CASE TOOL QUESTIONS - CASE TOOL FOR ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAM...

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CASE TOOL FOR ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAM OUTCOMES IN ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE Johnson Engine Company is a specialty supplier of heavy duty and light weight diesel engines for the trucking industry. Its headquarters are in Indianapolis, Indiana, but its factories are located in rural areas known for their highly educated work forces, strong work ethics, and low tax rates. For the last half century, Johnson had been a predominately unionized organization. The four older plants in the Midwest were all union with high wage rates and adversarial labor management relations. The CEO of the company, Henry Shapp, attended a weekend workshop in Bethel, Maine. The topic was organization development and self-managed work teams. It was run by an organization development consultant named Peter Sneed. The workshop was unusual in that it included both expert lectures on the elements of high performance work systems and actual discussions with managers and self-managing work teams from corporations around the country. These people talked about the transformation of their slow- moving bureaucracies into team-based, vision-driven market leaders. Team members talked about improved quality, quantity, and team communications; managers discussed the bottom- line benefits of transforming their organizations. Their costs went down, they were competing with formidable Japanese competitors, and when conflicts between managers and workers emerged, they were able to sit-down and “problem-solve” their differences. These organizations had strategic visions developed by all levels of the organizations, and these visions were idealistic portraits of what the organizations hoped to be in 5-10 years. According to Sneed, organization development (OD) consultants would work with different levels and functions of the organization to create a set of principles and values that all employees could live be. Everyone was trained in these and held accountable in their team and individual performance reviews. An outside consultant(s) sponsored by senior management would also work with different levels of the organization to diagnose problems at the individual, team, cross-team, organizational, and organizational/environment levels of analysis. The organizations were able to “transform” because senior “champions” committed themselves, money, and time to empower their employees. They had made the journey from bureaucratic, adversarial cultures to high performance work systems characterized by “facilitative” managers. Henry left Bethel excited and exhausted. He couldn’t believe what might now be possible for his company. So many of his supervisors and managers were old school. They had little management education and their practical experience was 10-25 years of the same old drill- sergeant style leadership. He had watched again and again as some bright new high school or college graduate had hired-on, only to quit after 6 months of dull, monotonous work, and coercive supervisors who were trying to force
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  • Spring '14
  • Atwood,Je
  • Management, Johnson Engine Company, Peter Sneed, Henry Shapp

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