VW is reported to be considering regular job rotation for its some of its senior staff.
The move, originally reported in the German publication Welt am Sonntag and picked up by Just-auto (an auto industry intelligence service) is intended to address the organisational issues that may have led to the use of so-called ‘defeat devices’ which enable vehicles to meet emissions standards under test conditions.
VW claim that only a small number of its staff were involved in the deployment of defeat devices. The intention of time-limited assignments, if indeed they are actually introduced, will presumably be to prevent collusion amongst close colleagues, of the sort that may have contributed to the emissions scandal.
A practice such as regular rotation has both costs and benefits. On the benefits side, rotation spreads knowledge across functions, fosters cross-departmental networks and cooperation and as such can help organisations achieve coordination, control, and innovation. However, complex, technologically advanced environments require a depth of expertise, specialist knowledge and mutual understanding that is difficult to create and maintain via short, transient assignments.
There is clearly a risk that in fixing one problem, VW may create another.