Chapter 1 Case Incident: How a UPS Manager Cut Turnover
1. In dollars-and-cents’ terms, why did Katriona Roeder want to reduce turnover?
Katriona Roeder wanted to reduce turnover because she knew her annual savings would increase due to lower hiring costs. She was responsible for $255 million in revenue, yet her part-time employees had a turnover rate of 50% per year. She was well aware that fixing this issue would most definitely lead to more productivity and less costs.
2. What are the implications from this case for motivating part-time employees?
The implications to motivate would be to make the building more user-friendly, more guidance and training for new hires. Katriona was aware that most part-time workers ended up having full-time positions, as well as becoming executives; therefore motivating these workers was a must.
3. What are the implications from this case for managing in future years when there may be a severe labour shortage?
This improved turnover rate will benefit the company in the future if there is a labour shortage because they will have many part-time employees to step-up to possible full time hours, instead of having less full-time employees.
4. Is it unethical to teach supervisors “to demonstrate interest in their employees as individuals” ? Explain.
It’s not unethical because ethics start at the individual level. It’s not unethical for supervisors to demonstrate interest because they need to know the type of people they have working for them, and if these employees will “do the right thing” in certain situations.
5. What facts in this case support the argument that OB should be approached from a contingency perspective?
The main fact in this case that supports a contingency perspective is that Katriona realized that she had five distinct groups working for her, differentiated by ages and stages in their careers. These groups had different needs and interests, therefore “depended upon the situation”.
Chapter 2 Case Incident: A Diamond Personality
1. What factors do you think have contributed to Rodriguez’s success? Was he merely “in the right place at the right time,” or are there characteristics about him that contribute to his success?
Oscar’s success could be a result of his particular personality attributes. He seems to be a bit of a risk-taker which may have helped this company grow. He took a risk of pursuing his idea even though he was told that it would not survive. Oscar also took the risk of hiring new employees. Another factor/trait that may have added to his success would be his proactive personality. He saw an opportunity that no one else had seen, and took the initiative to follow his heart in the venture. Even though it didn’t seem to optimistic at first, he persevered until positive changes happened.
2. How do you believe Rodriguez would score on the Big Five dimensions of personality (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness to experience)? Which ones would he score high on? Which ones might he score low on?
Personally, I think Rodriguez would have scored fairly high in all categories. The reasons for this is because he was very assertive, cooperative with his business associates, persistent in his career plan, calm , and very creative with his business plan. If there was something
that he may have scored low in, it would possibly be in the emotional stability category. I base this on the fact that he may have been suffering feelings of depression and insecurity when people were telling him that his business would not succeed, and thus giving up on his dream for a little while.
3. Do you believe that Rodriguez is high or low on core self-evaluation? On what information did you base your decision?
Rodriguez is definitely high on core self-evaluation. He obviously liked himself, and knew he was capable and effective. This was evident because he knew that he was capable of much more than just working for someone. He knew that his work and attention to detail was effective enough to be his own boss. He felt in control over his environment, that’s why he took something in his jewelry environment that never existed, and created it with great success.
4. What information about Rodriguez suggests that he has a proactive personality?
As I mentioned in number one, Oscar saw an opportunity that no one else had seen, and took the initiative to follow his heart in the venture. Even though it didn’t seem that optimistic at first, he persevered until positive changes happened. He faced constraints and obstacles from jewel dealers and customers, so he made the positive changes that were needed.
Chapter 3 Case Incident: Gourmet Foods Works on Employee Attitudes
1. Explain the logic as to how Nelson’s three-day course could positively influence Gourmet Foods’ profitability.
The course could positively influence the profitability because the employees would be happier and more positive. There would be many “opportunities for customer service”, which would lead to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty, which would translate into more profits.
2. Johnston says, “Positive attitude is the single biggest thing that can change a business.” How valid and generalizable do you think this statement is?
I think it is a very valid statement, because someone’s attitude determines everything that they do, and how they do it. Also, if a co-worker has a good or bad attitude, it becomes contagious, and in turn affects your behaviors and outlooks.
3. If you were Johnston, what could you do to evaluate the effectiveness of your $10 million investment in Nelson’s training program?
A test given to employees before and after the training might help gauge the effectiveness of the program. It can determine the different levels of commitment that the employees had and now have.
4. If you were a Gourmet Foods employee, how would you feel about going through Nelson’s course? Explain your position
I would love to go through a course of this nature. For one, it shows how much value you are to the company you work for, and that they care enough about you to spend all that money. Also, this type of training will stay with you for the rest of your life. Not only would it positively help your business life, but you would reap the benefits in your day-to-day personal life as well. I find the idea of improving mental, physical and emotion well-being very attractive.