Aspen Aerogels Case Study Analysis


Home >> Harvard >> Aspen Aerogels >>

Aspen Aerogels Case Study Help

Background and Facts

Aspen Aerogels a workplace supplies store for tiny and medium sized companies has just recently been associated with planning for a merging with its rival Home Deport, which has actually impacted performance levels in departmentswith the elderly supervisor associated with legal problems presented by the government Trade Payment. With the Advertising and marketing Head putting forward the news of his separation from the business in one year, Jeannie Lewis, the present head of procedures has actually been asked to take the duty in the near future. With challenges in the kind of a possible social modification and also reduced employee morale, the organization requires a complete reengineering initiative at the marketing department.

Trouble Declaration
Porter's 5 Forces Analysis
The potential cultural change at the advertising and marketing division of Aspen Aerogels is increasing unpredictability in the workplace causing numerous obstacles for the Jeannie Lewis who would certainly be replacing the head of the department in one year. nalysis

PEST analysis

Political Factors: Political factors play a significant role in impacting critical decisions considering that Stapes Inc. needed to desert its strategies of merging with Workplace Deport after the Federal Profession Commission's intervention in the process. Offered the truth that the shop has a global existence with branches in UK, U.S.A., Canada and Germany, political factors in each of these nations might have the ability to affect efficiency or tactical objectives. Federal Profession Commission's antitrust match against the merging used up valuable time of the company's elderly management suggesting that 'political' factors can have significant ramifications for an international business.

Economic Factors: Financial factors such as the introduction of small companies in the global scenario recommend that Aspen Aerogels is prospering in a setting where there is possible development of organisations. In addition to this, fact that shop customers are mostly searching for workplace products for home offices recommends that the marketplace has a rising fad of business owners and also home based businesses.

Social factors: Social trends in the economic situation show that consumers are trying to find convenience in addition to appealing prices. Market research demonstrates how the consumer for Aspen Aerogels does not have understanding about discovering services which can provide a mix of benefit as well as low costs.

Technological factors: Modern technology plays an essential function in Aspen Aerogels's service approach particularly as the company is piloting Modern technology facilities which would certainly use technology sales as well as support in the type of memory upgrades, outer setups. (Summary of BUG in appendix 2).

OB Issues and also Symptoms.

A number of underlying Organizational Actions concerns can be seen in Aspen Aerogels's case as highlighted in this section.

Worries concerning social modification: There is uneasiness about a social change that would certainly happen as soon as Todd Krasnow leaves from his position as the Executive Vice President of Advertising with a lot of the staff members currently showing discontent over this prospective step. This anticipated adjustment has actually developed tension in the work environment which has been coupled with the previous stress and anxiety of preparing the company for a possible merger with House Deport.
Pest Analysis
Difficult Work Setting for Newcomers: There is scarcity of personnel that can match the demanding setting of a busy company. Not only does this cause difficulty in locating the appropriate people, it puts tension on new hires as can not endure the rate as well as pressure that the company expects them to bear.

Dual Reporting Lines: Novices locate this organizational society troublesome and also difficult to cope with particularly as dotted line relationships are implied to be weaker in general and unbiased setup as well as performance assessment is still done by the strong line manager. This indicates that newbies can shed clearness concerning their particular roles as well as purposes especially as populated line coverage does not keep them in straight communication with the solid line supervisors.

Animosity From Cross Departmental Hiring: Krasnow's choice to make Lewis his follower rather than Bridget Coles despite the fact that it had actually been speculated that the last would take Krasnow's setting came as an impact to her morale. Lewis may have been capable as well as proper for the work but the reality that Kransnow's departure would certainly make Coles a direct record to Lewis may have been the reason for Coles' resignation from solutions.

Fear & Job Instability: Fear as well as insecurity can be recognized as two significant worries that Lewis would certainly be dealing with particularly as the merging has actually currently be cancelled and also 2 senior executives of the marketing division would be leaving. The whole responsibility of the division would certainly be dropping on Lewis's shoulders who would not just be in charge of brining about a cultural change however would likewise have to prove herself in her brand-new role.

