The Cross-Functional Conflict and Coordination Problems of the EPD Division of Allentown Materials Corporation

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The EPD division of Allentown Materials Corporation has serious problems in cross-functional conflict and coordination. These issues hurt the division’s performance on new product development, service, morale, and decision making. Part of the reason for these issues could be due to declining market conditions and poor divisional performance but there seems to be fundamental organization problems. EPD markets have been shifting as a result of decline in military spending by government. The result has been increasing sales in the computer, telecommunications, and consumer electronics markets, which required rapid development of product extensions at competitive prices and good service and not unique technological advantage in the product.…show more content…
the time it takes for product development.. Recommendations A project team organization should be developed, especially for new product development. The members of these project teams should be selected based on functions ( R&D, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales) . As Marketing is already trying to do coordinating role, they should act as Project managers or coordinating functions. As Marketing personnel do not have a lot of experience in this role, they should be trained based on know-how from other divisions in Allentown. As this is a new approach, EPD should have someone independent personnel, either outside consultant or people from other division to kick-start the projects. These independent personnel could intervene, facilitate constructive conflict , give feedback on their observations and also to the project coordinators in their effectiveness of conducting the session. Each project team should develop its own objectives for the project, plan the project and should report to the top management team on quarterly basis through the project managers. These quarterly meetings should replace the monthly product development meetings and the focus should be on progress of the projects along with money and resource requirements. Every attempt must be made to decide on any open issues during the meeting. If a reasonable decision cannot be made in the meeting then a time limit should be set for management to make these decisions. Project managers should

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