Case study: TREADWAY TIRE COMPANY
“Evidence of Human Resource Management can be traced to pre-historic times, like mechanisms being developed for selecting tribal leaders. Knowledge was recorded and passed on to the next generation about safety, health, hunting, and gathering. 1000 B.C to 2000 B.C saw the development of more advanced HR functions. The Chinese are known to be the first to use employee screening techniques, way back in 1115 B.C. And turns out it was not Donald Trump who started "the apprentice" system. They were the Greek and Babylonian civilizations, ages before the medieval times.” - Rashida Khilawala
Introduction and Overview: What is Human Resource Change Management? Why is it important? Why would a company run by professionals working in a well-lubricated framework of hierarchy and infrastructure run into trouble? The answer lies in the combination of mismanagement, lack of communication between key stakeholders and absence of structured human resource procedures. The Treadway Tire Company is a classic example of how all these factors can cause problems and may push a company into perilous waters, and how the management of people can affect the overall productivity and performance of an organization. At the end of 2007, Treadway Tire Company was facing high turnover rates among its foremen coupled with rapidly growing raw material costs and budget constraints. Director of human resources, Ashley Walls was called in to address this issue and complete a plan of action within two months. The root of the problem, however, cannot be pinpointed to a single cause, but is the interplay of multiple causes. Key Stakeholders: In order to implement change management concepts, the key stakeholders and their needs need first be identified to find an optimal solution to palliate their concerns. According to the Stakeholder model- the foremen, line workers and United
Steelworkers Union fall under the Incompatible/Necessary category. The foremen are the communication channels between upper management and line workers. They are vital to the smooth operation of the production. Having discontented foremen on board will reduce efficiency, increase turnover and hence, be counter-productive. The United Steelworkers Unions possess a lot of negotiating power for the hourly workers; they are the voice for them and as a collective force can influence the policy decision pertaining to the line workers, who in turn impact the productivity of the plant, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. These stakeholders have a clear divergence of interests to the firm and often force the organization to do unprofitable things. The opportunity cost of these stakeholders leaving the company is miniscule in relation to the value of the issues disputed. The production managers fall under the Necessary Compatible category. As decision makers of the company, they have the power to implement changes. They impact the corporate culture and decide how the company allocates its resources. In the case at hand, we notice that in the absence of positive communication, there is a lot of badblood between the authoritative managers and the minimal wage-earning workers. Problem Analysis and Recommendations: Morale & Communication There is a distinct pecking order where the foremen will receive threats and tongue lashings from their supervisors and in turn transfer the same negative reinforcement to the plant workers. This in turn created a hostile work environment where employee morale is low. The job of a foreman encompasses a highly flawed combination of 2 factors – high responsibility + no authority. Foremen are responsible for starting the tire production each day, preventing technical issues during the shift, staffing the production team, maintaining safety and health standards, investigating any violations, documenting employee disciplinary actions and negotiating work standards with the union +
representatives. However, they are not...
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