University College Cork Review
Case commentary provided on: Do Something-He’s About to Snap by Eileen Roche Big Shoes to Fill by Michael Beer Bob’s Meltdown by Nicholas G. Carr We Googled You by Diane Coutu When Steve Becomes Stephanie by Loren Gary and Brian Elliot Moonlighter by Bronwyn Fryer Micromanager by Bronwyn Fryer All the Wrong Moves by David A. Garvin Riding the Celtic Tiger by Eileen Roche The Best of Intentions by John Humphreys Steve Carmody Human Resource Management and Development MG3018 109554416 Recurring Theme
The recurring theme throughout these cases is the lack of communication and the harmful effects that it inflicts. Good communication is essential for both managerial success and business performance. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ” I have learned that unsuccessful managers never blame their communication skills. In fact in the majority of cases managers think they are good communicators, however we have to remember what communication involves. Communication is the process of sharing information in a meaningful way.
Communication is not a one way process in fact feedback is an essential part of the procedure. Numerous well prepared business plans have epically failed because of the lack of communication from top management to the operational workers. Is Max a threat? Case commentator: Steve Carmody It is easy to jump to conclusions in the aftermath of a disaster such as the one described in Seattle, especially when the circumstances seem the same for the employees of MMI and in particular the co-workers of Max. However in my opinion I do not believe that he is a threat to his co-workers safety but rather a threat to their productivity.
One of the employees Paige has confirmed this problem, she says “You know I’ve stopped coming in most weekends”. This is equally as serious and must be addressed promptly, I believe that Pearson’s and Porath’s opinion on Lynne Tabors under performance and incompetent behaviour as a manager is only making matters worse. “As a manager Lynn has fallen short. ” She has allowed rumours to spread and is even getting worried herself, she appears afraid to approach Max to resolve the problem. It is obvious from Max’s work ethic that he is an extremely hard worker he arrives in the office early and leaves late.
This illustrates the bulk of his workload. Management should address this problem maybe Max’s behaviour can be attributed to pressure arising from insecurity in his position. Max feels he needs to complete this work in order to get his colleagues off his back and secure his place with MMI. He feels he cannot ask for help. If this problem is resolved correctly he could become a huge asset to the company. I believe it can be solved in a straightforward style. Max should be approached in a benevolent manner, he has become accustomed to duplicitous colleagues and has also grown familiar with being publicized as the ‘weirdo’ in the office.
What he needs is encouragement and support. His workload could be delegated for example to reduce strain and pressure which could contribute to him becoming more trustful and friendly towards his colleagues. I am in strong agreement with Steve Kaufer’s point on Lynne Tabor’s approach to the problem. She has sent out the message that it is ok for Max’s behaviour to continue and asks her staff to work around his eerie ways. This will not solve the problem for Max or the frightened workers. She should set a company wide norm that skews towards teamwork and inclusion and benchmarks against uncivilised behaviour.
This would contribute toward the problem without offending Max and embarrassing him in front of his colleagues. It is very important to recognise the importance of confronting Max’s behavioural problem in the correct manner. James Alan Fox considers the implications that may surface if work plays a major role in Max’s life “problems tend to arise when work is the only meaningful part of someone’s life”. If this is correct then I believe firing Max would be an awful mistake for a number of reasons, firstly he has done nothing wrong and therefore MMI would be held liable in court for an unfair dismissal.
Secondly it may cause severe personnel problems for Max who already lacks confidence in himself and in his colleagues. Again I find myself in strong agreement with Person’s and Porath’s view on Max, their idea of enrolling Max in training programs is especially appealing. I think this would benefit greatly to his confidence which I think is the real underlying issue and has a direct effect on his behaviour. He feels he cannot trust anyone and so acts in a hostile way always keeping to himself and never bothering to appear refined or interested in his colleagues’ opinions. Furthermore it is essential to address employees like Nicole.
Her rumours and constant gossip have become a hindrance to employee performance, Tabor should organise a meeting to tackle these issues. The meeting should also address Paige, George and Sam’s concerns regarding Max’s behaviour. In addition she should issue a warning to Nicole in relation to her inclination to exaggerate, for example, when it appears Paige and the others become concerned she does nothing to console their fear, instead she confirms it by adding “I’m not so crazy after all, am I? I’m telling you, Max is on the edge. And I don’t want to end up another statistic. This type of behaviour has to stop or Lynn Tabor will eventually face a serious problem. Lynn could organise a team outing and arrange team events to help Max mingle and build a relationship with his co-workers. Michael Beer states “the key to an effective organisation is to align the structure with strategy and at the same time to design high commitment human resource policies and practices. ” MMI Fail to do this they do not have a strategy to deal with Max on the contrary the manager of Max’s department is afraid to approach Max to resolve the issue, additionally she allows rumours to escalate and impede staff performance.
I am interested in Pearson’s and Porath’s proposal to “request a confidential criminal background check on Max as a precaution. ” This may seem extreme however if it calms employees feeling’s of insecurity with regard to Max then I think it would be an essential measure to implement. Clayton Christensen said “it is not a matter of finding the winner or the loser; it is a matter of uncovering the right combination of pieces to make the system work” I strongly agree with this statement and I think it relates in particular to this case.
The staff needs a leader that is not looking for someone who is at fault, they need a leader that requests for her team to trust one another and work collectively. Lynn Tabor must formulate a system where her team can work together in a secure environment, to do this she must build up her courage and face Max about his behaviour around the office and try and remedy it in a friendly yet determined fashion. What should Stephanie do: institute a basic reorganization, or re-create the Jack Donally model of strong leadership? Case commentator: Steve Carmody
Boston based Innostat is in a predicament, its sensational leader Jack Donally has died. Jack Donally was a huge figure in Innostat and the company’s success is mainly attributed to him. His major achievement in life was transforming the company from a “small local manufacturer of scalpels and other surgical equipment into the world’s best known maker of prosthetic limbs and surgical implants. ” The company and its growth became Donally’s key interest in life and it has been acknowledged that even his wife came second place to Innostat.
