Case Analysis

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152 PART II Understanding the OD Process


The Old Family Bank is a large bank in a southeastern city. As a part of a comprehensive internal management study, H. Day, the data-processing vice president, examined the turnover, absenteeism, and productivity figures of all of the bank’s work groups. The results Day obtained offered no real surprises except in the case of the check-sorting and data-processing departments.

is quiet and comfortable. Both groups are known to be highly cohesive, and the workers in each department function well with one another. This observation was reinforced by the study’s finding of the low levels of turnover and absenteeism.

In an effort to understand this phenomenon, Day decided to interview the members of both departments in order to gain some insight into the dynamics of each group’s behavior. Day discovered that the checksorting department displayed a great deal of loyalty to the company. Most of the group members are unskilled or semiskilled workers; although they have no organized union, they all felt that the company had made special efforts to keep their wages and benefits in line with unionized operations. They knew that their work required team effort and were committed to high performance. A quite different situation existed in the dataprocessing department. Although the workers liked their fellow employees, there was a uniform feeling among this highly skilled group that management put more emphasis on production than on staff units.They felt that the operating departments had gotten better pay raises, and that the wage gap did not reflect the skill differences between employees. As a result, a large percentage of the group’s members displayed little loyalty to the company, even though they were very close to one another.

The study revealed that, in general, the departments displaying high turnover and absenteeism rates had low production figures, and...
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