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CHAPTER 19 Managing Work Groups and Teams END OF CHAPTER QUESTIONS Questions for Review 1. What is a group? Describe the several different types of groups and indicate the similarities and differences between them. What is the difference between a group and a team? A group is two or more people who work together to accomplish a goal. Functional groups are created by the organization to perform a particular function for an indefinite period of time. Task groups are created to work on a specific task for a stated period of time. Informal or interest groups are created by their members for a purpose that may or may not be relevant to their company with an unspecified time horizon. The functional and task group are both created by the organization, while the informal group develops on its own. The task group functions for a short period, and the other two may have indefinite time horizons. A team is a type of group, and its additional characteristics include the fact that a team is a work-related group and that the members of a team typically can act with little or no supervision. 2. What are the stages of group development? Do all teams develop through all the stages discussed in this chapter? Why or why not? How might the management of a mature team differ from the management of teams that are not yet mature? The stages of group development are (1) forming—bringing members together and becoming acquainted; (2) storming—developing group identity, structure, and leadership often through conflicts; (3) norming—accepting and codifying role structures and behavioral norms; and (4) performing—moving beyond group formation to begin accomplishing the group’s purpose. Groups typically move through all the stages in the order given, and groups that try to “short cut” the group development process will often have unresolved issues that will persistently re-surface. The management of mature teams can focus more on performance than on effective development, which means a focus on tasks rather than on relationships, structures, and culture. For example, while members of a developing group may want or need to spend time getting to know their fellow members through “ice-breaker” activities, members of mature groups may resent being forced to spend time on such activities. 3. Describe the development of a role within a group. Tell how each role leads to the next. Roles begin with expectations based on the role that the group members want the individual to adopt. Members communicate their expectations through their actions and words, which make up the sent role. The individual recognizes the cues that are being sent to him or her and forms an understanding of the message, which is called the perceived role. When the individual understands expectations, they begin to behave in ways that fulfill that role, creating the enacted role. 4. Describe the causes of conflict in organizations. What can a manager do to control conflict? To resolve and eliminate conflict? Three causes of conflict include (1) interpersonal conflict—between two or more individuals; (2) intergroup conflict—between two or more groups such as functional, product, or regional groups; and (3) conflict between the organization and the environment—competition, lawsuits, consumer relations, and so on. Coordination can control conflict so a manager can use rules, liaison persons, task forces, and integrating departments. Other effective tools would be expansion of the resource base, a focus on superordinate goals, and the pairing of compatible personnel. To resolve and eliminate conflict, the manager should use confrontation and interpersonal problem solving to work out a mutually agreeable solution if the conflicting parties can use reason and fairness. When the parties are not able to be reasonable and fair, the manager should decide upon a fair compromise and then enforce it. The manager should not use avoidance or smoothing, which tend to cover up evidence of conflict but do not resolve the underlying issues and create more resentment and conflict in the long run. Questions for Analysis 5. Individuals join groups for a variety of reasons. Most groups contain members who joined for different reasons. What is likely to be the result when members join a group for different reasons? What can a group leader do to reduce the negative impact of a conflict in reasons for joining the group? When members have different reasons for joining a group, conflict over goals, norms, structures, roles, and tasks is likely. The control and resolution tactics suggested in the chapter, including expanding the resource base, improving coordination, compromising, and interpersonal problem solving, can reduce the negative impact of conflict. 6. Consider the case of a developed group, where all members have been socialized. What are the benefits to the individuals of norm conformity? What are the benefits of not conforming to the group’s norms? What are the benefits to an organization of conformity? What are the benefits to an organization of nonconformity? Individuals who conform to group norms experience positive outcomes such as acceptance and better personal relationships. Non-conformance may lead to efforts by the other group members to enforce conformance including exclusion from group activities. Therefore, the benefit to individuals of not conforming would primarily be the chance to express their individuality. Organizations with conforming members experience less conflict and more focus on group tasks rather than on issues related to conformity. However, organization with non-conforming members can benefit from the innovative thinking that may result. 