Reinforcement of core values: A case study at a medium-sized electronics manufacturing plant

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dianne H.B. Welsh, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The culture at this company was to recognize that their employees were there most important asset, as stated in their core values, “people are our greatest resource.” The company’s core values also state that enthusiastic and committed people are key to our success, and will: “1.) Partner with employees to achieve professional growth through training, development and education, 2.) Provide and maintain a safe and pleasant working environment, 3.) Treat all employees fairly and consistently, 4.) Encourage participation through team building, open communication and mutual respect.” The company’s culture has always been to offer excellent pay and benefits, an open door communication policy, but even more importantly to recognize their employees efforts on a group and individual basis. For years the company had offered financial rewards common in industry, such as: gain sharing, employee recognition programs, such as, employee of the month, and token gift giving, such as holiday gift certificates to all employees. They professed to manage by positive reinforcement. 3 Saying thank you was encouraged for a job well done, as well as postings on all bulletin boards that praised employees for making projects a success, and recognition at quarterly review meetings attended by co-workers. In the last year, the company had gone through many changes. The president that initiated and supported this participative culture and positive management style resigned, going to one of the competitors. The population of employees had doubled, going from 600 to over 1400. Long standing employees had ridden the tidal wave of growth and the demands for them to provide training and mentor new employees while maintaining their own jobs was overwhelming. The new employees were also under great pressure to hasten their learning curve in order to meet the production demands. Additionally, the overall corporate culture was different than the focal plant culture due to the fact that the British headquarters of the company did not encourage a participative culture, but was more control oriented and authoritative in style. There were many changes in the top echelons of management, all having different ideas on how to manage and how to reward. The vision of the company remained clear while there was individual differences as to the means to attain their goals. The dynamic growth, the learning curve, and their commitment to quality were all leading to getting back to the basics. The company was ignoring the culture that had always worked for them, the company was ignoring the non-financial rewards; such as saying thank you for a job well done, and the message that employees extra efforts were appreciated.

Additional Information

Work Study, 48(1), 21-24
Language: English
Date: 1999
Core Values

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