The Nut Island Effect Case Analysis

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The team from Nut Island had the potential to accomplish great things. They were a very cohesive team. Cohesiveness relates to the degree to which memebers are attracted to and motived to remain part of that team. A cohesive group member values his or her membership and strives to maintain a positive relationship within the group. Every person working at Nut Island wanted to be there and would not let anything get in the way of their team. When looking at only the cohesiveness of a team, Nut Island would be a good example. They worked together and enjoyed what they did at the sewage plant. Employees worked overtime without being paid for it and without complaining. They used everyone’s skills to take care of the plant and the plant equipment.

The Nut Island disaster occurred because senior management paid little or no attention to the remote team at the sewage plant. They assumed that the staff knew what it was doing and would keep operations going, no matter what happened. The staff worked in almost complete isolation from the management, who were focused on more pressing and more politically relevant issues. As long as the Nut Island staff did its job and didn’t complain, no one paid them much attention. Early on, staff and managers did request funding to maintain and upgrading failing equipment. But upgrading the sewage plant had few political payoffs for management, and so was ignored. The staff heard the message and became increasingly self-sufficient, even in the face of impending disaster.

Levy explains the Nut Island effect going through five fairly predictable stages. In Stage 1, senior management decides that an important, although not critical task should be assigned to a manager and team. They give the manager and team almost complete autonomy to conduct business as they see fit, as long as deadlines are met and embarrassing disasters avoided. The team members usually have a strong work ethic and are often happiest working out of the limelight....
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