Dupont Case Study
BUS 661 – Leading Organizational Change
July 11, 2011
Tom Harris, the plant manager of DuPont, greeted everyone by name when he walked through the plant. This was the atmosphere within the company and seemed to be business as usual at DuPont. Recently, Orion, a DuPont manufacturing operation had been closed, the equipment disassembled and shipped to China, despite this change there seemed to be no particular concerns regarding the plant closing. When Tom contacted the University of Virginia, his motive was to gather information that would help improve the overall effectiveness of the organization. He was not looking to solve any particular problem; rather to introduce new ideas to his managers and apply those ideas to making improvements within the plant, change management was not a framework used to explain or accomplish anything. The consultant spent six months interviewing employees and observing the work environment. DuPont’s approach to change is a classic example of the model of OD.
As previously stated DuPont had closed their Orion manufacturing operation, disassembled the equipment and shipped it to China. This change seemed to have little impact on the employees, as they saw this as routine in the business world. In the meantime, Tom Harris, the plant manager, who was under increasing pressure to do more with less (Palmer, Dunford, and Akins, 2009), contacted the University of Virginia in hopes of obtaining new ideas and insights that he could share with his managers to help improve plant operations. After six months of interviews and observations, the consultant provided Tom with the results of his study. The leadership team was instructed to introduce change to their employees as an experiment in such a way that ideas should be tried, monitored for a period of time, and stopped if they do not work. From this perspective, changes are...