Describe how the Group Task roles and Group Social maintenance functions are operating within the Freiburg team.

Case Study:

 

STRYKER’S USE OF TEAMWORK IN REDESIGNING SURGICAL EQUIPMENT

 

The Stryker Corporation was built on innovation. “When Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopedic surgeon from Kalamazoo, Michigan, found that certain medical products were not meeting his patients’ needs, he invented new ones. As interest in these products grew, Dr. Stryker started a company in 1941 to produce them. The company’s goal was to help patients lead healthier, more active lives through products and services that make surgery and recovery simpler, faster and more effective.” Homer Stryker started the Orthopedic Frame Company to sell devices for moving patients with spinal injuries. A short time later, he invented the first power tool for removing plaster casts after patients’ broken bones had healed. After that, the company began providing hospital beds. These early initiatives, but especially the oscillating cast saw, formed the foundation of what is now the Stryker Corporation, one of the leading companies in the worldwide market for orthopedic devices. Stryker, headquartered in Michigan, employs over 15,000 people with most of its operations being in the United States, Europe, and Japan. As a leading medical technology company and one of the largest in the $28.6 billion worldwide orthopedic markets, Stryker manufactures replacement joints such as shoulders, knees, and hips; high technology tools like imaging systems that help surgeons reconstruct body parts; and a variety of other medical devices and products, including surgical tools and hospital beds. One of Stryker’s recent orthopedic innovations was a navigation system for hip replacement surgery that permitted surgeons to observe via a computer screen the precise positioning of a hip replacement prosthesis. Due to the nature of hip replacement, the navigation system had to have the capability of withstanding the various physical stresses put on the equipment, including pounding with a surgical hammer. In addition, the navigation system¾ especially its sophisticated electronics¾ had to survive repeated sterilization under 270-degree Fahrenheit steam pressure. However, shortly after field testing of the hip replacement navigation system began, significant problems with the system were discovered. Numerous complaints were received from surgeons and the systems were returned to Stryker. Examination of the returned units revealed that the precision electronics of the system frequently failed and metal parts were broken or damaged.

 

Finding a solution to the navigation system problems was assigned to Klaus Welte, vice president and plant manager for Stryker’s Freiburg, Germany facility, which was acquired in 1998. Under its previous owner, Leibinger, the Freiburg facility had developed a magnetic imaging navigation system for use in neurosurgery. After the acquisition by Stryker, the Freiburg facility applied its navigation system technology and expertise to developing other surgical tools, including ones for orthopedics. Thus, the Freiburg facility was given the responsibility for solving the problems with the hip replacement navigation system. Welte’s first challenge was assembling a team to work on solving the navigation system problem. Welte believed that the team’s success “would require both a clear view of what had to be accomplished and a deep understanding of each team member’s abilities.” “Welte assembled a team of the best people at Freiburg in operations, computer-aided design, engineering, and research. One team member was talented in structural analysis, communication, and follow-through. Another member provided the “social glue” for the team and would never stop until all tasks were complete. Still another team member was an organizer who helped keep the team on task and from rushing ahead before it was ready. Yet another team member was especially knowledgeable regarding how a product design will successfully survive the manufacturing process. Another person was noted for highly innovative¾ indeed visionary¾ product design ideas. Although each team member’s abilities were important, how those abilities fit together was equally important. According to Welte, “Creating an effective team requires more than just filling all the job descriptions with someone who has the right talent and experience.¼ By no means can you substitute one engineer for another. There are really very, very specific things that they are good at¼ and how well the team members’ abilities combine is as important as the abilities themselves.” How well the Stryker team jelled became evident in their approach to problem-solving. Due to the number of problems with the hip replacement navigation system, the Freiburg team addressed each problem separately, beginning with the most crucial issue and working down to the relatively minor problems. The solution for each problem was thoroughly tested before moving on to the next issue. Consequently, the team did not have a fully assembled prototype until all the problems were addressed. This approach proved successful, both in terms of the ultimate success of the prototype design and the team working effectively together as problem-solvers. In the first nine months after the redesigned hip replacement navigation system was released, the company did not receive a single complaint from surgeon’s? an incredible achievement for complex surgical equipment.

 

SOURCE: This case was written by Michael K. McCuddy, The Louis S. and Mary L. Morgal Chair of Christian Business Ethics and Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, Valparaiso University.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

 

1. Describe how the Group Task roles and Group Social maintenance functions are operating within the Freiburg team.

 

2. Discuss the extent to which the characteristics of well-functioning, effective groups accurately describe the Freiburg hip replacement navigation system, team.

 

 

3. Explain why teamwork is important to effectively solve the problems which field testing of the hip replacement navigation system revealed.

 

4. Explain why diversity and creativity are important to the effective functioning of the Freiburg team.

 

 

Instructions for assignment

Purpose of the Assignment & Learning Outcomes:

Completing this assignment successfully will demonstrate your ability to

• How successful teams are formed and perform

• Group Task roles and Group Social Maintenance roles

• Group Diversity- Use of decision making and problem solving in groups

• How successful groups behave and perform

 

Instructions/Details:

Please ensure to include the components as described below.

1. Break out into your groups. A group should consist of 4 to 5 students.

2. Only one submission per group is to be done by the group leader.

3. Make sure that names and the student numbers of the group members are on the cover page. 4. Microsoft word file formats only. No other file formats are acceptable

5. Read the case study (below) and answer the 4 questions at the end of the case study.

6. Answers must contain theory, examples from the case study and your own analysis.

7. Use, “Group Development” (Chapter 2), “Group member participation” (Chapter 3), “Diversity in Groups” (Chapter 4), “Decision making and problem solving in groups” (Chapter 9), Critical Thinking and Argumentation (Chapter10) and other relevant theories and information to answer the questions. You may use other theoretical material if you so wish.

Formatting and Submission Information

 

• The assignment must be original and written by the students. Plagiarism and/or cheating offenses will be reported as per policies and procedures in place.

• The assignment must be submitted as an electronic document in Word format with maximum 4 pages (in addition to cover page and references page if applicable).

• Students are reminded to format their assignment template with a cover page, header including student names, program title, course title, and submission date.

• The assessment will be based on 80/20 scheme: 80% content, and 20% composition. It is expected that students review their assignments for spelling, grammar, and punctuation before submission the file for marking. Upon review of the assignments, the instructor will determine whether deficiencies in the assignment will justify not applying the full mark. Examples of deficiencies are: not following the assignment format guidelines, spelling errors, lack of punctuation or incorrect punctuation, grammar, applicable references not listed properly or other forms of plagiarism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for a Successful Assignment

 

A. Planning

 

 

i) Ensure that you are clear about the instructions and expectations for the assignment.

ii) Ensure you understand the concepts focused by the assignment (and provided in the course materials).

iii) Before you start composing your assignment, you may want to prepare an outline mapping out all the information you collected and how it fits in the assignment topics (and structure) you must cover.

 

B. Pacing the work

 

i) Estimate how much time you plan to allocate planning, drafting, and revising your assignment.

ii) In the planning phase, you may want to have a time interval between collecting and triaging information. This will ensure you will not rush in using information that may not be useful, or using it solely due to time constraints as opposed to the worth of its content.

C. Organising your assignment In addition to following the instructions, please ensure to spell check your assignment, check format, and the final visual appearance of your document.

 

Policies

 

Referencing – For referencing and/or citations, please use APA guidelines found at

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html

 

Plagiarism and Cheating – Plagiarism and/or cheating offenses will be reported as per policies and procedures in place. Any evidence of cheating/academic offense will result in having the assignment rejected and a mark of zero, as well as the offense documented by the instructor with the administration.

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