In the three years previous to Donally’s retirement Innostat faced “strong competitive challenges in its key markets” in my opinion this was essentially due to the style of management applied in Innostat. The head of production Frank Timoshotsky claims employees are not looking beyond their immediate functional departments, this illustrates the poor style of management in Innostat and the need for change and reorganisation. In modern times innovation within a company is essential, this is especially true in the market for the manufacture of surgical equipment.
In such a dynamic market the Jack Donally model of strong leadership will simply not work. One person cannot possibly be the driver and creator of every single new idea within such a large company such as Innostat. I believe Donally should have delegated more responsibility to senior and middle managers. Stephanie the replacement CEO of Innostat is faced with a challenging situation; she has been left with the difficulties that arose during Jack’s reign as CEO. Change is inevitable, however she must develop her place within the company first and get the correct team behind her.
It is important that a plan is finalised. “The brutal fact is that about 70% of all change initiatives fail. ” This is a sample of Michael Beer’s findings on organisational change. Based on this statistic my advice to her is to have a detailed plan drawn up on how to change the internal structure of the organisation. She only has a limited amount of time to recruit several people that will essentially supplement the existing management team. Frank is a team player and he should be consulted for advice, he knows Innostat and its employees very well.
Jim Pappas is also an outstanding salesman however his marketing skills are weak, this must be addressed. One of Innostat’s main problems is getting new products to the market thus an experienced Marketer must be recruited if Stephanie is to help turn around Innostat’s situation. I am particularly interested in Robert A. Eckert’s experience with Mattel and I think Innostat could utilize his suggestions. In Mattel senior managers identify the firm’s goals and targets at the beginning of the year, functional teams are then formed based on the firm’s goals and targets.
To implement and complete the goals and targets the team’s leaders meet with the managers to analyze the progress being made. If Innostat want to increase creative thinking and become more innovative I believe Stephanie must follow this advice. She must include innovation in the firm’s long term goals. She must force her people to operate together as a team and she must emphasise the importance of new ideas if the company is to regain its original market share and restore its image as being the “world’s best known maker of prosthetic limbs and surgical implants. I agree with the Henderson report to the extinct that it suggests a change in the operation and management of Innostat however the report suggests a “major change to the company’s management practices”. The environment in Innostat is very turbulent at the moment and now is not the time for radical change, Stephanie is a new comer she “must rack up some successes” according to her executive coach Teddy Adler, before she can attempt huge changes such as a corporate reorganisation. However it cannot be denied that change is needed, Stephanie must approach the situation carefully, Steven f.
Ditcher says reorganisations “encourage people to focus internally on company politics” she cannot let this happen she needs to persuade people to concentrate on engaging each other to create new ideas so the company can bring these to the market and eventually solve their financial difficulties. The immediate concern is to energise the firm’s employees and tackle their concerns and doubts. Incentives must be created to drive innovation but ultimately a common language has to be reached.
Clayton Christensen states “I believe that companies seeking to unlock the transformational power of disruption need a common language, a process that treats different types of innovation projects differently” I strongly agree with this proposal. If Stephanie can get everyone working from the same platform and create a universal system that can easily be followed and understood by all then she will increase innovative thinking in Innostat. Christenson underlines the effects this common language had on Intel.
Intel was not competing in the low end of its microprocessor business so they engaged Christensen for help on the matter, he briefed the managers on his idea of a common language and sometime later Intel introduced the Celeron processor. Andy Grove, Intel’s CEO at the time believed that 2“the disruptive model didn’t give us any answers to any of the problems, but it gave us a common language and a common way to frame the problem so that we could reach consensus around counterintuitive courses of action. ” Even though Stephanie is just out of a painful divorce she must concentrate on the tasks in front of her.
To sum up I believe these tasks include: making the organisations primary goal to become more innovative, getting the organisation working together as a team, earn trust from her employees before contemplating radical change, delegate more responsibility to middle and senior managers, create incentives for innovation and finally she must focus on producing functional teams to reinforce management. How should the CEO respond to his top manager’s tantrum? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Concord machines are in a dilemma.
The head of the services department Bob Dunne lost his temper and publically humiliated Annette Innella who heads the initiative for knowledge management in the company. Bob’s unpleasant and spontaneous attack on Annette occurred in the canteen at lunch time. His behaviour strongly contradicts the set of values in the company and the Senior Vice President of Human Resources Nathan Singer believes his outburst cannot go unpunished. Jay Nguyen the CEO of Concord machines has to address this situation correctly he cannot ignore it and hope the problem will solve itself.
Bob Dunne is a crucial part of Concord machines, before Bob’s nvolvement in the services department he argues “we barely even had a services business; it was an afterthought”. He considers this department as his greatest achievement and because of it he believes he is indispensible to the company “Services will bring in nearly half of the company’s revenue and virtually all of its profit. ” Contrary to Annette’s opinion Bob cannot be dismissed for his outburst, his talents and devotion to Concord machines is enough to earn him a promotion, however his actions were unacceptable. He must apologise in public to Annette after all he is a manager and must lead by example.
A one to one meeting should be arranged between the pair to sort out their differences. The agenda for the meeting must include Bob’s circumstances and in particular the circumstances of his department and the expectations that he is required to meet. Also Annette should address Bob’s lack of understanding on knowledge management she must emphasise the importance of the programme to strengthen Concorde machine’s position in the market place and in turn she should stress the role that Bob and his team play in achieving this success. Once the mood between Bob and Annette recedes Jay should insist Bob has some time off from Concorde machines.
He needs a break to deal with personnel issues such as his son’s accident and to relieve him of the pressure associated with meeting harsh targets set by the company. Victor Newman proposes an excellent approach, he says Jay should “call bob every day during his week off, expressing the company’s concern for his family’s and his own well being” this ensures Bob that the company is concerned for his welfare and it illustrates that he is considered a valuable asset to Concorde machines. This incident points out major pitfalls in Concorde machine’s internal structure and politics. As in do something-He’s about to snap” communication seems to be a major problem here.
