The New Plant Manager
Toby Butterfield worked his way upward in the Montclair Company until he became assistant plant manager in the Illinois plant. Finally, his opportunity for a promotion came. The Houston plant was having difficulty meeting its budget and production quotas, so he was promoted to plant manager and transferred to the Houston plant with instructions to “straighten it out.” Butterfield was ambitious and some-what power oriented. He believed that the best way to solve problems was to take control, make decisions, and use his authority to carry out decisions. After preliminary study, he issued orders for each department to cut its budget 5 percent. A week later he instructed all his departments to increase production 10 percent by the following month. He required several new reports and kept a close watch on operations. At the end of the second month, he dismissed 3 supervisors who had failed to meet their production quota. Five other supervisors resigned. Butterfield insisted that all rules and budgets should be followed, and he allowed no exceptions. Butterfield’s efforts produced remarkable results. Productivity quickly exceeded standards by 7 percent, and within five months the plant was within budget. His record was so outstanding that he was promoted to the New York home office near the end of his second year. Within a month after he left, productivity in the Houston plant collapsed to 15 percent below standard, and the budget again was in trouble.
1. Discuss the model of Organisation behaviour Butterfield used and the kind organisational climate there. 2. Discuss why productivity dropped when Butterfield left the Houston Plant. 3. If you were Butterfield’s New York manager, what would you tell him about his approach?
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