What type of power does Jerry Taylor have, if any, in this situation? What would you recommend Jerry do at the end of this case, and why? First of all, it is really important to have a good understanding of the organizational realities and power dynamics in the Perkins Components organisation to be able to evaluate Jerry Taylor’s position in it. By identifying the different power sources available in the organization, we can obtain the following “power map”:
As we can see in the “map” above, Jerry Taylor’s formal power (through his status) in the organisation is not very important; but his “collaboration network” within his department and outside with the engineering department puts him a particular position. He seems to be the only one with the necessary authority and connections to be able to make the collaboration between the two departments in the company happen. Thus, his network gives a certain power. At the end of the case, we can see that the situation as become very difficult to handle with Frank getting very upset, and for good reason!
The most important for Jerry Taylor is to maintain this situation under control. In order to do so, he can’t let Frank leave his office like this. Since it’s the manufacturing department which Jerry Taylor belongs to that is in the wrong, it is Jerry’s duty to accept responsibility for Tom Darrow’s decision not to get a TA from the engineering department and present the manufacturing department apologies (represented by him) to the engineering department (represented by Frank).
If manufacturing does not accept and recognize that it was his fault, the two departments won’t collaborate anymore in the future which would result in a disaster for the company! Moreover, when making a change in the company organisation, it is very important to implement guidelines and rules and stick to them. In this case, it had been made clear that a TA should be asked from engineering when a change in plan wanted to be done, and Tom Darrow deliberately did not respect this rule.
To make it up to engineering and show them that they can work together with the manufacturing people, Jerry Taylor needs to show them that manufacturing is respecting the rules. Thus, he needs to get someone from his department to ask for a TA, Tom Darrow would normally be the one in charge but he did not do it. Therefore, he should ask Ralph since as a machine shop foreman, he is responsible for following the procedure as stated.