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Od in Richardson Timber

In: Business and Management

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Jack Lawler, a management trainer and consultant, was contacted by Richard Bowman, the industrial relations officer at B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation, in hopes of conducting a “motivation course” and improving morale within the plant. Lawler agreed to meet with Bowman and the company president, B.R. Richardson, to assess and diagnosis the lamination plant. Lawler found several problems that became evident after evaluating the plant. Motivation and morale were just two factors within the plant that needed to be changed. Lawler found that after visiting the plant, that this would be a much larger undertaking then what he had been originally led to believe. When Lawler visited B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation, he went through the initial steps in the OD process, entering and contracting. “They involve defining in a preliminary manner the organization’s problems or opportunities for development and establishing a collaborative relationship between the OD practitioner and members of the client system about how to work on these issues” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 75). When arriving at the plant, Lawler first met with Richardson and Bowman to discuss the plant and share their thoughts and feelings. Lawler was then taken on a tour of the plant before leaving, and promised to write them a letter about the next steps that should be taken. When entering the plant, we believe that Lawler executed many of the proper steps. He sat down with the two gentlemen that had contacted him and discussed their feelings on the plant. Lawler then described to the client his methods for going about training and consulting; first he would diagnose the problem, then implement a training and action plan that was believed to be needed. Once leaving the plant, he wrote to Bowman outlining the methods that he believed would be most effective. Richardson and Bowman agreed that “a more adequate diagnosis was probably a useful first step” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 713). Therefore, the three came upon the agreement that graduate students would visit the plant for a day with Lawler to gather further information and make a presentation on their findings. Entering the company this way would reduce the overall cost, with the only expenses incurred by the client being three days for Lawler’s time plus travel expenses for Lawler and his students. Lawler ended up getting two students, Mike and Mitch, that would accompany him to the lamination plant and perform a diagnosis and gathering information on the plant. Mike and Mitch, as well as their class, were informed about the plant and were “provided with information that might be usefully sought and how informal interviewing on the work floor might be accomplished” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 716). Soon after, the three gentlemen made their way to Papoose, Oregon where they would attempt to further diagnose the problem. During the entering and contracting stage, it is important that when entering into an OD relationship that (1) the organizational issue is clarified (2) the relevant client is determined and (3) the OD practitioner is selected properly. Typically, the issue that is present within organizations is “only a symptom of an underlying problem” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 76). Therefore, it is important that the issue within the plant is addressed immediately so that diagnostic and intervention activities are focused appropriately. Within this article, Lawler finds that motivation and morale is low. Although other issues become evident when more information is gathered, it is important to start off with a defined issue. This is why it is useful to collect preliminary data on the plant.
Relevant clients were then determined. This not only included managers within the plant, but also the other staff and personnel. This way all perspectives are heard and issues can become more apparent, as well as how to solve them. Relevant clients were defined based upon the issues that were unveiled within the lamination plant.
The final step when entering into an OD relationship is to make sure that the right OD practitioner is selected. The OD practitioner must outline “goals, action plans, roles and responsibilities, recommended interventions, and propose fees and expenses” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p.77). This had already been done with Lawler’s follow-up letter to Bowman. Lawler was also recommended to Bowman from a friend in a regional association for training and development persons. This allows Bowman to have further confidence in him as an OD practitioner and his abilities. Developing a contract is the next step. “Contracting is a natural extension of the entering process and clarifies how the OD process will proceed. “It typically establishes the expectations of the parties, the time and resources that will be expended, and the ground rules under which the party will operate” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 79). The overall goal for the contract is to make sure that it is the best possible solution, and how to carry out such a process is executed upon. “The contract that is agreed on during the entry and contracting stage should reflect the amount of time required to conduct an efficient and thorough evaluation phase of the OD process” (Jones & Brazzel, 2006, p. 239). In this case, Lawler decides to use graduate students in a one-day visit to the plant to further gather information. That information would then be analyzed by Lawler and presented to Richardson and Bowman. Lawler would be involved in the process, but allow the students to examine the plant and input their observations. The only costs would then be three days of Lawler’s time and expenses for travel. “The contracting steps in OD generally addresses three key areas: setting mutual expectations or what each party expects to gain from the OD process; the time and resources that will be devoted to it; and the ground rules for working together” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 79). Both Lawler and Bowman discuss what they want out of this relationship. Lawler wants to involve his students with the hopes of making a diagnosis of the problem within the plant. Whereas Bowman hopes to not spend a lot of money, while