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Gulf State Metals Custom Research Essay

Gulf State Metals


    In this paper, key questions from the Gulf States Metal case study will be answered, and relevant discussion will be included where necessary.  Overall, upon completion of this paper, the key areas will all have been covered in depth.

Diagnostic Information and Key Drivers of the Issues at GSM

          Within the structure of GSM, there are several main issues that are preventing the firm from reaching its top potential in a variety of areas such as profitability, productivity, workforce morale and the relationship between management and staff.  To be more specific, these issues, and what drives them are as follows:

·    LOW PROFITABILITY- GSM, when originally started, projected a rough financial situation in year one, with profits growing steadily thereafter; however, this has not happened.  Primarily, this has not happened because of the high cost of raw materials and labor.  When GSM reduced its workforce, the labor costs subsided somewhat; however, the raw material costs are out of the control of the firm, and these costs are driving much of the firm’s financials and the subsequent losses.

·    LOW PRODUCTIVITY- The productivity levels at GSM are lower than they should be, and indeed need to be in order to gain

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efficiencies that will lead to profitability, showing an interrelation between productivity and profitability.  There are two essential reasons for the low productivity: first, it is alleged that many of the plant employees are failing to perform their required duties at the levels needed to be effective employees, and it is also alleged that the supervisors are unwilling, or lack the skills to address performance issues with employees in a correct manner to achieve productivity improvements on the part of the workers.  Moreover, the equipment that is being used in the plant is for the most part outdated and in a state of disrepair.

·    MANAGEMENT/STAFF RELATIONSHIPS- Intertwined with the inability of supervisors to motivate workers, for whatever reason, is a conflict that has arisen between the unionized workers and the non-union management.  The personnel in management claim that a big part of this is due to the fact that management is not empowered to make personnel decisions, and no formal lines of communication between supervisors and staff exists.  Also, supervisors say that information from top management rarely reaches them in a timely manner.

Potential OD Interventions

          Given the situation at GSM, an intervention is definitely in order; speaking in terms of interventions, there are several main types of interventions that could take place; these interventions are as follows:

·         GROUP INTERVENTION-  Group Interventions are aimed at improving the process, productivity, interpersonal issues and so forth within the organization in a group setting.  The benefit of this type of intervention is the ability to address a wide range of issues simultaneously, have group inclusion in the process, and receive feedback from all of the people involved in the plant-both management and staff.

·         INDIVIDUAL INTERVENTION- In this type of an intervention, the issues of individuals within the organization are addressed.  While this is something that will of course serve to resolve individual issues, the group is not addressed as a whole.

·         3RD PARTY INTERVENTION- These interventions involve the resolution of issues between two or more individuals by someone from outside of the organization, such as a professional coach, consultant, etc.  Depending upon the intensity of the problem, this is a valid course of action.

While not every type of intervention is appropriate for every organization, each intervention has its value depending upon individual cases.

Outline of the Preferred Intervention

          The preferred intervention for GSM, based upon the circumstances as they are, is a Group Intervention.  To be more specific, the group intervention will be facilitated as such:

·    TEAM FORMAT-  Overall, the group intervention should be undertaken by strategic teams, such as the Production Team, Communications Team, etc. which will be mixed teams of management, staff, and top management. This will accomplish several key objectives:  the teams will have a wide range of experience within them which will certainly enrich the process, relationships will develop between different areas of the company, and hopefully, better results will follow.

·    DATA COLLECTION/DIAGNOSIS-  The teams will collect data by interviewing other staff members, using outside sources, etc.  All of this data will be compiled in order to determine the diagnosis of the problems of the firm.

·    ACTION PLAN/RESOLUTION-  After diagnosis, an action plan will be developed and carried out to ultimately resolve the issues that are literally killing GSM.  Also, monitoring will have to take place afterward to ensure continued effectiveness.


          While GSM has its share of problems, these problems can be solved with the appropriate actions; these actions must be shared by all employees and maintained over the long term to ensure lasting results.

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