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Transformation & Throughput for National Presto Industries

See attached file.

I am having an exceedingly difficult time in researching National Presto Industries for the purposes of this assignment. My area of focus is in Finance, so I'm familiar with quarterly/annual reports and the like, but finding this type of internal organizational information is beyond me. Additionally, the Burke-Litwin model seems to be overly complex. I'm looking for some background research on NPI, and any help on structuring an outline to tie that research back to Burke-Litwin.

Assignment is as follows:

Identify key transformation or throughput processes and look at the relationships between them. Use Burke-Litwin Causal Model as a framework.

Limit analysis to those transactional variables identified in the (attached) article. A diagram of these variables and how they interact are shown in Figure 3 on page 531. A discussion of the seven variables starts with Structure on page 532 and ends with Motivation on page 533.

The seven transactional variables are:

- Structure: Identify the organizational structure of National Presto Industries, Inc., and comment on how well it fits - or not - with its strategy. Be sure to specify the structure by type: matrix, team based, functional or product departmentalization, organic/mechanistic, etc..)
- Tasks and Skills (Unique or core competencies)
- Management practices (e.g. participative or centralized decision making)
- Systems and Policies (information systems, financial, marketing, production, human resources, etc.)
- Work unit climate
- Motivation
- Individual needs and goals

Figure 3 on page 531 shows that the Individual and Organizational Performance is influenced by the Motivation factor. And, the Motivation factor interacts with three factors: Task and Skills, Individual Needs and Values, and Work Unit Climate. It also shows other interactions.

Research National Presto Industries, Inc. on its throughput variables. This may take some digging, since companies do not usually provide this inside information liberally. You may have to make some inferences.


Solution Preview


Organizational performance and changes is very essential for any business if it is to remain sustainable and at the top of the industry. Warner Burke and George Litwin developed a model that shows various causal relations that influence an organization's performance and change processes (Burke & Litwin, 1992). This paper will use this model to analyze the transformational or throughput processes of National presto Industries Inc.

Company profile

National Presto industries (NPI), Inc is a company based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and founded in 1905. It deals in the production, distribution and sale of household appliances, absorbent products and defense products. It houseware/small appliance segment designs, produces and distributes home electrical appliances and housewares including cookers, griddles, fryers, electric heaters, slicers and shredders, pizza ovens, waffle makers, corn poppers, shoe polishers, coffeemakers, microwaves and timers. It sells these products either through independent distributors or directly to customers in the U.S and Canada. The defense products segment produces electromechanical and precision mechanical products and ammunitions for the United States Department of defense or other contractors working for the department. The absorbent products segment produces and sells "private label adult incontinence products and diapers" selling them to other absorbent product producers or distributors (Yahoo Finance: National Presto Industries Inc., 2011).

Organizational structure at National Presto Industries

The company's organizational structure is based mainly on its main product segments that are it is a divisional structure concerned with placing various skills and abilities as they are needed across the organization. Each of the product segments of the company has their own functional organization with production, R&D, sales and marketing, and accounting teams (National Presto Industries Inc., 2011; Fontaine, 2007). The authority flows from the board of directors to the Maryjo Cohen who is chief executive officer and president, then to other executives such as the chief financial officer, Engineering and sales, all of them being vice presidents, and the secretary and general legal council. From these, authority then flows to the various product segment management teams such as production, sales, R&D, and accounting department and then finally flows to the workforce base of each product segment (National Presto Industries, Inc. Annual report, 2010; National Presto Industries, 2011a). The organizational chart is as shown below.

This organizational structure fits well with its strategy of focusing towards product innovation and overall product quality in all of the three product segments. They also focus on achieving organic growth for their businesses (Wolfington, 2010). Their organizational structure fits well with their company strategies since the various functional teams in various segments are ...

Solution Summary

Transformation and throughput for National Presto Industries are examined.