Case Study #1--Verifone
Applegate, L. et al. Corporate Information Systems Management: Text and Cases, 5th ed., p40-55.
What are the key attributes of the VeriFone organizational structure? Do you agree with those who identify Verifone as a virtual company?
At the very least, Verifone is a widely distributed organization. Three thousand employees are distributed among thirty-four offices in nine countries, on all the continents meaning that the average office size is small and personal. Many functions, such as human resources and IS are decentralized and duplicated in these offices.
Even though they are dispersed, Verifone employees, and even their families, spend a great deal of time and energy keeping in contact with one another. Telephone, e-mail, video conferencing, exchange programs, frequent conferences and meetings in varied office locations were all listed as frequently used forms of communication within the organization. Informal relations are strongly encouraged and a number of company programs and policies are designed to broaden and deepen the nature of relationships among offices, employees, and their families.
The corporate culture strongly emphasizes the empowerment of individuals to exercise creativity and initiative, but also requires that they accept responsibility for their decisions. To a great extent it is left up to each individual to determine how he/she will create value for the company. Innovation is valued and supported from whatever quarter it may come. Controlled risk is part of the plan. Failure of up to 80% of the ideas that emerge is acceptable provided the damage is controlled and the benefits from the other 20% are substantial. The chance "to make a difference" is a motivating factor for employees both to work and remain in the company.
The CEO leads by example and is openly supportive of ideas being exchanged and explored. This leadership was cited numerous times as having