Wickham Skinner

James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

Education: Yale University, Bachelor of Engineering; Harvard Business School, MBA (with distinction), DBA, and Advanced Mathematics.

Experience: Honeywell Corporation, various management positions; Harvard University, Professor of Business Administration.

Other Teaching Experience: Manufacturing lectures and/or courses at: University of Western Ontario, Northwestern University, MIT, IPADE (Mexico), INCAE (Central America), University of Houston, Colby College, University of Indiana, Stanford University, INSEAD (France), IESE (Spain), University of Virginia, Marquette University, University of Santa Clara, Dalhousie University, and University of Melbourne. Management Development Programs in Vietnam, Costa Rica, Canada, Nicaragua, Australia, Tunisia, Turkey, France, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland, and Argentina. Research in international manufacturing problems in Turkey, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nicaragua, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, and Costa Rica.

Director of former director of: Wilevco Corporation, Dynamics Research Corporation, Helix Technology, Inc., Copeland Corporation, Scientific Atlanta, Holmberg Electronics, Chronar Corporation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Operations Management Association, LE Shaw, Audubon Expedition Insitute, United TImber Corp., and Bath Iron Works.

Author of numerous books and articles.

Honors: Fellow of Academy of Management; Recipient of McKinsey Prize for best article in Harvard Business Review; Harvard Business School Distinguished Service Award;

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Plant

    Treadway Tire's plant in Lima, Ohio must confront strong job dissatisfaction and high turnover among its line foremen. The foremen are caught in the middle of an adversarial relationship between the union and management, and they must cope with the needs and interests of both. They also perceive limited opportunity for career advancement. Solving the problem requires rethinking the philosophy that guides workforce management and changing the Treadway culture that has grown up around that philosophy. Facing mounting pressure to reduce costs and increase productivity, director of human resources Ashley Wall must work quickly to analyze the root causes of the problem and provide an action plan to reduce turnover of the line foreman segment.

    Keywords: Superior & subordinate; Labor relations; Work force management; leadership; change management; human resource management; hiring; Job satisfaction; organizational culture; Management; Leadership; Retention; Rank and Position; Organizational Culture; Change Management; Selection and Staffing; Satisfaction; Personal Development and Career; Labor and Management Relations; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Skinner, C. Wickham, and Heather Beckham. "Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Plant." Harvard Business School Brief Case 082-189, June 2008. View Details
  2. The Treadway Tire Company: Trouble at the Lima Tire Plant (Brief Case)

    Teaching Note for (2189)

    Keywords: Superior & subordinate; Labor relations; Work force management; leadership; change management; human resource management; hiring; Job satisfaction; organizational culture;

    Citation:

    Skinner, C. Wickham, and Heather Beckham. "The Treadway Tire Company: Trouble at the Lima Tire Plant (Brief Case)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 082-190, June 2008. View Details
  3. Elizabeth Parker (A)

    A new political appointee with years of volunteer experience takes over a highly responsible job in the state government and is met with bureaucratic inertia. Describes a successful strategy to overcome organizational resistance to change.

    Keywords: Public Sector; Leading Change; Managerial Roles; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Conflict and Resolution; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Casciaro, Tiziana E., Wickham Skinner, and David Krackhardt. "Elizabeth Parker (A)." Harvard Business School Case 404-043, August 2003. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  4. Elizabeth Parker (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Citation:

    Casciaro, Tiziana E., Wickham Skinner, and David Krackhardt. "Elizabeth Parker (B)." Harvard Business School Case 404-044, August 2003. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  5. Elizabeth Parker (C)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Citation:

    Casciaro, Tiziana E., Wickham Skinner, and David Krackhardt. "Elizabeth Parker (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 404-045, August 2003. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  6. Elizabeth Best (A)

    New political appointee with years of volunteer experience takes over highly responsible job in state government and is met with bureaucratic resistance.

    Keywords: Government Administration; Organizational Structure; Attitudes; Groups and Teams; Human Resources; Jobs and Positions; Prejudice and Bias; Public Administration Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Ardis Burst. "Elizabeth Best (A)." Harvard Business School Case 675-123, February 1975. (Revised April 2002.) View Details
  7. General Electric Co.: The Executive Manpower Operation -- David Orselet

    Keywords: Leadership Development;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and David C. Rikert. "General Electric Co.: The Executive Manpower Operation -- David Orselet." Harvard Business School Case 680-122, February 1980. (Revised September 1994.) View Details
  8. Elizabeth Best (B)

    Describes what a new political appointee with years of volunteer experience did in office.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Organizational Structure; Management Skills; Public Administration Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Ardis Burst. "Elizabeth Best (B)." Harvard Business School Case 675-124, February 1975. (Revised December 1991.) View Details
  9. Elizabeth Best (C)

    Discusses a problem that confronted the appointee later--how to get a large, complex job accomplished without evident resources.

    Keywords: Projects; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Ardis Burst. "Elizabeth Best (C)." Harvard Business School Case 675-125, February 1975. (Revised December 1991.) View Details
  10. Elizabeth Best (D)

    Describes how and what she did to accomplish the job.

