"Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Plant" case study deals with job dissatisfaction in a production plant. It seeks to look into the root of the problems and how they are perceived by the foremen which resulted in a high turnover.
C. Wickham Skinner; Heather Beckham
Harvard Business Review (2189-PDF-ENG)
June 12, 2008
Case questions answered:
- What is the relationship between line foremen at Treadway Tire Company’s Lima Plant and other groups within the plant: general supervisors and area managers, top management, the union, hourly workers, and each other?
- How do line foremen feel about their jobs, and why?
- What are the costs and consequences of those feelings?
- What are the elements of the work system that contribute to the problem?
- What action plan should Ashley Wall recommend?
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Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Plant Case Answers
The Treadway Tire Company Lima Plant Case
1. The relationship between line foremen and other groups within Treadway Tire Company is defined by conflict and differences between points of view. For instance, the lack of communication is the biggest problem with their superiors.
There are several daily problems in the line of products that interfere with the proper functioning of the company, and this is due to technical and human issues and a lack of supplies that are above the control that the line foremen have.
The superiors don’t seem to understand how the work is not done properly, even though they know that the line is having several issues. This lack of empathy between foremen and superiors caused differences between them.
In addition, the relationship that the foremen have with their subordinates and the union has flaws and is marked by conflict. The foremen feel they have no authority over the hourly workers, and the workers don’t seem to respect them.
The union is exceeding its power in the Treadway Tire Company, making the decisions that the foremen take look as unfair and not properly taken. This causes the foremen to feel powerless.
In conclusion, most of the foremen are seen as regular workers with no opportunity for growth within the Treadway Tire Company. This causes conflict with their superiors and their subordinates because their work is diminished.
2. The foremen feel that they have no authority anymore, and yet they have a lot of responsibility for what happens in the line of production. There is even a passage in the text in which they say: “We’re between a rock and a hard place” (Skinner; Beckham, 2008, pg. 4).
This feeling was also identified by the plant manager (Mr. Bellingham) at Treadway Tire Company as he sees that foremen “feel isolated from the rest of the company […] and that their contributions are undervalued, and their concerns are ignored” (Skinner; Beckham, 2008, pg. 4).
3. The costs and consequences of the feelings of the foremen cause…
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