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Transforming The Computer Industry: Michael Dell

1488 words - 6 pages

Introduction
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, started his scheme towards transforming the computer industry in 1980. In that year, Dell bought his first computer and took it apart to understand how it was designed and made (Dell & Fredman, 1999). In 1981, when IBM introduced the PC, Dell saw this as a possible opportunity. Michael Dell’s pastime was to take computers apart, rebuild them with different parts, and then sell them directly to consumers. “Traditionally, in the computer industry, manufacturing companies built computers, which were distributed to resellers and dealers who sold them to businesses and individual consumers” (Dell & Fredman, 1999). Dell noticed that IBM ...view middle of the document...

Dell stated the change to the company was a huge alteration; however, the change improved the products previously created and helped them reach their full potential instead with what they already had going for them (Dell & Fredman, 1999).
After these changes in 1993, Michael Dell was crowned “Turnaround CEO of the Year” in 1993 by Upside magazine (Saunders, 2000). Michael Dell stated “the real key to success comes from within; knowing their strengths and being open to experimentation” (Dell & Fredman, 1999, p. 227). Investigation comes through the constantly changing industry in which Dell Computers’ people, customers and suppliers are willing to embrace such changes.
Analysis
The image of the type of change held by the change agent
The image of the type of change held by Michael Dell was to move from sales through
warehouse clubs and magazines to directly selling to consumers. Dell grew and changed through its systematic ability to develop and stick with its ideas.

The “culture” of the setting that is changing and the role culture played in the change
The culture of the setting that was changing was the way that Dell sold its products. Like most computer companies, the products were manufacturers then distributed to customers via retailers who specialized in computer sales. Michael Dell decided that it would be beneficial to them to sell directly to the consumers, therefore eliminating the middle man. This made computers more available to consumers and thus increased profits substantially.

The extent to which the (envisioned and actual) change was first or second order vs. adaptive or transformational
The types of changes in this example are first order or adaptive change. First order change is defined in the text as incremental change, or change that may involve adjustments in systems, processes, or structures but that does not involve fundamental change in strategy, core values or identity. Dell didn’t fundamentally change any of these. It was still a company that manufactured and sold quality computing products. It simply changed the way that product was marketed and sold to its customers. Instead of selling to wholesalers or warehouse clubs it chose to directly sell to customers.
The method(s) for implementing change
Dell decided to adopt a more customer-driven strategy to invention instead of a standard distribution approach. Dell acknowledges that the problem with a traditional method to improvement is that it usually produces proprietary technologies and that, that particular approach produces products that are hard migrate from as a customer (Dell, 2007.) Information needed for product innovation, such as what products consumers want, need and why; the prices customers are willing to pay; and, what new product should be developed, are all taken from customer reviews. Throughout several different programs, Dell decided to adapt to a customer-driven way of doing business. Dell continues to collect suggestions directly...

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