Essay on Change at Dupont

805 Words Apr 20th, 2011 4 Pages
Case Study: Change at Dupont

Abstract Plant Manager, Tom Harris greeted everyone by name when he walked through the plant and as far as one could tell, it seemed to be business as usual at DuPont. Most recently, Orion, a DuPont manufacturing operation had been closed, the equipment dismantled and sent to China, but there were no particular concerns regarding this change. When Tom contacted the University of Virginia, he was not looking to solve any particular problem; rather he sought to gather information that would help improve the overall effectiveness of the organization. This was important to him because he was being pressured to do more with less. Tom’s interest was in introducing new ideas to his managers and applying those
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In analyzing the potential outcomes ahead of time, the group is able maintain a certain amount of control over the process. Even if the results are not as expected, the experiment can still be viewed as a positive experience from which everyone learned something (Palmer, Dunford, and Atkins, 212). Facts, Tentative Solutions, and Potential Follow-up DuPont’s approach to change appears to fit the classic model of OD. The initiative has the support of the plant manager. Changes to the organization are planned and executed like other projects within the company, while executing real actions being a key priority. DuPont also focused on the local culture with the use of a NASCAR metaphor to help employees understand the importance of effective teamwork. The NASCAR metaphor allowed DuPont to get across the point that performance matters in a way that employees could relate to. DuPont’s approach to change also encourages experimental learning (risk taking). According to (Palmer, Dunford, and Atkins, 211) “If you describe every change as an experiment, the ability of people to digest it goes up an order of magnitude.” From this perspective, plant management is encouraged to try different processes and procedures as long as they are willing to stop experiments that are not working.
A weakness with strategy, however, is that it is time consuming. In order to

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