7. Do you think teams are a valuable new management technique that will endure, or are they just a fad that will be replaced with something else in the near future? Students will argue both sides of this issue. Those who feel teams are just a phase may list other techniques that have come and gone. Students who think teams will be around for a while may argue that workers have wanted a say in the workplace for a long time, and they are ready to accept responsibility for their own work. Teams as a management technique have proven to be valuable and enduring rather than just a passing fad. Here's why: 1. Enhanced collaboration and innovation: Teams allow for diverse perspectives and expertise to come together to solve complex problems and innovate. This collaborative approach often leads to more creative solutions and better outcomes than individual efforts alone. 2. Increased employee engagement: Working in teams can boost employee morale and motivation as individuals feel a sense of belonging and ownership over their work. Teams provide opportunities for professional growth, skill development, and recognition, which contribute to higher levels of job satisfaction. 3. Adaptability and agility: In today's fast-paced and dynamic business environment, teams offer flexibility and adaptability. They can quickly pivot, adjust priorities, and respond to changing market conditions or customer needs more effectively than traditional hierarchical structures. 4. Efficiency and productivity: Teams enable the distribution of tasks according to individual strengths and expertise, leading to greater efficiency and productivity. By leveraging the collective skills and resources of team members, organizations can achieve their goals more efficiently. 5. Employee empowerment: Teams empower employees by giving them a voice in decision-making processes and fostering a culture of trust and autonomy. This empowerment not only improves job satisfaction but also cultivates a sense of ownership and commitment to the team's goals. While the concept of teams has evolved over time and will continue to do so, their fundamental principles of collaboration, engagement, and effectiveness are likely to endure. However, the specific methodologies and tools used to facilitate teamwork may evolve in response to technological advancements, organizational trends, and shifting workforce demographics. Overall, teams are a valuable management technique that is here to stay, albeit with continual refinement and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of organizations and employees. Questions for Application 8. Think of several groups of which you have been a member. Why did you join each? Did each group progress through the stages of development discussed in this chapter? If not, why do you think it
did not? An example of what a student may say follows: “The first group I joined at college was Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity. I joined because a lot of upper class students I knew were in the fraternity. My best friend, Nancy, introduced me to the group and informed me of the professional and social activities. It seemed as if the members were students with interests much like mine. The pledge class went through the stages discussed in the text. We almost immediately needed to elect class officers. This forced us through the stages quickly as we needed to get to know one another in a week in order to choose leaders from within the group.” 9. Describe the behavioral norms that are in effect in your Management class. To what extent are the norms generalized; in other words, how severely are students “punished” for not observing norms? To what extent is there norm variation; that is, are some students able to “get away” with violating norms to which others must conform? In my Management class, several behavioral norms are generally observed by students: 1. Active Participation: Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions, ask questions, and contribute to group activities or presentations. 2. Respectful Communication: Respectful communication is valued, including listening to others without interruption, addressing classmates and the instructor politely, and refraining from derogatory or disrespectful language. 3. Timeliness: Punctuality is important, with students expected to arrive on time for class sessions, submit assignments by the specified deadlines, and respect the schedules of group meetings or presentations. 4. Preparation: Students are expected to come to class prepared by completing assigned readings, reviewing lecture materials, and actively participating in class activities or discussions. These norms are generally generalized and expected to be observed by all students. However, the extent to which students are "punished" for not observing norms can vary depending on factors such as the instructor's teaching style, class policies, and the severity or frequency of the norm violation. Consequences for not adhering to behavioral norms may include verbal reminders, reduced participation grades, or discussions with the instructor about behavior expectations. Norm variation may exist to some extent, with certain students potentially being perceived as "getting away" with violating norms more than others. This variation could be influenced by factors such as: 1. Perceived Favoritism: Students who have a close relationship with the instructor or who consistently perform well academically may receive more leniency for norm violations compared to others. 