still utilizing Lawler’s expertise to help within the plant to improve morale and motivation. Time and resources were again laid out between the client and Lawler. One day of observation plus travel expenses for the students, and three days of Lawler’s time and expertise were agreed upon between the two sides. The last part of the contract is to come to terms with ground rules and how plant personnel and Lawler will work together. It was agreed that the students would come in to interview and observe operations to draw conclusions about the plant. This will allow for strongest possible feedback in the end. There are several factors in Lawler’s entry and contracting process that we believe could have improved, creating a better diagnosis of the problems. First off, Lawler did not seem to gather a lot of information about B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation, its industry or its competitors. Further research may have given a better outlook on the company and problems that may have existed. For instance, he could have compared statistics such as pay, work attendance and benefits with those of B.R.’s competitors. This would have the potential to provide better insight as to what drives similar plants successes where B.R. Richardson Timber Products is lacking. It would have also been helpful for Lawler to talk to other people at the plant when first visiting. How is he able to properly diagnosis the problem if he does not see all points of view? Lawler seemed to rush into the process, only listening to Bowman and Richardson. If he would have talked to other employees, he may have been able to pinpoint certain problems and be able to further examine them on his next visit, rather than having his students thrown in there blindly. We felt as if the employee interviews could have been conducted more efficiently. A more accurate diagnosis could have been ascertained if only certain key employees were pinpointed. However, it is a good idea to have a broad sample of employee ranks to provide the best feedback. One person in particular that we believe should have been talked to at length was Joe Bamford, the plant manager, because of concerns shared by Bowman and Richardson. We also questioned Bowman’s decision to hire Lawler. Bowman hired Lawler based on word-of-mouth, and really did not second guess himself as to whether Lawler was the best person for the job. This could be extremely risky, especially when money is involved and especially since the plant did not want to pay a premium for the services rendered. Lawler’s entry and contracting process was not overly effective, however we liked the use of graduate students to keep costs down and provide an effective classroom. This not only proved to be more cost effective for the lamination plant, it also allowed for fresh eyes to view the plant. We believe this added more insight and may have prevented underlying issues to go undetected. There are several models that we can use to go about organizing the information that was collected with B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation. Since information was gathered differently by three people, we chose the Open Systems Model to help make sense of the data. We went through the information provided by Jack, Mitch, and Mike and sorted each of their findings into the model components. When diagnosing an organization, it is important to understand how the total organization functions with its inputs, design components and their alignments, and the outputs. The inputs include the general environment and the task environment. The lamination plant at B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation requires lumber and personnel in order to produce custom-made laminated beams and trusses. At the time of the case the lumber market was very unpredictable, but continuously growing as the economy stabilized. This is important to the environment of the company because one of their main goals was to maximize their profits every year. Despite cost of cutting increases, the plant managed a 10% increase in production. Seventy percent of the laminating plant lumber was purchased from outside companies, primarily four different Oregon-based companies, and the other 30% was from the Richardson mill. We believe more data should have been collected by Lawler and his students on the inputs of the timber company. The strategy represents the way an organization uses its resources to achieve its goals or competitive advantage (Cummings & Worley, 2009). This is another area that remains unclear as it appears the goals for the lamination plant are not formally written down. There is no mention of a mission statement and functional policies are not clear to employees, let alone the OD consultant. Technology is concerned with how the timber plant converts its lumber into the custom-ordered laminated roof trusses and beams. The lumber arrives at one end of the plant, undergoes a series of processes through shift work, and in an assembly line–like fashion as it moves through the building. Through a series of sorting, gluing, curing, cutting, planning, storing, finishing, and shipping the customer will receive their beam. The technology is relatively certain and very interdependent. Each department is dependent on the other before they can move on. For example, the planer often finds himself waiting around for hoists as there were not enough. The end-to-end process is slow and the workers would like to see it speed up. Workers were frustrated because they are expected to work faster, yet at the same time are limited by the equipment. The equipment and the machinery were “antiquated with costly and time-consuming maintenance” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 725). There is not enough space for the beams to cure properly. The plant manager expressed his frustration for the size of the plant; he felt that it is too small and they aren’t able to accomplish their summer work properly due to the size of the plant. If workers truly feel that the size of the plant is having an impact on production, then their outputs are not going to be what they need them to be. It is also noted that “there was a lot of metal laying around in the aisles, making it very hard to maneuver and walk around; there were bandsaws with no type of guarding at all; no safety signs hanging around the shop; and one worker didn’t even have on a safety helmet, while the other safety helmets were of very poor quality” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 725).
