The market leader in an industry it helped create

Assignment Help Management Theories
Reference no: EM131069713

CASE

Frederick W. Smith-FedEx

Thirty-eight years along, Federal Express, now known as simply FedEx, remains the market leader in an industry it helped create. The name FedEx is synonymous with overnight delivery. The person in charge of providing the strategic direction for all FedEx Corporation companies is its founder, Frederick W. Smith, the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. To position the company for the twenty-first century, Smith has organized FedEx into the following Strategic Business Units: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Trade Networks, and FedEx Services. These companies serve more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 672 aircraft and more than 80,000 vehicles. With more than 290,000 team members worldwide, FedEx handles more than 7.5 million shipments each business day. FedEx has expanded far beyond what Smith started with back in 1971. FedEx has continued to strengthen its industry leadership over the past 38 years and has been widely acknowledged for its commitment to total quality service. Federal Express was the first service company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990. In addition, FedEx has consistently been ranked on Fortune magazine's industry lists, including "World's Most Admired Companies," "America's Most Admired Companies," "100 Best Companies to Work For," and "Blue Ribbon Companies." With growth comes difficulties of coordination, maintaining efficiency, meeting customer expectations, and managing employees. Smith realized that a rigid hierarchy of command-and-control groups would only magnify these difficulties. To give his employees the flexibility and freedom they need to move quickly and help FedEx remain the dominant overnight delivery service in the world, Smith decided to restructure FedEx by emphasizing the team approach to getting work done. He directed his leadership team to empower these groups by giving them the authority and the responsibility to make the changes needed to improve productivity and customer satisfaction throughout the FedEx system. An example of the successful implementation of this new FedEx approach to organizing work can be found in Springfield, Virginia.

With strong support from its managers, employees formed the Quality Action Team to overhaul their package-sorting techniques. The improvements they introduced put couriers on the road 12 minutes earlier than before, and halved the number of packages they delivered late. The success of teams at departmental or local levels encouraged Smith and his leadership team to also assign employee teams to companywide projects. Facing growing competition from United Parcel Service, the U.S. Postal Service, and Airborne Express, FedEx organized its clerical employees into "superteams" of up to 10 people. These teams operated as self-managed teams with little direct supervision from managers. One team cut service glitches, such as incorrect bills and lost packages, by 13 percent. Another team spotted--and worked until they eventually solved--a billing problem that had been costing the company $2.1 million a year. FedEx teams have worked so well because Fred Smith sets standards and reinforces them.

He spearheaded the concept of the "golden package," the idea that every package FedEx handles is critical and must be delivered on time. Whenever there's a crisis, whether due to competitive pressure or to Mother Nature threatening to ground the company's planes, the team with the golden package takes charge to figure out how to make the delivery on time. Smith reinforces group performance by presenting a monthly Circle of Excellence award to the best FedEx station. He encourages innovative thinking by creating a "job-secure environment." He takes the position that "if you hang people who try to do something that doesn't quite work, you'll get people who don't do anything." Managers are by no means obsolete at FedEx. Smith has redefined their roles. There has been a shift in mindset from the traditional leader-centered to the teamcentered leadership approach. Managers are expected to formulate clear, attainable goals for their teams, to solicit employee ideas, and to act on the best employee suggestions. FedEx managers perceive their role as facilitators--and sometimes they are players. During emergencies at the Memphis hub, senior managers have been known to hurry down from the executive suite to help load packages onto the conveyor belts that feed

the company's planes. They practice team leadership by doing, not by telling. According to one company executive, "FedEx has built what is the most seamless global air and ground network in its industry, connecting more than 90 percent of the world's economic activity." It is evident that Smith's leadership in pushing for a much more open, flexible, team-based organization has been instrumental in keeping FedEx's lead position in overnight package service. It is also one of the reasons that FedEx has continuously earned high marks as one of the top companies to work for in the United States. GO TO THE INTERNET: To learn more about Fred Smith and FedEx, visit their Web site (https://www.fedex.com). Support your answers to the following questions with specific information from the case and text or with other information you get from the Web or other sources.

1. How do the standards set by Fred Smith for FedEx teams improve organizational performance?

2. What motivates the members of FedEx to remain highly engaged in their teams?

3. Describe the role FedEx managers play in facilitating team effectiveness.

4. What type of teams does FedEx use? Provide evidence from the case to support your answer.

5. Leaders play a critical role in building effective teams. Cite evidence from the case that FedEx managers performed some of these roles in developing effective teams.

CUMULATIVE CASE QUESTIONS

6. The Big Five model of personality categorizes traits into dimensions of surgency, agreeableness, adjustment, conscientiousness, and openness to experience (Chapter 2). Which of these dimensions do you think Fred Smith possesses?

7. The normative leadership model identifies five leadership styles appropriate for different situations that users can select to maximize decisions (Chapter 5). Which of the five leadership styles is practiced by FedEx team leaders?

8. The case reveals that at the Memphis hub senior managers have been known to hurry down from the executive suite to help load packages during emergencies in order to get the plane off on time. FedEx leaders want to be seen as coaches, not managers. Specific guidelines can help a leader become an effective coach (Chapter 6). Which of the guideline(s) does the example above represent?

