Caterpillar

Good Essays
Assignment #4
This paper will examine the process by which Caterpillar reinvented the culture within one of their divisions, as explained by Despain et al in their article Work Values at Caterpillar: A Process. First, I will examine some of the ways it was an effective process, and then some of the ways it was ineffective. I will then present some of the key issues not mentioned by the authors that may have had an impact on the process. Finally, I will lay out the results and recommendations on the process.
In the article, Despain et al detailed the process Caterpillar underwent to turn around their underperforming flagship division. This process included division management’s dissection and replacement of the current culture at the division,
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The cleanup of the management structure could have been instrumental in killing off some of the red-tape that may have existed and contributed to the underperformance. This was inferred to in the article when the authors mentioned, “the people who knew the most about operations were responsible to run them.” By removing bureaucracy, a company allows ideas to flow more quickly and with less chance of petering out along the way.
As well, while the article did mention the company was a unionized environment, they did not expand on the potential impacts that had for upper management when considering a direction for change if they wanted action quickly. Re-structuring a unionized environment would require the consent and input of the union. If they were looking for quick results, the only avenue was through management restructuring.
Finally, but in the same vein, there was no mention of the pay of the 12 new middle managers in comparison to the 22 they replaced. Management plus experience usually comes with increased remuneration. This was an opportunity to downsize the higher paid portion of an underperforming

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