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Question: What factors contribute to the success of Work-out? What are the possible negative consequences? Elaborate your answer briefly. Introduction General Electric's Work-out process began in 1989, as an effort of Jack Welch, GE's CEO

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GE's Work-Out Process Question: What factors contribute to the success of Work-out? What are the possible negative consequences? Elaborate your answer briefly. Introduction General Electric's Work-out process began in 1989, as an effort of Jack Welch, GE's CEO, to transform the corporate culture. Welch plays important managerial roles in the whole process, namely: interpersonal, informational and decisional. Originally, Work-out process begun as an effort to eliminate waste and redesign processes to take out unnecessary work. In 1990, GE Annual General Meeting, Welch's language and description for the Work-Out process was action oriented: "a relentless, endless company-wide search for a better way to do everything we do." Increasingly, the focus of Work-out process shifted to business processes, then to customers and suppliers, then to change acceleration. (Locke, 2002, p11) "By the late 1990s, Work-Out process had become the basis for the company's push into Six Sigma and has since served as the foundation for GE's work on digitization and e-business." (Rath & Strong, 2000) Work-Out process was a communication tool that offered GE employees a dramatic opportunity to change their working lives (Crainer, 1999). This process captures the collective creativity of an organization on critical business issues and translates those ideas into action. Work-Out process also explicitly aims to help an organization development through five key dimensions: (i) ...read more.


If no rework takes place, individuals often develop personal strategies to make systems and processes work for then. Such work-around may be effective for the individual, but are often sub-optimal for the whole, if not destructive. The process used allows people to focus on the things that are causing way them most frustration - "the problems" - but to tackle them in amore creative way than merely solving them and in line with the organizational strategy. Additionally, Ulrich, Kerr, & Ashkenas (2002) depicted that the followings are what make Work-out such a successful process: * Commitment to hearing the real issues that get in the way of performance - the work-out process must go into the process under the support from the open-eyed and wholehearted managers as they may feel on the spot and may feel attacked. * Commitment to coming up with ideas that can address problems quickly - Welch's intention in stressing speed and thus, leader had to say "yes" or "no" on the spot to every idea presented at town meeting. Taking it under advisement for study was not an option. (Kleiner, 2003) * Commitment to ensuring that ideas turn into action - after the meeting, teams have to implement their approved recommendations and plans very quickly within sixty days. From the mindset of Welch, Work-Out is a cultural revolution and thus in order to make the process success and to pass the revolution. ...read more.


Additionally, the organizational factors making employee feel stress. Under GE Work-Out process, the new design of the individual's job like autonomy, task variety, and degree of automation may exert anxiety and stress on employees. Work-Out process fostered the idea of 'boundaryless learning organization" throughout GE. The change in organization structure making employee experienced stress. The act of delayering may reduce the "sphere of influence" of senior staffs. They will have psychological effect of stress and negative consequences are aroused in terms of depression and decrease in job satisfaction. (Robbins, 2005) Welch exerts high pressure on senior staff; he said that "You can't grow long-term, if you can't eat short-term. Anybody can manage short. Anybody can manage long. Balancing those two things is what management is". (Ulrich, Kerr & Ashkenas, 2002) So the job of leadership is to deliver both short-term profits and long-term organizational strength. The psychological contract between employees and organization face great challenge. Conclusion GE is a showcase for successful organizational change. In the process of applying Work-Out process, one lesson should be clear: Work-Out is a process, not just an event. (Schaninger, Harris & Niebuhr, 2000). It is believed that hiring skilled external facilitators is not enough to guarantee the process. Human capital in GE is the key determinant for the success as the talent can generating and securing to foster a culture emphasizing employee participation in problem solving and accountability for its implementation. ...read more.

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