Group Behavior in Gung Ho

Topics: Group dynamics, Social psychology, Human resource management Pages: 13 (3859 words) Published: September 12, 2007
Group Behavior in GUNG HO


II.Research Question
III.Discussion of the Main Framework: Group Behavior Model
IV.Analysis and Interpretation

In the movie Gung Ho, Hunt Stevenson is sent to Tokyo to convince the Assan Motors Corporation to take over the recently closed Hadleyville auto plant. The Japanese company agrees, and upon the arrival of their management team in the US many changes are introduced, among them lower wages and seemingly impossible standards of efficiency and quality. The lackadaisical attitude of the American workers toward quality only adds to the cultural strain. Kazihiro, the Japanese executive in charge of the Hadleyville plant, gives Stevenson a large pay increase on the condition that he work as their liaison to convince the American workers to conform to the new management style. More concerned with keeping his promotion than with the long-term welfare of his fellow workers, Stevenson does everything he can to trick the American workers into compliance, but the culture clash becomes too great and he begins to lose control of the men. In an attempt to solve the problem, Stevenson makes a deal with Kazihiro: if the plant can produce 15,000 cars in one month, thereby matching Assan Motors' current record, then the workers will all be given the raise they've been asking for. When Stevenson calls an assembly to tell the workers about the deal, they balk at the idea of making so many cars in so short a time. Under pressure from the crowd, Stevenson lies and says that if they make 13,000 they will get a partial raise. After nearly a month of working long hours toward a goal of 13,000 — despite Stevenson's pleas for them to aim for the full 15,000 — the truth is discovered and the workers strike. Because of the strike, Assan Motors plans to discontinue using the factory. Stevenson responds by announcing to the workers that the real reason they are facing such difficulties is because the Japanese have the work ethic that too many Americans have abandoned. While his audience is not impressed, Stevenson, hoping to save the town and atone for his deception, and Kazihiro, desperate to show his worth to his superiors, went back into the factory and began to build cars by themselves, trying to meet the goal of 15,000. They succeed in inspiring the rest of the workers to return to the factory and at the deadline, though they come up a few cars short, their cooperation and dedication so impressed the strict Assan Motors CEO that he congratulates Kazihiro and declares the plant a success. As the end credits roll, the workers and management have compromised with the latter agreeing to partially ease up on their requirements while the workers agree to be more cooperative (Wikipedia). II. RESEARCH QUESTION

What explains the improvement in the performance of the Hadleyville workers (Americans)?


The main framework utilized in this paper to delineate the cause of the improvement in the performance of the American workers is the Group Behavior Model (Robbins 2000, pp.223-239). In this particular model the following variables are identified as determinants of a work group's performance and level of satisfaction: (a) external conditions imposed on the group, (b) group member resources, (c) group structure, (d) group processes, and (e) group task.

A. External Conditions Imposed on the Group

A work group is influenced by conditions imposed from the outside. These external conditions include the organization's overall strategy, its authority structures, formal regulations, resources, employee selection process, performance evaluation and reward systems, culture, and physical work setting.

Goal setting model. Supplementing the manner in which an organization's overall strategy and formal regulations influences group behavior is the Goal Setting Theory of Edwin Locke (Kreitner and...

References: Kerr, S 1995, "An Academy Classic: On the Folly of rewarding A while Hoping for B". Academy of Management Executives, vol. 9, no.1.
Krietner, R & Kinicki, A 2005, Organizational behavior 6th edition, 305-308. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
Robbins, SP, 2000, Organizational behavior 9th edition, 237. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
University of Kentucky.
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