Wengart Aircraft

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This case analysis focuses on Organizational Development (OD) techniques that Wengart Aircraft Company can utilize to implement a Total Quality management (TQM) program to integrate all aspects of the corporation to enhance production operations, improve overall quality of workmanship and products, increase output, maximize profits and simultaneously improve management and employee relations. Wengart Aircraft attempted to implement a TQM program based upon earlier recommendations by an OD practitioner; however, Wengart top management officials failed to fully comprehend the collective involvement and commitment required by management and its workforce to implement the program and successfully achieve positive and lasting change. The initial attempt to implement the TQM consisted of the top management CEO conducting a meeting with his Vice Presidents and informing them that Wengart would be implementing a TQM program, producing a memo requiring middle and lower management to participate and enforce a program they didn’t understand and couldn’t convince the workforce to support. The results of this case analysis will recommend a Course of Action (COA) to Wengart’s top management to affect positive change. Wengart’s strategy must stress a complete overhaul of its corporate culture and stimulate new ideas and techniques from management and employee working groups that work jointly to forge a new way ahead with a single goal “to be the best”.


President Ralph Larsen of Wengart Aircraft is concerned about increasing profits and his obligation to maximize shareholder’s return on their investments. Wengart produces commercial and military aircraft. It is number two in its industry, which consist of nine companies. Its profits, however, are ranked seventh. It’s disturbing to Larsen and his top management team that they are not able to maximize profits. Wengart’s top management conducted an internal diagnostic survey and determined quality as major problem. Aircraft have to be reworked after they are sent to the customer. Wengart’s largest customer, the Federal Government, shares the concern about quality. Wengart has received several letters from the Secretary of Defense warning that unless quality improves by 20% within six months; the government will withhold partial payment as a penalty in accordance with its contract. Nongovernment customers have also expressed concerns about quality at Wengart. Several major articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week about Wengart’s quality problems deteriorating financial condition. The Department of Defense (DOD) informed Wengart that it would like to see a TQM program similar to other manufacturing industries. DOD is encouraging all defense contractors to adopt TQM programs. Wengart’s CEO Ralph Larsen contracted an OD practitioner to explain TQM during a two hour consultation. The OD practitioner pointed out a TQM program is a complete overhaul of the corporate culture that must be stressed and asserted by all levels of management and the workforce. The OD Practitioner steed the TQM principles would include: •Customer, engineering, production and product support functions are integrated into a team. •The customer is the next person in line. Therefore for someone within the company the customer can be the next person on the production line, and for the company the customer is the purchaser of Wengart’s planes. Everyone in the company is both a customer and a producer. •Quality is giving customers what they have a right to expect. •Substantial increased in education and training are required. •Teamwork is a basic building block of TQM.

The CEO and his top management team must be committed to TQM and communicate its importance but word and deed at every opportunity. •TQM will have to become part of Wengart’s culture. The CEO must believe in work principles that include improved leadership,...
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