Inappropriate Administration Design of Leader: Lewis's management design and its incompatibility with the marketing division's role can also be seen as an OB difficulty especially as she has been made use of to dealing with problems in the operations department where workers are instructed to concentrate on processes as well as obtain them. The advertising and marketing division on the various other hand can be viewed as a group of people that are used to being nurtured by Krasnow that concentrated much more on outcome than procedures.

Interdepartmental Arguments: Interdepartmental differences in between three divisions, advertising, merchandizing as well as procedures specifically over the allotment of the marketing mix can be recognized as one more OB worry. Although the advertising and marketing division does not share the very same vision as the various other two divisions concerning the aloocation of the advertising and marketing mix twoards promos and also advertsing, the merchandizing and operations departments do not concur over the advertising and marketing mix allocation amongst each other either.

Disintegration in Advertising Division: Disintegration in between the advertising and marketing divisions can be recognized as one more OB issue which could need additional interest. The reality that the marketing and advertising sections in the marketing department are disconnected is stopping both divisions from obtaining from each other's experience and know-how. Integration of advertising and marketing with retailing and procedures would become harder if the advertising department itself is degenerated which can be another potential OB issue.

Aspen Aerogels Analysis

Different concepts have actually been made use of to explain the situations to get further clarity regarding the scenario available.
Swot Analysis
McGregor's Theory X & Y: According to Douglas McGregor's Concept X, many supervisors believe that subordinates are passive and careless, have little aspiration and withstand adjustment. The hard version of this theory highlighted threat, limited controls, hazards as well as punishments. Gradually it creates reduced performance, refined sabotage and competition (Deal, 2003). The circumstance at Aspen Aerogels is not totally following Theory X, it can be seen that brand-new hires are discovering this environment instead stressful which may ultimately lead to a higher disposition of the monitoring towards Concept X. As per McGregor's advocated view, which he called Theory Y, the necessary job of the management is to set up organizational problems to make sure that people can accomplish their own objectives best by directing their efforts in the direction of business benefits. If people discover no contentment in their work, the management would have little option however to rely upon concept X and also exterior control (Deal, 2003). Also while evaluating Lewis's monitoring style, theory X might have been suitable in the procedures department somewhat yet the Advertising division would need reliance on Theory Y to get the imagination as well as creativity from the teams.

Tuckman's Team effort Concept: Regarding Lewis's worry concerning bringing harmony between the advertising and marketing department is concerned, this would initially cause clash as gone over by Bruce Tuckman in his 'Synergy Concept'. (Tuckman, 1965). Based on Tuckman's theory displayed in appendix 3, during the preliminary stage of group advancement, people may not bond, as they are active discovering their location in the group. By combining the marketing and advertising division's job, there may coincide first separate which might lead to the 2nd phase of 'storming' where the teams challenge one another. Nonetheless, it is just during the third phase or 'norming' when they would certainly come together to share suggestions before the group can bring about synergy in the fourth stage 'executing'.

Bridges' Transition Version: Based On William Bridge's theory (appendix 4), individuals are fairly uneasy with change, which is obvious by the circumstance at Aspen Aerogels The circumstance can be seen as a normal program of life if is studied as per Bridge's concept where he describes that people go through 3 stages of change when they experience change. 'Closing, losing and also Releasing', The Neutral Zone as well as 'The New Beginning' (Bridges, 2004). When people exist with change, they get in stage one therefore there might be feelings like unhappiness, unpredictability, aggravation, rage, concern, rejection and also disorientation.The situation at the advertising division of Aspen Aerogels is similar so Lewis can get comfortable with the suggestion that it is not phenomenal actions. In the second stage, there might be a requirement to link the space in between the new and old society so Lewis may need to encounter this ordeal when Krasnow leaves. There might be low spirits and low productivity at this phase which ought to not be taken as a trouble. It is during this phase that Lewis will need to offer advice to the division to ensure that they can find an orientation. It can be seen exactly how Krasnow has already made this change simpler by making Lewis obtain involved in the department a year prior to his actual departure. According to Bridges' Design, phase 3 will certainly bring about openness to knowing, High power and commitment as individuals will certainly welcome the adjustment (Bridges, 2004).
Vrio Analysis
Maslow's Need pecking order: The OB problem related to insecurity at the work environment has been activated first of all by the change in monitoring as well as secondly by the fact that the merger will certainly no longer be started. Abraham Maslow in his Concept of 'Demands Pecking order' (appendix 5) has talks about the significance of 'security needs as being a lower degree requirement of a human for activating motivation. As seen in the pyramid shared in appendix 3, we can see just how 'the requirement to really feel safe and secure and untouched' goes to the 2nd level of demands. Prior to a worker can be made to develop emotionally, he needs to have his 'Physical 'as well as 'Safety' needs met. This suggests that unless the personnel are made to really feel safe about their present employment standing in Aspen Aerogels they may not get to 'Self-Fulfillment'. (King, 2009).

