October 8, 2012
Early Management Failures of Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel was the largest steel builder that begin in the 1900s building bridges in the United States and 1,127 ships during World War II; however with this early onset of success there were signs of potential failures that management ignored eventually leading to the organization’s own self destruction (Loomis, 2004). Archived articles of Bethlehem Steel’s mismanagement focused on the lack of innovation and vision to compete with the foreign suppliers, mini mills, and evolving technology to advance the operation of steel manufacturing (Giordano, n.d. & Ankli & Sommer, 1996). The problems actually began early on with the original visionaries and investors who formed the company who rewarded the management instead of taking advantage of the skills and industry understanding that their employees possessed (Ankli & Sommer, 1996). The challenges the steel workers faced was the lack of compensation, long hours without breaks, and unsafe work conditions. Eventually in the 1940s, the United Steel Workers of America was formed that established better quality of life, good wages, retirement, and benefit plans for employees (Giordano, n.d.). Indication of Poor Management Identified Early On
Ankli and Sommer (1996) stated that the autocratic management style of the steel manufacturer resulted in poor quality, alienation of workers, and hostility in management relations. The management viewed employees as disposable, and did not value or compensate the steel employees. The failures of the Bethlehem Steel management could have been tied to the lack of understanding of the equity theory, affective events theory, and variable-pay programs for employees (and not only for management). The dedicated employees worked for Bethlehem Steel under unfair conditions until the formation of the United Steel Workers of America in 1942 that begin...