2. Assertiveness and Confidence: Students who are more assertive or confident in expressing themselves may be less likely to face repercussions for minor norm violations, as they may be perceived as contributing positively to class dynamics. 3. Consistency and Reputation: Students who consistently demonstrate respect for behavioral norms and actively participate in class may be given the benefit of the doubt if they occasionally deviate from expectations, as their overall behavior reflects a commitment to the class community. Overall, while certain students may appear to "get away" with norm violations to some extent, instructors typically aim to maintain a fair and equitable learning environment by consistently reinforcing behavioral expectations and addressing norm deviations as needed. 10. Describe a case of interpersonal conflict that you have observed in an organization. Describe a case of intergroup conflict that you have observed. (If you have not observed any, interview a worker or manager to obtain examples.) In each case, was the conflict beneficial or harmful to the organization, and why? One case of interpersonal conflict I observed in an organization involved two colleagues who disagreed on the approach to a project. One colleague preferred a more traditional method, while the other advocated for a newer, more innovative approach. The conflict escalated as both individuals became entrenched in their positions and began to question each other's competence and intentions. This led to strained communication, decreased collaboration, and a tense work environment within their team. The conflict was ultimately harmful to the organization for several reasons: 1. Decreased productivity: The conflict consumed time and energy that could have been spent on productive work-related tasks. Instead, team members were preoccupied with resolving interpersonal issues rather than focusing on project goals. 2. Damaged relationships: The conflict strained relationships not only between the two colleagues directly involved but also among other team members who felt caught in the middle or affected by the negative atmosphere. Trust and cooperation among team members eroded, hindering teamwork and collaboration. 3. Impacted morale: The tension resulting from the conflict contributed to decreased morale and job satisfaction among team members. The negative work environment could have led to increased stress, absenteeism, and turnover, ultimately affecting organizational performance and employee retention. On the other hand, a case of intergroup conflict I observed involved departments within the same organization competing for resources and recognition. The marketing department wanted a larger budget to launch a new campaign, while the sales department argued that they deserved more resources to meet revenue targets. This conflict led to turf wars, blame-shifting, and a lack of cooperation between the two groups. While intergroup conflict can sometimes be detrimental, in this case, it had some beneficial aspects for the organization: 1. Increased accountability: The conflict forced both departments to critically evaluate their goals, strategies, and performance metrics. They had to justify their resource requests and demonstrate their value to the organization, leading to greater accountability and transparency. 2. Innovation and creativity: The competition between departments spurred innovation as they sought new ways to differentiate themselves and outperform their rivals. It encouraged creative thinking and problem-solving to overcome challenges and achieve their objectives. 3. Enhanced performance: The pressure of intergroup conflict motivated both departments to strive for excellence and deliver results. It fostered a sense of urgency and determination to surpass competitors, leading to improved performance and outcomes for the organization as a whole. Overall, while conflict is generally perceived as negative, its impact on organizations can vary depending on the context and how it is managed. Interpersonal conflicts often result in harm due to their disruptive nature, while intergroup conflicts can sometimes have beneficial outcomes such as increased accountability, innovation, and performance. Effective conflict resolution strategies and communication techniques are essential for minimizing the negative effects of conflict and maximizing its potential benefits for organizational success. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES Building Effective Conceptual Skills I. Purpose This conceptual exercise gives students a chance to think about the factors that lead to team effectiveness. II. Format The conceptual skills exercise can be done individually or in groups. It requires about 15–20 minutes to complete. III. Follow-Up A. Use the Internet to identify an example of a real-life team. Be sure to choose one that meets two criteria: (1) It’s not part of a for-profit business and (2) you can argue it’s highly effective. B. Determine the reasons for the team’s effectiveness. (Hint: You might look for web sites sponsored by the group itself, review online news sources for current articles about it, or enter the group’s name in a search engine.) Consider team characteristics and activities, such as role structures, norms, cohesiveness, and conflict management. Students’ answer will differ, depending on the team they choose. For example, if they focus on a team that met to produce a class project, reasons for effectiveness might include the cohesiveness the students felt as they faced a common