Case Study

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What Do We Do with Howard?

Agrigreen, Inc., manufactures various agricultural fertilizers in several plants in the western United States and Canada. Tad Pierson, appointed three months ago as a project engineer at one of the Agrigreen plants, had been told last week by Burt Jacobs, the new manager of engineering to whom he reports, that he was to take on the added responsibility of supervising the plant surveying group. Having worked with members of this group in the past, Pierson was aware of some performance problems and conflicts that existed within the group. Contemplating what action, if any, he should take as their new supervisor, he reviewed the history of the surveying group with others in the company (see Figure 1) and then talked with each group member individually to arrive at the following picture of the situation.

FIGURE 1
Today--Tad Pierson faced with decision on the survey group.

One week ago--Tad Pierson becomes supervisor of survey group.
Burt Jacobs becomes engineering manager
Lee Miller reassigned as project manager.

Three months ago--Tad Pierson assigned as project engineer.

Last 12 months--Tad Pierson & Mel Cutler work on pipeline project.

2 years ago--Mel Cutler works on
3 years agoa number of projects
4 years agounder the direction of Dan Richards.

5 years ago
--Survey group moves to the Tech offices, ½ mile away.
6 years ago

7 years ago
--Dan Richards & Mel Cutler stake mining claims in Nevada. 8 years ago
--Frank Silverton becomes coordinator of survey group.

9 years ago--Lee Miller becomes engineering manager.
--Paul Jackson becomes plant manager at another plant.

10 years ago--Mel Cutler joins the survey group.
--Dan Richards transfers to manufacturing department.

11 years ago
--Dan Richards is hired as a laborer in the plant.

12 years ago--Mel Cutler is hired as a laborer in the plant.

13 years ago

14 years ago

15 years ago--Paul Jackson becomes engineering manager.
--Jerry Givens retires from the company.

16 years ago

17 years ago
--Howard Lineberry hired as surveyor.
18 years ago
--Jerry Givens is engineering manager.
Today--Tad Pierson faced with decision on the survey group.

One week ago--Tad Pierson becomes supervisor of survey group.
Burt Jacobs becomes engineering manager
Lee Miller reassigned as project manager.

Three months ago--Tad Pierson assigned as project engineer.

Last 12 months--Tad Pierson & Mel Cutler work on pipeline project.

2 years ago--Mel Cutler works on
3 years agoa number of projects
4 years agounder the direction of Dan Richards.

5 years ago
--Survey group moves to the Tech offices, ½ mile away.
6 years ago

7 years ago
--Dan Richards & Mel Cutler stake mining claims in Nevada. 8 years ago
--Frank Silverton becomes coordinator of survey group.

9 years ago--Lee Miller becomes engineering manager.
--Paul Jackson becomes plant manager at another plant.

10 years ago--Mel Cutler joins the survey group.
--Dan Richards transfers to manufacturing department.

11 years ago
--Dan Richards is hired as a laborer in the plant.

12 years ago--Mel Cutler is hired as a laborer in the plant.

13 years ago

14 years ago

15 years ago--Paul Jackson becomes engineering manager.
--Jerry Givens retires from the company.

16 years ago

17 years ago
--Howard Lineberry hired as surveyor.
18 years ago
--Jerry Givens is engineering manager.

Howard Lineberry, Lead Surveyor

After receiving his surveyor’s certificate from the local civil technologies college, Howard Lineberry had gone to work for the State Highway Department as a chainman. The job hadn’t paid very well, and he always felt that the lead surveyor didn’t like him and often had him doing work that was better suited for a rodman, a position...
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