William Taylor and Associates (a)

12 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Samuel E. Bodily

Samuel E. Bodily

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Michael McEnearney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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The owner of a small consulting firm faces conflicting objectives in the choice of an organizational form for his firm. This case focuses on the structuring of objectives and corresponding measures of performance. See also the B case (UVA-QA-0242).




“The one thing I can say for certain is that I cannot measure the benefits I derive from running my own business in dollars alone.” The speaker was William Taylor, owner of Taylor and Associates (T&A). “Many in business used to say that the impact on the bottom line was all that mattered. But today, even big businesses—or at least some of them—seem to be learning what most small businessmen have known all along—that you frequently are unable to measure total benefit derived from an enterprise on the single scale of profits.”

Taylor and Associates was currently a single proprietorship. After considering the possibility that objectives other than profit were important to his overall satisfaction, Taylor wondered whether the current organizational form was the most appropriate. Taylor's son, Brian, was an MBA student with a master's degree in engineering. The two had often discussed the role of conflicting objectives in the evaluation of the company's performance. Taylor hoped that, with the aid of his son, he could choose the best structure for his company, using a more formal analysis—one which accounted for multiple objectives.

“I agreed to go through with this multi-attribute process for several reasons. First, any formal process which would help me commit to spending some time on my strategic problems seemed to me to be positive. Secondly, I am an engineer as well as a businessman. For this reason, the formally quantified approach to the problem of which legal form to adopt for my organization has some appeal. I must admit, though, that the business side of me is rather leery of using any magic formula to obtain the answer to such a complex problem. But since my goals and objectives in making this decision were not well formulated, I felt that this process of structuring objectives and measuring alternatives against them would help me to better understand them,” Taylor explained.

Company History

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Keywords: corporate structure, decision theory, management-decision models, organizational design, organizational objectives, performance measurement

Suggested Citation

Bodily, Samuel E. and McEnearney, Michael, William Taylor and Associates (a). Darden Case No. UVA-QA-0241. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911833

Samuel E. Bodily (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4813 (Phone)
434-293-7677 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/bodily.htm

Michael McEnearney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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