challenge and the interpersonal attraction that team members felt for each other. C. What can a manager learn from the characteristics and activities of this particular team? How might the factors that contribute to this team’s success be adopted in a business setting? Although teams vary in the reasons for their effectiveness, the principles underlying the effective management of teams can be used in any setting. Building Effective Communication Skills I. Purpose This in-class demonstration shows the value of communication in fostering teamwork. II. Format This exercise should be done by the entire class and will take about 20-30 minutes. III. Follow-Up The object of this game is to think of as many people as possible who have these letters as the initials of their first and last name. The person must be famous or well-known to the students, must be an actual person (not an animated character or an animal), and can be either living or dead. So for example, the initials MM could stand for Mickey Mantle or Marilyn Monroe or Marilyn Manson but not for Mickey Mouse. For the first (individual) round of the game, display the following page to the students, covering the second two columns so that only the first column is visible. On the second time, display only the second column. The third time, display only the third. After the second round, let the students with the highest scores suggest ways to improve the scores. There are some additional suggestions below, which you can make if the students fail to mention them. A. Play the “Name Game” that your professor will explain to you. In round 1, work out your answers individually and then report your individual score to the class. B. For round 2, you’ll join a group of 3 to 5 students. Work out your answers together and write your group answers on a single sheet of paper. Now allow each group member to look at the answer sheet. If you can do so without being overheard by other groups, have each member whisper the answers on the sheet to the group. Report your group score to the class. C. Your professor will then ask the highest-performing individuals and groups to share their methods with the class. At this point, your professor will make some suggestions. Be sure to consider at least two strategies for improving your score. Suggestions include: 1. thinking of categories of names such as baseball players, presidents, or movie stars 2. choosing a common name that begins with that letter and then finding examples, so that JS would suggest the last name Smith, for example 3. thinking of other similar names once one is discovered, so that if JB suggested James Brown, then trying to remember others named James, for example D. Now play round 3, working together in the same small group in which you participated in round 2. Report your group scores to the class. E. Did average group scores improve upon the average individual scores? Why or why not? F. Did average group scores improve after methods for improvement were discussed at the end of round 2? Why or why not? Typically, the average group will score higher than the average individual because of the positive impact of sharing ideas and the synergy created by the team. Methods of improvement will typically make only a small improvement in scores, if any. G. What does this game teach you about teamwork and effectiveness? Share your thoughts with the class. If the typical results, as described in answer to Questions 5 and 6, are obtained, then students will realize that teamwork is effective in improving performance when the task relies on information sharing and creativity. In fact, effective teamwork does more to improve scores than does instruction in how to do the task. The implication for managers is that, depending on the nature of the task, teamwork facilitation and training may have a larger positive impact than does task-related training. management at work tracking carbon footprints across scientific borders Research both in academia and in business appears to have become increasingly team based rather than by solo authors. For example, a team of interdisciplinary researchers from different nations collaborated at Princeton University to produce a new study on carbon emissions. A study done by Northwestern University found that, not only were team-based studies becoming more prominent, but that such studies were more influential than sole-authored ones. Discussion Starter: Ask students to recall their experience working on team projects. Did they come up with better solutions or did better work as a team? Were there situations when the student could have come up with better work on his or her own? 1. Case Question 1: In what sense was the carbon footprint team a task group? As a task group, in what ways was it a team? As a team, in what ways was it a virtual team? A task group is a group created to accomplish a relatively narrow range of purposes within a stated or implied time horizon. The carbon footprint team was entrusted with a specific task and presumably, the funding sources gave them a time horizon. The chapter defines both a group and a team. A group “consists of two or more people who interact regularly to accomplish a common purpose or goal.” In contrast, a team is “a group of workers that functions as a unit, often with little or no supervision, to carry out work-related tasks, functions, and activities.” The carbon footprint researchers were clearly a team, as per this definition. Given that the researchers were located in different geographies, it is very likely that they were a virtual team. 2. Case Question 2: Consider both the carbon footprint team and the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI). In what ways must such groups work to achieve cohesiveness? What factors are likely to make this effort difficult? The team members come from different disciplines – physics, political science, etc. Since they come with different perspectives on the problem, it is important that they work at becoming a cohesive team. Also, in the carbon footprint, at one researcher was from outside the U.S. and so may have a European perspective on the problem. 