Prior to the implementation of this strategy, the company had been in financial trouble. The admission of this issue had lead to a decrease in the employee's happiness, and then eventually, this lead to a labor relations issue. Acme, because of its business type, had to employ a wide variety of different workers because of its use of highly skilled technology. Therefore, it had geologists, geophysicists, engineers, (referred to as "the brains")as well as semiskilled labor (referred to as "the brawn") working together to create a functional business. In 1994, these two different levels of employees clashed in a very serious way that also became distressingly public. Engineers at the plant in Wichita locked out union workers and left them outside in the hot Kansas summer. The press got a hold of the story and the media went awry with the issue, and most employees felt that the press went far overboard with its push of the story. However, the bad publicity caused a change of the chief executive, and Bill Daniels was brought in.
Daniels displayed talent previously and had experience with teamwork and change. He wound up being a very good selection for the company. Daniels was good with the media, for one, so he was able to deflect some of the bad publicity. Second, he was able to restore the hurting company within his first year by getting rid of unnecessary parts of the business to save money. He was able to change management's tactics and created a shared-services department which focused on total quality management, and Jimenez became in charge of this group. Daniels had wanted Jimenez to improve the moral at the company's five extraction sites, as morale was low all around. Wichita was the only site where things had come to such a head, but the two individuals still felt that all sites needed to be considered in this re-organization project.
Jimenez was ready to go; she had an M.B.A. and had also worked with a consulting firm prior to coming to Acme. She had worked at Acme for ten years, and had much experience with the company. She was provided with a team to assist her and she focused on a morale strategy. First, they team focused on Wichita, which had been the company's severe problem area. The plant had other issues other than the "brains" and the "brawn" infighting in the company; the plant was also performing below average, and the former CEO had considered getting rid of the plant altogether. All the change programs the old management had tried had failed, but Jimenez felt that these program's failures were fairly predictable since they had posed unrealistic expectations in the first place. With this in mind, Jimenez was able to fix the labor relations problem. Things were not as smoothly as they could have been, but the plan still worked and things were successful overall. Daniels had bragged about this early success to the stakeholders and ensured that this success could be performed at the other plants.
When moving the strategy to Lubbock, Jimenez could have been overconfident. She sent one of her people out there with two other staff in order to implement the strategy. Several problems began to occur after that. In Lubbock, issues that hadn't occurred in Wichita began to occur. The employees seemed reluctant to participate in any of the problem-solving and team-building concepts the company had put