The knowledge management initiative should be highly regarded by staff and receive full support from management if it is to succeed, however it is perceived by Bob as a “corporate black hole. ” This is down to poor communication, Annette acted of her own accord, jay had not given her the “green light” on the group yet she still went ahead with it. Secondly her method of informing department heads was very unprofessional she sent out memos instead of having face to face meetings to inform them of her plans and to gather information on their opinions. Teamwork asks more of employees-so they need more support from management. ” Michael beer suggests top managers have to support their employees in times of change, Robert J. Kramer indicates that Jay has failed to do this. Jay needs to follow a fair process when informing his staff of what the future entails. “People care as much about the fairness of the process through which an outcome is produced as they do about the outcome itself. ” Jay has not followed a fair process to introduce this new knowledge management programme he has left Bob in the dark.
To redeem himself he needs to follow three simple steps to ensure success. Firstly he should engage the staff and arrange a meeting, secondly he has to explain what knowledge management is and thirdly he needs to explain the expectations he has of his staff. Jay’s behaviour so far is a direct contribution to Bob’s outburst. Jay has not been supportive of his department heads he just piles on the workload and hopes for results. Jay needs to consult Annette, he needs to apologise for Bob’s behaviour and he must ensure that his outburst will have repercussions. He has to determine if Annette is suitable to her post.
After the incident he claims to have his “doubts” about her. Knowledge management is of vital importance to Concord machines, the way Annette approached Bob and informed him that his best workers would have to dedicate half of their time to her project was highly inappropriate. He will have to establish if Annette is competent in her post as he needs his best people to make this work. If she does not suit the person specification as well as he thought then she must be dismissed or relocated. I believe the matter of the “veteran versus the newcomer” should be a prominent concern to Jay.
Bob needs to be briefed on Annette’s purpose he needs to know that his commitment to Concorde Machines over the years is appreciated and has not gone unnoticed. Bob is very intimidated by Annette’s behaviour he relays with disgust her actions at lunchtime- “so when Annette came into the lunchroom with another of her high priced consultants and gave me that patronizing little smile of hers, I just lost it. ” This uncertainty and ambiguity Bob associates with Annette must be resolved. Bob must feel appreciated and should be informed that he is considered one of the company’s finest assets.
In conclusion I would advice Jay to bring all department heads together, he needs to get the organisation working as a team. The targets set for the services department must be reconsidered, Bob should be involved in making key decisions for the company as he has proven himself capable in the past. Jay should focus on the long term goals of the firm instead of devoting all of his attention on getting Concord machines out of its current financial rut. All staff should be briefed on the knowledge management initiative. Finally, Jay needs to consider his decision on hiring Annette as her task is paramount in accomplishing change and success.
Hathaway Jones’s CEO has found a promising candidate to open the company’s flagship store in Shanghai. Should a revelation on the internet disqualify her now? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Fred Westen the CEO of Hathaway Jones, a clothing distribution company, is faced with the difficult task of filling a high profile position within the company. The company hopes to expand its empire into the Chinese markets to cater for ‘Chuppies’ Chinese yuppies. Responsibilities associated with the position include leading a team involved in opening the flagship store on Nanjing road which is equivalent to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue.
The post needs a competent leader who is “creative, original, opinionated” and is risk taking in nature. Fred Westen believes a daughter of an old friend of his has provided the solution. Mimi Brewster a motivated, confidant and engaging former student of Berkley high and a graduate of Stanford University with “two successful brand relaunches behind her” is an excellent prospect. She appears at first as an ideal even flawless candidate, however a routine Google search has shown her involvement in a vocal protest group against the World Trade Organisation.
This may cause strife among the Chinese people who look dimly on extravagant characters trying to disturb the norm. Choosing the right leader is paramount to ensure a successful endeavour in the Chinese market, should Fred cast aside his wife’s concerns and the advice from the vice president of human resources and simply trust his “sixth sense” to hire Mimi? I believe John Palfrey has set the first step for Fred to take. Palfrey suggests Fred must meet with Mimi and discuss his concerns regarding Mimi’s involvement in the protest groups. He has to be abrupt and ask her to relay all experiences with the protest groups.
She needs to realise that her actions in protesting against the “treatment of a dissident journalist” in China is documented on the web and if in the wrong hands may cause untold damage to Hathaway’s plans to expand into China. Fred should carefully analyse her side of the story, after all Mimi may have a completely different account of the details mentioned in the article. He claims “anyone could put information out there” he refers to the internet and its vulnerability to fraud and hackers. The idea of the digital natives versus the digital immigrants is a dominant theme in this case.
Digital natives refer to today’s students who “think and process information fundamentally differently”. Today’s college grads have spent less than “5000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10000 hours playing video games” this is in stark contrast to the older population or the digital immigrants who have retained an accent while trying to adapt to this new way of life. Examples of this accent include the “did u get my email? ” phone call. Virginia Flanders the vice president of Human Resources is a digital immigrant, she is referred to as a “member of the old guard. Her personality and opinions relating to work differ immensely from Mimi and Fred. She is a risk adverse person and believes it unwise to choose a candidate with Mimi’s history based on gut feeling. Fred needs to communicate better with his Human resources department, Virginia Flanders claims “he ignored internal talent and downplayed the value of HR”. It seems as if Virginia is insecure and defensive to new talent with a different slant towards work such as Mimi’s approach. Mimi is more risk seeking and outgoing she is not afraid to be heard.
To resolve this personality clash Fred could organise for Virginia and Mimi to meet for a second round interview, by doing this Virginia will see how talented Mimi is and also she will feel that her opinion is equally counted. Fred needs to tread carefully, he must consider the legal implications before he approaches Mimi. He should consult the company lawyer to confirm the legality of their actions while using Google as a tool to “dig up” information on prospective employees. Fred must engage Mimi to form a strategy to combat these tactless internet postings.
