Fran Hayden is a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Management Studies degree from the University of Waikato. She is interested in a position with Dairy Engineering. This is a big company with 450 employees manufacturing equipment for the dairy industry. She decided to take a job in the position of assistant accountant even though she was unsure if that is the right job for her. When she went to work, she was shock to find out there was no vacancy for her in Cost Accounting. Instead, she had been assigned to Management Information Services (MIS). Her job was to compile information for the monthly report known as “Big Brother” and it is almost entirely clerical. She felt the department was overstaffed as she had little to do after “Big Brother” was completed. The Chief accountant, Rob Poor offered Fran to attend a management workshop on performance measurement. She grabbed the opportunity.
Her boss, Peter Burton was away therefore she did not seek his permission but Rob said he will tell Peter about the workshop when he returned. However, Peter was angry when he knew that Fran went to the workshop without his permission as he felt that his authority was being undermined and she had connived behind his back. She sought help from Rob and he assured her he will settle the matter. It seems as though Rob did not keep his word. Vernon Moore the chief cost accountant saw Fran looking miserable and after learning the situation she is in, he took her to see Rob and explained to him. Rob told Fran to write a report on what has happened since she joined the company and this would be brought up during the senior management meeting. Peter proposed to revised “Big Brother” and Rob was impressed and did not confront Peter during the meeting. Fran concluded that she had only two alternatives: a transfer or resignation. Fran decided to draft a letter to Rob, the chief accountant requesting that she be transferred from MIS to the upcoming position in Cost Accounting.
Statement of problemsThe problem that I will be indentifying in this case study is placed in an order where the most important issue is to be address first.
1.Poor leadership”Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills” An organization requires team leaders or facilitators who provide coaching and support. Both Rob and Peter are poor leaders. Rob did not solve Fran’s situation even though she consulted him a few times. He does not understand her situation as he lack social-awareness. Rob also does not know his company well enough because he asked Fran to join the company when there is no position available. Therefore he gave her MIS position which failed to achieve the person-job matching process as her ability and competency do not match with the job. Peter also did not provide any coaching or support to Fran. Furthermore, he does not understand and can’t control his emotions towards others as he lack of self-awareness and self-management.
2.Lack of team cohesiveness within organization”Team cohesiveness is the degree of attraction people feel toward the team and their motivation to remain members” Peter told others not to talk to Fran and this made her feel uncomfortable and stress in this kind of environment. This made Fran have a low level of team cohesiveness as she is not motivated to remain a positive member of the team. Mike, Fran’s colleague in MIS section also has a low level of team cohesiveness as Peter stole his ideas for the revising plan of Big Brother.
3.Lack of motivation”Motivation refers to the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity and persistence of voluntary behaviour” Fran lacks of motivation (MARS model) at work because she thinks her job is clerical and she has little to do. This leads to job dissatisfaction and low level of affective commitment to the organization.
Causes of the problem1.Poor leadershipFigure 1 Model of Emotional Intelligence, MGMT206-09SU1 course reader pg65Relationship ManagementManaging other people’s emotionsSocial AwarenessUnderstanding and sensitivity to the feelings, thoughts and situation of othersHighestSelf-managementControlling or redirecting our internal states, impulses and resourcesSelf-awarenessUnderstanding your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values and motivesLowest”Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in oneself and others”As shown in figure 1, it is the model of emotional intelligence from the lowest to the highest level. Rob does not understand Fran’s situation as he lacks of social awareness.
“Social awareness is mainly about empathy-having an understanding of sensitivity to the feelings, thoughts and situation of others. This includes understanding another person’s situation, experiencing the other person’s emotion, and knowing their needs even though unstated. Social awareness extends beyond empathy to include being organizationally aware, such as sensing office politics and understanding social networks””Self-awareness refers to having a deep understanding of one’s own emotions as well as strengths, weakness, values and motives. Self-aware people are better able to eavesdrop in on their emotional responses to specific situations and to use this awareness as conscious information. “Self-management represents how well we control or redirect our internal states, impulse and resources. It includes keeping disruptive impulse in check, displaying honesty and integrity, being flexible in times of change, maintaining the drive to perform well and seize opportunities, and remaining optimistic even after failure.
