Operations Management Case Studies

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1. Introduction

This report focuses on the case studies of the Levi Jeans workers and the California Auto Club reengineering customer service.

It looks at operations management as a source for gaining a competitive advantage and overcoming potential problems experienced within and organisation or workplace.

The questions to be reviewed are as follows:

Jeans Therapy - Levi's factory worker are assigned to teams, and morale takes a hit:

1. What went wrong with Levi's move to teams in their plants?;

2. What could Levi's have done differently to avert the problems?;

3. Devise a team incentive plan that you think might work; and

4. Do you think the need to move jeans production offshore was inevitable? Could Levi's have done anything to
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3. What could Levi's have done differently to avert the problems?

In 1993 Levi's hired a consulting firm to analyse the problems, concluding the company should start from scratch and include all parties in redesign of pay structures and work processes. In hindsight, it is simple to say that Levi's should not have phased out the old system as it seemed to be working. Having said this, with the introduction of the new system, there could have been greater emphasis placed on getting it right. What could Levi's had done better?

According to Keogh (2003), motivation is one of the most loaded nouns in the English language. It has an intrinsic negative, as well as positive, connotation and its trigger is different for each individual. In a corporate context, well-motivated employees can enhance a company. Those with poor motivation can generate serious workplace problems.

3.1 Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs

In the late 1960's, Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchical theory of human needs. He set up a hierarchical theory of needs in which all the basic needs are at the bottom, and the needs concerned with man's highest potential are at the top. The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for self-actualisation. Each level of the pyramid is dependent on the previous level. For example, a person does not feel the second need until the
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