I agree strongly with Danah Boyd’s contribution. Mimi must begin by creating a Google trail of her own illustrating positive views on China and its politics and condemning her behaviour as an adolescent. She needs to create the perfect image of herself as a strong leader who plays by the rules and is genuinely interested in China’s affairs. Social media, blogging and the use of the internet has become part of everyday life. LinkedIn is a recruitment tool used widely by business and prospective employees, “Hundreds of thousands of job applications have been submitted sing Apply with LinkedIn”. As Boyd suggests many young people have a “questionable online presence”. Privacy is almost non-existent, many young teenagers will undoubtedly have unwanted information on the web. Employers need to understand this, Fred must mentally prepare a cost-benefit analysis on Mimi. Does her tendency to question the norm and stand up for her beliefs outweigh her achievements to date? Fred needs to be a decisive leader he cannot allow his wife to make up his mind. He needs to put the company and its performance first.
I believe he should not let a talented individual such as Mimi leave, she would be a valuable asset and a fresh addition to the team. Her ideas on the flagship store are enthusiastic to say the least she claims “I can help u create a fantasy to die for”. Evidently allowing Mimi to work for the opposition would be a huge mistake. I think Fred has no choice but to hire her. She is an extremely talented and devoted young professional who expects a lot from life. Mimi’s past does pose a significant threat to publicity revolving around the Chinese venture however Fred can still take advantage of her skills.
Mimi is appealing because of her skills and creativity, Fred can still harness this talent by giving Mimi a more junior role on the team. If she is made team leader, there is a high risk that the press will do a more thorough investigation and dig up elements of her past that ultimately could “derail” the plans of expansion in China. To conclude, I strongly believe Mimi should be given a position on the team to open the flagship store on Nanjing road. Like Mimi everyone has their secrets, Fred would be foolish to let a minute misdeed such as Mimi’s mislead him from hiring such a talented hardworking individual as herself.
How can Henrietta help Steve transition in a company where not everybody is on board? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Henrietta Mercer senior vice president for human resources at LaSalle Chemical is faced with one of the most demanding tasks in her career to date. Steve Ambler described as LaSalle’s “golden boy” has declared his intentions to undergo a process known as gender transition. Henrietta, president for Human resources in the company, is given full responsibility to deal with the transition and the implications associated with it.
Part of her task includes relaying information on the process to Karl Diener the CEO of LaSalle and essentially ensuring an efficient and smooth transition for Steve and his co-workers. In my opinion Henrietta has been thrown in the deep end, she has no previous experience with gender transition and therefore her only option is to seek advice. She needs to follow Linda Taylor’s approach. Taylor declares that she alone shaped Raytheon Missile’s method for dealing with gender transitions. Henrietta needs to begin with creating a policy which forbids discrimination against gender identity and promotes compliance among co-workers.
The policy needs to be upfront and convincing it must make clear that inclusion is an important component of company culture. Communication is essential in these circumstances, Henrietta must collaborate with all parties involved in the process and primarily she must “work very closely with the person who’s making the transition”. She needs to be kept notified of different stages and she should keep a close relationship with Steve’s doctors. According to Ronald Andrews it is of upmost importance for the person undergoing the treatment to inform his or her co-workers.
Henrietta needs to accommodate her employees and their opinions but she must also be forceful in implementing the policy and its contents. A main concern for Henrietta at the moment is Alex. Nine months earlier CatalCon a company in Detroit was acquired by LaSalle. Following the acquisition a new position for sales director was available, Alex believed he was the worthy candidate, however he lost out to Steve. Alex is under the general impression that most of the LaSalle side got “the top positions after the acquisition”. Henrietta needs to resolve this resentment for Alex to fully accept Steve’s transformation.
LaSalle should show their appreciation for Alex’s contribution to CatalCon, they need to illustrate their admiration for his outstanding achievements in gaining the status of “top salesman”. Henrietta needs to meet directly with Alex, in this meeting she must offer her support in helping his wife through her sickness. At the moment Henrietta thinks Alex is only continuing to work for the health benefits. She needs to cast aside these apprehensions and act more professionally. She has to improve communication in LaSalle, Henrietta is perplexed by Alex’s knowledge of Steve’s plans.
The fact that Alex became aware of Steve’s plans through a secret letter addressed solely to Alex is a clear sign of a breakdown in communication. Michael Beer advises that “You can never over communicate. When you think you’ve communicated well, go out three or four more times and communicate again”. Linda Taylor presents an excellent proposal, in her experience with gender transitions she found it helpful to launch gender identity training. This is an excellent idea and if I was in Henrietta’s position I would provide this facility.
Taylor says it allows “employees work through their misperceptions, questions and fears” this is an ideal facility and will help Henrietta reach her goal. If she is to engage in this strategy she needs to come to meetings prepared, she needs to expect difficult and inappropriate questions. As Linda Taylor suggests Henrietta needs to give the impression that LaSalle “doesn’t pass judgement on its employee’s personnel lives”. I strongly believe forcing Steve to take an internal position in the company is the wrong approach to solving the problem.
After all it will be looked upon as a demotion by fellow employees. There could be significant repercussions for such a move especially in a state which “protects employees against gender identity discrimination. ” If Henrietta is going to persist with repositioning Steve I would advise her to consult a lawyer before she acts. Nonetheless I believe repositioning Steve would be an unconstructive move he is a very talented sales person with numerous achievements to demonstrate his value to LaSalle. For Alex and Steve to work effectively together in the future Henrietta needs to appoint a mediator.
A mediator should help the pair find a mutual agreement. She needs both Alex and Steve to come to an arrangement that does not affect their work as it is evident “LaSalle needs both these guys” Henrietta should be strong in her approach to the situation “managers with reputations as winners often can bend the rules to implement organizational changes”. She must radiate confidence in dealing with this process, after all the CEO gave her full responsibility to deal with Steve’s issues which highlights his trust and belief in her.
