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FMC is and has been a successful company for the last fifty-six years. First originated in 1948 and produced 1.3 million tons of various grades of soda ash a year. The success of the first business brought about a second refining plant in 1953, which was completed in 1970. FMC Aberdeen, located in South Dakota with a population of 30,000 is also a successful subsidy of FMC. FMC Aberdeen employs one hundred people, produces one product, which is a missile canister for the U.S. Navy. FMC Green River managed by Mr. Dailey, produces various chemicals, has over 100 domestic and international customers, 1,150 employees, creates several products and works closely at times with the United Steel Workers of America. (Clawson, 2005)
"Organizational structure is the formal system of task reporting relationships that controls, coordinates, and motivates employees so that they cooperate and work together to achieve and organization's goals." (George & Jones, 2005, p. 535) Organizational structure is important because it is the foundation for how a company will be run. Aberdeen's structure was simple, staff of 100 people and has only one product, and one customer. The two plants are very different in age and industry as well, with Green River as an older company in the chemical industry, and Aberdeen, a five year-old "start up" company in the defense industry. Aberdeen's structures are placing all of their employees in work groups and are given the authority to make business decisions for the company. They are able to solve problems and appear to have obtained from its employees a very high level of performance from each team member. At Aberdeen while forming these small groups, the groups themselves have the ability to choose their leader and also, decide on how long they want a specific person to lead that group.
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The family like atmosphere at Aberdeen naturally creates a strong group cohesiveness, which is very effective and creates a positive working environment. The culture at FMC Green River, they have a relationship with their coworkers as the same as Aberdeen as well as managers. The only difference is that Green River is a unionized culture. It has been that way for years. In many union environments employees are given job descriptions and job titles. At FMC Green River, Dailey's management style was very interactive, with a high level of trust for people; he was relatively open, was willing to pass out information and was eager to drive decision making down into the organization. Mr. Dailey worked well with his people but would now like to make some positive changes to better the plant in hope that the union will work with him.
In my recommendations for FMC Green River they should first of all understand that FMC Aberdeen has a great structure for the ability to create quickly various small work teams such as informal groups or self managed teams that allow the group to focus poll together ideas and come up with a solution to specific problem. The reason for this is because IT changes companies and allows them to behave in more flexible, organic ways. The effects of IT on organizational design can be seen both inside and between organizations. Once a solution is found the team disbands. Since Aberdeen's company is smaller and its employees create a family atmosphere, the role relationships between the people in the groups have a strong personal bond.
The basic idea will also work at FMC Green River but will require some modifications. These modifications are as follows: the small groups that gather to solve a specific problem mush also remember that what effects one decision in the process they are improving may have a devastating impact on another division of the same company since the company produces different products. Quickly creating teams on the spot for resolutions to specific problems as done at Aberdeen is much easier when only dealing with one product for one customer. At FMC Green River, where there are several products being produced and over 1,150 employees, trying to incorporate small teams when the need arises will work but some restrictions may have to be supplied. I would suspect more division of labor and command groups would be better suited die to the possible impact of a decision by one team, which may significantly influence another part of the organization.
The Union Leaders handles employees' issues at Green River while the employees do their job. The employees don't have the opportunity to voice their opinions or problems to the management. If they had the opportunity to voice their opinion to management then they would feel like they belonged and were apart of the team. Green River needs to let their employees form small groups to start. Then they can do larger groups. The smaller groups can meet once a week and larger groups can meet once or twice a month. It would be hard to have every employee at Green River to meet all at one time together. The culture of this organization can be changed to make the employees feel like they belong and are apart of this organization.
The implementation plan for FMC Green River should clearly define the goal that the employees will be place in small groups to meet with management then these small groups will then be put into larger groups to meet again either once or twice a month. Also the employees will be given the opportunity to put in their opinion on issues and to be able to have a chance to say their peace. The key issue is also is to ensure the employees have the abilities they need to perform their jobs effectively. The way to guarantee this is to make sure your employees are happy with not only their jobs but their positions.
Green River has an old culture. The union brings a great deal of that culture to the plants. There is a hierarchy, as far as job titles go, and it is possible that one person could take the blame or credit for anything, whereas Aberdeen's employees would take the criticism as a whole. I would call what is in place at Green River. Mr. Dailey can incorporate a new code of ethics, and make the union members more responsible for their own actions, and promote the fact that he will always be there to offer support if anyone has problems to deal with, professionally or personally. Promote the company as being a family unit. This can build a strong relationship with both organizations: the union organization and the Green River management.
In this conclusion I feel that these changes could work for FMC Green River if the union, workers and managers would and could work together so all the changes will fall into place as planned. Letting the union workers have more of a say will help build they confidence and also make them feel as if they belong more with the company. It will also help them build their trust up with upper and middle class management. Even thought Green River has older departments that are isolated from the rest of the departments these office can be renovated to make all employees feel together and friendly and a family.
George, J.M. and Jones, G. R. (2005). Understanding and managing organization behavior, (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Clawson, J. (2005). FMC Aberdeen from practical problems in organizations: Cases in leadership, organizational behavior and human resources. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
George, J.M. and Jones, G. R. (2005). Understanding and managing organization behavior, (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.