Supplement | HBS Case Collection | August 1977 (Revised November 1995)

Process Engineering Proposal

by John J. Gabarro


An "in-basket" decision-making exercise in case form, to be used with Nuclear Tube Assembly Room (A) (Condensed). The purpose is to pose students with several related problems which require immediate analysis arriving at some decisions and planning how to implement those decisions. Includes two exhibits: 1) a process engineering proposal recommending several changes to an assembly operation; and 2) a personal note describing a conflict which has erupted between the general foreman and a process engineer regarding the proposal. Students are expected to appraise the likely consequences of the proposed changes on the department's social system, productivity, and satisfaction; and determine which of the changes are essential, which will have negative effects, and how to implement those changes which are desirable. The student is also posed with the problem of diagnosing and successfully intervening in the conflict between the two key actors. Material is relevant to the topics of group behavior, interdepartmental conflict, interpersonal conflict, and action planning and implementation.

Keywords: Conflict Management; Operations; Change Management; Engineering;


Gabarro, John J. "Process Engineering Proposal." Harvard Business School Supplement 478-008, August 1977. (Revised November 1995.)