Summary of the Facts
Eric and Kipsy’s case study helps to demonstrate the complex nature of management and organizational behavior. The case also shows the difficulty in identifying a single solution to a particular problem. Eric is the new manager of product information for a national firm which wholesales electrical components and Kipsy is a clerk. Eric is appointed the new manager right out of management training. He knows virtually nothing about the people he would be managing or the kind of work they did. On his first day Eric was fascinated by the efficiency of the operations. He soon learned how wrong he was on the second day of work. The salesmen had a list of problems they were experiencing in which they wanted Eric to solve. The three main problems are: Salesmen often were unable to get through quickly to information clerks. Errors were excessive and the clerks were often abrupt and unfriendly to the salesmen when they called. He also noted other problems which came to light which are high absenteeism and turnover, unskilled part time staff, loafing on the job by the clerks etc. Eric was visited by the regional vice president of the company who informed him that sales were falling companywide. He then developed an Action Plan to increase efficiency, reduce call in delays and slash the error rate. He seems to be a consultative manager which is shown by his approach to his supervisors and team members by holding meeting to try and address the problems. Disaster struck in relation to his new program in that an employee had defaced two posters used to motivate employees. His lack of experience is shown with his failure to take control of his supervisor in respect of the discipline to be maintained within the office. He needed to take his supervisors to task over their failure to deal with the posters immediately. Eric pondered his dilemma and he concluded that the key to his problems was KIPSY. Kipsy has been an information clerk in Eric’s office for almost a year. In that year she has become increasingly frustrated and unhappy in her work. Kipsy had applied for the job at the company because a friend told her that the company was a great place to work, the pay was excellent and the people she would be working with were friendly and stimulating. It was also known that the company was growing and expanding at a fast clip. To Kipsy that meant that there was a good chance for advancement which was very important to her. After a few weeks on the job her optimism and excitement was replaced by frustration and disappointment. Many of her new friends were quitting and none of the clerks knew of anybody who had been promoted to management or a better job from the ranks of console operators. Kipsy decided the only good thing about her job was that of becoming the informal leader of the work group. Kipsy was excited when she heard about the new manager who seemed genuinely interested in learning about the job and in hearing what changes people had to suggest. Her opinion about Eric’s managerial abilities dropped sharply a few weeks later mainly because of by what came to be known around the office as the flexible hour’s fiasco. She spoke to Eric about the possibility of advancement in which she did not receive a favorable response. Her expectations of the bright new manager were dashed which leads her into dysfunctional behavior. This has caused some serious problems as she is the mover in the informal network system. It took the Increase Efficiency program to finally break KIPSY completely. She and another co-worker defaced the motivational posters. Kipsy felt guilty after she had defaced the posters. Frustration is the main cause of her behavior as she recognizes that her actions were wrong but she can see no way of redressing the situation. Statement of the Problem
The company has been experiencing a fall in sales which is a result of internal organizational problems. Listed below are...
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