Case 1: The Italian Shoe Company
The Italian Shoe Company is a New York, family owned company now in its sixth generation. The company started in 1823 making shoes for men and women based on designs that were popular in the growing Italian community of New York. In the early years, it struggled to survive. But over the years, particularly from the start of the twentieth century, it has prospered. The sixth generation owner -Adamo Pedone- is a very wealthy person. Currently, the company produces over 30 different types of men and women shoes, mostly in the upper market segments (i.e. starting at $ 400 a pair). Rising sales revenues have brought in a lot of money to the company, which is steadily being invested into increasing numbers of specialized line personnel and managerial staff. Adamo, who is known as "Shoe Lord " by his employees, has finally added an HR specialist (you) to help with personnel and organizational behavior issues. He has asked you to help with what he feels is a problem of worker morale in the operations division. Mark Whitehall, VP of operations, has complained to Adamo that most of his workers have bad attitudes and don't seem to want to work. He says he's prepared to fire them all if they don't shape up. Mark has informed Adamo of his intentions, and believes he (Adamo) needs to "clean house" to show them who's boss. Besides, he thinks a lot of them have become complacent and don't care about quality. Mark also pays little attention to the mid-level managers' opinions stating that, "I'm ultimately responsible, so I'll make the decisions." Adamo knows that Mark can be heavy-handed in his management style and that he believes workers come to work either motivated or not. Mark has told him "there's nothing you can do to make them work if they don't want to." Knowing everything about shoes, but little about people, Adamo isn't sure whether it's the workers or Mark that's creating the problem. He wants to know that if it is Mark, can he be changed? Or is it hopeless? He wants you to tell him if you think Mark or the workers should go. If you think neither should, then what are the ingredients needed to cook up a solution? This thing's getting on his nerves. He wants to get it behind him and get back to his shoes. Therefore, Adamo asks you to analyze the situation using your knowledge of leadership theories, and recommend at least two possible solutions so he can decide what to do.
Case 2: North Holland Boat Company
North Holland Boat Company sells sail boats to upper crust clients who want to make use of the excellent opportunities for sailing on rivers, lakes, or the sea that are all easily available in the area. The company has been in existence only a short time, but sales are up and business is booming. Eva Henness, the CEO, got the company off to a good start with her patented sail design. She discovered a way to make smaller sails which could catch more wind, even when there is very little wind. She guarantees smooth sailing in any weather condition. This has made the boats very attractive to weekend sailors. Eva says, "let's capitalize on this while the gettin's good." As she puts it, "get'em in, sell'em, and clip'em quick before they get away." However, her husband Jim, who she assigned to supervise the sales staff, has had problems getting his salespersons motivated to do their job. Some seem to want no supervision while others want to know exactly what it is they are supposed to do. A couple of them insist on being managers themselves. Jim also has been having trouble with many of the salespersons who don't seem to be showing up for the celebration (i.e. sales meeting). The sales in their areas seem to be down, and the salespersons don't appear to be concerned about the reduction in sales volume. Eva and Jim know that motivating workers is the leader's primary responsibility. Therefore, they have asked you, a high-priced personnel consultant, to help solve what they think is a...
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