3. Case Question 3: What’s your experience with teamwork? Have you ever undertaken a solo project which, in retrospect, would have benefitted from a team-based approach? If you’ve ever been part of a team, either permanent or formed to tackle a specific set of problems, explain why, in your opinion, it succeeded (or failed) at its appointed task(s). My experience with teamwork has been quite positive overall. I've been part of various teams in both academic and professional settings, ranging from small project groups to larger interdisciplinary teams. One memorable experience was when I participated in a research project during my undergraduate studies. Initially, I undertook the project solo, thinking I could handle all aspects on my own. However, as the project progressed, I realized that I could have benefited from a team-based approach. Certain tasks, such as data collection and analysis, were more time-consuming and complex than I had anticipated, and having additional team members with complementary skills could have expedited the process and improved the quality of the research outcomes. On the other hand, I've also been part of successful teams where collaboration was key to achieving our goals. One example is a project team I joined in a professional setting to develop a new product for our company. The team comprised individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise, including marketing, engineering, and finance. Despite initial challenges, such as differing opinions and communication barriers, the team succeeded in delivering the product on time and within budget. In my opinion, the success of the team was attributed to several factors: 1. Clear goals and roles: From the outset, the team had a clear understanding of the project goals and each member's role and responsibilities. This clarity helped align efforts and minimize confusion or duplication of work. 2. Effective communication: Open and transparent communication was essential for sharing ideas, addressing challenges, and resolving conflicts constructively. Regular meetings, both formal and informal, facilitated collaboration and ensured everyone was on the same page. 3. Respect for diverse perspectives: The team embraced diversity and recognized the value of different viewpoints and expertise. By fostering an inclusive environment where everyone felt heard and valued, the team leveraged its collective knowledge and creativity to overcome obstacles and generate innovative solutions. 4. Adaptability and flexibility: The team demonstrated adaptability in responding to changing circumstances and adjusting plans as needed. Flexibility in roles and approaches allowed the team to navigate unforeseen challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Overall, my experiences with teamwork have highlighted the importance of collaboration, communication, and mutual respect in achieving shared goals. While solo projects have their merits, I've found that team-based approaches often lead to more robust outcomes and a richer learning experience. 4. Case Question 4: Some researchers are wary about collaborations between academic and industry organizations, such as CMI. Why do you suppose this is so? What potential problems do you see? How can they best be avoided? CMI is a partnership between Princeton, Ford, and BP, with BP funding 75 percent of the project cost. There could be a conflict of interest here because Ford makes cars that emit Carbon Monoxide and BP depends on the car industry for a lot of its revenues. Their objectivity is questionable. They can be avoided if the project clearly establishes the roles of the parties and also with respect to the dissemination of results. CHAPTER 20 Basic Elements of Control END OF CHAPTER QUESTIONS Questions for Review 1. What is the purpose of organizational control? Why is it important? The purpose of control is to let the organization know how well it is doing by comparing where performance is relative to a standard of where it should be. Control helps the organization fulfill its goals by adapting to change, reducing the compounding of errors, coping with complexity, and minimizing costs. 2. What are the different levels of control? What are the relationships between the different levels? At the lowest level, operational and financial controls address issues about transformation processes and use of financial resources. At the mid-level, structural control helps monitor each element of the organization’s structure. At the highest level, strategic control ensures that the organization effectively meets its strategic goals. Effective strategic control enables effective structural control, which enables effective operational and financial control. 