Southern Discomfort Case Study Analysis

1415 words 6 pages
CASE FOR CRITICAL ANALYSIS SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT Jim Malesckowski remembers the call of two weeks ago as if he just put down the telephone receiver. “I just read your analysis and I want you to get down to Mexico right away,” Jack Ripon, his boss and chief executive officer, had blurted in his ear. “You know we can’t make the plant in Oconomo work anymore—the costs are just too high. So go down there, check out what our operational costs would be if we move, and report back to me in a week.” At that moment, Jim felt as if a shiv had been stuck in his side, just below the rib cage. As president of the Wisconsin Specialty Products Division of Lamprey, Inc., he knew quite well the challenge of dealing with high-cost labor in a third-generation, …show more content…

The greatest force that drives Lamprey for change is that it’s operating at a high cost in its Oconomo plant and it’s giving out losses. The CEO had read the report submitted by Jim Malesckowski and had immediately pushed for closing down the plant and possible transfer to Mexico. Production costs at the plant were already spiralling out of control. As a result, the plant was losing its competitiveness. But while the top management is pushing for the closure of the plant, resistance from the union for the past improvements that Jim ushered to implement is the restraining force that makes him hesitant to execute the change. 2. What is the primary type of change needed—changing “things” or changing the “people and culture?” Can the Wisconsin plant be saved by changing things alone, by changing people and culture, or must both be changed? Explain your answer. The primary type of change needed was changing the people and culture. Closing down the plant would lead to serious sociological consequences at Oconomo, leaving 520 people jobless in a town with no other job opportunities to look for. Yet it was conceivable that the plant could be saved if the union leaders would stop resisting change. Therefore, the mindset of the union leaders had to be changed. Some of the changes being considered, such as lower wages and cell manufacturing, would enhance the competitiveness of the company. Yet these changes were not feasible with resistance


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