1. Many companies are touting the benefits of various forms of employee participation in management decisions. An example of this is self-managed project teams. You’ve been asked to investigate the most popular methods. What criteria should be established to evaluate these methods? After you’ve evaluated each method, provide your recommendation for the best one.
2. Hiring disabled workers has been described as a practice that employers should consider more often, given the need for skilled knowledge workers. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of hiring disabled employees. Offer recommendations.
3. Your company is opening a branch in another country (your choice). You’ve been asked to review and analyze what other companies have done to prepare their managers for such a move. In addition, you must come up with a detailed plan for selecting and training these managers.
4. You are part of a corporate management team that is discussing Bob Heller’s promotion to the head of new division. Bob has been a loyal employee, working his way up through the corporate ranks. The team feels strongly about this candidate, but it realizes that he does have potential weaknesses. Because the team wants Bob to succeed, it asks you to investigate firms like the Center for Creative Leadership and Personnel Decisions International, which offer training programs for up-and-coming managers. Evaluate the services offered by these — or other — management-skills services to determine which one would best serve Bob’s needs. Offer recommendations.
5. Numerous articles suggest that company wellness plans cut firms’ healthcare costs. You’re intrigued, but not totally sold. Surely these plans must have disadvantages as well. You decide to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of wellness plans. It might help to get a sense of how rank-and-file employees feel about these plans and reviewing the published materials. Do the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages?
6. You run a small business, and you’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of “personalized customer service.” You’re not sure what this means, or whether it will increase your profits, but you want to find out more. First, what is personalized customer service? How do other businesses provide this? How have other businesses profited from this? Do hidden costs exist? Overall, is personalized customer service worth providing?
7. As manager of a midsized company, you’ve been asked by the management council to justify the installation of a Wi-Fi network for your company. They are most concerned with security. Without getting into the technology aspects, write a report that convinces your management council that Wi-Fi networks can be secure.
8. In a recent meeting, managers and supervisors for the company (your choice) where you work (your choice) expressed concerns about employees’ customer-service skills. Moreover, they wondered whether the company should establish a specific set of customer service procedures— especially for new employees. They have asked you to investigate the customer service practices at other companies like yours to determine what skills your company should emphasize and what procedures, if any, your company should adopt.
9. As a manager in a company with many employees using computers, you’re dissatisfied with the Microsoft Windows operating systems. You are no technie, but you do know that Linux, an inexpensive operating system, is being talked up as competition for the notoriously buggy Windows. Your friend, the CEO, said that if you could justify a switch from Windows to Linux, he might consider it. Prepare a report that compares Windows and Linux operating systems. What are the pros and cons of switching a business operation to a Linux system? Gather data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations to the CEO.
10. Discuss and analyze the future of the PC. What significant changes, if any, are ahead, and what will businesses need to do to prepare for them?
11. You work for a corporation whose industry is in the midst of a massive consolidation. Your corporation has recently been named as a probable target for a takeover. How should management prepare for this possibility? Should it bide its time and wait for a potential buyer? Or, should it become more aggressive by making additional acquisitions?
12. An increasing number of organizations are using teams to accomplish their objectives. Therefore, students need to understand and master the skills and behaviors necessary to work in teams effectively. Write a report in which you identify what those skills and behaviors are, evaluate how well your skills and behaviors compare to those standards, identify the areas in which you need to improve and specify how you plan to make those improvements. Use professional journals, your experience working in teams and observations of others’ experience in your research.
13. You work for a firm that provides information technology and management consulting services to major health insurance companies. One of your clients wants to reengineer its claims processes. To receive a “go-ahead” for this project, your firm will have to develop a winning proposal, and it wants you to work on a team to write that proposal. In the proposal (a) develop a high-level project schedule, (b) identify the deliverables of the project, (c) describe the general approach your firm will take for reengineering business processes, (d) describe in general a plan for evaluating software and software vendors and (e) describe a training plan for users of the new system.
14. “You should visualize inventory as stacks of money sitting on forklifts, on shelves, and in trucks and planes while in transit. That’s what inventory is – money” (Chase, Jacobs, and Aquilano). Pick a company you’re familiar with that has an inventory of products, parts, etc. that it sells. What are some ways to ensure that this company doesn’t have its money invested in too much inventory, or wrong kind of inventory? Similarly, what are some ways to ensure that this company doesn’t have so little inventory that it loses sales? What recommendations do you have for this company to prevent or fix such problems? What role does the accuracy of inventory records play in this issue? Specifically, what are the consequences of inaccurate inventory records (the actual inventory is more or less than what this company’s records says it has) in terms of profits, cost of sales, customer satisfaction, etc? What strategies do you recommend to this company to prevent or fix such problems?