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Compact case
Case
-
Reference no. 401-006-1
Authors: R. Kopelman (Baruch College, City University of New York)
Published in: 2001

Abstract

This is the second of a two-case series (401-005-1 and 401-006-1). A prominent psychiatrist requests an office re-design using the proper work order form (239B) and voluntarily submits a detailed sketch drawn to scale on graph paper. Because the work order is viewed as a high profile assignment, one emanating from the office of the hospital''s Director, all levels of the hierarchy give the work special attention. The job is completed promptly, exactly as requested, and all involved award themselves plaudits for their success. The sequel tells another story, though. Upon returning from his vacation, the prominent psychiatrist is astounded to find that his new office has been laid out exactly backwards. His treatment room is located in front of the reception area. In fact, patients must walk through the treatment room to get to the waiting area with a receptionist, the one room with a window. Furious telephone calls are made from the top of the organization down, trying to identify who is to blame for this fiasco. Ultimately, the maintenance department supervisors who oversaw the work are confronted. When asked about the reverse-oriented layout, the construction supervisors merely pointed to the sketch. They built it exactly as the psychiatrist wanted; they thought it must be ''a new concept in psychiatry''.
Industry:
Size:
250 employees

About

Abstract

This is the second of a two-case series (401-005-1 and 401-006-1). A prominent psychiatrist requests an office re-design using the proper work order form (239B) and voluntarily submits a detailed sketch drawn to scale on graph paper. Because the work order is viewed as a high profile assignment, one emanating from the office of the hospital''s Director, all levels of the hierarchy give the work special attention. The job is completed promptly, exactly as requested, and all involved award themselves plaudits for their success. The sequel tells another story, though. Upon returning from his vacation, the prominent psychiatrist is astounded to find that his new office has been laid out exactly backwards. His treatment room is located in front of the reception area. In fact, patients must walk through the treatment room to get to the waiting area with a receptionist, the one room with a window. Furious telephone calls are made from the top of the organization down, trying to identify who is to blame for this fiasco. Ultimately, the maintenance department supervisors who oversaw the work are confronted. When asked about the reverse-oriented layout, the construction supervisors merely pointed to the sketch. They built it exactly as the psychiatrist wanted; they thought it must be ''a new concept in psychiatry''.

Settings

Industry:
Size:
250 employees

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