Tucker: A Case Analysis

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I. Background In 1993, Tucker company underwent an extensive reorganization in the company that divided it into 3 major divisions, which represented Tuckers 3 major product lines. These were commercial jet engines, military jet engines and utility turbines. Each of these divisions is to be headed by VP's who will directly report to the company's president, Mr. Harnett. Each of these divisions will have their own engineering, manufacturing, accounting departments etc. Also, it will sometimes be necessary for divisions to utilize the services of other divisions or departments so that no additional staffing and facilities costs would be realized. One example of a shared department is the laboratory. The manager of the laboratory directly reports to the manager of the military jet engine division. In 1999, Mr. Garfield, the laboratory manager retired, and during his service, little interdepartmental conflict was experienced. Ms. Hodge replaced Mr. Garfield, and Ms. Hodge was eager to gain the attention of management. Most of her colleagues perceived her as someone who was more interested in her own advancement than in the company's. In the 6 months that Ms. Hodge was with Tucker, she was involved in several interdepartmental conflicts. In the past, the engineering departments used the laboratory as a testing facility to determine properties of materials selected by design engineers. Ms. Hodge felt that the laboratory should be more involved in the selection of these materials and the design of experiments and subsequent evaluations of experimental data. Ms. Hodge discussed this matter with Mr. Franklin of the engineering department of the utility turbine division. Mr. Franklin offered to consult with Ms. Hodge but said that the final responsibility for selection was charged to his department. Following this confrontation, other conflicts arose over the implementation of the results. Mr. Franklin told Ms. Hodge that, because of her position at the testing lab, she was unable to appreciate the detailed design considerations that affected the final decision on materials selection. Ms. Hodge claimed that Mr. Franklin lacked the materials expertise she, as a metallurgist, had. Franklin also noticed that his requests took longer under Ms. Hodge's management, compared to that of Mr. Garfield's. Ms. Hodge explained that military jet engine problems had to be assigned first priority because of the administrative structure. She also said that if she were more involved in Mr. Franklin's problems, she would be able to appreciate his sense of urgency, and revise priorities in the process.

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