Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012

Teaming at GE Aviation

by Rakesh Khurana, Jeffrey Polzer, Willy Shih and Eric Baldwin

Abstract

Describes the challenges and successes encountered by GE's Aviation business in implementing a teaming work structure and culture in plants across its supply chain. GE Aviation leadership had seen dramatic gains in productivity, quality, and worker satisfaction in manufacturing plants where it had implemented teaming, which was designed to move decision making as close to the product as possible by delegating authority, responsibility, and accountability to front-line workers. The case describes what teaming looked like in two of GE Aviation's plants and discusses the benefits realized in teaming sites. It also describes the challenges GE Aviation leaders had encountered in implementing teaming in the face of an entrenched work structure and culture in one particular plant and discusses the difficulty management had faced in moving forward in transforming the culture of the plant.

Keywords: organizational behavior; aviation and aerospace; capacity management; competitiveness; corporate culture; corporate structure; Labor unions; Labor relations; manufacturing; organizational culture; organizational structure; Production Planning; General Electric; teaming; managing change; Transformation; Labor Unions; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Performance Productivity; Leading Change; Management Style; Job Design and Levels; Aerospace Industry; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

Citation:

Khurana, Rakesh, Jeffrey Polzer, Willy Shih, and Eric Baldwin. "Teaming at GE Aviation." Harvard Business School Case 413-074, November 2012.