According to Cummings and Worley (2009), the structural system design component describes how resources (work and people) are focused on accomplishing a task. The lamination plant at B.R. Richardson Timber Products shows work divided by function on the organization chart. However, many employees and supervisors were doing work cross functionally. No one seems to know what each other should be doing. There is a specific position for a scheduler, yet the plant manager is also scheduling. The plant manager also dabbles in purchasing, engineering, bidding, and sales. He recently worked on engineering drawings, which was something usually done by the customers. The secretary creates reports that are repeated by the manager or vice versa. The plant manager is considered a hands-off supervisor and poor at following up with all of the areas he puts his hands into; but at the same time he is widely recognized as a hard worker. The plant manager is great at coming up with projects but throws off other employees when they seem to have to finish his project; a task they had not planned for.
The plant often lacks going through the proper channels of leadership and supervisors on the floor were receiving orders from multiple people. Likewise, supervisors reporting upward are skipping past managers who need information. The organization chart lists Dirk as the scheduler, yet the floor supervisor, Rolf, calls Dirk the head of finishing and planing. Rolf mentions that the plant manager makes the schedule and gives it to both Dirk and Rolf. Then, at the end of the day they spend a lot of time going over what happened and plan ahead. Departments are informal. There seem to be a lot of different people crossing into other positions to fill in without really knowing how to do the job, therefore pulling away from the job they should be doing. The maintenance workers fall behind in their tasks as they pitch in on the line. A planer was coaching a finish helper and the Quality Control manager and others just jump in on the line when they are short handed, all items that did not seem to contribute to a successful operation. Quality control traditionally is the group that inspects a product before it goes out. The plant Quality Control manager seems to spend much of his time on the line or creating reports from machines.
The main office sits atop a hill and overlooks the entire plant. We feel that in this instance, in order to provide better communication all around the organization that it would be a better idea to have the main office situated somewhere closer to the plant. This will allow employees easier access, and with the serious accidents that have happened, it would allow more supervisor interaction and access. Another logistical challenge is that the floor supervisor, Rolf, has a desk right next to the plant supervisor. This compounds the problem of unclear roles and crossing job duties. Many employees don’t even realize Rolf is the supervisor, calling assistant to the plant manager. The desks are located in an office off the side of the secretary’s office and serve as an entrance to the building. Structuring the offices in an organized fashion may improve role differentiation and communication.
Meanwhile, the plant secretary, who is responsible for all of the paperwork does not use a computer and does not have a conveniently located copier. One employee commented that she does the work of two people. She also works very long hours and continues to struggle completing her tasks.
Measurement systems are methods of gathering, assessing, and passing on information in the organization. There are no formal measurement systems here. Invoices are not getting sent out each day as per policy, there is no communication of cash flow, and scheduling (of beams and manpower) is not accurate. Some of the wood was received in February and it wasn’t until May that they could use it, so it was just sitting around taking up space in an already small plant. Safety is already an issue, and then when you have more things in the way than necessary, there are going to be more problems. Workers are not scheduled well as we see from the many workers filling in for each other. The workers had a softball team but were usually unable to play because of their extensive work schedules. The overtime, a result of poor scheduling, can cause a lot of the conflict and accidents on the floor. Workers are tired, and when you’re tired your productivity is typically not up to par.
Communication at the timber mill is poor. There is no communication between shifts. There is really no direct communication involving new hires, safety information, scheduling, and production records. Instead of relaying it to employees by word of mouth or quarterly meetings, they posted some things on a bulletin board outside of the break room. Information is not being passed along to the employees. In addition, the president is thought of as secretive (little to no communication from him at all).
Many of those in leadership positions gave the impression that they don’t understand or like each other. For example, the Industrial Relations Officer belittled the plant manager and did not communicate that the OD consultant was coming. The plant manager made a comment toward work team functions, “work team crap” (Cummings & Worley, 2008, p. 721). This reinforces the idea that neither he nor the employees are currently working as a team and really have no desire to do so. If members are not working as a team toward a common goal, why would they bother to communicate with each other?
