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Case Study: Introducing Experts Systems at The Corporation

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1. The Corporation was in a chaotic state due to the acquisition of a large company. Was it worthwhile introducing a new technology into it under these trying times?

2. How can the consultant gain better support from the new vice presidents of development and manufacturing?

3. What could you have done differently to get funding for the expert system prototype project?
4. How could the domain expert in configuration control have helped to get funding for the expert system?

5. How could the users of the eventual expert system (sales representatives and configuration analysts) have been more active in starting the project on expert configuration system?

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1. The Corporation was in a chaotic state due to the acquisition of a large company. Was it worthwhile introducing a new technology into it under these trying times?

The Corporation was in a very chaotic state due to the acquisition of a large company, but that was not all. First of all, of all the Vice-Presidents that were employed at the company, there was no VP of IT. The only "officer" was the Director of Information Systems who reports to the Vice-President of Finance. Additionally, the VP of Development left. The VP/General Manager of Manufacturing and Customer Service who was a sponsor of the project and the feasibility study effort was still trying to make it work; however, the new VP of Development was not interested in the value of the expert systems. Awareness and understanding of the expert system was not created yet.

When a new project of any kind especially IT is trying to be introduced into an organization, it needs real support. The finding of the case is that without a VP of IT most organizations are not capable of understanding the technology side and what it can do for the organization. This case describes chaos on top of chaos. Even if the organization had not made the acquisition of a large company, there still would not have been any real support or understanding of the expert system or even moving forward.

The case (Liebowitz) reveals that everything is in the terms of "if an expert configuration system were built," "the proposed expert," and "in having such a system." When the Director of Information Systems said he had "certain signing authority and he would sign for funds to develop the expert systems prototype." If he had signing privileges, he should have gone ahead with ...

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Concepts in Organizational Behavior

Begin by reading FMC Aberdeen case study. This should be read in its entirety and will be used for all assignments in this course.

All of your individual projects will culminate in production of a formal proposal to the Plant Manager. To accomplish that objective, you are to conduct an organizational analysis for Kenneth Dailey, site manager for FMC Corporation's Green River, Wyoming facility. Dailey wants to determine what type of organizational design will be best suited to the Wyoming subsidiary of FMC Corporation. He is particularly interested in the possibilities represented by the FMC Aberdeen model, but is open to all valid recommendations and plans for implementation. Your drop date for the final analysis is in five weeks with the unit 5 IP. However, each week you will submit work for the unit, which will then be included in your final report.
An organization is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of several people whose main focus is to achieve a common goal or set of goals.

A successful organization understands the cultural differences in various divisions or branches. It uses culture and group dynamics to overcome management challenges, implement strategic initiatives, and develop business opportunities.

Organizations with an exceptional "company" culture are usually run by leaders who understand and practice effective cultural leadership principles. A culture or sub-culture that works effectively in one part of an organization may not work well in another. Those who have made it to the top have done so by building a high performance workplace around the corporate culture.

As you prepare for each assignment your focus should be on developing a basic understanding of leadership, motivation, job satisfaction, etc., and how the corporate culture is what makes something work in one part of an organization, but not another.

Assignment:

During the next five weeks, you will be using the Step by Step Analysis format to look at various areas of interest, culminating in the preparation of a formal proposal for the Plant Manager.

The following represents the steps and stages you would undertake to conduct and present an Organizational Analysis, using the Step-by-Step Analysis Approach. Using this method, you first provide an Introduction and Background into the organization you are analyzing. Based on a careful evaluation of your data and information, your analysis draws from the principles, theories, and strategies of Organizational Behavior, by utilizing your text book, the Library, and other credible sources. You then make recommendations and provide alternative actions to either management or a client. This is fully explained and outlined in detail below:

Introduction and Background: Provide a small introduction to issues, factors, and problems you will analyze and address in your paper from an organization behavioral standpoint.

Organizational Behavior Analysis: Analyze the issues for the week (for example week 1 management ability, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational ethics) as they relate to Aberdeen and Green River. Refer to the assignment list for the issues for the week.

Alternatives and Recommendations: Propose and analyze alternatives for Green River based on principles of organizational effectiveness. Each recommendation should include some written discussion and a corresponding rationale. It is important that these conclusions flow logically from the previous steps. Please Remember: A set of recommendations must really be meaningful and realistic. The recommendations must be actionable.

Implementation with a Contingency Plan: Present an Implementation Plan: You can provide an implementation plan, which includes a set of actionable initiatives for issues that are prioritized, ranked in order of importance, realistic, and within the collective capabilities of the organization. Also include a Contingency Plan: All organizations are affected by internal or external changes. As a result, it is important to have a contingency plan in case of either unanticipated change or implementation failures.
The topics to analyze for this unit are:

The Management of Ability
Organizational Commitment
Job Satisfaction
Organizational Ethics
As you follow the Step by Step Analysis you will keep in mind the differences that exist between FMC Green River and FMC Aberdeen with regard to management of ability, commitment, satisfaction and ethics. State what the corporate culture and work environment is like at Aberdeen, then at Green River. What is each facility currently doing in each of these areas and is that effective? Based on the corporate culture, identify alternate methods for Green River to consider and how will you implement your recommendations?

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