Designing at the Operational Level

DAVID A. NADLER, michael l. tushman and mark b. nadler

in Competing by Design

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780195099171
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854868 | DOI:
Designing at the Operational Level

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The Blacksburg plant in Virginia was perceived to be an “Operations Associates' Paradise” because the plant emphasized an unconventional job design that involved minimal supervision and almost no managerial personnel. Such a design is said to have been grounded on the notions of attaining superior productivity, profitability, and performance. This design, the High-Performance Work Systems (HPWS), proves to be, however, difficult to manage. Although such an arrangement does not serve as a universal solution, properly pulling it off may indeed bring sizeable improvements in productive capacity. This chapter further discusses the implications of adopting the HPWS while also exploring the concept of process reengineering, and how such advocates developing new designs, especially on the enterprise level.

Keywords: Blacksburg plant; HPWS; process reengineering; productive capability; designs

Chapter.  8150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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