Self-management involves an inner conversation that guide our behavior”As mentioned in the case study “Peter is regarded as moody and is not well like by his staff”. Peter does not understand his own emotions due to lack of self-awareness which makes him unable to control his own emotions towards other employees and also because he lacks self-management. The example of Peter lacking self-awareness and self-management from the case study is “He called Fran into his office, where he proceeded to attack her verbally, saying that she had ‘connived’ behind his back to attend the workshop and that she had never asked for his permission. He said that he realized she was an intelligent ‘girl’ but she was ‘sneaky’.
He went on: ‘You’d better realize which side your bread is buttered on-that for better or worse you are in my section. No other section would want you.’Rob also has perceptual error which is a recency effect. “Recency effect occurs when the most recent information dominates our perceptions” As Rob told Fran to write a report on what has happened since she joined the company and this would be brought up during the senior management meeting. Peter proposed to revised “Big Brother” and Rob was impressed and did not confront Peter during the meeting.
Person-job matching is very poor in this organization as Fran’s ability and competency does not match with the job. The organization should assign the right people in the right position.
2.Lack of team cohesiveness within organization”Team cohesiveness is the degree of attraction people feel toward the team and their motivation to remain members-is considered an important factor in team’s success. Employees feel cohesiveness when they believe that the team will help them achieve their personal goals, fulfil their need for affiliation or status, or provide social support during times of crisis or trouble. Cohesiveness is an experience, not just a calculation of whether to stay or leave the team. It exist when team members make the team part of their social identity”Fran has a low level of team cohesiveness because she felt left out as she knew Peter told others not to talk to her. Therefore, her motivation to remain a member of the team is low due to the pressure in the workplace which is under the situational factors of MARS model. “Situational factors are the environmental conditions beyond the individual’s short-term control that constrain or facilitate behaviour.
The examples are time, people, budget and work facilities”Mike also has a low level of team cohesiveness due to Peter stealing his idea for the revising plan of Big brother as mentioned in the case study. “At the end of the day, Peter called all his staff into his office. He was obviously in the good mood and told them that he had put his plan for revising ‘Big Brother’ to the management meeting and had received an enthusiastic response. As he spoke, Fran noticed the colour draining out of Mike’s face. Later, Mike told her that what Peter was describing was his revision plan, not Peter’s. Mike resolved never to give his boss another one of his ideas. ‘He just uses other people’s brains. But that’s the last time he uses mine.’ he said”3.Lack of motivationFran does not like her job as mentioned in the case study “Fran found that her part was almost entirely clerical and consisted of photocopying, collating, binding, punching and stamping the pages of the report. Fran found she had little to do and began to wonder why MIS needed four people”
Therefore she has a low level of motivation towards her job. “Motivation refers to the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity and persistence of voluntary behaviour”Fran has a low level of organisational commitment (affective commitment). “Organisational commitment refers to the employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with and involvement in a particular organisation. This definition refers specifically to affective commitment because it is an emotional attachment-our feelings of loyalty-to the organisation. Employees with high level of affective commitment are less likely to quit their jobs and be absent from work. Employees with high level of affective commitment also have higher work motivation and organisation citizenship, as well as somewhat higher performance”One of the reasons that Fran is not motivated with her job is person-job matching because Fran’s ability and competency does not match with the job.
Figure 2 Mars Model, McShane and Travaliogne (2007. pg 36)From the causes that I have mentioned, they fit into MARS model. The lack of motivation (Motivation), pressure in the workplace (Situational factors) and person-job matching (Ability). The effect of MARS factors lead to job dissatisfaction. “Job satisfaction, a person’s evaluation of his or her job and work context, is probably the most studied attitude in organization behavior. It is an appraisal of the perceived job characteristics, work environment and emotional experiences at work. Job satisfaction is really a collection of attitudes about different aspects of the job and work context”
Figure 3 EVLN: Responses to Dissatisfaction, MGMT206-09SU1 course reader pg66Exit•Leaving the situation•Quitting, transferringVoice•Changing the situation•Problem solving complainingLoyalty•Patiently waiting for the situation to improveNeglect•Reduce work effort/quality•Increasing absenteeismFigure 3 shown the EVLN model.
“Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (EVLN) model: the four ways, as indicated in the name, that employees respond to job dissatisfaction.”From the EVLN model above, Fran’s first response to her job dissatisfaction is Voice. She tries to consult with Rob to solve the problem but seem like the situation did not get better. Vernon Moore the chief cost accountant saw Fran looking miserable and after learning the situation she is in, he took her to see Rob and explained to him. Rob told Fran to write a report on what has happened since she joined the company and this would be brought up during the senior management meeting. She handed in her report to the chief accountant’s secretary in the morning and expected a reply but early afternoon she had heard nothing. Vernon told her that Peter proposed to revised “Big Brother” and Rob was impressed and did not confront Peter during the meeting. Fran concluded that she had only two alternatives: a transfer or resignation.
Finally, Fran decided to exit as a response of job dissatisfaction. She decided to draft a letter to Rob, the chief accountant requesting that she be transferred from MIS to the upcoming position in Cost Accounting.
Possible SolutionsMethod 1: Improve Rob and Peter emotional intelligenceEmotional intelligence can make a big difference for both individual and organisational effectiveness. However, if the current interest in promoting emotional intelligence at work is to be a serious, sustained effort, rather than just another management fad, it is important that practitioners try to utilise practices based on the best available research.
As emotional intelligence is a set of competencies (aptitudes, skills). It can be learned especially through coaching. Therefore the company should sent Rob and Peter to learn about emotional intelligence and how to apply these competencies to create a better relationship between employees in an organization.
Steps1.The company sends Rob and Peter to the emotional intelligence training program to improve their emotional intelligence.
2.After they completed the course, there should be a meeting held in the sector which Peter and Rob will report to the meeting of what they’ve learned and how is the training going to benefit the sector and company.
3.Peter should apologize to Fran and ask her if she still wants to continue the job in MIS.
4.There should be a meeting held fortnightly in the section to discuss about any concerns or problems.
Strengths1.There will be a better relationship between boss and employees in the section.
2.Staffs in the section will have a greater confidence of Rob and Peter’s leadership because of their improvement of emotional intelligence. Therefore, the team cohesiveness and organization commitment will increase.
3.Low cost as training is given to only 2 people; Peter and Rob.
Weaknesses1.As mentioned in the case study, Peter is studying part-time for another degree therefore he might try to avoid the training program by giving an excuse that he is too busy to go to the training.
2.The process of improving emotional intelligence will take time as the old emotional memories and social habits will tend to reassert themselves from time to time, especially when people are under stress.
Method2: Improve job-matching process of the companyThe company should re-consider the job-matching process and get the right people to do the right job.
Steps1.Reconsidering the job-matching process of the company. Encourage the senior manager to give the job to employee that their competencies match with the job requirement from now on.
2.For the existing employees, the company should redesign the job so that employees are only given tasks that are within their capabilities.
3.Provide training so that employees develop the required skills and knowledge.
4.Transfer the employees to other sector to do a different job that better match with their skills. Ask Fran if she still wants to transfer to cost
Strengths1.There will be an increase in job-satisfaction, organization commitment and a lower rate of turnover.
2.There will be an increase motivation toward their job, job performance and productivity.
3.There will be an increase in team cohesiveness as employees are happier and more motivated to remain members of the team.
Weaknesses1.This process will cost a lot for training existing employees who need to develop the required skills and knowledge.
2.The step of providing the training to develop the required skills and knowledge might not work for Fran. As in her case she thought the job is too easy for her and she has little to do. Instead, the training provides a development to the low skilled employees to match with the job requirement.
3.It might take time for the skill to be developed to match the job requirement. Especially, the complex job that requires a high skill.
Method 3: Organize company functionsThere are some possible solutions to make employees more cohesive by organizing company functions. The company should arrange some activities such as dinners or bowling nights to encourage employees to have a better relationship and interaction with each other. Furthermore, I would like to mention about placing a reward system. Mike contributed his ideas to the revising plan of Big Brother but he was not rewarded. That made him unhappy and from the case study, we know that he would not give any more good ideas.
Steps1.Announce the events such as dinner night and bowling night that will be held every 6 months.