Steve’s position as sales director suggests he meets with most of the key clients of LaSalle, at the moment Alex is frustrated with having to introduce Steve to his old clients however he cannot begin to imagine his client’s reaction to Stephanie. LaSalle need to educate their clients on the situation. Henrietta needs to gauge their reaction to Steve’s transition and furthermore she must calculate the effect his transition will have on sales and the performance of LaSalle. If their clients have a decidedly poor reaction then maybe Henrietta will have no choice but to reposition Steve.
In conclusion I think Henrietta needs to approach this situation in a confident manner she cannot allow Steve’s decision to effect the performance of LaSalle and she certainly does not want to encourage this behaviour. Henrietta must confront Alex’s resentment towards LaSalle and towards Steve. Above all she needs to engage somebody with previous experience on the matter to ensure a comfortable and smooth Transition for Steve and his co-workers. How should Zagante systems handle this moonlighting issue? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Jeremy Hicks one of Zagante System’s key programmers isn’t working as hard as he appears to be.
Jeremy’s team manager Melanie accidently spots Jeremy fully engaged in work on another project for a company that his owned by his brother in law. Contrary to Melanie’s opinion Jeremy doesn’t seem as focused as he appears. She describes his weary looking features with admiration and appreciation until she realises he is moonlighting for another company and he is also being paid for it. Melanie needs to decide if there are any threats to Zagante Systems and whether Jeremy is still a worthy contender for promotion. Before Melanie challenges this problem she needs to seek legal advice on the matter.
Barry Lepatner points out the possibility of Jeremy making mistakes or if he “causes problems for an outside customer, Zagante could be exposed to uninsured liability”. Melanie needs to tread carefully she cannot risk losing one of her best programmers because he is concentrating on another project in his free time. She must be shrewd and approach this problem in a delicate manner. I would recommend Melanie to follow Sandra Davis’s advice in drawing up a policy on moonlighting, by doing this it issues a slight warning to Jeremy and prevents other employees following suit.
A noncompete policy would also be a clever idea for Zagante to use, this ensures that any work done by Zagante’s employees could not be used by the firm’s competitors. Melanie needs to be more open, she cannot hope to solve this problem herself, she should go straight to Jill Darby the HR manager. Jill has expertise in the area of dealing with staff, he has a set of skills that could prove useful to Melanie. A policy for decision making should be formed, Melanie comes across as very confused as to what to do. Bill Jensen criticises her managerial skills and believes improving them “won’t solve the problem”.
Melanie’s reaction resembles the features of a hypocrite, she is irritated by Jeremy’s moonlighting yet she thinks it’s because “despite opportunities, she’d never done it herself. ” Melanie needs to improve her attitude as team leader and be more decisive in her approach to decision making. A breakdown in communication is also very evident, Melanie only confides in her husband about Jeremy’s actions. She needs to confide in the CEO and explain the circumstances. Melanie must work closer with Jill Darby, Jill in turn must collaborate further with Melanie and as a team they could approach this problem.
Melanie cannot go on letting Jeremy treat Zagante’s machines like public utilities. In essence Jeremy is being very secretive about his project, Mark Wexler believes the “best way to protect your career is by being transparent with everyone involved” Jeremy fails to do this, he reveals little and expects much. Now that Melanie knows what Jeremy is doing in his spare time she must take advantage of it. Condemning his actions will have no benefit to either Melanie or Zagante, obviously Jeremy is a talented individual who likes challenging and creative work. At the moment Zagante’s project on the TerraPix 2. isn’t pleasing Jeremy’s capabilities. He refers to what he does with Zagante as doing it “day in day out”. In my opinion I believe Melanie should allow Jeremy continue with his outside project. While Jeremy works on his project he is honing is skills and learning new skills, his needs for challenging and differentiated work are satisfied and there is sufficient reason to believe he may bring fresh ideas to Zagante’s product line. Conditions are futile in Silicon Valley and just like “every other technology-related business in Silicon Valley, Zagante’s fortunes had suffered during the past two years. This is another reason why the firm need to try their best to keep skilled programmers like Jeremy on their side. It is noted that the prime reason for Zagante’s survival is down to its innovative technology and its “saving grace”. Employees have taken several pay cuts due to competitive strain. Jeremy and his family are no different. Jeremy plays on his financial troubles as a need to keep on this extra project, Melanie should sympathise with his troubles and she shouldn’t approach him with a confrontational attitude.
In addition to this mounting pressure his wife is out of work to look after his new born son, Jeremy has a lot going on in his life at the moment and he needs a supportive manager. Melanie isn’t fulfilling her role as team manager. If she appreciates his talent and considers Jeremy a friend then she needs to cast aside feelings of betrayal and trust him. After all when Jeremy’s loyalty to Zagante is questioned he is described to have looked “sincerely upset”. Gary Becker says “Education, training, and health are the most important investments in human capital. Zagante could consider Jeremy’s moonlighting as a free investment in training that will ultimately benefit them. Jeremy’s attributes are very desirable to a company, he is talented, hardworking, sincere and self motivated. His interest in his work and his late hours spent in the office to provide for his family is inspiring to say the least. I believe he is a worthy candidate for promotion. Promotion will benefit both Jeremy and Zagante. If Jeremy is promoted it will give him more responsibility and a fresh insight into challenging and rewarding work.
It could re-fresh his opinion on Zagante and its monotonous projects, while also providing him with extra finance to help relieve pressure in providing for his family. I have learned an important lesson in this case; managers must take extra measures to ensure they retain their most talented staff. Melanie needs to realise that Jeremy’s back is against the wall, he needs this extra project to relieve the financial strain he is experiencing. Furthermore I believe Jeremy’s moonlighting can have many positive effects for Zagante including training and bringing new ideas to the firm.
