Dupont plant is a major manufacturing employer which sits on 10 acres by the South River according to the case study by the Palmer, Dunford & Akin (2009). Although the plant has been in the community for a number of years, it has undergone many changes (Palmer et al., 2009). The plant was about to undergo yet another change as its manager Tom Harris sought out ways to improve their business (Palmer et al., 2009). Employees were notified of the coming changes by a bulletin announcement which assured them that the changes would supplement the great work they were already doing (Palmer et al., 2009). Through interviews conducted by University of Virginia professor Gib Akin, the everyday life of workers and managers at Dupont were
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During the interviews, a common-sense model used by the employees was discovered which showed that the employees were able to get along based on a culture that was already embedded (Palmer et al., 2009). It was a powerful discovery as it shifted the focus from solving the problem of increasing effectiveness to allowing the employees to continue in their current existing successful teamwork (Palmer et al., 2009). The AI process not only looks to help an organization to create images of its future but, to also instill a renewed commitment to change among the groups of people working to attain that future (Michael, 2005). In essence, the changes at Dupont were geared toward capitalizing on the strengths of the organization and expanding and developing on their current good practices (Palmer et al., 2009).
The sense making approach was realized when the interviews revealed the NASCAR metaphor of Dupont’s job culture which gave them the sense involved in their teamwork (Palmer et al., 2009). Akin’s team perceived a problem in the teamwork because they had a different definition of teamwork that did not fit with Dupont’s culture which actually had no problems at all (Palmer et al., 2009). What makes sense to a company because of a culture that has existed there for a long time may seem like a problem to an outsider. Sometimes there is no need to fix it, just accept that it