The case of W.L. Gore & Associates (Integrative Case 5.0, pp. 554-568 in Daft) represents some of the aspects of the "new" approach to management -- both of people and ideas. Gore and Associates regards its employees as forces for creative change and, as such, allows them -- some might say forces on them -- almost total independence in thought and action. The case shows a radical approach to devolving decision making to the lowest levels in an organization chart (to such an extent that Gore and Associates even has an organization chart!).
This approach has both strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the team is to evaluate the approach discussed in this case and address the following issues: 1. What are the strengths of this approach?
2. What are its weaknesses?
3. In what types of organizations might this approach not be very effective? The team should remember, in drafting its response, that your final paper on this case is limited to no more than 8-10 pages. Since we're all "working off the same page," the team does not need to repeat the specifics of the case unless it's to support particular points. The management style that exists within the W.L Gore & Associates Company may not be structured enough for many organizations, but it has worked for them for over fifty years. As address in the paper Bill Gore’s management style is described as a “lattice management’. In this type of organizational environment, the focus is on self-development and interpersonal interactions. “Lattice organizations and teams manage themselves through a sense of mutual benefit, responsibility and common purpose. Leaders gain authority based on demonstrated knowledge, skills, experience and natural leadership ability” (www.ehow.com/facts). There are many pros and cons to this management style.