Study Analysis of Whispering Pines
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Logical and Critical Analysis
Thisl2 is a case study analysis of
Whispering Pines done by Lee McBride to assess the problems faced by this
organization. Using McKinsey 7-S framework, it was discovered
that, Whispering pines has certain problems when it came to way their organization is structured, the
systems in place were not effective, and the style of management were relaxed. To
better understand and propose solutions to these problems, Bloom’s
Taxonomy of learning domains were used.
Analysis of the Whispering Pines financial and business strategies showed, there were no specific
systems in place. Evaluations of the case analysis,
showed some inconsistencies in information gathering. Lastly, a proposed
scorecard system was introduced to measure performance
of Whispering Pines.
of Whispering Pines
Whispering Pine’s current goal is to get
the State to recognize their current building as a historic landmark. Per
McBrides’s investigations, the problems facing this organization is l4 greater than their pursuit of getting
a recognition for their building. From
the case study, there is no strategy that arel5 in place to assess the organization’s
objectives and goals. Moreover, “formulating strategies is a mechanism that
senior management employs to assess the
company’s strengths and weaknesses” (Dias Jordao & Casas Novas, 2013, p.
99). Per the article, Whispering Pines was founded to provide homes to members
of the Society of Friends (Joyner, Frantz, & Crane, 2012). However, they have deviated from
that goall6 , and now admit anyone. This has
led to confusion as to whether Whispering Pines is
classified as either, a retirement home or a boarding house. The problem
with the confusion is attributed to state’s requirements for a home to be classified as a retirement homel7 l8 but the problem lies in their
commitment to their by-laws. As Dias jordao
& Casas Novas (2013) explains the three strategical plans company must follow, these include; time, frequency and effort. The time involves
the short or long-term goals of the organization, the frequency is the how
frequent these strategies will occur, and the
lastly l9 the effort from significant people of
the organization (Dias Jordao & Casas Novas, 2013).
In terms of
structuring of Whispering Pines, the only
known communication is between, Gail Goodbroom who is the manager and Marge
Upman, the board treasurer. The article mentioned
the by-laws call for a 12l10 -member boardl11 but the current members are only 4l12 . This
is another case of failure to stick to their organizational goals. Moreover, as
Dias jordao & Casas Novas (2013)
asserts, it is
imperative that organizations ensure frequent
occurrence of their strategies. In the case study, the by-law’s call for all
board members to be members of the Society of Friends, therefore, this has led to l13 constraints on number of board members (Joyner, et al., 2012). The coordination between each department is
not structured to gain knowledge of how responsibilities are shared among memberl14 . From McBride’s analysis, he found thatl15 ,
Gail Goodbroom oversees all day-to-day activities of Whispering Pines. These
l16 cooking, buying of groceries, collection of the rents,
making deposits, and reconciling the bank statement (Joyner, et al., 2012). From this analysis, McBride notices
there were no
checks and balances pertaining to the
finances of Whispering Pines. The article further describes thatl17 ,
the lines of communication were seasonal since Marge spent his vacation in warm
weathers. These created difficulties in establishing
a form of communication with him during the winters.
Suggestion: Gail Goodbroom, the manager of
Whispering Pines, is sensitive to the
needs of the residents and knowledgeable about the operational aspects of the
facility. However, no written policies and procedures are in place for
uniformity of activities or continuity of operation should an employee change
become necessary. The board of directors is not clearly versed in the daily operational aspects of the facility.
The manager makes unilateral decisions and has an undefined position of
authority with imprecise accountability for her actions.
Current Systems of Whispering Pines
Tim Hayden sought the help of Mr. McBridel18 and per his observation, Whispering Pines is losing money and currently
rely on donations. His statement is based
on mere observation without any solid facts. He confesses to having no background
in business thereby, limiting his ability to offer meaningful ideas to get the
organization on track. The monitoring and evaluations
of business isl19 non-existent at Whispering Pines. The only form of accountability is
when Gail presents the total accounts to Marge (Joyner,
et al., 2012). Moreover,
Mcbride noticed, she didn’tl20 produce a detailed list of
monthly rent payments from each resident, hence, no form of data storage. Tl21 he ability to store and use data is important
for many organizations. That
is why per Dias jordao & Casas Novas
(2013), it is
important that organizations realize the need for adequate monitoring of
quantitative and qualitative data and its impact on financial performance. From
the article, Whispering Pine has not paid adequate
attention to data gathering and its usage. Tim Hayden has the ambition to seek
outside help to maintain the internal processes of Whispering Pinesl22 but he cannot afford to pay these specialists.
systems for both the board and the
facility staff of Whispering Pines were informal. There were no checks and
balances, no cash flow reporting, no detailed accounting ledgers for residents,
no purchase receipts, and no defined calendar of facility permits. Mr. McBride
advised new procedures for the receipt and expenditure of funds, which should be handled by different people and signed-off
by third parties. Formal meeting agendas and minutes could include important
dates and accounting reviews.
The Shared Values of Whispering Pines
McBride found thatl23 ,
Whispering Pines was originally founded
as a non-profit religious groupl24 but there were indicators of
any religious activitiesl25 . From the article, an inference can be
made that, Whispering Pines does not have an organizational culture to
which all employees are accustomed to. l26 The
by-laws call for board members to be friends but not residents do not have to
be friends (l27 Joyner, et al., 2012). Using the McKinsey framework, there is no team culture since each
department has their own cultural values.