The workers do not feel they have a say in any part of the company. The employees feel as though it was useless to even make suggestions to management because they were not being taken seriously. This is causing them to care less and create a bigger issue. If this attitude continues among co-workers and supervisors then the plant may eventually fail completely. Research shows that communication programs that facilitate employee participation increase organizational commitment, improve quality decision making at upper levels, and contribute to successful change programs by gaining employee support of strategic initiatives (, 2007). Another design component in the Open Systems Model is the Human Resource systems. How the organization selects, develops, appraises and awards workers will determine a lot about its effectiveness. There is no mention of an HR department, certainly not one directly connected to the lamination plant. HR functions are either non-existent or spread out among the higher management. Hiring is another big concern within the company; it was first done by the managers of the different departments, but it is now done by Rich, who is in charge of industry relations. Managers do not have input on new hires. Fill-ins, who do not receive proper training, are hired for the workers that go on vacations. As a safety concern, nineteen year olds are working with heavy equipment in pre glue. They come in knowing little or nothing at all about the job and work short-term, so there is concern that they do not care about the work while they are there.
The company started by hiring friends and family and the president still feels as though he can hire whoever he wants without regard for supervisor input. For example, he positioned Rolf as floor supervisor shortly after the fatal accident in the plant. He did not explain what he was doing or why, so now there is very little respect and sometimes resentment toward Rolf by most employees. According to the gluing supervisor, workers are upset when Rolf is the one giving the orders. This is also a problem, because if you dislike and disrespect your supervisor you aren’t going to work up to your true ability in most cases. We feel that especially in a situation like this, when the hours are grueling and the pay could be better, that if employees aren’t seeing eye to eye with their supervisors this is going to cause a larger problem, leading to decreased productivity and higher turnover in the long run. Supervisors appear to be thrust into a position without having a clue what their job responsibilities are. The fact that the roles of employees in the plant aren’t clear is an HR issue. Clear-cut roles need to be determined and realistic job previews (RJP’s) need to be written up and given to employees when they begin working for the plant. These need to describe their roles, what is expected of them by the organization, and the rules that they should follow while working in their specific positions. Currently employees appear to be in positions that do not match their skill set. Having clear job descriptions could help put the right people into the right jobs.
Another HR issue is turnover. The turnover rate was extremely high, between 72-76%, and last year it was at 100% in the laminating plant, but has dropped back down to 50% this year. We still feel this is high. There are no signs that the employees were at all engaged in the company; they were just there for the paycheck. The older, more experienced workers at the plant spoke about how the new, younger workers come onto the job not caring and typically don’t last very long. This could have something to do with the fact that they aren’t properly being trained, or treated well. There has been mounting evidence that employee engagement correlates to individual and organizational performance in the areas of productivity, and can reduce turnover (Ketter, 2008).
There is a huge lack in training. As mentioned earlier, employees are jumping into different positions in order to fill in. There were young, inexperienced workers in jobs requiring somewhat skilled work (planer must be within 1/16th inch). All of the supervisors and managers have been in their present job for less than three years. As supervisors are being moved around the plant and by chance happened to get into their position, most of them were failing and are not leaders. The supervisors just plod along throughout their day and are not truly engaged as leaders. This is because they have never been given leadership trainng within an organization; they don’t even have supervisory experience.
Plant floor workers seem very unhappy with the pay for the grueling work they do and the secretary did not get paid equally with other secretaries. There are nine paid holidays, hourly wage, a liberal vacation plan, life insurance, no pension, and an unwritten bonus given only to the four top reports to the president (although the plant supervisor has not received one yet). There is a safety incentive (fishing outfit for safety target met last month) and a competition among groups about lost time. There are about five awards for leadership and worker participation seen on the plant manager’s walls. However, there is no mention as to how someone can receive these awards.
The culture at B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation is highly determined by it’s president. Richardson contributes to the overall problem with the company because he shows no interest in his employees according to the people interviewed in the case. He is an authoritarian and also a perfectionist. Richardson is very conservative, so conservative, in fact, that he doesn’t believe in holding meetings on company time. The business is family owned and has hired only one outsider as a professional – Bowman. Richardson appreciates and rewards loyalty and dedication. He is influenced mostly by his secretary, Nita–calling her at all times. He highly respects Wayne, head of construction and truck shop who had previously run the saw mill. Richardson did not feel anyone could ever fill Wayne’s shoes, making it difficult for anyone new (four supervisors have come and gone). Wayne taught all Richardson knows about the laminating plant which suggest that he doesn’t listen to anyone else. He interacts with division or company managers once or twice a week, finds a problem, writes a list, and then goes over it item by item with the manager. He uses the “big stick” approach; he doesn’t visit the lamination plant much but wants to tell them what to do. His key focus appears to be purely production; get the lumber in, send as many beams out as possible. He reminds the workers that he controls the pay check so they had better produce the beams. He has even threatened to close the place down. The workers view him as “bad news” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 725) and do not believe that he cares about them at all. As a result of the current practices at the timer mill, the employees are not satisfied and morale is very low. Although the image appears financially successful to the community that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good image, especially with the accidents that have taken place and the morale of employees being very negative. The output rate of production is expected to be 30,000 beams per shift per day. Employees do not feel that this is realistic, since it should take about two shifts to complete that type of work. Waste, over six percent in overtime pay, and error rates should be examined. This year, there were $648,600 beams ordered, but only $324,400 was shipped. They consider an excellent shipment to be around $400,000, so they were close, but not quite where they needed to be in order to be excellent and on target for that expectation. This diagnosis can be used to identify areas to examine and questions to ask in determining how B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation is running. As open systems, organizations are hierarchically ordered, they exchange information and resources, and are influenced by their environment. After diagnosing the inputs, transformations, and out puts, the next step to help the organization improve is to discover how these elements align with each other.
