Organization Development (Od) And Change - A Case Study Of Johnson Engine Company

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Organization Development (OD) and Change - A Case Study of Johnson Engine Company

Organization Development (OD) and Change - A Case Study of Johnson Engine Company


Johnson Engine Company is involved in the business of small and heavy duty diesel engines to the truck industry. The company CEO, Henry Shapp, after attending a conference on organizational development thinks of bringing change to the company. He wants to transform it so that the current problems faced by the organization are addressed in time (Easterby-Smith & Nicolini, 2000). Currently, the organization has a very traditional set up. The CEO plans to move towards a high performance work system organization.

High performance work system may be defined as an ideal combination of the work structures in the organization, the organizational process and the HR practices that are being followed to translate into superior employee commitment, skill and knowledge and flexibility. The aforementioned definition highlights several elements of the high performance work system. However, if there is one word that truly defines it - it is the SYSTEM. This means that there should be sync between the organization's goals and practices both internally and externally (Adler & Forbes, 2009). The paper discusses the current issues being faced by Johnson Engine Company as well as the strategies that can be adopted to transform from a traditional organization to a work based high performance system.

Problems faced by Johnson Engine Company

The majority of human resource at the company is people who have been associated with it for the past 10 years or so. These are people who belong to the rural areas and are not only well educated but also hard working. Because of the long association of the workforce with the company, Johnson Engine Company is a very highly unionized company (Kling, 2005). This means that the labor is being paid higher wages and the labor management relations are at best adversarial.

In addition, these are people who have precious experience but they do not have adequate management knowledge. This means that they do not know how to run the show. The recent hit that the company took on the bottom line is a reflection of the aforementioned statement (Simmons, 2011). They are coming from the old school. There is a serious need of new blood in the organization.

It is general practice that new breed brings in new information and new ideas with them. They always want to ...