Levi Strauss & Co.'s Flirtation with Teams

3541 Words Feb 5th, 2008 15 Pages
Case Study: Levi Strauss & Co.'s Flirtation with Teams - Chapter 7

Group Name:

Group Members:

Name ID No.

November 9, 2005

1. Discuss the stages of group development and the implementations of them for the development of the teams at Levi Strauss?

Generally, five (5) stages of development are experienced by any team implemented to work together. These five stages are identified as Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. At Levi Strauss & Co. Ltd., in going through these stages, it was the team members' handling of the inevitable conflicts that developed, which had severe and far-reaching implications for team development at the organization. Team members became frustrated and remained stagnated for long
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When this failed to materialize, top performers complained of less skilled workers causing a decline in their wages, since workers were rewarded based on total levels of output. The disparity in performance resulted in increased conflict, decreased productivity levels by top performers and reduced employee morale.

Reward Allocation Norms determine how rewards could be allocated. The reward system changed from one of equity (the piece-rate system) to equality. The new system allowed each employee an equal reward since teams were remunerated based on the total number of completed garments. The behaviour of top performers became quite aggressive and hostile as their wages declined due to the minimal contribution of their less skilled and slower counterparts. Additionally, top performers reduced their levels of productivity in response to these lower wages. As a result of this new reward system, increased peer pressure aggravated the internal strife at Levi Strauss, ultimately resulting in physical and death threats.

3. Discuss the role dynamics that emerged in the groups. Is there any evidence of role ambiguity or role conflict?

Role ambiguity may be defined as a lack of understanding by individual team members regarding the expectations of a particular role. Role conflict is the discrepancy between what a team expects a member to do and what the member thinks he or
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