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“Semco Pumping Success” is a case that closely examines the drivers of growth in the company that Ricardo Semler took over from his father. It is a study in the motivational theories of management, and what made Semco tick. Semco’s turnaround became the talk of many a management guru, all trying to figure out the magic “formula” that Semler had applied, and succeeded. The case examines in detail the alternative organisational configuration that Semco followed, and how empowering the employees at all levels helped the company reach the heights that it had achieved. Ricardo Semler’s theory was that people should be happy at work, and they should love what they did. This he tried to incorporate in his company’s work culture. Semler believed that if they as in the management of the company did not allow the employees to do things the way it comes naturally to them, it would make their work mechanical and to quote him, “follow boarding school rules.” He believed that individuals were mature and capable of handling problems, only if they were trusted and vested with the powers. His company is a fine example of democracy in the workplace.

language english
wordcount 3323 (cca 9 pages)
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Preview of the essay: Motivation

Semco’s organisational structure and its method of working opposed the classical theory of management in many ways. Before 1980, before Ricardo Semler took over, the company followed the classical method of hierarchy with centralized decision making, with workers doing only what they were allocated, or “told” to do. The approach of managing the organization as a self organised network is seen as a scientific approach as the strategies are made depending upon marketing opportunities in the business world. Management and employee cooperation also suggest ...

... social recognition and self-actualization and helps them achieve these, in addition to providing a stress free working environment and a sense of belonging and ownership with the company.

Some companies who have adopted this model (either in full or in some part) are Google, Best Buy, IBM, GE and Sun Microsystems. All of them have adopted this philosophy in some way or the other, some more than the other, some less.

It is not an easy model to adopt – years of learning needs to be ‘unlearned’ before companies and employers can begin to trust their employees and treat them as responsible adults.
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Human Resources


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