We believe the different design components at B.R. Richardson are currently dysfunctional, forcing productivity at a level which is unsustainable. All of the design components contain flaws that directly affect the strategic alignment, which will eventually lead to employee burnout and a plant breakdown on some level. This can be attributed to the consistent pattern of employee turnover and multiple statements concerning dissatisfaction. “I go home, I sleep, I get up, I go to work, and I go back home and go to sleep again” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 724). That statement from one of the employees embodies the culture at the Timber Mill. It is a culture that demands arduous work in a brutal environment. The company has always been known for its hard-working culture. This comes straight from the top of the organizational hierarchy. When the issue of forming a union came up, Richardson, the owner, would not allow it. His philosophy is “work long hours, or you get fired” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 724). There is nobody in the organization that can demand a change from that traditionalist mentality. Instead, managers like Joe embrace, or more fittingly, obey the philosophy set forth by the top. This is in stark contrast to the mindset of Gen Y individuals, who turnover is most attributable to in the company. “Traditionalist and boomers often criticize the younger two groups for their “lack of work ethic”, referring to Gen X and Y and something that holds true in this case (Guss and Miller, 2008). As a result, it negatively impacts the culture. We believe hiring of young labor will continue based on the nature of the job, which is low pay and low skill. A culture shift will have to take place to change and fit better with current generational attitudes. The employees that have been with Richardson a long time are accustomed to the culture and his way of doing business. This has had a direct negative correlation on three dynamic design components; HR, measurement and structural systems, all of which fit into how people, information, and workflow are strategically managed. Plenty of information and knowledge exist at all levels of the company. However, the process for overseeing these critical systems is virtually non-existent. Examples include the following: the extent of communication is informal, contained on two boards; managers and maintenance men fill in on lines when needed; “Joe schedules some changes, and I never hear about it” (Cummings and Worley, 2009, p. 726). While the organizational chart lends itself to a team design, there is no team atmosphere. Two managers, on separate occasions, acknowledged the lack of shared focus. “There is no communication between shifts…mainly people don’t want to take blame for mistakes” (Cummings and Worley, 2009, p. 724). Another manager indicates to us that the organizational flow is muddled at best, describing plant personnel as not having any specialization.
We believe this cloudy organizational picture could be the result of having no HR department. From our standpoint, this is a glaring deficiency, with managers and secretaries half-involved with HR functions. Without a formalized HR department, the company lacks formalized, documentable and enforceable personnel standards. The current system provides below standard, loose guidelines enforced by a loose structure of middle managers and secretaries. Another focus, technology, is also described in a negative manner. According to one employee, the machinery is “antiquated with costly and time-consuming maintenance” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 725). Denying technology has cost the company countless lost man hours because of injury related to this antiquated technology. “BR gives us the junkiest stuff to work with”, mentioning one piece of machinery in particular that seems to have no real function (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 726). It would seem natural that if the technology is upgraded, it would positively affect production, both in the plant and in the office, where computers are not exactly commonplace. Like every other system in this company, technology fits only in that it needs to receive an immediate upgrade. Overall, the strategy of the corporation is aligned in a superficial way, relating directly to the bottom line, with a blatant disregard for how that strategy is achieved. In an effort to meet productivity goals set forth by management, the mentality of the company lends itself to the dysfunctional, urgent nature described in the culture. There was not a lot of background on the generally accepted practices of the timber production industry, but it is assumed that Richardson’s company could remain competitive without the need for operational throughputs that demonstrate an obvious detriment to the overall well-being of its members. The focus of the company according to its own employees is that the negatives far outweigh the positives. Strategy alignment fits only if the fit is negative, which is the same that can be said for the other design components described. When we thought about how we would present the information that is gathered in the case study we knew we needed to be careful determining what would be included in the feedback. To be effective, the feedback would need to be: relevant, understandable, descriptive, verifiable, timely, limited, significant, comparative and unfinalized (Cummings & Worley, 2009, pp. 139 - 140). Of the interviews that were conducted only a summary of the overall message in the comments would be included in the feedback since we would want to maintain confidentiality.
