RL Wolfe: Implementing Self-Directed Teams
When students have the English-language PDF of this Brief Case in a coursepack, they will also have the option to purchase an audio version. Key topics include team design, team management, job design, employee empowerment, implementing change, and high performance workforces. In 2004, John Amasi, the director of production for a manufacturer of plastic pipe, introduced the concept of self-directed teams into a newly rehabbed plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. This was a major departure for RL Wolfe, whose other plants were unionized and rigidly hierarchical. By 2007, Corpus Christi is significantly outperforming the other plants in productivity, and Amasi tours the plant to identify remaining barriers to even higher productivity. Although the tour makes clear that many things are going right, it also reveals specific elements of the SDT concept that are not working optimally; some of these are communicated from the perspective of the workers themselves. At the end of the case, as Amasi sketches out ideas for increasing productivity at Corpus Christi, he also considers how he can persuade the unionized workforces at the other Wolfe plants to accept the SDT model. Topics Include: Designing Teams, Implementing Change, Self-Directed Teams, Workforce Management, General Management, Managing Teams, High Performance Workforce, Employee Empowerment, Motivation and Mid-size Plastic Pipe Manufacturing.