Schneider Electric India: Leadership Challenges
(8 pages of text)
In May 2015, the new director at Schneider Electric’s plant in Rudrapur, India, faced a challenging situation. The company had an ongoing struggle with quality issues and consistently missed its production targets. From a human relations perspective, employee engagement and morale were low and the shop-floor workers had very little respect for the plant’s management team. The new director quickly launched a program of human resource initiatives aimed to turn the plant around, but in the midst of his efforts, a sister plant submitted a high-volume order that seemed well beyond Rudrapur’s production capabilities. Against the advice of his superiors, and in the face of some resistance from his staff at the plant, the plant director accepted the order and used an adaptive leadership approach to implement several plant-level changes in the production processes at Rudrapur. While the team had made a lot of progress in improving the overall function of the Rudrapur plant, there was still a long way to go and a huge production hurdle to be crossed. Were the director’s interventions likely to succeed? Should he adopt a different approach to meet the challenges?
This comprehensive case is suitable for an MBA or postgraduate course on leadership or change management. For executive education participants, it provides material for an in-depth discussion of leadership challenges in a plant setting. After discussing the case, participants will appreciate the following aspects of adaptive leadership and will understand how to do the following:
- Deal with the leadership challenges that arise when implementing change at the plant level.
- Implement change intervention after ensuring buy-in from all stakeholders.
- Resolve conflict and deal effectively with resistance to change.
India, Medium, 2015
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