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Abstract

The basis of this teaching case is a small nursery and landscape business in the Northeast United States. The case describes how the company attempted to implement a decentralization and employee empowerment program to move relevant decision-making closer to the work site. It illustrates that shifting from a centralized top-down style of management to a decentralized incentive driven style can create many challenges for a small business. Moreover, top management should be cautious about delegating responsibilities to line managers. Not all employees will be successful in this new environment, and without procedures for monitoring and control, significant learning may be necessary as employees move into this environment.

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