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Simmons Case Analysis

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Leading Change at Simmons Case Analysis

1. The differences in motivation between the typical manufacturing plant and the Janesville plant lies in the type of reinforcement that is present. Negative reinforcement or avoidance and punishment are the motivating factors seen in the typical plants at Simmons. Workers were motivated to perform through fear, as discipline was administered through a plant “sergeant” who walked the plant “as though he were on patrol”. Workers had no intrinsic motivation to work hard as they were not recognized for their efforts. The workers only chose to work hard when the plant manager was present, so as to avoid negative repercussion (loss of job). Under the director Saliture, the Janesville plant had a completely different work environment. The management team created an environment of positive reinforcement by encouraging associates in being responsible for the plant. Workers were rewarded and recognized for individual, team and plant performance, which allowed for consistent motivation to work hard. Because workers felt they were a part of the decision making of the plant, they had higher stakes in the performance of the plant as well.
2. Fenway Partners, as defined by Group Theory, is a set of businessmen that share a conventional and bureaucratic style of management and decision making. This style of management is the group norm and allows the members to be a cohesive and stable group. Because everyone in the group share the same norms, there is a greater pressure to behave and make decisions a certain way. While these norms make for a strong and cohesive group, it dissuades unconventional and innovative approaches, especially in uncertain economic times. The group mentality is that, if a conventional and predictable turnaround strategy has worked before, it will work again. To try Eitel’s unconventional GGOL approach when there is no guarantee of success is a risky move that goes against the Fenway Partners’ predictable and...

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