3. Describe how a budget is created in most organizations. How does a budget help a manager with financial control? Typically, operating units submit budget requests to divisional managers, who in turn submit requests to a high-level budget committee. The committee, which consists of the CEO, controller, and other high-level finance managers, approves requests and formulates an organization-wide budget. For operational and divisional managers, budgets serve as an indicator of the organization’s strategic intent. These managers also use budgets to monitor and correct deviations in their use of resources. Top-level managers use budgets to control performance of each division and unit in the firm. 4. Describe the differences between bureaucratic and decentralized control. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Bureaucratic control works to ensure employee compliance with directives through rules and hierarchy, top-down decision making, and limited participation from lower level employees. Bureaucratic control is directed at maintaining a minimum level of acceptable performance by individual workers. Decentralized control, on the other hand, is based on informal and organic structural arrangements such as group norms and organizational culture to obtain self-controlled behavior of employees. Bureaucratic control is quicker and simpler to develop and gives clear-cut guidance to managers, but it can be rigid, it doesn’t reward excellence, and employees may be frustrated by too many rules and lack of participation. Decentralized control gives opportunities for participation, rewards excellence and creativity, and encourages teamwork. However, decentralized control can be ambiguous, expensive, and take a great deal of time to develop. Questions for Analysis 5. How can a manager determine whether his or her firm needs improvement in control? If improvement is needed, how can the manager tell what type of control needs improvement (operations, financial, structural, or strategic)? Describe some steps a manager can take to improve each of these types of control. Symptoms of poor control may include excessive costs or waste of other resources, too many errors or defects, an inability to adapt in response to changes, and lack of managerial capability in the face of organizational complexity. Operational control would help in improving the transformation process such as more training for workers to reduce product defects or a new system for obtaining customer satisfaction feedback. Financial control is best for control of resources. This would include budgets, financial statements, and audits. Structural control is needed when the various elements of the firm cannot work together effectively. The performance appraisal system, the goal-setting system, and data sharing on the information system are all examples of structural control. Strategic control is required for issues related to long-term goals and includes top leadership capability and growth and profitability targets. 6. One company uses strict performance standards. Another has standards that are more flexible. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system? A strict system is simple to develop and implement, gives clear-cut output, and has an appearance of fairness, yet it can be overly rigid and easily becomes outdated or irrelevant when changes occur. A more flexible system is easily adapted to changing circumstances and can accommodate complex situations more readily. However, a flexible system requires constant updating, may appear to be less fair, and can be confusing and difficult to implement. 7. Are the differences in bureaucratic control and decentralized control related to differences in organization structure? If so, how? If not, why not? (The terms do sound similar to those used to discuss the organizing process.) Bureaucratic control suggests strict rules, formal controls, and a rigid hierarchy, which is consistent with the mechanistic form of organizational structure. In tall organizations, bureaucratic control is a top-down process with limited participation by subordinates. Bureaucratic control does not seem to necessitate the technical competence dimension of the bureaucratic form of organization. So, while similar, they are not the same. Decentralized control is more like the organic organization with group norms used for formalization, a flat structure with shared information, and a participative informal environment. Questions for Application 8. Many organizations today are involving lower-level employees in control. Give at least two examples of specific actions that a lower-level worker could do to help his or her organization better adapt to environmental change. Then do the same for limiting the accumulation of error, coping with organizational complexity, and minimizing costs. Lower-level employees can play a crucial role in helping their organizations better adapt to environmental change by taking proactive actions such as: 1. Environmental Scan: Lower-level workers can actively monitor industry trends, competitor activities, and changes in customer preferences. By staying informed and sharing relevant information with their supervisors or team members, they can contribute valuable insights that help the organization anticipate and respond to environmental changes effectively. 2. Suggesting Process Improvements: Lower-level employees are often the ones directly involved in day-to-day operations and may identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks in existing processes. By suggesting improvements or streamlining procedures, they can help the organization become more agile and responsive to environmental changes. To limit the accumulation of error, cope with organizational complexity, and minimize costs, lower-level workers can take the following actions: 1. Error Reporting and Root Cause Analysis: Lower-level employees can actively report errors or discrepancies they encounter in their work processes. Additionally, they can engage in root cause analysis to identify underlying factors contributing to errors and propose corrective actions to prevent recurrence, thus reducing the overall accumulation of errors within the organization. 