Nut Island Effect

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Critical Analysis of the Nut Island Effect
Orange Team: Thomas Falco, Misty Fite,
Rosa M. Flores-Estrada, & Crystal Hardy
Grand Canyon University
Management 604
June 1, 2010
Critical Analysis of the Nut Island Effect
The Nut Island Effect (NIE) is a sad but true outcome of what happens when communication breakdown within an organization. The following is a critical analysis of the events that ended in a terrible catastrophe at the Nut Island treatment plant. In our analysis we will cover the following topics as well as reference supporting articles and excerpts that will support our position: 1. Key arguments in the article.

2. Sampling and analytical strategies.
3. Interpersonal relationships.
4. Implications of results and its relevance.
5. Analyzing current organizational design.
6. Our assessments and methods to improve strategies and managerial skills. By analyzing these topics, we will have a better grasp on becoming effective managers and leaders so we will not fall victims to the “NIE” in our organizations. Key Arguments in the Article

The article The Nut Island Effect: When Good Teams Go Wrong, talks about how a management’s dream team was tainted by too much empowerment. Initially, senior management preoccupied themselves with other issues and did not take the time to look at what was going on behind the scenes. They allowed workers to ultimately make decisions on how the plant would run. In essence, senior management’s lack of interest or control over day-to-day operations set the ball in motion for total chaos. Secondly, when team members approached senior management with their concerns over faulty equipment and the need for parts and supplies, their requests were ignored and taken for granted. A resistance to senior management followed. Team members stayed out of management’s radar, even if it meant solving their own problems. They incurred out-of-pocket expenses and working long hours without reporting overtime. This behavior unified the team’s ability to digest problems and dish out solutions, even if they were not the most appropriate. At this point the workers were making their own rules. Management did not take responsibly or an interest in the tasks at hand. Meetings were not set up to educate the team on appropriate practices. Instead of offering guidance, they avoided the problem all together, allowing the team to do as they pleased. This was a major factor in the deterioration of the team’s performance. Finally, came the denial phase. The team and management did not listen to the concerns of outsiders. Instead of controlling the situation, they continued to work as they had been doing so, until a terrible event broke the deadlock. Unfortunately it was too late because the four major machines stopped working which caused unprocessed waste to wash up onto the shores of Quincy, Massachusetts. Sampling and Analytical Strategies

The NIE is a true situation that can occur in companies. However, the article does not describe or inform readers on adequate sample sizes or methods used in carrying out the study. Within the article, the author mentioned talking to upper management as well as former employees when gathering detail. In addition, the author explained how he had described this syndrome to other managers and their awareness on this type of situation did exist. The upper managers in this article did a good job of keeping their heads in the sand since they allowed this terrible effect to develop over a long period of time without addressing the issue. Interpersonal Relationships

Unfortunately, there was a division within the organization between management and employees. There was no hierarchy structure. We believe that due to the lack of management support, the members of the team became stressed. Their mental, physical, and emotional well-being was not preserved. This caused them to form a...
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