The main operation of Food Merchandising Corporation located in New Jersey was to stock certain goods (packaged meats) and ship them to various stores. In order to prepare the meat for shipment to the intermediaries, it had to be unloaded and butchered. The employees were broken down in to two sets (luggers and butchers) in order to perform the tasks. The luggers were responsible for unloading the tremendously heavy meat while the butchers were responsible for butchering the meat once it arrived within the warehouse. When the company became unionized, the workers were given an option as to which position they preferred. This was done according to seniority. Most of the older men chose to become butchers because of the physical labor required to lug the meat and because of the higher wage associated with the job. Therefore, the others were slated to be luggers. Consequently, two different types of individuals became associated with the two different types of jobs (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p.317). Major Issues
Some of the workers at FMC warehouse became disgruntled because of a plethora of reasons. The major issues fall under the categories leadership, motivation, and conflict in the workplace.
Good leadership practices are vital in maintaining successful organizations. Leadership is defined as the process by which an individual influences others in ways that help attain group or organizational goals.
In O’Connell’s article, Smile, Don’t Bark, in Tough Times (2009), he questions the reaction of managers in critical times:
If your team is underperforming, it’s crunch time, and everyone is stressed. Will
you get better results by coming down hard on your employees or by cheering
them on and trying to foster cooperation? The cheerleaders will generate better
performance than the despots, according to new research by Gerben A. van Kleef,
of the University of Amsterdam, and five coauthors. That’s because mental
fatigue and time pressure during stressful periods make team members more apt
to simply react to a leader’s mood than to think carefully about his or her message. Effective leaders tend to utilize both position and personal power. Position power is power that has been given to an individual to achieve organizational goals. This type of power has four bases: legitimate, reward, coercive, and information. On the other hand, personal power is associated with an individual’s characteristics and distinctive behaviors. Personal power encompasses rational persuasion, expert power, referent power, and charisma. Mr. Abrams utilized position power with the butchers and they did not respond well to that leadership style. The butchers in the warehouse were particularly wary of Mr. Abrams and Lyle because of their micromanagement leadership style. When Mr. Abrams became manager two years ago it was his policy to use close personal supervision of the men to ensure efficiency (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p.318). The butchers felt they were being watched all of the time and perceived that they were being micromanaged.
Micromanagement/Management by Walking Around
Managers who cannot or will not delegate often resort to micromanagement, Leader-Member Exchange Theory, also called LMX or Vertical Dyad Linkage Theory LMX. Researchers conclude that managers who are reluctant to delegate become possible micromanagers, are those that show a lack of confidence in subordinates' capabilities, see tasks as being too important to be left to subordinates, or view the tasks as too complex or technically difficult. Being that the butchers were experienced workers and had been with the company for many years, there was no need for Mr. Abrams to micromanage them, “the eight butchers were engaged in the skilled practice of butchering meat. Most of them had been with the company for many years (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p.317).” The alternative to micromanagement would be...
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