Whispering Pines formed as a religious nonprofit to provide retirement living
to members of the Quaker Society of Friends. The by-laws called for a board of 12 members
and required each to be an active Society member. The board was unable to
recruit new members due to this requirement
and the four existing members did not qualify as a quorum. Society requirements
for residents had relaxed over time, which resulted in a property full of
unaffiliated enrollees. In addition, the
board’s focus on the property’s historic landmark status was not aligned with
the shared values to provide
retirement living. Migration from the original mission caused confusion and represented a danger to tax-exempt status.
Style of Operation
The management employs a passive style of management since as Mcbride noted, there are no forms of
checks and balances in their financial reports. The daily operations of
Whispering Pines fall on Gail Goodbroom, with little support from the
management. The leaders of Whispering Pines do not have the necessary skills to
manage the organizations, evidently as seen in Tim Hayden’s lack of business
knowledge. Moreover, as Harrington & Miles (1996, P. 165) put it,
values tend to fall into two main
categories. The first comprises an organization’s
shared values about how people should
work together- for instance, whether it encourages people to work alone or
values joint effort in teams. The second
category consists of values concerning the primary motivation for effort: does
the organization believe people are motivated mainly by competition and reward,
or by some noble purpose?l28
The above factors for
ensuring team togetherness are missing in Whispering Pines per the article.
board style was noted as permissive and
protective of the status quo. One board member described his involvement
as honorary, mostly due to obligation. In order
to effect meaningful change, Mr.
McBride advised that the board would need to revisit its fiduciary and legal
responsibilities for proper organizational functioning and redefine a more
proactive and accountable leadership style.
The of Staff of Whispering l29 Pines
Per the article, the staff of Whispering
Pines are mostly part-timers while Gail the manager worked full time from 7:00am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday. The
only well-defined position is the managerial position which begs the question,
what form structure does Whispering Pines have? This organization desperately
needs to hire someone who will oversee booking, while Gail can concentrate on
managing the internal and external operations of the organization. Hiring processes can be tedious especially
when companies are looking for people who possess the values they are looking for. Per Harrington & Miles (1996, P. 164),
“successful companies in different industries have formulated quite distinctive sets of people values that works for them. They use carefully designed
processes to recruit people who fit their
values”. The task of hiring workers who are also members of the Society of
Friends can pose an obstacle to achieving the above goal.
Suggestion:The staff consisted of Gail Goodbroom, House Manager, and up to six
part-time employees. The qualifications of the staff were not clarified.
Similarly, board credentials were not detailed,
but involved architecture and general membership in the Society of
Friends. In both areas, Mr. McBride suggested the
clarification of roles and underscored the need for financial,
managerial, medical, social work, and/or
Current Skills of
of the article, there
is limited skill set around the
Whispering Pines organization. Tim Haynes and Gail Goodbroom who are motivated
to cause changes in the organization lacks the basic business concepts, such as
Analysis, Evaluation, and Suggestions for Whispering Pines
Firstly, I was
gained knowledge l31 from this case study by reading the article and synthesizing the ideas
from the McKinsey 7-s framework. The framework provided the basis for in-depth analysis
of Whispering Pines. This enabled me
to assess the elements of a successful organization by evaluating which metrics
are missing in Whispering Pines case analysis. Lastly, ti enabled
me to draw a
conclusion l32 on
the importance of these elements in a successful business organization.
From the case study, Mr. McBride performed analysis
onl33 the current situation of Whispering pines by assessing their objectives,
daily operations, and financial situations. His analysis was mostly based on questioning the structure
of Whispering Pines especially the limited number of board of directors. His analysis also incorporated an inductive from of argument l34 as seen in Joyner, et al. (2012, p. 62), l35 “With the tax authorities clamping down on non-profits
who claim to be religious groups but do not demonstrate that fact through their
operations, this issue should be of some concern to the board. You
may lose your preferred tax status”. The
evaluation of ideas was manifested through
McBride’s assessment of Whispering Pine’s financial problems. Prior to making
a conclusion on the factors that contributed to their financial
problems, he collected their booklet on their by-laws to study the organization’s
processes. The evaluations of the by-laws yielded results which showed; lack of strategy, l36 structure, and limited staff at the Whispering Pines. McBride provided
the necessary assessment of the financial problemsl37 but he could have assessed the various evaluations methods employed by
Whispering Pines. For examplel38 as jordao & Casas Novas (2013,
p. 99) , explains, “the concept of
performance evaluation and control tries
to align the traditional financial perspective to three other ones linked to
customer satisfaction, improvement of internal processes and learning and
growth of employees”. McBride could have
assessed these three elements to better understand
how Whispering Pines evaluate their overall processes. Creation of a better internal processes at l39 Whispering Pines is imperative to getting the organizations on track. This
means Whispering Pines
need to put place a scorecard l40 system to measure these three metrics.
Clark, D. (n.d.). Bloom’s Taxonomy of
Learning Domains. Retrieved September 17, 2017, from
Dias Jordão, R.
V., & Casas Novas, J. L. (2013). A
Study on the Use of the Balanced Scorecard for
Strategy Implementation in a Large Brazilian Mixed Economy Company. Journal Of Technology Management & Innovation, 8(3), 98-107.l41
Fleisher, C.S., & Bensoussan, B.E. (2007). Business and competitive analysis:
of new and classic methods. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc
Harrington, D., &
Miles, H. (1996). Putting people values to work.
Mckinsey Quarterly, (3), 163-167.
Joyner, F. F., Frantz, D., & Crane, R. (2012). A CONSULTANT’S DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?.
Of Case Studies, 30(1), 58-64.
McKinsey 7-S Framework: Ensuring That All Parts of Your Organization Work in Harmony.
(n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2017, from
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