2. Simplifying Procedures: In complex organizational structures, lower-level employees can advocate for simplifying procedures or reducing bureaucracy where possible. By streamlining workflows, eliminating redundant steps, or clarifying decision-making processes, they can help cope with organizational complexity and improve efficiency. 3. Cost-saving Initiatives: Lower-level employees can contribute to cost-saving initiatives by identifying opportunities to reduce waste, optimize resource utilization, or negotiate better deals with suppliers. They can also suggest creative solutions to accomplish tasks more cost-effectively without compromising quality or service delivery. By empowering lower-level employees to actively contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement, organizations can tap into their frontline knowledge and expertise to better adapt to environmental change, limit errors, cope with complexity, and minimize costs. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement and empowers employees to take ownership of organizational outcomes. 9. Describe ways that the top management team, midlevel managers, and operating employees can participate in each step of the control process. Do all participate equally in each step, or are some steps better suited for personnel at one level? Explain your answer. The top management team will probably be most involved in issues of strategic control because the team sets the organization’s long-term goals and then must monitor goal achievement. Middle managers would typically have the highest involvement in structural control as they are responsible for ensuring that all elements of the organization work together effectively. Lower-level employees are probably most active in operational control due to their expertise in the organization’s transformation processes. All managers have responsibility for financial control at their level in the firm. 10. Interview a worker to determine which areas and levels of control exist for him or her on the job. Does the worker resist efforts at control? Why or why not? Students should be able to identify the types of control present in a worker’s job. Some workers do in fact resist control efforts, particularly if the firm employs a bureaucratic control system that allows little employee input. However, students may be surprised to find that many workers prefer a powerful control system because they enjoy knowing exactly what is expected of them, how it will be measured, and the consequences of differing levels of performance. END OF CHAPTER EXERCISES Building Effective Time Management Skills I. Purpose This exercise provides students practice in using time-management skills to prioritize tasks related to control. II. Format This time-management skills exercise is best performed on an individual basis. It should take 20–30 minutes to complete. III. Follow-Up A. Prioritize the work that needs to be done by sorting the information into three categories: very timely, moderately timely, and less timely. Then address the following questions. Very timely tasks include the disgruntled employee and the big customer with a complaint. Moderately timely tasks include meeting with your boss, seeing the shop steward, the change in delivery schedule, and the chamber of commerce meeting. Less timely tasks include the upcoming OSHA inspection, and interviewing for a new supervisor. B. Are importance and timeliness the same thing? No. Some tasks need to be done immediately but are not very critical (important), while others are very critical but can be delayed for some time. Timely but not important tasks include a meeting scheduled for today about a routine problem. Important but not timely tasks include setting aside time for long-range strategic planning. C. What additional information do you need before you can begin to prioritize all these demands on your time? It’s not clear how urgent some of the problems are. For example, is the disgruntled employee acting irrationally, making threats, or carrying a weapon? Any of these would increase that task’s importance. Is the change in delivery schedule a routine matter, or is it a change that might disrupt the entire firm’s supply chain? What is the subject of the meeting with your boss? D. How would your approach differ if your assistant were in the office? The assistant could handle some of the routine tasks such as responding to the chamber of commerce’s request. The assistant also could be used to gather additional information such as asking your boss about the subject of the meeting. Building Effective Technical Skills I. Purpose This exercise improves students’ technical skills by asking them to prepare a personal budget and then analyze its effectiveness. II. Format This exercise should be done by individual students outside of class and will take at least 30 minutes to complete, although motivated students may spend more time. III. Follow-Up A. Prepare lists of your estimated expenditures and income for one month. Remember: You’re dealing with budgeted amounts, not the amounts that you actually spend and take in. You’re also dealing with figures that represent a typical month or a reasonable minimum. If, for example, you estimate that you spend $200 a month on groceries, you need to ask yourself whether that’s