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Planning And People (1)

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

In all kinds of organizations--companies, schools, hospitals, etc. --decisions appear correct in theory but do not work in practice. There are many reasons for this. To illustrate the problems involved we will consider four cases where different decisions have to be taken.

Case No.1
The manager of a shipping company was interested in using large metal containers for the company's cargo instead of conventional methods of loading and unloading. He discovered that the use of containers was less expensive and quicker than conventional methods. More cargo could be sent at one time and delays on the Replica Omega Seamaster way were shorter. The only major disadvantage (apart from the initial cost of the containers) was that not all ships could take them. However, the manager believed that his company could find enough ships for their containers. His plan to use containers was adopted by the board of directors. Unfortunately, however, it was never put into practice. The dockers heard about the plan and did not like it. The reason was that the containers would make about a quarter of the dockers redundant. The plan was killed.

The comparison of containers with conventional methods is shown in the following table.

Case No.2

A solar pump was built in a small desert village. The pump used the desert's most common resource--sunlight, to increase its greatest necessity--water. Solar collectors were used to collect the sun's rays. Flat collectors can be stationary and do not have moving parts which can be broken in sand storms. The system used the 20°C temperature difference between the solar collectors and the ground water to work a gas expansion engine which pumped water from under the ground.

Some of the social effects of the new pumps were planned for. Children aged 6 -- 15 used to bring the water from wells, where they met the old men of the village and received informal education from them. In order to replace this, a school was also included in the project. But the project had not considered the traditional power structure of the village. As soon as the foreign experts left, the two richest men in the village took control of the pump and started selling water to everyone else. The result was that the majority of people were poorer than before.

Case No.3

In 1946 there was a program in the Rio Grande valley to substitute hybrid corn for the native corn. The native corn was of poor nutritional quality and gave a poor quantity of grain while the hybrid corn was of excellent quality and gave about three times as large a crop as the naive variety. In the first year half of the 84 farmers in the village planted hybrid corn and doubled the corn production. Three years later, however, only three farmers planted hybrid corn. The others were planting the traditional variety. At the beginning of the Cartier Roadster Replica project the programieader studied the ecology of the area and showed films demonstrating the superiority of the new corn. The farmers agreed that the hybrid corn had great advantages. The size of the crop confirmed these advantages. Why did they stop planting it? The answer was simple: their wives did not like it. They complained that it wasn't good for cooking and they didn't like the flavor.

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