exxon mobile

Project details:

The Challenge

The Harvard Business Review study describes how behavioral science concepts form a link between individual learning and total organization development. The link is important because it suggests answers to a long-standing problem: how to demonstrate the large-scale measurement of human relations research and teaching. The study involved one Exxon plant of about 4,000 employees for three years.

The study authors wished to know:

  • Whether Grid OD had been successful in transferring behavioral science concepts into organizational action;
  • The impact of the unusual teaching-learning role adopted by line management;
  • Whether there was a concern surrounding psychiatric problems with participants;
  • Study whether the Grid OD program involved the question of groups as units of learning versus individuals.

The Grid Solution

Take the entire workforce through the six phases of Grid Organisation Development, and results were followed for three years.

The Results

  1. There is evidence that Grid OD was responsible for at least several million dollars of controllable cost savings and profit increase. In addition, Grid seems to have been responsible for a sizable increase in employee productivity during its first year.
  2. Exxon managers began follow-up projects that had total organization implications to a degree never experienced prior to the Grid OD.
  3. The relationships between the Exxon factory and headquarters were considerably improved, partly as a result of Grid. In addition, both union and community relationships were better than they had been in the past.
  4. There is evidence that major shifts occurred in the behavioral patterns, dominant values, and attitudes found among managers at the plant. These shifts were in line with the goals of the Grid program. Improved boss-subordinate, group, and intergroup relations were reported by Exxon plant managers.
  5. Colleague support seemed to be more important than boss support as a factor in managerial improvement, according to subordinate managers.

Project info:

  • Exxon
  • Libra, Au
  • Oil and Gas