a reasonable amount to spend on groceries for a month. If it’s not, perhaps a more typical or reasonable figure is, say, $125. First, estimate your necessary monthly expenses for tuition, rent, car payments, childcare, food, utilities, and so on. Then, estimate your income from all sources, such as wages, allowance, loans, and funds borrowed on credit cards. Calculate both totals. B. Now write down all of your actual expenses and all your actual income over the last month. If you don’t have exact figures, estimate as closely as you can. Calculate both totals. C. Compare your estimates to your actual expenses and actual income. Are there any discrepancies? If so, what caused them? In completing this exercise, students become familiar with the steps in the budget process, from estimation of future expenses to measurement of actual expenses to comparison of the two. Most students will experience discrepancies and the reasons may include unexpected events or poor initial estimates. D. Did you expect to have a surplus or a deficit for the month? Did you actually have a surplus or a deficit? What can you do to make up any deficit or manage any surplus? Most often, an unexpected surplus or deficit occurs, although hopefully, the discrepancy is relatively minor. For small deviations, no or little action may be necessary. Large surpluses may be saved or “blown.” Point out to students that large deficits are the most problematic. Their suggestions may either increase revenues, such as asking parents for more allowance or taking out a loan, or they may reduce expenses, such as finding a roommate or dropping out of school. E. Do you regularly use a personal budget? If yes, how is it helpful? If no, how might it be helpful? Most people use a budget of some sort, but they vary considerably in terms of their detail and specificity. Some people, for example, write detailed budgets that indicate how much they can spend each week on groceries, transportation, and so forth. Others have a more general idea of how much money they need for various expenses, but they do not commit it to writing. Students’ opinion about the usefulness of budgets will vary, of course. Clearly, budgets are most useful when they are accurate and when they are used consistently. management at work how indiana lost control of its welfare system Governor Mitch Daniels privatized Indiana’s welfare system to save $1 billion in taxpayer money. Rather than have caseworkers handling Medicaid requests, for example, the new system managed by IBM used the call center organization Affiliated Computer Services to handle client calls. The system was ineffective in that many worthy residents were denied medical services because of lax controls at ACS. 1. Case Question 1: For what purposes of control was Indiana’s privatized social-services system created in the first place? Minimizing costs was the primary purpose for Indiana’s decision to privatize its social services. Privatization was expected to save the state $1 billion over the next decade. 2. Case Question 2: In what areas of control was the new system supposed to improve the operations of the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA)? In what ways did the new system affect the following levels of control at FSSA – (a) financial, (b) structural, and (c) strategic? Then focus on operations control: In what ways did IBM and ACS act to exercise preliminary control? Screening control? Postaction control? Operations and financial control were the key areas expected to improve after the privatization. In this case, operations control refers to the increased efficiency in handling calls and administering benefits that privatization was expected to bring. Financial control was expected in the form of increased savings due to improved efficiency. Structural control, in effect passed from the state to IBM, the principal contractor in the privatization. IBM and ACs streamlined the operations to decrease the role of caseworkers and instead use call centers for handling calls. 3. Case Question 3: In your opinion, how did the approach of IBM and ACS to bureaucratic control contribute to the collapse of the privatized system? In what ways might decentralization have improved the situation? Bureaucratic control is an approach to organizational design characterized by formal and mechanistic structural arrangements. IBM reduced the role of caseworkers and instead mandated welfare recipients to call ACS’s call centers to initiate services. Prior to privatization, caseworkers handled the paperwork and intervened to make sure that applications were properly submitted and assessed. In the privatized system, a household’s welfare records were stored electronically for access by caseworkers. By mechanizing a critical link, the new system did not have an effective check on incomplete applications. Decentralizing the system to allow caseworkers to intervene may have helped. 4. Case Question 4: Refer to each of the characteristics of effective control in order to explain why the privatized social-services system proved to be ineffective. One of the hallmarks of an effective control system is flexibility. The control system must be flexible enough to accommodate change – in this change, human error. The privatized system with its call center approach was not flexible. When caseworkers handled the application process, they could intervene to ensure that applications were complete. Solution Manual for Management Ricky W. Griffin, Robert Kreitner, Charlene Cassidy 9781111969714, 9781111221362

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