In this case study, we see how Tom Parker managed his team for the company Arctic Mining Consultants. Parker his responsable to hiring, training and supervising a team of assistants fields. A project manager made a report to Parker concerning the result of the objective. The team are composed by 3 fields assistants : John Talbot, Greg Boyce and Brian Miller all of them had work before with Parker. The team need to stake a fifteen claims in Eagle lake, British Colombia in Canada : marks a line with flagging tape and blazes along the perimeter each 450 meters who we called “length”.
Parker had plan for realize this objective 7 days to accomplish this work. Each of the four staker by consequence need to realize a daily volume of seven and a half lengths if they would to success on this task. The success of this task permitted to the assistants field to win an extra bonus of 300$ each. Fast, problems are detect : Boyce and Millar didn’t arrived to respond of the daily objective. We see in this case study how Parker managed the team and how he managed all the behavior for respond to this problem.
At the end of the day Parker are unhappy to the performance of Millar and Boyce who hadn’t responded to the daily quota. On his opinion is not really important to give a feedback of this first day thought Millar and Boyce need to “develop their rhythm quickly”. We can see here the first symptom of the problem : a first day feedback is important in a team to see if they are subject to problem or how they regarding the task and if for them is realistic to realize objectives.
The second day Parker became really anger when Millar and Boyce announced they didn’t realized the quota. Parker chosen to use the theory X of the theory X, Y exposed by Douglas McGregor in the 60’s. He prefer to had a leadership more “cold” and “authoritarian”. This leadership is not the best one, indeed the assistants fell more stressed, the communication are not profitable for the group. Moreover Parker is none open-mindedness after his discussion with Talbot. Talbot recommended to be less strict with them because by the fact some area are more difficult as other. Parker didn’t listen Talbot, he think “condition are the same in all of the area, Millar just has to try harder”.
This sentence of the manager show the beginning of the harassment who are subject Millar at work. Indeed each time when he didn’t realize the objective, Parker became anger against him. This harassment concerning Millar have two bad impact : First Millar lose step by step his motivation to work well, second the other stakers receive no such attention of how much they do. The harassment of Millar regarding Millar situation, the demotivation step by step of Millar and the intern problem going to be real problem entraining dead-line failure and the team will didn’t receive their bonus.
Analysis of problems
Unfortunately for the team parker didn’t stop to harasses Millar at work. Indeed at the end of the third day Millar had almost success in the daily quota but Parker didn’t gave to him constructive feedback. The fourth day Millar didn’t success to realize the quota, Parker became really anger against him (and not against Boyce who had realized the same quota). Parker didn’t understand once again the problem of Millar. Millar didn’t lunch didn’t take break but is not important for Parker, “Millar need to work more hard” All of these tension created stress in Millar biology.
At the beginning the level of stress of Millar is not too bad, he enter to a resistance stage try to find an adaptation to the problem : he wake up more early, didn’t take break, are the last one to finish the day… But Miller’s adaptation made Miller in a stress shock. At the end of the day 7 he becomes physically exhausted. And On the final day Millar is not able to stay at a good level of stress and by consequence neglect his job : take time to eat and made a rest. This ending situation show to us how the stress can affect the work condition and can entraining task failure.
Parker Have not an open-minded vision, he didn’t see the real problem : low task control. Indeed the stakers environment determine how fast the individual work and didn’t depends of this work ethic. Talbot try to speak about this to the manager on the third day ” Yesterday I only had ﬁve lengths done after the ﬁrst seven hours and there was only an hour before I was sup- posed to be picked up. Then I hit a patch of really open bush, and was able to do three lengths in 70 minutes.” but parker and his authoritarian management strategy listen nothing, and continue his harassment regarding Millar on the day 5, 7 and 8.
Between the low task control and the harassment of Parker, Millar loss step by step his job motivation. Job motivation are really important for success in a task. How Millar can be able to realize this problematic task if he didn’t have motivation to resolve it? We can see Millar is not satisfy of his job because he respect the Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect Model exposed by Albert Hirschman in 1970 on his book ” Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States” – VOICE : On days 3 and 5 Millar try to explains to Parker his problem, without excuse but Parker didn’t listen him and continue to be anger. – LOYALT : Miller in spite of the Parker’s harassment try to find solution to resolve the low task control problem, he is the first one to arrived to the camp and the last one to left it. This loyalty show how Miller try to escape to a strict discussion with Parker. Parker didn’t realize this loyalty and continue his harassment. – NEGLECT : Miller had lose his job motivation by consequence he neglect his job the last day : he know because he is exhausted he never accomplish his purpose. -EXIT : Despite be invite in the future by Arctic Mining Consultants, Millar never work for them again.
Alternative solution and recommendation for Parker
This failure in the Eagle Lake could be resolve if the manager respect the organizational behavior and respect also his co-worker (assistant).
First in my opinion group cohesion failed because of many intern factor. First the manager need to created a better team work cohesion and environment. Why they didn’t share the lunch together to create cohesion and a place where they can discuss about their problem for realize the task, explain the low task control..etc
At the beginning Parker decided to work with assistants who didn’t know each other. In my opinion it’s not a good decision because it’s more difficult in a short task to have a good team cohesion. Moreover the reward system isn’t fair. Indeed the extra bonus depends of the work of the group and not of the individual. So by consequence groups tension could be more easiest to appear : is someone work hard realize the daily quota but another have a bad work ethic and decide to not work well, the team didn’t touch the bonus. So one member of the team can be fell frustrate about the inequality and create tension in the groups. Is important to find a new system of reward to resolve it.
