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Performance Analysis of Littleton Manufacturing

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Performance Analysis of Littleton Manufacturing

Littleton Manufacturing facilitates poor upward and downward communication throughout all levels of the organization.

As a result of the ineffective communication system, Littleton faces a number of issues which ultimately has affected the bottom line of the company. Key challenges to note are low employee morale, low level of unity within the organization, poorly designed organizational structure and confusion in interpreting procedures and rules. Improving the accuracy and speed of the flow of communication should be an important first step in the resolution of the presented issues, thus allowing the organization to function more effectively and efficiently.

The importance of organizations and their reasons for existence are outlined in Exhibit 1. Littleton currently is performing poorly across all of these factors, decreasing their importance and contribution towards society. Littleton is categorized as a large-batch, mass production manufacturing system (Daft, 246). Based on this, Littleton should be, but aren¡¯t carrying out properly, a mechanistic organizational structure with standardized jobs and formalized procedures to ensure efficiency (Daft, 248). Top management seems to be aware of this point, but they are not communicating the rationale and need for a mechanistic structure to the rest of the organization.

Littleton¡¯s two units (fabrication and components) serve different domains and therefore ¡°have different performance and accountability needs¡±. Although these two units obviously require different structures, they are viewed and treated as one by management and employees, which causes communication barriers through inconsistencies in management style and rule implementation.

All three symptoms of structural deficiency are present at Littleton. There is delay and lack of quality in decision making. Information linkages in either the vertical or horizontal direction may be inadequate to ensure decision quality (Daft, 120). The organization does not respond innovatively to a changing environment, this is caused by the fact that departments are not coordinated horizontally (Daft, 120). Also, too much conflict is evident. Organization structure has to specify a single set of goals for the entire organization (Daft, 120).

Littleton seems to have a lack of st...

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...a are further clarified in appendix 2.

?6¦1 Enhance both upward and downward communication across all levels of the organization

?6¦1 Improve management effectiveness

?6¦1 Help improve employee morale

?6¦1 Feasible in regards to cost

?6¦1 Be timely and enable Littleton to adapt to changes quickly.

The following alternatives were generated for Winslow to consider implementing:

1. Sell off either the Fabrications of Components part of Littleton.

2. Redesign the organizational structure emphasizing an effective and efficient communication process.

3. Initiate job rotation/cross training between departments.

4. Continue to function as it currently is.

Exhibit 1 (Daft, 13)

Organizations exist to do the following

1. Bring together resources to achieve desired goals and outcomes

2. Produce goods and services efficiently

3. Facilitate innovation

4. Use modern manufacturing and information technologies

5. Adapt to and influence a changing environment

6. Create value for owners, customers, and employees

7. Accommodate ongoing challenges of diversity, ethics, and the motivation and coordination of employees
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