Operations Management Case Study Examples
Q1: What are some of the changes in the work situation that may account for an increase in productivity and a decrease in the controllable rejects?
There are in fact many changes that might account for both an increase in productivity and a decrease in the number of controllable rejects. One change could have occurred when management analyzed the previous situation and figured out the problem; namely, that the controllable rejects were running at 23% due to low morale and poor quality. The fact that management then decided to try something new in order to fix that problem may be another contributing factor. They did this by calling the workers in and asking them to decide what approach they would like to take. The workers decided to assemble the entire garments individually. The workers were finally given several days of training to achieve this.
Q2: What specifically might account for the subsequent drop in absenteeism and the increase in employee morale?
Generally, high absenteeism and low morale in any organization are usually caused when workers are uncomfortable and don’t like the manner in which they do their tasks. Based on this case study, the management's decision to involve their workers in the decision-making process and to share ideas with them should be seen as a good solution in that it simultaneously motivated the workers and helped them to feel respected. As a result, this served to boost their morale and led them to enjoy their work. In short, workers who enjoy the way they accomplish their tasks will slowly come to love their jobs - and that will ultimately reduce the absenteeism rate.
Q3: What were some of the major changes to the given situation? Which changes were under the manager's control? Which did workers ultimately control?
The work system was the one major change to the situation. The changes under management's control included involving the workers in the decision-making and in sharing ideas with them. Moreover, giving those workers the chance to choose their own preferred methods to perform their tasks and introducing them to the idea of this new approach was also under the manager's control, as was the necessary training and development for them to do so effectively. The workers, meanwhile, controlled their own method and speed of assembly as well as their own quality control and final checks.
Q4: What might happen if those workers were to go back to the old assembly line method?
I firmly believe that if the workers were to revert back to the old assembly method, they would not make any changes for the better. That would only serve to decrease their productivity, lower their morale and eventually result in higher absenteeism.