9. Research on followership describes five types of followership (see Exhibit 7.3, Chapter 7).

Which of these types will work best in FedEx's team environment as described in the case, and why? CAS E EX E R C IS E AN D RO LE -P LAY Preparation: You are senior vice president for operations at FedEx. FedEx's monthly Circle of Excellence Award is presented to the best FedEx station. This time the best station was one that truly represented the spirit of teamwork in problem solving. The station manager spotted a loading problem that was costing the company millions of dollars a year and decided to leave it up to the station as a group to find ways of solving the problem. After a series of group meetings and key decisions, a solution was found that successfully took care of the loading problem and was adopted by the rest of the company. It has come to Fred Smith's attention that a key reason for the station's success is the leadership role played by the team leader during this process. Smith has asked that you use the award ceremony as an opportunity to highlight the virtues of the group-centered approach of leadership, particularly with respect to decision making in teams. Develop the key parts of the speech you will give on this occasion. Your instructor may elect to break the class into groups to share ideas and put together the speech or simply ask each student to prepare an independent speech. If you do a group speech, select one leader to present the speech to the entire class. Role-Play: One person (representing oneself or a group) may give the speech to the entire class, or break into groups of five or six and deliver speeches one at a time.

Reference no: EM131069713

Questions Cloud

Calculate the current using ohm law : Calculate the values for the Thevenin Equivalent Circuit, ZTH and VTH.Be sure to include both magnitude and phase values in your solution.Assume that the load will be placed where RL is located for your analysis.
Derive expressions relating k1 and k2 to ki and kii in terms : derive expressions relating k1 and k2 to KI and KII in terms of the tilt angle, a.
Create unique hypothetical weighted average cost of capital : From the scenario, create a unique hypothetical weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and rate of return. Recommend whether or not the company should expand, and defend your position.
Perform a specific network forensics process : Find a video that shows how to perform a specific network forensics process, summarize the video, and attach it to your discussion. As an investigator, why do you need to know how to do network forensics?
The market leader in an industry it helped create : Thirty-eight years along, Federal Express, now known as simply FedEx, remains the market leader in an industry it helped create. The name FedEx is synonymous with overnight delivery. The person in charge of providing the strategic direction for al..
Availability by looking at component : When installing PCI Network interphase Computer System (NICS) you can check the IRQ availability by looking at which component?
Compare your predictions with the measured fatigue crack : Compare your predictions with the measured fatigue crack growth rates for both frequencies and discuss possible reasons for the discrepancies, if any, between your predictions and the experimentally determined growth rates.
Discuss executive compensation has gotten out of control : Discuss whether executive compensation has gotten out of control and, if so, how this could create problems for the company and its shareholders.
Print server functionality : An office of 25 computers is interested in employing a file server, network shares, and print server functionality. Which of the following network setups would be BEST suited for this situation?

Reviews

Write a Review

 

Management Theories Questions & Answers

  Commmunication of internal competition

Describe the FIS project team's characteristics and diversity as well as the project team's processes ( taskwork and teamwork ) and commmunication of Internal Competition-A curse for Team Performance

  Salient features of the fair labor standards act

Salient features of the Fair Labor Standards Act

  Consider the example of the park hyatt philadelphia

Consider the example of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia discussed in the book. Recall that the full fare is $225

  Meeting the digital challenge and harley-davidson

Using the two cases providing for the mid-term, write one 800-1000 word paper. The Mid-term paper must consider these cases together. The learner should present a common business lesson in the Harley-Davidson and Kodak cases. The analysis must fo..

  Two dimensions the ife total weighted scores on the x-axis

IE is based on two dimensions the IFE total weighted scores on the x-axis

  Balance sheet and income statement

What are taxes paid in 2014? Assume the firm pays taxes equal to 35% of taxable income. (Do not round intermediate calculations. Enter your answer in millions rounded to 2 decimal places.)

  Assess crowdsourcing in regard to the legal societal and

crowdsourcing in the field of interface design takes tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals and spreads

  Newly acquired knowledge of energy economics

The integrated project is designed to tie your newly acquired knowledge of energy economics to the analysis of major global issues you will likely face in your career.

  Need to add references or recommended reading

NEED TO ADD REFERENCES OR RECOMMENDED READING

  What about being a lawyer interests you

What about being a lawyer interests you

  Describe how you find information and why it is valuable

Choose a single piece of information that is pertinent for network layout and hardware configuration. Describe how you find this information and why it is valuable.

  Golden indorses a negotiable promissory

(c) Porter lost a negotiable check payable to his order. Kersey found it and indorsed the back of the check as follows: ‘‘Pay to Drexler, (signed) Kersey.''

Free Assignment Quote

Assured A++ Grade

Get guaranteed satisfaction & time on delivery in every assignment order you paid with us! We ensure premium quality solution document along with free turntin report!

All rights reserved! Copyrights ©2019-2020 ExpertsMind IT Educational Pvt Ltd