SWOT Analysis for Aspen Aerogels Case Study

Ramification of Analysis.

The OB analysis has looked at various theories to understand just how to deal with the current circumstance available. The adhering to three choices have actually been suggested to help Lewis deal with the business challenges in the advertising department. Each of these choices has been proposed for alleviating the shift needed to bring the advertising and marketing division according to the requirements of the marketplace and also for making the cultural modification that would comply with as soon as the current leader leaves.

Integration of advertising and marketing features. Dividing Adverting and also Manufacturing features. Combination of Advertising And Marketing with Workflow.

Assessment of Alternatives.

Judith Shapiro who has actually earlier been interviewed by Lewis during the earlier merging days has experience in business-to-business advertising and marketing along with company and also retail advertising and marketing experience. As soon as Krasnow leaves, Lewis can hire Shapiro as an EVP for advertising and marketing to take care of both advertising and marketing as well as marketing functions.

The benefit of this technique is that it will certainly incorporate the two functions while decreasing the need for employing an extra resource for advertising. In addition to this, Lewis would certainly be heading the marketing department and also in any case her replacement would be needed for the current role that she is carrying out. The downside of this choice is that outside hiring might produce animosity from internal workers who might be eying the position of EVP after Lewis takes over Krasnow's setting.

Separating Adverting as well as Manufacturing: Provided the competitive pressures and high quality work required from the ad agency, it is advised that Lewis must allow the production system to be a different feature from the advertising unit. Considering that a lot of advertising agencies had these 2 features as separate units, it makes more feeling to follow the standard. Along with this, both features might have the ability to concentrate on their core turns on much more effectively. The disadvantage of this technique would be that added expenses would have to be birthed for setting up separate production functions. A manufacturing head might have to be employed which could enhance overheads for the organization.

Integration of Advertising And Marketing with Workflows: Given that Lewis is already looking after the advertising and marketing and operations divisions all at once; it makes good sense to incorporate the two functions since she has actually been effectively taking care of both ends. The fact that both divisions already have major distinctions over allotment of sources recommends that this assimilation might have the ability to produce harmony especially as Lewis would be heading both ends.However there are different drawbacks of this relocation specifically as it would place way too much burden over Lewis's shoulders. The fact that Lewis has to adapt her management design for the advertising division suggests that these 2 departments would be culturally diverse. Along with this, Lewis may not be able to apply one sort of management design to both divisions which could lead to inadequacy in either among both functions.


An assessment of the three choices indicates that assimilation of advertising and marketing and also operations would not be a possible action due to the vast distinctions in between the 2 divisions regardless of the fact that presently Lewis is taking care of both. While splitting up of the manufacturing function may have been a favorable action for the advertising division, the truth that it would certainly mean placing a 3rd function under Lewis's wing means this should be avoided.

Action Plan.
Lewis will take control of the function of EVP Advertising and marketing after Krasnow leaves.

Advertising and Marketing functions would certainly be merged.

Judith Shapiro will be hired to take Lewis's area as SVP of advertising and marketing.

Manufacturing function will continue to be part of advertising and marketing under advertising function.

Lewis will separate herself from procedures.

A democratic leadership design with worker empowerment will certainly be made use of in advertising and marketing department.

Open up door plan and also emphasis on cross departmental communication will certainly be aimed at removing discord.

Backup plan.

If the integration does not work out as intended, a contingency plan would certainly adhere to which would certainly divide the manufacturing function from the marketing feature to reduce the load on the SVP of marketing and advertising. In case Judith Shapiro does not get worked with, Lewis will be heading the advertising and marketing division without an SVP. Because case the production feature will most definitely be divided by positioning it under an SVP production.