Read the case study 2.4 on pages 65–66 of the text.
The Widgets ‘R Us case study is a case with a problem of how the company is set up and how the company will
handle operations with its projected growth. Answer the following questions:
You have been called in as a consultant to analyze the operations at WRU. Based on the readings, what would you
advise Widgets ‘R Us to do in order to sustain the competitive advantage in the widget market?
What structural design changes might be undertaken to improve the operations at the company
Case Study 2.4: Widgets ’R Us
Widgets ’R Us (WRU) is a medium-sized firm specializing in the design and manufacturing of
quality widgets. The market for widgets has been stable. Historically, WRU has had a functional
organization design with four departments: accounting, sales, production, and engineering. This
design has served the company well, and it has been able to compete by being the low-priced
company in the industry.
In the past three years, the demand for widgets has exploded. New widgets are constantly being
developed to feed the public’s seemingly insatiable demand. The average life cycle of a newly
released widget is 12–15 months. Unfortunately, WRU is finding itself unable to compete
successfully in this new, dynamic market. The CEO has noted a number of problems. Products
are slow to market. Many new innovations have passed right by WRU because the company was
slow to pick up signs from the marketplace that they were coming. Internal communication is
very poor. Lots of information gets kicked “upstairs,” and no one seems to know what happens to
it. Department heads constantly blame other department heads for the problems.