Sigtek Case Study

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1.What are the forces that will drive the quality initiative (i.e. what does the quality initiative have going for it?)

The major drivers to the success of the TQ program was that Sigtek was in desperate need of a change in its processes or face the risk of going out of business. This rift between operations and engineering would drive the company into the ground given the weak leadership of the President, Charles Bradley.

2.What are the barriers for a successful implementation of the initiative?

There was a long-standing organizational difference that Smithers faced between Sigtek’s engineering and manufacturing divisions.

Another challenge faced by Smithers was the different management style of his counterpart, Richard Patricof, who was vice president of operations. Patricof’s focus was not on results or productive feedback from employees. He felt that style and a tolatarian approach to personnel management was best suited for this total quality (TQ) training program.

Other barriers Smithers faced was the possibility that employee expectations on the success of this new program may be too high given previous attempts to change Sigtek’s differing engineering and manufacturing corporate culture. It would be difficult to unite these two internal organizations.

3.How effective was Smithers? What should Smithers have done differently?

The team at Sigtek established a set of goals for the implementation of the TQ program. An outline of the training process was created and presented to senior management. The response was non-plus, which instilled a great amount of concern to Smithers. The cold response from senior management clearly indicated that their support in the implementation o this new program was questionable. Sigtek’s approach to change involved choosing one manager from the engineering and operations sector respectively to be trained as site instructors for TQM. They in turn would train other employees to...
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