About Razors Edge Mountaineering Company
Razor’s Edge (RE) is a young and growing company that serves the needs of those who engage in extreme sports, adventure/exploration, and guiding services. Some examples of RE’s core market include expert/professional mountain climbers, white-water rafting guides, and polar explorers. The founders of RE are the husband and wife team of Dan and Alice Connors, worldfamous mountain climbers and explorers. Dan and Alice have both reached the summit of Mount Everest and each is well respected in the rather small and close-knit community of adventurers and explorers. RE is an eclectic company of employees who, like Danand Alice, share a passion for adventure and extreme sports. The company not only designs and sells its own lines of specialized products such as mountain-climbing shoes and ropes but also develops software designed to support expedition planning, communication and navigation, and simulation and scenario response (i.e., training tools for guides and newer expedition members).
For the first five years of its development, RE did not worry too much about organizational plans, structure, policies or controls. Employees were encouraged to climb, trek, and guide, and attendance issues were addressed on a case-by-case basis. Although officially all employees were given two weeks of paid vacation, many employees were allowed to take up to two months off at halfpay so that they could complete an expedition. Sick days were jokingly referred to as “mountain flu” days, and it was not unusual for the small company to be thinly staffed on Mondays and Fridays. But in the past three years, RE has grown from 25 employees to 85. The company is too big, and the jobs too diverse, for Dan and Alice to deal with each employee request for “expedition time” away from work. And the “mountain flu” has occasionally weakened the company’s response to customers.
Dan and Alice have also become victims of their own success as they attracted other climbers to join their company—most climbers want time off in the peak climbing seasons. But this also happens to be a peak time for RE orders and service requests. The company has organized all employees into teams and announced a contest. Each team should come up with an approach for controlling staffing levels to meet or exceed customer expectations for responsiveness, while at the same time preserving RE’s tradition as a company of active adventurers and explorers. The company has announced that each member of the employee team that develops the winning solution will receive R25 000 worth of RE gear of their choice. Keep in mind that RE is somewhat unusual in that even its accounting staff members (five full-time employees) are experienced adventurers and explorers and are expected to answer customer questions and handle their service needs.
Develop a management plan by engaging the current knowledge from the MAMB 1621 course in your plan. Refer to the rubric on the next page, as a guideline. When developing the management plan, the following issues should be addressed:
1. As far as the market environment is concerned, identify TWO issues of importance that could have an influence on the company and describe them and the impact that they could have. Also identify THREE factors in the macro environment and the impact they could have on the company. (20)
2. Do a SOAR analysis of the company (see organisational change and learning unit – 7) as demonstration of a planning tool. (20)
3. Comment on the motivational plan that RE is implementing in terms of the theory of motivation. (10)
4. How would you advice Dan and Alice on their leadership styles and structures when catering for a young organisation like theirs? (20)
5. Neatness, clarity, argumentation, etc. (10)