A High-Involvement Redesign

Article

Christensen, Tom   (1993, Tom Christensen - STS Organization Consultants (219/288-1984 (w); 219/288-1987 (f)))   STS Organization Consultants, Inc., South Bend, IN

Quality Progress    Vol. 26    No. 5
QICID: 12700    May 1993    pp. 105-108

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Article Abstract

The sociotechnical systems (STS) approach used at a Chevron Chemical Company's phosphate fertilizer plant transformed a traditional organizational structure into a system of self managing teams that need no supervisors. After introducing the concepts of STS to all plant employees, a steering team and design team conducted an environmental scan. This was followed by a technical system analysis of processes and a social system analysis of every employee. On the suggestion of teams of supervisors and managers, the design team eventually adopted the guiding philosophy of SO CLEAR: serving, owning, cooperating, learning, evolving, adapting, and respecting. From the STS analyses and from SO CLEAR arose the design team recommendations for a structure of self regulating teams. Implementation of the recommendations took place via subsystem design teams. More than 60% of the employees served on one of the design teams. Other plants using STS include Gaines Pet Foods, Procter & Gamble, and General Motors Saturn.

Keywords

Chevron Chemical Company,Cultural change,Empowerment,Implementation,Sociotechnical systems (STS),Systems analysis,Teams


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