    Keywords: Public Administration Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Ardis Burst. "Elizabeth Best (D)." Harvard Business School Case 675-126, February 1975. (Revised December 1991.) View Details
  11. Hanrahan Motor Co.

    Keywords: Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Sasser, W. Earl, Wickham C. Skinner, and Kathleen Curley. "Hanrahan Motor Co." Harvard Business School Case 677-134, December 1976. (Revised June 1991.) View Details
  12. North American Rockwell: Draper Division

    Keywords: North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "North American Rockwell: Draper Division." Harvard Business School Case 672-145, December 1971. (Revised September 1986.) View Details
  13. Kalamazoo Plant: Parts Division, Acme Motors

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Industrial Products Industry; Michigan;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Frank S. Leonard. "Kalamazoo Plant: Parts Division, Acme Motors." Harvard Business School Case 679-106, April 1979. (Revised November 1985.) View Details
  14. Instrumentation Laboratory, Inc.

    Keywords: Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham C. "Instrumentation Laboratory, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 667-008, May 1967. (Revised June 1984.) View Details
  15. Boston Whaler, Inc. (Revised)

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Boston Whaler, Inc. (Revised)." Harvard Business School Case 675-174, April 1975. (Revised March 1984.) View Details
  16. Technology and the Manager

    Keywords: Technology; Management;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Technology and the Manager." Harvard Business School Background Note 671-060, January 1971. (Revised December 1983.) View Details
  17. Sunshine Builders, Inc.

    Production setup of a successful home builder.

    Keywords: Production; Success; Business Processes; Real Estate Industry; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Dooley, Arch-Richard, and Wickham C. Skinner. "Sunshine Builders, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 606-024, October 1959. (Revised May 1983.) View Details
  18. Trans World Airlines (A) (Condensed)

    Keywords: Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Robert Rodat. "Trans World Airlines (A) (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 680-089, December 1979. (Revised July 1982.) View Details
  19. Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (C)

    Keywords: Human Resources; Planning;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (C)." Harvard Business School Case 680-135, April 1980. (Revised July 1982.) View Details
  20. Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (A)

    Keywords: Human Resources; Planning; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (A)." Harvard Business School Case 680-133, April 1980. (Revised July 1982.) View Details
  21. Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (B)

    Keywords: Human Resources; Management; Planning;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Honeywell: Human Resource Planning (B)." Harvard Business School Case 680-134, April 1980. (Revised July 1982.) View Details
  22. Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (A)

    Keywords: Human Resources; Globalized Firms and Management; Planning; Europe;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, D. Q. Mills, and Jean K. Trescott. "Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (A)." Harvard Business School Case 682-050, May 1982. View Details
  23. Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (B)--West Germany

    Keywords: Human Resources; Globalized Firms and Management; Planning; West Germany;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, D. Q. Mills, and Jean K. Trescott. "Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (B)--West Germany." Harvard Business School Case 682-051, May 1982. View Details
  24. Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (C)--Finland

    Keywords: Human Resources; Globalized Firms and Management; Planning; Finland;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, D. Q. Mills, and Jean K. Trescott. "Honeywell Europe: Human Resource Planning (C)--Finland." Harvard Business School Case 682-052, May 1982. View Details
  25. Townsend Technology Co.

    Keywords: Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and David Rikert. "Townsend Technology Co." Harvard Business School Case 680-140, April 1980. View Details
  26. Kawkawshawn Plant (A)

    Keywords: Operations;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Frank S. Leonard. "Kawkawshawn Plant (A)." Harvard Business School Case 679-129, June 1979. View Details
  27. Kawkawshawn Plant (B)

    Keywords: Operations;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Kawkawshawn Plant (B)." Harvard Business School Case 679-130, June 1979. View Details
  28. Westin Scientific Corp.

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and David C. Rikert. "Westin Scientific Corp." Harvard Business School Case 679-093, April 1979. View Details
  29. Lektron Corp.

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and David C. Rikert. "Lektron Corp." Harvard Business School Case 679-104, April 1979. View Details
  30. Exemplar Bookbinding Co. (Revised)

    Keywords: Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham. "Exemplar Bookbinding Co. (Revised)." Harvard Business School Case 675-198, May 1975. (Revised September 1977.) View Details
  31. Specialty Metal Products, Inc. (Revised)

    Keywords: Metals and Minerals;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham C. "Specialty Metal Products, Inc. (Revised)." Harvard Business School Case 674-041, December 1973. (Revised July 1976.) View Details
  32. Richfield Manufacturing Co. (A)

    Keywords: Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Richard P. Olsen. "Richfield Manufacturing Co. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 672-113, March 1972. (Revised January 1974.) View Details
  33. United Vehicle Corp.: Metal Stamping Division

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham, and Duncan C. McDougall. "United Vehicle Corp.: Metal Stamping Division." Harvard Business School Case 671-017, October 1970. View Details
  34. Armco Steel Corp. (B)

    Keywords: Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham C., and Matthew P. Simmons. "Armco Steel Corp. (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 669-025, October 1968. View Details
  35. Armco Steel Corp. (C)

    Keywords: Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Wickham C., and Matthew R. Simmons. "Armco Steel Corp. (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 669-026, October 1968. View Details