Smithers: Implementation and Sigma Program Essays

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Overview: This case talks about John Smithers and his experience with the new Six Sigma Program at Sigtek. The program was implemented by the parent company of Sigtek and Smithers and a colleague, Sam Murphy, were both selected to learn about this program from Telwork (the parent company) and then run the program to teach about change to the employees at Sigtek.
The main problem that is seen in this case study is the fact that the Six Sigma program that was implemented to bring change was not working. To Smithers it felt as if corporate didn’t really care about the company or this program. There was not enough support given to the program or the need for change so that Six Sigma could actually be a positive
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Vertical coordination is when higher levels control and coordinate the work of subordinates through authority, rules, policies, planning and control systems. In the case it can be seen that Telwork uses vertical coordination to have Sigtek and its other subsidiaries comply with its Six Sigma Program. It gets the upper level people of the company to do as they are told so that the program runs along at the pace that they had preordained for it. Through vertical coordination Telwork gets Smithers and Murphy to do this program according to the company’s views and at the company’s pace. Lateral coordination can also be seen in this case study. Smithers and Murphy head up meetings to help those that work at Sigtek understand the needs for a Six Sigma Program and then they try to use these meetings to implement change as they see fit (after getting input from employees that participated in the Six Sigma meetings). A task force is set up to bring these changes into effect. From this case we can say this situation illustrates excessive autonomy. All the instructions are giving down from the parent company and all that Smithers and Murphy can do is obey orders. They went to get trained and then came back to Sigtek to train the employees all according to the plans that were put in place by Telwork. There was no leeway at all for the two men to make their own judgments and even if they did; those judgment

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