Saturn Corporation (a completely owned subsidiary of General Motors from 1984 to 1994) outlines successful and unique adaptation of new approach to organizing in U.S. automobile industry. Organization represents many of characteristics typified by "Quality of Work Life" programs, and permits students to see advantages of cooperative and customer-focused HRM approach.
1. What aspects of quality of work life (QWL) programs does experiment at Saturn plant demonstrate?
2. How can Saturn make sure that employees have not only eagerness to take responsibility but also ability to do so?
3. In this case, fully new company was started with considerable autonomy from General Motors. Why do you believe so many large organizations turn to "greenfield" operations like this when undertaking key changes in corporate culture and operations? Do you predict any problems down road for GM in this regard?