Overall I think Zagante need to promote Jeremy as in the long run this will benefit Zagante as well as Jeremy. Is George guilty of micromanagement? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Retronics an established software engineering firm in Silicon Valley is experiencing harsh times in comparison to the 1990’s when it was described as a “Silicon Valley darling”. George Latour a “seasoned executive with impressive engineering credentials and significant experience in enterprise-scale systems and operations, has been recruited to revitalise Retronics and restore its position as market leader.
Sometime after George’s appointment as CEO the board becomes doubtful, targets are not been achieved and George has not impacted the company’s revenues enough for him to be considered a success. George needs to pull his workforce together and employ his leadership skills to impress the board. He needs to question his management style and how he leads his employees. However the main issue for George at the moment is getting his Marketing Director Shelly Stern into line. In my opinion communication seems to be the underlying problem in this case.
Both George and Shelly are aiming for the same goals however both seem to prefer a different approach. To resolve their resentment for one another they need to talk openly and discuss their problems. Michael Lawrie suggests a “straight talk” would benefit the pair. I strongly agree with this, George needs to explain his expectations of Shelly, he needs to stop focusing on the press release and explain to her that she should be improving the marketing department’s “capabilities and performance”. George must make his intentions clear, he needs Shelly to realise he wants to coach her and bossing her around is definitely not on his agenda.
Shelly is underperforming, she cannot expect to be treated as a competent Marketing director if her final draft of the press release has two typos. She needs to work harder and be more careful while she works. She cannot expect to be trusted if her work has mistakes in it, George emphasises the importance of getting the press release right, he hints at the significance and expectations he has of her: “look I count on you to get these things right. I don’t have time to worry about them myself. ” Shelly is too stubborn and resentful to take account of his advice.
While on the phone to her friend Laura, Shelly explains George’s mistrust of her and of her work “he didn’t trust her judgement”. Shelly needs to express her need for trust and freedom from George before he can expect any improvements in her performance. I think there is a personality clash between Shelly and George. Shelly seems to be more visionary and creative, Pete one of the board members “loved to describe a rock-climbing event that Shelly had invented for a trade show. ” Shelly thrives to be imaginative whereas George is “hands on and detail-orientated” according to Craig Chappelow.
Clayton Christensen believes “top executives who value innovation need to point their fingers not at others but themselves”. This is very relevant to this case, George may be an excellent and hard working engineer but are these attributes suited to his position? After all Retronics is dependent on a leader who will fuel innovation and inspire creativity. At the moment it seems as if work not done according to George is simply not right. When Shelly presents him with a draft of a new press release his only thought is “not how I would have done it”.
Michael Beer considers it essential to connect authentically with your employees in order to be a successful leader. He says leaders do this “by being much more revealing about themselves “. George should organize a one on one meeting with Shelly, the more informal the meeting the better, George could arrange a game of golf or just simply sit with her at lunch. The closer they know each other the easier the pair will find it to work together. George needs to loosen his grip on everybody and be a more approachable and charismatic leader.
If he delegates more authority to Shelly he may find her talents more useful at the moment she feels oppressed at his constant watch and presence. During Shelly’s heated conversation with George she reveals confidence in herself, “I believe I’m a pretty smart, talented person who knows my job and who has a lot to contribute. ” However she isn’t as confident as she imagines when she finishes her conversation with Laura she considers calling in “sick” tomorrow. Craig Chappelow voices an excellent argument he believes “bosses come and go, but careers last a long time. Shelly needs to consider this advice. If she feels unfairly treated and sees no way in rectifying the problem then she simply has to get on with it. Shelly must try her hardest to impress and find her place in Retronics. George is clearly under pressure to meet the demands of the board, I would advise him to meet with them and negotiate new and more achievable targets. They seem to be unforgiving towards failure and success is never appreciated, George had “brought in some important new business” however revenues had not rebounded enough for this new business to be seen as enough.
The board needs to be realistic as to what to expect from George after all there not the only company experiencing harsh times in Silicon Valley. This case has provided me with excellent reason to believe that good communication is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful business. If communication was strong between Shelly and George then both would know what to expect from the other. The only solution is for both to sit down and sort out their differences. What’s the right decision making process for Nutrorim?
Case commentator: Steve Carmody Nutrorim a manufacturer and provider of sports supplements have experienced exponential growth over the last number of years. The company was started by an organic farmer and his wife in 1986, however due to huge increases in sales the pair had to seek professional help. Don Rifkin was appointed CEO in 1989 and under his leadership the company became public in 1997. To remain competitive the company invested both time and finance into engaging in innovation and improving their product line.
Over the past few years decision making has become a main concern for the company, as a result of poor choices past decisions have come back to haunt Nutrorim. In this case I will provide advice to CEO Don Rifkin on how to improve his decision making process. Don has numerous beneficial traits that suit his position as CEO. He is a democratic and charismatic leader who is genuinely interested in Nutrorim’s growth. He likes to compliment his workers for their achievements in Nutrorim, he congratulates his Chargeup team on “demonstrating the kind of gung ho spirit that makes Nutrorim a leader”.
Another trait which is not as beneficial to Don is his inclination to avoid conflict. Conflict is very important in the decision making process. Ralph Biggadike believes “the problems with the decision-making process at Nutrorim stem primarily from Rifkin’s aversion to conflict. ” Don must realise that conflict is needed to demonstrate all aspects of an idea. When Nutrorim acquired Dipensit it is reported that there were some concerns regarding the “credentials of Cummings” the CEO of Dipensit.
Don should have investigated these rumours however he didn’t like the idea of questioning the opinion of the “hard-driving CFO of Nutrorim”. Therefore my first recommendation for Don is to be more involved in the conflict surrounding new ideas, he needs to promote debate in order to illustrate all sides to a decision. Don must emphasise the need for honest conversations in Nutrorim. Michael Beer believes that organisations “will have to institutionalise a means for having honest conversations if they want to endure. ” At the moment honesty is not at its strongest.
