Case Analysis The New Haven Initiative

Decision making comes as one of the key pillars of any organization. It
has a bearing on the profitability, as well as long term sustainability
of an organization as it determines the course of action that would
guide the operations of the organization both in the short and the long
term. Needless to say, decision making is an extremely crucial aspect of
an organization in times of conflict. Conflicts are almost always bound
to happen in organizations, especially considering that organizations
are composed of different individuals, who have different goals,
aspirations, interests, as well as techniques of attaining the goals.
What matters is not whether a conflict occurs in an organization as this
cannot be prevented, rather, it is the way in which the managers deal
with the arising conflict that determines the course of the organization
or company. This is the existing case for the New Haven.
Lee Burton had the intention f transforming the lowest performing unit
in The New Haven. He had observed that the unit or division was being
bogged down by excessive machine downtime and backlogs, as well as
negative morale of the employees resulting from complaints pertaining to
quality. All these things were triggering rumors that the plant would be
closing in no time. In essence, Lee Brown realized that he had to
introduce a new culture that assisted in the elimination of backlogs,
ensured faster production and enhanced the quality of products. One of
the strategies that he proposed brought some conflict both from the
management and some workers (Daft, 1997). He had proposed that, the
assembly line should be divided into cells of self-managed teams so as
to allow for empowerment and motivation of workers so that they can make
real-time decisions. This idea seemed to appeal to a large number of
workers who felt that their control over the daily operations would be
enhanced. Supervisors, on the other hand, did not like the idea as it
meant that they would be losing control, as well as seniority and
prestige. Some employees, in addition, balked over the idea as they
feared the aspect of decision making and acknowledged that they still
needed constant guidance (Daft, 1997). This brought conflicts in the
organization, which resulted in non-cooperation and impinged the
functioning of the organization.
Lee Burton was vouching for rational decision making model. He
recognized and defined the decision situation, noting that a (negative)
stimulus was indicating the need to make a decision. In this case, he
identified the varied alternatives that could be used to increase the
quality of products, enhance motivation and increase the speed of
production (Daft, 1997). He evaluated alternatives so as to determine
their feasibility, consequences and satisfactoriness, and finally
settled on this course of action where the cells would be divided into
self-administered units, thereby allowing for real-time decision-making
and pushing the morale of the workers high. While there may be varied
reasons for choosing this model, it is worth noting that the model
infuses the process of decision-making with consistency, logic and
discipline. The step-by-step approach necessitates that the problem is
defined, decision criteria identified, alternatives listed out and their
possible outcomes considered, then the alternatives rated to give the
best decision possible (Griffin & Moorehead, 2010). It goes without
saying that, the methodology comes in handy in addressing complex issues
as it breaks them into uncomplicated steps and all aspects and possible
solutions considered before a final decision is made.
The key reason why the proposal by Lee Burton did not work was that he
did not garner sufficient support and cooperation both from the
management and the workers. It is evident that both parties felt that
they had been sidestepped in the making of this fundamental decision,
whereas they were to be directly touched by it and would be expected to
implement it. One of the strategies that Lee Burton could use is to
ensure that he incorporates the managers and workers in the
decision-making process. This will allow them to feel as if they are
part of the process and, therefore, own the implementation process
(Griffin & Moorehead, 2010). It will also enhance their cooperation both
in the long-term and the short-term. On the same note, he should empower
the key integrators. Scholars note that, during the growth of a company,
a layer is created between the back-office and front-line people with
even new procedural requirements being imposed (Cole, 2004). More often
than not, this does not work. It would be imperative that Lee Burton
identifies the current staff members who interact with the two worlds
and enhance their voice. In addition, it is imperative that Le Burton
increases the amount of power that is available especially to people in
the lower ranks (Griffin & Moorehead, 2010). Scholars note that, more
often than not, individuals who have the least power or authority in
organizations carry the larger part of the cooperation burden, yet they
are recipients of the least credit (Cole, 2004). These people, on
realizing this fact, usually withdraw from cooperation, choosing to
isolate themselves. This trend can, nevertheless, be reversed by
increasing the power available to these people, which would propel them
to risk moving away from their isolation, show initiative, trust others,
and enhance their transparency pertaining to their performance (Cole,
2004).
References
Cole, G. A. (2004). Organisational behaviour: Theory and practice.
London: Thomson.
Griffin, R. W., & Moorehead, G. (2010). Organizational behavior:
Managing people and organizations. Australia: South-Western/Cengage
Learning.
Daft, R. L. (1997). Organization theory and design. Cincinnati:
South-Western College Publ.
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