Third is important to have a real feedback. I advocate to have a nightly meeting where everybody can speak about their problems, share the knowledge (for example maybe Millar and Boyce just didn’t have the good knowledge to gone more fast and realized the daily quota). During the feedback Parker can also congratulate good work, feedback are not used only for correct people. It’s also an important tools to maintains well job satisfaction. Feedback and meeting can reduce also the stress of employees : people can heart other problem and don’t feel the only one in difficulties (emphasis).
Changing area each other can be also a good solution. If the theory of Talbot is well. He never as difficulties in his own quota. Change area permitted to Millar for example to stop the pressure of his zone, gone to a better zone, be relax and arrived the next day with 100% of motivation.
In my conclusion, Parker’s team had fail on this assignment because of some fact : The team cohesion is not well, the harassment of Parker in the Millar’s work caused a bad job satisfaction and motivation of him and because of the huge quantity of stress who are subject Millar he neglected his job the last day and didn’t permitted to the team to have the bonus.
Parker should to take care of the well-being of his team, if he want success the next time on his future assignment : He need to created a good cohesion by hiring people who know each other, create night meeting (feedback). He need also to create a rotation in the area to ensure equal work. If he respect this adjustment maybe he can success on the next assignment.
QUESTION CASE STUDY
In this case study, we see how work the team of Parker for realize the objective : staking fifteen claims in Eagle Lake, British Colombia
What are your first reactions to the case?
When I read this case study I’m shock about how Parker and Millar are in low-communication. In my opinion Millar has big difficulties on his area. A good manager for me need to see what kind of problem ( technical problems, how Millar realize the work…etc) are subject Millar to change it or have emphasis about his work. I also don’t understand why Parker don’t really communicate with his assistants : he just worked like them and after announced the result. A good manager is with the team see problems and make recommendation…etc.
What problem(s) do you notice in the case?
I have identify one big problems and some other less important (group cohesion). The most big problem is the problem of understanding between Parker and Millar which I have exposed in the first question. Fortunately for Parker, Millar after bad communication continue to work well and try to find solution to realize his own objectives. Parker never recognize Millar’s efforts. Worst Parker pick on Millar but never pick on the work of Boyce. Therefore Millar could be frustrate to support all the Parker’s hanger. Other problems affect the cohesion, they didn’t eat together, no real feedback at the end of the day…etc
Who are the main people involved?
The main people involved are Parker and Millar but also indirectly Boyce. I don’t really understand why Parker are all the time hanger against Millar but isn’t against Boyce who realize the same quantity of job when is not less. Boyce and Millar didn’t realize their own objectives, normally the manager need to make adjustment in the work of this two characters. Boyce have also no emphasis regarding Millar’s working, he do the same quantity of job but with adjustment (wake up more early, finish last…) whereas Parker continue to blame it in spite of this adjustment.
Briefly describe at least one perceptual process or bias that the person has used and briefly describe the relevant evidence from the case. In my opinion Parker used a bias communication, in fact he never communicate about problems. sometime he hide the information or the feedback. For example at one moment Millar work hard to realize the objective and is in the top performance of the days ( days 6) but Parker never made good feedback about this change. Worst Boyce is one time more under the objective, but isn’t hanger against him. Communication and good feedback are an important rules to keep a good work motivation.
Does this person seem satisfied working at Arctic Mining Consultants? Briefly explain the concept of job satisfaction and briefly describe relevant evidence from the case. Millar are totally frustrate of his experience in Arctic Mining Consultant, first he look like very motivated. Indeed Millar need to had the extra bonus. He made adjustment to realize the objective. But with the time and the harassment of Parker, the job satisfaction of Millar is down and by conclusion Millar will not work again in the company. Job satisfaction : Positive or Negative feeling who have an employee regarding the company. Compensation, leadership, work condition…etc who can affect the job motivation of the employees.
Does this person seem to be experiencing stress? Briefly explain the concept of stress and describe relevant evidence from the case to support your reasoning that this person is/is not experiencing stress. For definite stress i use the definition of Lazarus and Folkman (1984):
‘Psychological stress at work is a response of the individual to the demands of a situation for which he doubts the necessary resources to deal with.’ For maintains a good performance is important to keep a good level of stress ( but not excessive). In this case Millar are confront to the stress due to the harassment of Parker. In consequence at the beginning Millar work more hard to maintains a good stability in his own objective, but the last day the stress level of Millar are too high therefore he neglect his job (he take time to eat and rest).
Select one person out of the case’s main people (see Activity 1, Question 3). Is this person motivated? Briefly explain the concept of motivation and briefly describe evidence from the case to support your assessment of the person’s motivation. Inside a team is important to keep a good job motivation. Motivation is a force in a person who affect his direction intensify and persistence. Different aspect can affect the motivation : personal motivation, compensation, work emotion… Talbot feel really motivated about his job. He realized all the daily objective without stress. Talbot has a good modesty, for him each area are different, and on his opinion he is lucky to had one of the most easiest area to realize his objective. He also have a good team spirit : he propose to Parker to change the area with Millar to see if his area are more difficult. At the end Millar continue to work with Arctic Mining Consultants showing his job motivation is well.
Is this team effective? Why or why not? Use at least one specific concept from the section on group and team processes to justify your response. This team is not really effective. So in my opinion they are not really a team because they work in individual and don’t really participate to some feedback for the well of the group. The team haven’t really cohesion in spite of the engagement of Talbot. Talbot try to maintains a good team cohesion, but the manager Parker with is harassment destroy this cohesion. Boyce fell totally uninterested about the job and by the team cohesion. To conclude this team is not my representation of a efficient team with a great cohesion.