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OCB Case Study Essay Sample

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OCB Case Study Essay Sample

OCB is a company based around knowledge and its unique team of specialized doctors, trying to further grow in a new sector. Questions of its operational structure and future strategic decisions seem to arise, in its way to be sustainable in the long run. Dr. Bradford Shingleton, seems to be one of the most valuable assets of the the company, as his practice is the largest within the clinic, contributing the 10% of total revenues and 20% [1] of the surgical procedures. Shingleton’s roots of success and the key fact that sets him apart from his partners is his entrepreneurial spirit. He operates as an entrepreneur in his own business, trying to have the complete control of every task and at the same time he has successfully managed to form a team fully committed to him. He is a passionate and goal driven innovator, continuously searching for new ways of improving his practices and surgical methods. He is focused to his personal goals, and has a genuine passion for his job, as a surgeon. He doesn’t just complete the everyday tasks as many of his colleagues. Quality and effectiveness of his methods are what worries him the most and to achieve that he embraces change in all of its forms.

Undoubtedly, he doesn’t rely on OCB’s shared administrative and clinical resources, while all other partners do. He operates independently, trying to meet his own goals and vision of becoming a leader in his field. OCB, as an organization, seems to have a good set of practices that allowed the company to be successful throughout the years, as mentioned in the case, OCB had been growing steadily since 1990 [1]. First of all the wide range of specialists and high-skilled professionals that form the team and the large number of affiliations with prestigious medical schools were the key strategic steps that led OCB to become one of the most reputable institutes In the US. Furthermore, the smart choice of location, the vertically integrated services that it offers and the successful aggregation of all the administrative functions, led to highperformance and productivity within the company, since its foundation.

On the other hand, the company’s structure could be a potential bottleneck for its future success. There is no formal business plan and decisions are made from a board of physicians, with no managerial and administrative skills. The levels of autonomy and latitude within the company create differences in personal goals, working patterns and procedures, as there is no formal planning and certain milestones to be followed from every member of staff. Apart from Dr. Shingleton’s team and his perfectly organized work-flow system, other surgeons seem to underperform because of the lack of a unified common process of functions. Teams cannot communicate effectively, when working with other doctors, as confusion is caused from different working systems every surgeon adapts.

As it is pointed out in the Greiner model, the recent strategic dilemmas and problems that challenge OCB and the core of its operating principles are rooted in past decisions and the way the company started operating since its foundation. The same organizational practices implemented at the beginning of the business are not appropriate in this stage, where OCB as an already successful organization (age of the organization [2]), is trying to grow further in a new sector. Throughout the years, company’s size grew as well as the number of patients served (Size of the organization [2]) and that fact dictated the need for a more structured process of operations. The company, failed in this phase to recognize the upcoming needs for a specialized board of managers, which now would have been proved extremely useful considering the decisions that should be made for the company’s’ future.

OCB seems to rely only to a certain surgeon, which operates on his own trying to meet his own goals. His creativity and individualistic approach were possibly beneficial of the company at an earliest stage of its growth (Stage 1: Creativity, Greiner Model), in order to get off the ground but at this point direction (Stage 2, Greiner Model) should be given and the location and installation of a strong business manager who can pull the organization together is obligatory. As described in the model, OCB seems to moving towards the stage of revolution, considering that organizational processes and structure should change as there are no longer appropriate and the critical task is to identify a new set of more centralized and structured processes, leaving behind the model of latitude and autonomy for every member of staff.

Another fact that makes this need for change more obvious and necessary is that the organization operates in a rapidly expanding market (annual rate growth of 5% since 2004, in the US [1]) and will have to attract and serve more patients and consequently add more employees to meet the last ones needs. As described above, the goals for OCB in order to be sustainable in the long run have to do with the cultural change of the organization, at first. The company should rely on the high performance of all its members and given the successful surgical performing results of Shingleton’s methods, a unified surgical procedure can be structured and others surgeons can implement identical and already successful methods. A more rigorous learning across practices could be encouraged for OCB to increase its number of patients while improving the productivity of every surgeon and his team. Apart from the changes needed to be adopted on behalf of the company as a whole, Shingleton has to move towards a more cooperative way of working. Being a member of

OCB’s group means that he has to rely more on company’s shared resources. His entrepreneurial way of operating, his vision and his dedication of achieving his personal goals, possibly undermine the growth of the organization. Cutting back some members of his team and trying to follow a common method within surgical and clinical operations could prove beneficial for the near future of the organization. As a conclusion and commenting on the usefulness of the Greiner model, we can say that it gives us an understanding of the different phases that organizations undergo as they grow in size. Although every organization is different, these phases are agnostic to organization type. OCB’s position was not clear right at the start and it was difficult to be categorized in terms of the “stage” it is in. The Greiner model gave us a more unambiguous understanding of the phase the organization is in, focusing especially on the managerial needs and the key role of having the right people dealing with specific administrative and strategic tasks within an organization.

Although OCB is an already successful business, it seems to follow an operating model that suits more to an early stage company. There is no business plan, key people who can manage the venture and also lack of formal delegation processes. That becomes even more clear, through the study of Greiner’s model. It could be a useful tool for OCB to understand the main problems the company is encountering at this specific stage and makes it possible to anticipate these problems before they occur, and thus take steps to avoid them completely. The crises of leadership, organizational structure and the need for changes in management styles adopted by an organization are described in the model and at the same time are the key problems that seem to assail OCB.


1. Kent Bowen and Marcelo Pancotto (2007) Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and Dr. Bradford J. Shingleton 2004. Published by: Harvard Business School 2. Larry E. Greiner (1998) Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow. Published by: Harvard Business Review

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