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The Slade Plating Department

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The Slade Company was a small manufacturer of metal products designed for industrial application.

The company was located in Michigan and employs 500 people.

The plating department of Slade had formed certain informal team in which some employees had dishonest behaviors.

1. Describe the working conditions of the
Department. What are the main problems?

38 people working in the department

Short term volume fluctuations  Peak of work

Working conditions in the plating room varied considerably:

A part of the department was constantly awash, alternately with col water, streaming acid, or a caustic soda. Workers wore knees boots, long rubber aprons, and rubber gloves.

The remainder of the room was dry, relatively odourless and with stable temperature and humidity.

Pay in the department was low for the central Michigan area.

The compensation of the Plating Department was depending on the degree on skill

The working hours of the plating department were long.

1. Describe the working conditions of the
Department. What are the main problems?


Some of the employees were punching the time cards of a number of their co-workers who were leaving early.

They did so to make more “overtime” salary

There were manly two groups:

Sarto’s group

Clark’s group


The other problem is that there were some people that were not members of the informal groups and were excluded.

2. How would you describe the culture of the Sarto group?

They follow a leader

The group look for high standards of quality and inventiveness

They act like a big family.

Feeling of “common property” among the group


“Each worker organized his or her own work Schedule so as to make optimal use of equipment, materials, and time.

3. What impact has it had on the effectiveness of the group?

The group is very effective because they accomplished the work imposed, but they are not very efficient because, to complete the work, they usually use “overtime” in the weekends. Two reasons:

A last minute order

The group doesn’t work enough during the week hours

4. What are the determinants of the social status and influence within the plating department? The
Sarto group? The Clark group? Please be specific.

Sarto Group:

Emphasize more than quantity in judging a person’s work

The group look for high standards of quality and inventiveness

The willingness to be of help was prized by the group

Feeling of “common property” among the group

Exclusion was the most severe penalty

Clark Group:

Imitate the behavior of the Sarto group,

No enough inventive skill or helping activities

High level of performance in the volume of work

The other people were not as inventive, as helpful, or as productive as Sarto’s or Clark’s groups.

5. Should Mr. Porter “blow the lid off the whole mess”?

Mr. Porter should exposed this situation because:

The department is effective; It completes all the work in time; but is not efficient, A lot of hours are paid to people doing nothing or not even at work.

There is a risk that the situation worsen, with more and more people leaving their work earlier.

There are some workers that are excluded from the two biggest groups and this could lead to demotivation and unhappiness

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