CarMax – Case study

It will focus on applying course concepts by re-examining an experience within an organization in which you were an active member. (The organization is “Used car dealer – CarMAX)

Part 1: Case Description (investigation stage)
You will organize and conduct the Discovery stage, in which you identify a significant issue that requires an organizational response involving key decision makers.
You will research and explain the context for the case, focusing on the organizational frames and necessary background information.
You will identify possible solutions and possible outcomes, and provide supporting rationale.

Part 2: Case Analysis and Solution (consulting stage)
Here you will select and explain the main issue and underlying causes, and how you acquired this information and conclusion. You will review the potential responses (solutions) and recommend one or more, using sound logic and theory.

Four frames:
Structural frame:
1. We might see an emphasis on goals – that don’t mention people
2. Division and specialization might be very clear
3. Coordination and control may be important
4. Problem solving – looks at structure
5. Technical qualifications, not personal qualifications
6. Other perspectives (frames) may receive less attention

Human Resource frame:
1. We might see people as a reason for the organization
2. Work may be designed so that people can see the meaningful whole of what
they do – how they fit.
3. Individual wishes and needs might get attention
4. There is emphasis on developing people
5. Compensation might reflect “people emphasis”
6. HR has a human resources strategy
7. Supervision may focus on people and relationships
8. Problems are solved by considering people and relationships
9. Groups and teams are used
10. Communication is relatively plentiful, and both horizontal and vertical

Political Frame:
1. Important decisions focus on who gets what
2. Look for bargaining, negotiations, stakeholders
3. Is this frame where we might look at ethical challenges? Why?
4. During stressful times – more politics
5. Do all goals originate at the top of the organization?

1. What something means is most important
2. Symbols overcome uncertainty and ambiguity
3. Symbols create patterns of meaning and purpose
4. Symbols are visible parts of culture; culture defines
groups and organizations with boundaries.