The Public Communications Department at New York Telephone
20 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009
Bob Bellhouse, general manager of Public Communications at New York Telephone (PubCom), leads a five-year transformation of his organization from a "backwater, laissez-faire operation" into a high-performance business unit. Before the divestiture of AT&T, in 1984, PubCom had suffered from low morale, poor management, and inadequate information. The introduction of competition into the pay-telephone market in 1986, however, forced PubCom to learn how to compete against an aggressive group of vendors that installed and serviced customer-owned, coin-operated telephones. This case presents the major pieces of PubCom's strategy, including the "right" data, embracing innovative technological solutions to improve service and customer satisfaction, committing to quality, and using a "catchballing" planning process (also known as Hoshin planning). At the end of the case, Bellhouse reflects on the key elements of his managerial and leadership philosophy, and the new general manager must decide how she will lead the PubCom unit and utilize its organizational and technological capabilities to meet the next round of competitive challenges. Videotape #8224, "The New York Telephone Company: An Interview with Bob Bellhouse," and CD-ROM #2004, "NYNEX," are designed for use with this case.
Keywords: change, management of, leadership, management philosophy, organizational change, performance measurement, quality
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