Problem solution

HOW TO CHANGE A CULTURE: Lessons from NUMMI (A Business Problem and its Solution) ID number: of Human Resources
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Date of Submission: January 31, 2014
Estimated Word Count = 330 (text only)
1. Section 3 (Causes of the Problem) – the cause of the problem at the old GM Fremont plant (before NUMMI) was a dysfunctional attitude among the workers due to their low morale. In particular, this had translated into a bad attitude about work and production problems, resulting into the low quality of output it produced. Absenteeism was high, wildcat strikes can happen anytime, and workers sometimes deliberately sabotaged quality. Taken together, all these point out to one single kind of problem, and this is the seeming lack of commitment by top management in terms of culture. Put differently, the corporate culture was not conducive to the introduction of new improvements that could have helped with the overall quality and quantity of the plants output. This kind of an environment at the plant in turn produced the low morale of the workers there. The challenge is to find ways to motivate the employees without necessarily threatening them or their sense of security pertaining to their jobs, as proposed change is always perceived as a threat (Shook, 2010, p. 65). An important thing is to gain employees trust.
2. Section 4 (Possible Solutions) – the new combined management at the NUMMI plant made the right decisions regarding gaining employee trust so that there will be cooperation from the workers. In particular, it is vital to have the so-called “ employee buy-in” wherein the workers are themselves convinced of the proposed solutions coming from management. However, not all of the proposed solutions came from the top only, the workers down below in production lines were also given new responsibilities together with the corresponding authority to detect problems with quality, if ever these defects come up, by allowing them to “ stop the line” which is a novel or new idea for most of the previous workers at the old GM Fremont plant. In other words, they are now given the capability to manage their work. They are now empowered to check quality.
Shook, J. (Winter 2010). How to change a culture: Lessons from NUMMI. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(2), 62-68. Retrieved January 31, 2014 from http://www. lean. org/admin/km/documents/0D7A98AE-DE1F-4A19-B1E2-74D91F8F8E06-51211%20with%20art. pdf