Acetate Department

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1. Analyze the Acetate Department’s technology, before and after the change, by identifying its task variety and analyzability. The task variety was lower and the conversion process was more analyzable before the change. Before the change, there were more employees responsible for the actual process of taking the raw materials and creating the product. Employees had specialized tasks and the problems typically occurred less when employees had specialized tasks. The employees were seldom absent and they all worked as a team (as groups in a big team) before the change. After the changes, employee teamwork declined because of the job cuts, machines took over the conversion process. Employees were no longer mixing the batches by hand as a team. After the change, absenteeism increased markedly and several judgmental errors by operators had resulted in substantial losses. 2. Imagine that the Acetate Department is a column in the previous Workbook exercise. Analyze goals, authority structure, type of technology, etc. as required by the exercise. Then determine if the structure and other characteristics fit the technology. According to Woodward, a continuous-process production should have employees with higher skill level (which Acetate did after the change), low formalized procedures, low centralization, high verbal communication and low written communication and an organic structure. I believe the structure and characteristics of the Acetate Department fit the technology. Acetate Department’s organizational goals are to convert mass amounts of raw materials into acetate where it would be used by another department. After the change, the process went from a large-batch/ mass production to a continuous process production. Before the change there was more of a sense of teamwork and interdependence because there were more employees involved in the step by step process of taking the raw materials and converting it into acetate. The...
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