2. Have a system in place where employees can contribute ideas to improve the company. Eg, having feedback forms and only the chief accountant will be able to review those forms.
3.If employees ideas are choosen, they are entilted to monetary awards.
Strengths1.Coworkers will feel more bond between each other.
2.Company outings will lessen the stress employees they are facing at work.
3.The reward system in place will encourage employees to help improve the company.
Weaknesses1.Employees may compeat with each other for the rewards the company offers as it also will help them in their future promotion.
Recommended solutionsMy recommended solution will be a combination of those 3 method mentioned above.
Firstly, the company should send Rob and Peter to emotional intelligence training program to improve their ability to understand their own emotions, control their own emotions and understand feelings, thoughts and situation of others. After the training program, there should be a big change of Rob and Peter’s emotion and attitude toward other employees. Employees will feel more comfortable and more open to discuss any problems or issues with Rob or Peter. This will create a better workplace environment and reduce stress as the relationship between boss and employees has improved.
Secondly is to improve the job-matching process in the company as I suggested in the second method. Those steps are to redesign the job and provide the training to employees in order to improve their skills to match the job requirement. If those 2 steps don’t work then the company should consider of transferring employees to the section that better suite their skills and competencies. This will increase job satisfaction, team cohesiveness, job performance and productivity. Furthermore, there will be a lower job turnover rate as an organization commitment is increased.
In my opinion, organization commitment seems to be very important as it affects many factors in the organization such as turnover rate, motivation and team cohesiveness. I would like to elaborate more about building organizational commitment.
Figure 4. Building Organizational commitment, MGMT206-09SU1 course reader pg68Justice & support• Apply humanitarian values• Support employee wellbeingShared values• Values congruenceTrust• Employees trust organisation’s leaders• Job security supports trustOrganisational comprehension• Know firm’s past/present/future• Open and rapid communicationEmployee involvement• Employees feel part of company• Involvement demonstrates trust•”Justice and support. Affective commitment is higher in organizations that fulfill their obligations to employees and abide by humanitarian values such as fairness, courtesy, forgiveness and moral integrity. These values relate to the concept of organization justice. Similarly, organizations that support employee well-being tend to cultivate higher levels of loyalty in return.
•Shared values. The definition of affective commitment refers to a person’s identification with the organization, and that identification is highest when employees believe that their values are congruent with the organization’s dominant values. Also, employees experience more comfort and predictability when they agree with the values underlying corporate decisions. This comfort increases their motivation to stay with the organization.
•Trust. Trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based on positive expectations of the intent or behavior of another person. Trust means putting faith in the other person or group. It is also reciprocal activity: to receive trust, you must demonstrate trust. Employees identify with and feel obliged to work for an organization only when they trust its leader. This explains why layoffs are one of the greatest blows to employee loyalty; by reducing job security, companies reduce the trust employees have in their employer and the employment relationship.
•Organizational comprehension. Affective commitment is a person’s identification with the company, so it makes sense that this attitude is strengthened when employees understand the company, including its past, present and future. Thus, loyalty tends to increase with open and rapid communication to and from corporate leaders, as well as with opportunities to interact with co-worker across the organization.
•Employee involvement. Employee involvement increases affective commitment by strengthening the employee’s social identity with the organization. Employees feel that they are part of the organization when they take part in decisions that guide the organization’s future. Employee involvement also builds loyalty, because giving this power is demonstration of the company’s trust in its employees.”Finally, have an organization outing every 6 months where employees have dinner and go out for bowling. Building up positive interaction between employees is crucial. It will lead to a more harmonous and enjoyable working enviroment.
Are the theories, models, concepts that you use in your recommended solution applicable to other situations, settings or organizations?There are many possible solutions to a case study. However, you cannot use one management theory to solve a particular problem. To achieve the optimal solution, a few theories and concepts must be applied together.
In this case study, I have applied a few theories together in order to overcome the problems. Improving emotional intelligence seems to be very important step for Rob and Peter in order to improve the relationship between boss and employees. Improving job-matching process also seems to be very important to employees which will have a great effect on job satisfaction, team cohesiveness, job performance and productivity. As a resulted, there will be a lower rate of turnover and higher organization commitment.
