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Answers the questons from the "Slade Plating" business case study...

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Answers the questons from the "Slade Plating" business case study published by the Harvard Business School Publishing.

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  • April 2, 2003
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Summary: The dishonest behavior that the employees of the plating department are engaged in has no negative effects on the desired output of the department. As a result, the Slade management should not be consumed with addressing this issue and consider it a low priority. However, Ralph Porter must consider why employees are forced to fulfill their basic needs outside procedure and address the flaws of a department policy that rewards attendance and discourages productivity.

Sarto Group/Team Norms: Strong, because there is a clear benefit to group membership and individuals do not want to risk exclusion. Norms are explicit and derived by initial patterns.

*Tony Sarto: (effective leader) - superior technical skills

*Motivated: employees take pride in quality - hold themselves accountable

*Mentor system: family tradition - common working approach (free training)

*Tradeoff: (job flexibility for lower pay) - employees are satisfied with arrangement

*Expectations: all group members have an explicit understanding of what is expected of them, and what is intolerable - Herman personifies the anti-group.

Porter's Five Options:

1.Congratulate Sarto: get pointers for looking at the "big picture"

2.Ignore the problem completely: (at least their not Union)

3.Institute new policies: change compensation arrangements, supervisors stay later

4.Discipline offenders: lowers morale - does not address cause of behavior

5.Make an example: sends the message that behavior will not be tolerated, employees second-guess job security. Tradeoff between lower pay and job security is less appealing.

Decision factors:

*Unacceptable Cost of acquiring employees: (training, raise wages to be competitive?)

*Compensation arrangement is flawed: not consistent with company goals.

*Employee morale must remain high: Primary product objective is quality

*Results of behavior: no indication quality or productivity has been compromised

*What more does...