Nora Stern a former entrepreneur is unhappy about the decision making system within Nutrorim however she doesn’t come out and say it she simply hints that Rifkin should take a more “dictatorial approach to decision making”. At the moment the company is having too many meetings about meetings, they need to make a plan for action and pursue it. Don Rifkin needs to be more inquisitive, Christopher McCormick believes Rifkin’s “biggest problem is that he doesn’t ask enough questions” a company’s greatest asset is its people. To engage these people and their skill sets Don needs to be inquisitive.
In many ways allowing all managers have a say in the recall of the Chargeup product is a good way to turn up the positives and negatives of issuing a re-call, however it also slows down the process of decision making. I do agree with Nora’s point to a certain extinct, Don needs to be more dictatorial when it comes to situations that require a rapid response. A decision was needed quickly and a debate wasn’t the answer. It is hard to manage the huge amounts of data and information in company’s nowadays. Managers need to be familiar with all elements of the business.
To aid Don in his decision making I would recommend he use Decision support systems. This unique package study’s all the information in a business and forecasts possible outcomes based on the entered data. “Decision Support Systems are used to collect data, analyze and shape the data that is collected, and make sound decisions or construct strategies from analysis. ” Key characteristics for success are identified as “motivation, leadership skills and decision-making ability”. Therefore it is essential for Don to improve his decision making capabilities to ensure growth and success in Nutrorim.
To help improve his decision skills Don Rifkins should hire a coach to help him. He has excellent characteristics to make him an exquisite leader however he needs guidance in the areas of judgment and evaluation. Rifkin’s downfall occurs in the late stages of the decision making process. He has difficulty in choosing objectives and identifying alternatives also implementing a response is a problem for the CEO. Findings gathered from the synergy consulting group identified concerns from employees wishing “that the CEO would make definitive calls more often”.
Some of the employees express unease at the dominant players such as R&D head Steve Ford having a dominant effect on the decision making process. The report drawn up by the consulting group said some employees “worry that the louder voices and squeakier wheels dominate”. Don needs to reassure these employees that he is the leader and all decisions stop at him. He cannot continue letting the “Squeakier wheels” dominate meetings he must take a more dictatorial approach, this will ultimately restore peace and guide confused employees in the right direction. The outcomes from this case illustrate a number of learning opportunities.
The first of these is the importance of decision making. The effectiveness of a competent CEO is ultimately explained with regards to his decision making abilities. A leader must demand respect without it dominant managers in the firm will run riot. Honesty is the best policy, Michael Beer portrays the importance of honesty in the workplace and without honesty resentment will flourish. Finally, I have learned that management is all about the workers and their skill sets, the key to the trade of management is engaging with the workers and getting them to implement their skill sets in an effective and efficient manner.
Should John choose country or company? Case commentator: Steve Carmody John Dooley the vice president of strategic research in BioSol a global biotechnology corporation arrived to work feeling optimistic and “cheerful” despite the harsh weather conditions that sorely greeted him on a bleak Thursday morning. BioSol was beginning to “make significant progress in its therapeutic antibody for the treatment of adult and juvenile asthma”. John played a considerable role in achieving success for BioSol and as a result of his contributions he believes his own career “could get a real boost as well”.
Niall Doyle John’s boss has revealed that corporate headquarters is very pleased with John’s accomplishments. To reward John they want to offer him the post of director of strategies in California. While John is overjoyed and honoured to be considered for such a senior role in the company’s headquarters in California he is also shocked by the idea of such a big move. John is under pressure to decide whether or not to take the position, he needs to consider the effects it will have on his family and his career. The question remains is it country or company for John. John has to decide the implications the move will have on Fiona.
Will Fiona agree to abandon her career for the sake of her husband? Fiona is familiar with travelling after all John and her “backpacked through Europe and worked their way across Australia”. She knows the difficulties associated with establishing herself in a new area. Also Fiona has links associated with work in Ireland, with her career starting to pick up is starting fresh in a new city the right move for her. The reason they decided to move back in the first place was because of family and cultural reasons. For example they both want their children to know Irish the move will no longer make this a possibility.
Fiona is happy having her parents a short distance away in Wicklow. If she moves she won’t benefit from this security. Raj Kondur makes a very important point. He believes that John will be no different from the other workers in America, he might even be considered as under qualified and out of fashion. Kondur states that the fact that John is an expatriate will not give “him an edge” over his opposition should he choose to move to California. Kondur does say that his experience and qualifications will be considered impressive in Ireland, he has ample opportunity to progress his career here and moving is not the only option for him.
The growth during the Celtic tiger should have been a major attraction for John, Kondur says “the rising tide in these countries will result in much wider and more attractive opportunities. ” John needs to decide which is more important to him family or his career. Does he want his children growing up not knowing their grandparents? “A life that only has room for a career, or that includes a consuming love that stifles your personnel development is likely not a lifestyle that is healthy or fulfilling”.
John and Fiona are mature adults that are used of moving around and have many years of experience with meeting people and experiencing harsh times, however John’s children are innocent to travel and mixing with children from a different background. Arno Haslberger and Sharman Esarey present an excellent point that I agree strongly with. They think that management of BioSol need to employ better communication between them and their employees. Niall Doyle is ecstatic for John, he only sees the opportunities for John in California and he doesn’t think for a second that John would turn down the position.
Niall barely gives any information on the job. He only wants John to know that he has his “full backing”. They assume that this opportunity will be too good to pass up. Niall is so carried away with the news that he doesn’t even ask for John’s opinion. Niall is acting unprofessional he never explained what would become of John should he choose to turn down the position. BioSol should provide coaching to John after all he only has his friends mixed opinions and his unsure wife to advise him. He needs professional help to guide him in the right path.