I would like to present the research written by Richard E. Stup, PhD, Department of Dairy and Animal Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University which I have attached this research report at the end of my case study report. The purpose of this research was to gather information about human resource management (HRM) practices that were used in dairy farm organizations and the effects these practices had on employees’ feelings of commitment toward the organization.
Here is an abstract of this research “Methods: In February 2005 a survey was sent to owners and employees of dairies with herd sizes of 250 or larger in the states of PA, NY, MD, OH, and VT. Owners or HR managers from 131 farms completed the owner survey. Owners distributed an employee-focused survey and 201 employees responded with information about their attitudes toward the business and their perceptions of HRM practices. All surveys were returned anonymously. Farm level response rate was 14.8%.
Which HRM practices were related to organizational commitment?We received information from both dairy employees and owners about HRM practices. The owner information focused on objective, measurable practices such as how much training was provided or if SOPs were used. Information from employees was more subjective, focusing on employees’ perceptions of HRM practices in the dairy. The first step in our analysis was to see which of the HRM practices were correlated with organizational commitment.
The only owner-reported HRM practice that was correlated with commitment was the level of off-farm training, those receiving more off-farm training tended to be more committed. Employee-reported HRM practices that were correlated with commitment were measures of satisfaction with training, performance feedback, and employee participation.
Which HRM practices were strong enough to predict organizational commitment?We conducted further statistical analysis to uncover which variables might predict affective and normative commitment. (No further analysis was conducted with continuance commitment because no HRM practices were correlated with it.) We found that dairy employees who were satisfied with the feedback they received and who felt that they had opportunity to participate in work by offering input and being involved in decisions were more likely to feel both affective and normative commitment. Among those who received formal performance reviews, satisfaction with reviews predicted the same dimensions of commitment.
Do demographic factors predict organizational commitment?In addition to information about HRM practices we also collected demographic information about the dairies, the owners, and the employees. We wanted to know if other factors such as the type of dairy facility, herd size, job type, or educational levels of owners or employees would influence organizational commitment. There were relationships between organizational commitment and demographic variables, but the connections were much weaker than with the HR practices of feedback, participation, and performance reviews.
Employees who were in higher positions, were related to the owner, and had higher education tended to feel more affectively committed to the dairy where they worked. Employees on dairies with a greater number of employees felt less normative and continuance commitments. Employees with more education also felt less continuance commitment to the dairy where they worked. Finally, normative commitment was higher among employees who were related to the owner.
ConclusionsThis research confirms what many other organizational studies have found: good communications are critical to an effective workplace environment. Performance feedback is a key part of this communication. Dairy producers who want to increase organizational commitment among employees should ensure that employees receive feedback about their performance. This feedback may include frequent, informal performance discussions with a supervisor, access to performance data, and formal periodic performance reviews.
Participation in work by offering suggestions and joining in decisions was very important to employees. In this study, the level of participation that employees felt predicted their level of organizational commitment.
Analysis of employee comments supported the statistical findings. Dairy owners seeking to build commitment, especially in key employees, should make sure that employees have chances to offer input and influence decision making whenever possible.
Finally, it is important to note that simply implementing HRM practices such as benefits, job descriptions, or SOPs is not enough to earn employee commitment. In order to enjoy the benefits of committed, and therefore stable and high-performing workforce, dairy producers must offer a workplace with effective performance feedback and opportunities for participation.”This research paper showed that the theory of building organizational commitment has been used in real life situation, in this case the dairy farm. The author conclude that dairy producers who want to increase organizational commitment among employees should consider about these factors: employees receive performance feedback (Justice and Support), good communication and a good workplace environment (Organizational Comprehension) and participation in work by offering suggestion and joining in decisions (Employee Involvement). The theories that the dairy farm used is consistent with the building organizational commitment that I have mentioned before.
P. Subba Rao, Personnel and Human Resource Management – Text and cases; (2000) – Himalaya Publishing HouseGoleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam BooksMcshane,S.,& Travaglione,T (2007). Organizational behaviour on the Pacific rim (2nd ed.) . Aus:McGraw Hill Australia Pty Limited.
Richard E. (2006). Special research report: Human resources management and dairy employee. Organisational commitment. Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7research/Stup06.pdf