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Summary of the Case
John Amasi and Jay Winslow implemented Self-Directed Teams (SDTs) to improve the level of performance at RL Wolfe. The company has been a leading producer of plastic pipes. The newly-created SDTs were expected to support the company’s performance. Each shift was characterized by two teams. Such teams included “material handlers and extrusion line operators” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 4). The members of each team were unable to make some critical decisions. Most of “the decisions were made in the office suites without involving the employees” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 4).
Some conflicts also emerged because the workers could not interact properly. Such workers could not fix most of the technical issues affecting their teams. Every coordinator was expected to offer the best instructions. The coordinator played the role of a coach. This scenario made it impossible for the teams to achieve their goals. The company encountered various challenges, such as “loss of morale, poor productivity, and absenteeism” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 5). The company also fired most of its workers for failing to support the SDT model. However, the SDT model continued to produce positive results. For instance, the majority of the workers were part of every decision-making process. Most of the employees were also becoming responsible and accountable.
According to the case study, RL Wolfe wanted to become a leading player in the plastic pipe manufacturing industry. The managers at the company created unique SDTs to improve the level of performance. However, the newly-implemented SDTs did not work effectively. For instance, the concept created unique boundaries that affected the roles of different workers (Garvin & Collins, 2009). The majority of the decisions were made by different coordinators. Most of the employees were unable to fix the technical issues affecting their teams. Many employees were unable to support one another. The company continued to promote new organizational changes and structures. However, the majority of “the workers were still unhappy with the working conditions” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 6). New challenges were recorded at the company. Some of these challenges included “absenteeism and loss of morale” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 5). The pending decision problem was how to improve productivity at Corpus Christi. John Amasi also wanted to improve the level of productivity at the firm. That being the case, it was necessary “to persuade the unionized workforce at the plants to accept the SDT model” (Garvin & Collins, 2009, p. 6).
Alternative Courses of Action
RL Wolfe should embrace the above SDT model to support its employees. The practice will also encourage the teams to be part of every decision-making process. The concept of empowerment can also make this organization successful. To begin with, managers should use various motivational strategies to empower their employees. For instance, the workers should receive the best remunerations. The company should reduce the size of every team. This strategy will improve the level of performance (Garvin & Collins, 2009).
The motivational impact of self-directed work teams arises from employee-empowerment. The SDT model has the potential to empower more employees. The approach can also improve the nature of decision-making at the firm. The concept of empowerment makes it easier for many employees to focus on the best outcomes. This approach minimizes the hierarchies that make it impossible for different teams to achieve their goals. John Amasi should support the goals of every team (Sosik & Jung, 2010).
The SDT model has the potential to make RL Wolfe successful. The managers at the company should identify the strengths of the SDT model. This knowledge will ensure the firm supports its employees. The approach will also ensure the company addresses most of the challenges affecting different employees (Sosik & Jung, 2010). That being the case, RL Wolfe should implement the SDT model in every plant. This strategy will make it easier for the company to achieve its goals.
The above concept will also empower more stakeholders to get the best results. The company should also address the challenges affecting these SDTs. The firm should ensure the workers are involved in every decision-making process. “employees should also get the best allowances, incentives, and remunerations” (Kelbaugh & Earnest, 2008, p. 17). These practices will ensure the concept of Self-Directed Teams (SDTs) supports targeted organizational goals. It would be appropriate for John Amasi to implement the SDT model in every plant. The SDT model will also support the goals of every unionized workforce at the firm. Amasi and Winslow should address most of the issues affecting every team. The approach will eventually make the firm profitable.
John Amasi should be ready to support his employees. He should also implement the SDT concept in every unionized workforce. The company should also address the major challenges affecting these teams. The strategy will eventually make RL Wolfe successful. The company should use the best strategies to support its employees (Kelbaugh & Earnest, 2008). The proposed strategy will eventually make RL Wolfe a leading competitor in its industry.
Garvin, D., & Collins, E. (2009). RL Wolfe: Implementing Self-Directed Teams. Harvard Business School, 1(1), 1-11.
Kelbaugh, B., & Earnest, G. (2008). Indicators of Success for Teamwork: What Extension Professionals Need to Excel as Team Members. Journal of Extension, 46(4), 1-24.
Sosik, J., & Jung, D. (2010). Full Range Leadership Development: Pathways for People, Profit, and Planet. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.