To make the information more understandable we would include a table that illustrates the positive and negative aspects as reported by employees, so that it’s easy to see what the company is doing correctly and where there are areas that need to be addressed. In an effort to be descriptive and link data to behavior we would provide a chart of the accidents reported by month so that the statistics are clear with the overall pattern of when they occur most. To be sure data feedback is viewed as verifiable we would include a chart with the frequency distribution of the most commonly mentioned items for improvement.
Our presentation of feedback would be done as soon as it is possible to meet with Richardson and Bowman so that the feedback is delivered timely and while they were still motivated. In an effort to not overload Richardson and Bowman with too much information we would limit what we present to the most important and relevant details. Since safety was often mentioned we would include information about that because it appeared to be a significant issue and would motivate them to take action. During our feedback process we would provide information on other timber companies with particular attention to safety, pay, and the need for a human resources department. This comparative feedback would provide the benchmark data that serves as a reference for their industry. We would provide enough information to diagnose the issues, yet leave the process unfinalized as the organization itself would determine the best course of action as a result of our feedback process.
Since the process by which feedback data is provided to an organization is important, we would organize a meeting with all managers and supervisors to ensure an open sense of communication. B.R. Richardson himself would need to call the meeting to order and share his sense of commitment to the process and the information that will be shared at the meeting. An agenda would be developed and handed out prior to the meeting so that everyone is able to come in with a sense of what is going to happen. The meeting would need to be identified as an important and required meeting to attend during work hours. This way there will be proper representation of the important members of the organization. In discussing the feedback data it should be made clear which items are under the control of the people attending the meeting. It will be essential for us to provide group process skills that “help members stay focused on the subject and improve feedback discussion, problem solving, and ownership” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 142).
In summary, we feel that while there are many areas that need to be addressed, with the delivery of the diagnosis information, B.R. Richardson Timber Products Corporation could and should be able to make the necessary changes for improvement. Now the areas of weakness have been identified, but it is up to management to step up and make changes. These changes can bring an increase in efficiency and production. We feel that the company will benefit greatly from the diagnosis information we have provided.


Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organizational Development and Change, 9th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Guss, E., & Miller, M. C. (2008, July). Ethics and generational differences: Interplay between values and ethical business decisions. Retrieved from‌Research/‌Articles/‌Articles/‌Pages/‌EthicsandGenerationalDifferences.aspx

Jones, B.B. & Brazzel, M. (2006). The NTL Handbook of Organizational Development and Change. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Ketter, P. (2008, January). The big deal about employee engagement. T+D Magazine. Retrieved from Business Resource Premier database.

Workplace communication series part III: employee involvement. (2007, September). Retrieved from

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...Acknowledgments ix Acknowledgments This book owes a great deal to the mental energy of several generations of scholars. As an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, Francis Wilson made me aware of the importance of migrant labour and Robin Hallett inspired me, and a generation of students, to study the African past. At the School of Oriental and African Studies in London I was fortunate enough to have David Birmingham as a thesis supervisor. I hope that some of his knowledge and understanding of Lusophone Africa has found its way into this book. I owe an equal debt to Shula Marks who, over the years, has provided me with criticism and inspiration. In the United States I learnt a great deal from ]eanne Penvenne, Marcia Wright and, especially, Leroy Vail. In Switzerland I benefitted from the friendship and assistance of Laurent Monier of the IUED in Geneva, Francois Iecquier of the University of Lausanne and Mariette Ouwerhand of the dépurtement évangélrlyue (the former Swiss Mission). In South Africa, Patricia Davison of the South African Museum introduced me to material culture and made me aware of the richness of difference; the late Monica Wilson taught me the fundamentals of anthropology and Andrew Spiegel and Robert Thornton struggled to keep me abreast of changes in the discipline; Sue Newton-King and Nigel Penn brought shafts of light from the eighteenthcentury to bear on early industrialism. Charles van Onselen laid a major part of the intellectual foundations......

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