The Webster Industries case is about a company that has seen a lot of growth throughout the years. As a result management became strained and needed to divide the company into groups with a divisional corporate structure. In 1974 the company was faced with financial troubles due to a combination of economic slowdown and growing too quickly. Webster grew too fast and this resulted in “sloppy staffing”. The company did have a PA process in effect, but it was used on a voluntary basis. The mindset of the employees is that anything can be appealed to the President and Chairman; no decision is really final and can be brought before the owners.
The main issue that caused all these layoffs to be done was the fact that the company did not seem to have a growth plan in action to help control and streamline the process. According to a plant manager, “Staffing was done sloppily, so we ended up with a lot of fat”. Carter tried to adjust his departments through demotions to trim the fat, but was denied.
Given the task at hand, to let go 43 managers Carter needs to make sure that he can justify his reasons. Also the perception of fairness is important. He doesn’t seem to understand how that fits into the decision making process. It would be a good idea to involve someone from HR to help make sure that the decisions are fair and it does not seem to single out one group from another.
Unfortunately he cannot rely on the PAS, so this will have to be done through determining criteria. Out of all the options that Carter has thought of, the trim the fat option would be best. This is because it is easier to identify positions that are redundant or are no longer an important part of the business. Carter should start by evaluating the positions themselves. Through identifying which positions are no longer needed he can then start to look at personnel. Then he can devise a plan of which managers to let go. If there are some...