Write a reflection paper about the NUMMI joint venture between General Motors and Toyota with respect to how it illustrates the presence or absence of the elements of supportive context as described by Hackman. To do this well, I suggest the following steps in this order:
1. Complete your reading assignment in the Hackman course text on Supportive Context (pages 133-164)
2. Listen to the This American Life pod cast titled NUMMI, assigned in your Learning Materials folder. It runs one hour. For this first time through, you should listen just to get the general overall story of what happened. (By the way, you can listen for free by streaming from the web site, or you can download the mp3 for 99 cents and listen on your iPod or other mp3 player.)
3. Listen again to the pod cast and take careful notes about all of the things you believe that General Motors did well and all of the things you believe it did poorly in implementing the new production design in its production facilities. Pay special attention to the elements that Hackman describes as necessary to provide a supportive context for a team. Your detailed notes will help you to write your homework paper.
4. Complete your discussion board assignment and then read the posts of your peers on the class discussion board on this topic. Your peers’ posts may help you recognize some of the aspects of this story that you missed.
5. Consider the following questions and ideas for your paper:
a. What did General Motors do well and do poorly?
b.. Does a team design have a tendency to “pit worker against worker” as one employee suggested? Is a team design inconsistent with a union environment? Can a team design and union workforce coexist?
c. Once the NUMMI Fremont facility was operating and was determined to be a success, what should general Motors have done to implement the same production design at other General Motors facilities?
6. Finally, write your reflection paper about the NUMMI joint venture between General Motors and Toyota with respect to how it illustrates the presence or absence of the elements of supportive context as described by Hackman. Your paper should be about 3 double-spaced pages (about 750 words) and should address what general motors should have done differently to implement the same NUMMI production design at other General Motors facilities.