If John is considering accepting the position he needs to do a background check. He should fly him and his family out to California to get a feel of the location. While he’s there he should meet with the head of the Californian base to be informed of exactly what it is his role as director of strategies comprises. John should ask about opportunities that may arise that would allow him to move back to Ireland. He needs to consult them with regards towards monetary compensation. John must realise that this promotion is not the only opportunity awaiting his go ahead.
He can still accept the executive position at GeneSys. The company are very eager to have John and Tim Clarke the CEO wants to meet him. This would be an excellent way to avoid leaving the country and it would also mean a fresh start for John. GeneSys is much smaller than BioSol however there is huge opportunity for growth if they acquire the right management team. John likes the idea of the start up phase of a new project he craves the “feeling of endless possibility, the challenge of assembling the right team, the excitement of discovering something entirely new. By joining GeneSys John could satisfy his hunger for challenge and excitement. As a result of studying this case I have learned the need for communication is essential in the work place. Niall Doyle is not communicating with his vice president of strategic research. He should engage John more and listen to his opinion. John is faced with a very important decision. He needs to question his loyalty to his family and his company. If he is to accept his new job then it will almost guarantee a huge jump in his career. However is john willing to jeopardise his family and ask them to start again so he can improve his career?
John needs to revert to the classical method of decision making for this puzzle, he needs to weight up the benefits and the costs and go from there. Should Cynthia hire Steve? Case commentator: Steve Carmody Cynthia faces a confusing problem. Her success as sales rep in Ohio has resulted in her achieving an early promotion. Peter Jones the “Houston-based regional vice president” appointed Cynthia to run the Arkansas district. In the past few years the Arkansas district was run by an aging “veteran” who was in “coasting” mode and as a result the districts sales and reputation had suffered greatly.
To fix this problem Cynthia requires an excellent team of sales reps and in particular she needs one “powerhouse” rep to lead the others. In her search for such a sales rep she finds Steve Ripley a talented individual with all the credentials needed for such a position. The only difficulty in Steve Ripley’s otherwise ideal match to the job description is his skin colour. The question remains, should Cynthia take the risk of hiring Steve in a state that hasn’t entirely escaped discrimination? My first suggestion to Cynthia is to never take advice from a hypocrite.
Peter Jones gives the impression that he has the best interests of both Steve and Cynthia at heart. Peter contradicts himself, he assures Cynthia that Steve is one of the “best trainees we’ve had through the years. ” Peter says Steve needs to start out in a more hospitable district in order to gain the praise that he is due. If peter thought all this was true then he would be providing support and training to Steve. Instead Peter plays the kind manager but doesn’t act accordingly. Glenn Loury illustrates an important argument, if both Steve and Cynthia remain reluctant to ignore this problem then it will inevitably continue.
The company must create a clear cut discrimination policy to deal with these circumstances. After all it isn’t the first instance of discrimination in the company, Cynthia lost a district manager position to an employee who was not as talented or qualified as she was because she was a woman. The only explanation the company could give was “customers wouldn’t be comfortable doing business with a woman. ” This type of attitude will generate bad publicity for the company and will eventually lead to a law suit for discrimination. The activity of managers and employees treating the idea of discrimination as a part of doing business is ludicrous.
Cynthia needs to be a promoter of change and in my opinion she should choose the most credited candidate for the role. Meyerson and Fletcher describe discrimination in relation to women as a ceiling “It’s not the ceiling that’s holding women back; it’s the whole structure of the organizations in which we work: the foundation, the beams, the walls, the very air” (Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000)” Discrimination can become a dominating force in an organisation, Cynthia cannot let this happen she needs to take initiative, she already has let herself become a victim to discrimination now that she is in a position to stop it continuing she must ake advantage of it. Cynthia could choose to hire Steve, however if she does she needs to be aware of the amount of effort she will have to put into making it work. This case has many similarities to When Steve Becomes Stephanie” both managers will have to give a lot of their time to talented individuals so they will benefit the company in the long run. In the case “When Steve Becomes Stephanie” the manager Henrietta has to provide a great deal of her time to ensure a smooth gender transition for Steve.
In this case if Cynthia takes on Steve Ripley she will have to devote a large portion of her time to going out on sales trips with him to portray to clients the confidence Agfunds has in Steve. “Blowing the whistle on your employer is like being a skunk at a picnic. Win or lose, you’ve probably ruined your reputation, and perhaps even your health. ” If Cynthia chooses to ignore Peter’s advice she will probably have made an enemy of him. Cynthia needs to approach this problem carefully she needs to apply for coaching for Steve if she picks him.
However if Steve turns out to be a successful sales rep then it will look very positive for Cynthia. According to Herman Morris success will also have a significant impact on Steve and should immensely improve his “career prospects” within Agfunds. Peter underestimates Steve. He has forgotten how much he has achieved so far. The fact that he is less likely to succeed in Agfunds as compared to his white counterparts is a strong motivator for Steve. Agfunds need to give him credit for his achievements.
If he is successful in attaining the position Cynthia and Steve must be given achievable targets. They cannot be expected to improve situations in Arkansas and “turn the market around overnight”. After all they are trying to fix a problem caused by poor management. Letting the previous manager of the district saunter through his duties for 15 years was the cause of a drop in sales in the area. In my opinion I think Steve should be offered the position, he has the credentials and the drive needed to improve the situation in Arkansas.
However if Peter’s assumptions are correct then maybe Steve is Jeopardising his career by taking the position. He even voices this concern himself as he declares to Cynthia that he doesn’t “want to take a job that sets him up to fail”. To counteract this belief management needs to assure him that he will be offered a second chance if he fails the first time. I have gathered precious evidence that discrimination is still a very topical subject even in the 21st century. This case has opened my eyes for the need for a clear cut discrimination policy.
Management acted very carelessly in this case by always assuming to have the best intentions for their employees while really cutting them out of the decision making process and undermining their opinions. Also I have learned that resistance to change is very hard to incorporate in a company and very hard for people to accept.
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