Decision Making

John, President of Plastic Packaging (a small bottle manufacturing company located in western Massachusetts), has decided that downsizing is the solution to the recent financial struggles that the company is experiencing as a result of a decrease in customer demand. Last Friday afternoon, John sent a mass e-mail to all of the employees at the facility to explain some of the disappointing financials and his decision to use a downsizing strategy to deal with the situation. The 75 employees of Plastic Packaging started to panic. During the afternoon break, the rumor mill was on overdrive in the breakroom. This was the first time that the employees had heard about potential layoffs. People were anxious, confused, surprised, and upset with this executive decision. Many of them wondered if there were better alternatives to the financial problems the company had recently experienced and they felt that their president could have handled the situation at hand in a much more effective and humane manner. Please respond to the following questions in four distinct and labeled sections: (1) Identification: What are some of the main problems and related issues that you see within this scenario/case? What are some of the potential problems associated with layoffs/downsizing? What are some of the potential problems with announcing the potential for layoffs/downsizing in the way that John did? (2) Analysis: What are the root causes and relevant factors contributing to/associated with the main problems which you identified? (3) Alternatives and Recommendations: What could John have done differently? (4) Action Plan: How should John carry out these alternatives that you recommended?

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