The strategic management literature states that firms who wish to have a competitive advantage through high customer service (rapid response) and product differentiation need to restructure their organization into empowered, self-managed work units so as to ensure that there is “value-added” at each stage of the value chain. (Porter, 1985; Hill and Jones, 2001) In this case, Vanguard altered part of its structure through the development of teams in order to maximize its operations; and given their results Vanguard successfully put theory into practice. When the major supporter of team management, Mike Wesley, leaves the firm, he is replaced by Wendy Kiefer, a strong supporter of team structures. Her replacement, Shari Lastarza, however is the “old” assembly manager and does not buy into the team concept. Could this be anything but a formula for disaster?
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