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Analysis of Alcan - Case Study Example

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Analysis of Alcan

There was a wide spread of perception that it was hard to implement changes and that communication was poor. The management wanted to impose change in the organization. They thought about three options for change but only implemented two of them. Team working was introduced and later on, there were structural changes. The senior managers and the workers said that team working produced results in terms of staff satisfaction; effectiveness of the work organization and productivity but the middle level and technical staff disagreed with this. They felt that there was a lot of dissatisfaction in team working change can be an expensive and difficult process and fewer problems will be experience in less drastic change program, but even then it is not something to be contemplated without care.
Lynemouth production began its production in 1972. Work organization was fairly conventional with each group of workers being responsible to a supervisor who dealt with all day-to-day production matters such as the allocation of tasks, granting of holiday and shifts. Majority of workers were production operatives and craft workers who belonged to trade union.
The Management wanted to impose change by insisting on the application of parts of existing agreement rather than involving the unions. The employees reported lack of consultation by management and this contributed to a growing sense of worker dissatisfaction. This in turn adversely affected the quality of production. According to Fredrick Taylor, he thought by scientifically analysing work, the "One Best Way" to do it would be found. He is most remembered for his time and motion study. He would break a job into its component parts and measure each to the second. Taylor believed that contemporary management was amateurish and should be studied as a discipline, that workers should cooperate with management and hence would not need Trade Unions. He believed that the best results would come from the partnership between a trained and qualified management and a cooperative and innovative workforce. Each side needed the other. This approach would have been an awkward one because, the union is the workers representative and they should be consulted to contribute ideas toward the change.
According to Buchanan and Bobby (1992), he recommends two negotiation clusters. Selling plans and ideas to others; creating a desirable vision of the future and negotiating with key players for resources or changes in procedures, or to resolve conflict. Due to the facts that the employees are the key players, then they should have been consulted through the trade union.
According to Elton Mayo, he said that workers are motivated by such things is that individuals have a deep psychological need to believe that their organization cares about them, is open, concerned, and willing to listen.
In organisations, which have cultures in which individuals make their own decisions a change agent who attempts to manage process by telling people what to do is likely to encounter resistance. In this type of environment, the change agent perhaps needs to have a more laid back style, paying attention to altering, important symbols such as reward systems, or persuading his ...Show more


Alcan case study is evidence derived from research at Lynemouth Smelters plant in 1995 and 1997. The first study covered interviews with all levels of employees and a questionnaire survey of shop door workers. The plant was revisited in 1997 and many of the key informants were interviewed again…
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