Will Teams Work? Effective training


Please read the case and answer the following questions below. I am providing power point slides from the chapter 11 and the instructor’s manual from an earlier edition to help answer the questions. The instructor’s manual points out what the instructor is looking for.

Will Teams Work?

An automobile parts manufacturer was attempting to institute employee problem-solving teams to improve quality. This action was strongly encouraged by its biggest customer, a major automobile manufacturer. The competition in the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business is especially fierce. The major automobile manufacturers (Ford, GM, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc.) now demand high-quality parts at extremely low costs, and they often play one supplier against the other to force the OEM industry to meet their standards.

A TNA of middle- and first-level production managers was conducted. These managers were responsible for the operation of the parts production system, a system that is highly mechanized and somewhat automated. The labor force in this area is primarily high-school graduates, but many have less education. The managers’ responsibility prior to the change was to ensure that the hourly workers did their jobs in the proper manner and that the right amount and type of parts were produced to meet the production schedule.

The TNA showed low technical knowledge among these managers, because they had been hired to monitor the hourly employees. They did not really understand the machinery and equipment and had never operated it. Most of them used a confrontational style in dealing with their subordinates, because they felt that if they took a gentler approach, the unionized workforce would take advantage of them. The managers were all selected on the basis of their high need to control their environment, strong desire to achieve, and willingness to work with others to get the job done. These traits still characterize this group of managers.

Case Questions (pg434)

  • What is the managerial context in which these managers will be operating? Do you think training designed to help managers understand the context they will be operating in will be helpful? Why or why not?
  • What types of competencies should be developed in the management training? Give your rationale.
  • What types of training should be used to provide the different competencies? How long will it take to provide this training? Give your rationale.
  • What are the alternatives to management development? Do you think one of these alternatives should be used? Why or why not?
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