Policy Encounter, Power, and Motivation at Consolidated Automobile

Topics: Max Weber, Management, Bureaucracy Pages: 5 (1033 words) Published: August 20, 2012
Case Background

Two assembly line workers have taken matters in their own hands and have shut down the electric power supply, putting the production of the auto-supply to a halt costing the company thousands of dollars

Plant Supervisor Sim Winfare’s main role was to improve production rate in the plant.

Areas of concern for the disgruntled employees; a) relatively new supervisor b) plant conditions – lousy cafeteria food and the unbearable working conditions in the metal shop

Plant Supervisor Sim Winfare’s objective is to; a) restore production and b) develop policies for preventing future interruptions

I.Statement of the Problem
What policies should be included in the company rules to prevent employee offenses from happening again in the future?


A)To review and revise the current company policies in Consolidated Automobile. These policies should be able to manage employees’ behavior and strict adherence to the policies should address the disruption and restore production in the company

B)To install security measures to make sure that the incident does not happen again – ex. Security measures to ensure that the power supply in production facility cannot be cut by the workers.

III.Areas of Consideration

Point of View:
We take the point of view of Mr. Winfare.

The company has an existing code of conduct where it is stipulated that grave misconduct resulting to halt or disruption of normal company operation shall be subject to suspension or termination.

IV.Theoretical Framework

Administrative Management Theory

For this particular case, we will be applying the Administrative Management Theory, more specifically Max Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy as our framework for the analysis.

According to Weber, a bureaucracy is a formal system of organization and administration designed to ensure efficiency and effectiveness and that a bureaucratic system of administration is based on five important principles

Principle 1: In a bureaucracy, a manager’s formal authority derives from the position he or she holds in the organization.

The key point in this principle is that authority, defined as the power to hold people accountable for their actions and to make decisions concerning the use of organizational resources, gives managers the right to direct and control their subordinates’ behavior to achieve organizational goals. Now relating this principle to the case, both Mr. Strong and Mr. Kane should be accountable for their actions. Plant Supervisor Mr. Winfare should be obeyed at all times because the company put him in a position of authority and that company, Mr. Winfare included, should penalize the two disgruntled employees for causing the company thousands of dollars in production losses because of their actions.

Principle 2: In a bureaucracy, people should occupy positions because of their performance, not because of their social standing or personal contacts.

Principle 3: The extent of each position’s formal authority and task responsibilities, and its relationship to other positions in an organization, should be clearly specified.

The key point in this principle is that when the tasks and authority associated with various positions in the organization are clearly specified, managers and workers know what is expected of them. In relation to the case, the auto assembly employees have quotas to meet and Mr. Winfare was assigned as the supervisor to manage and troubleshoot because his main goal was to increase his team’s productivity.

Principle 4: So that authority can be exercised effectively in an organization, positions should be arranged hierarchically, so employees know whom to report to and who reports to them.

In relating this principle to the case, the employees should report to their immediate supervisors as soon as there is a conflict or problem that arises. The discontented employees should voice...
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