving the opinion of four experts in the field. McCormick’s and Domorski’s advice is that Rifkin should employ objective analysis by asking the right questions. Moje said that Rifkin should employ firm management rules to prevent bullish management, selective hearing and ignoring risks. Biggadike said that Rifkin should not avoid conflicts to prevent unaddressed issues. These advices offer concrete solutions to Nutrorim’s problem on decision-making.
Garvin, D. A. (2006). All the Wrong Moves. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 18-41.
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