Organizational Behavior/Business management
NOTE ON ACCEPTABLE SOURCES: Our required reading and videos have been selected to provide you with the information you need to learn Organizational Business in the 21st century. These are the required sources. Project instructions state “No external resources can be used in completing the assignment.” MUST USE COURSE MATERIAL PROVIDED BELOW!!!!
The final product will be approximately 2000-3500 words in length excluding the title page and reference list. Minimum of 6 references from course material provided below.
Please adhere closely to the grading rubric provided below.
BMGT 464 Project 2 Case Analysis
The portfolio scenario is that you are an employee of Rainbow Paints desiring a promotion to one of the 5 job openings. In project 1, you presented your self-analysis of traits and rationale for being promoted into the position. Now in project 2, you will analyze a hypothetical scenario of RLI having purchased a company House of Cloth (HOC). You are demonstrating to Rainbow Paints what you know about managing organizational behavior by pretending to consult to Aretha Cantros about this HOC situation. The reason project 2 is in the form of a memo to her is for you to demonstrate your ability to professionally communicate your findings and recommendations.
The purpose of this project is to examine your understanding of the challenges of managing critical employees who work in demanding jobs. Using an actual work case study, you will be asked to identify the management challenges and how this affects employee commitment, thus affecting organizational effectiveness.
Upon completion of the assignment you will have met the following outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of managing commitment within an organization;
Identify and apply theories that relate to stress, emotional intelligence, team diversity, cohesion and groupthink in workplace behavior;
Writing skills sufficiently persuasive to obtain the job.
Ralph Lorean International (RLI), owner of several house décor and furniture manufacturers, recently purchased a controlling interest in a medium-size firm, House of Cloth (HOC). HOC employs 6,644 people worldwide and has been considered a premier manufacturer of cloth since 1974. Revenues over the last four years have been flat, and costs are rising steadily. RLI purchased the interest in the company despite the flat sales because of its reputation and loyal customer base. RLI has a history of turning troubled companies around, and they think they can do the same with HOC.
RLI has to date allowed HOC to operate independently while they carefully examine the causes of the recent poor performance of the company. RLI’s Aretha Cantros was recently promoted to senior management analyst because of her superb work with Izzy’s Bed Emporium. RLI has decided to send Aretha to HOC on a fact-finding mission. She is to discover the challenges facing the management at HOC and make recommendations that will significantly improve and grow HOC’s financial performance.
After arriving at their headquarters, Aretha’s first meeting with HOC’s management team seemed to go well. The first thing Aretha noticed about the team was that, while they appeared to be personally different in obvious ways, beneath the surface they were quite alike. Of the seven members who compose the team, three have been with the company since its inception. The remaining four are much younger and came to the company after its international expansion in 2010. Despite the differences in age, gender, company tenure, and their functional and industry background, the members seem to be ‘cut from the same cloth’ in that each is very businesslike, analytical, competitive, and results driven. The composition of the 7-member executive team is as follows:
Henry Smythe, Rusty Gee, and Bill Jones are the three founding members. US-born and bred, they met in college and founded HOC shortly after graduating with their business degrees.
Marlena Jacoba, a 40-year old woman of German descent, had recently been assigned to the RLI branch in Cairo Egypt. Ill-prepared for the cultural transition in Egypt, Marlena desired to transfer to the US, a culture she felt would be more like her own. Due to her design expertise, Marlena (an RLI employee) has been added to the executive team to oversee the Senior Client Managers.
Jamie Wagner, age 45, VP of Human Resources, and Anil Gupta age 38, Director of Client Development, are both men from the Indian branch of HOC who came to headquarters as part of a promotion plan.
Rosalina Lopez, a 38-year-old woman from Guatemala, Chief Supply Chain Officer, oversees supply chain management, resourcing the best quality cloth at the lowest prices.
During the meeting, in discussing the company’s expansion five years ago, Henry Smythe, one of the founders, remarked, “The expansion was tough for us because of all the pressure and uncertainty, and to be honest, we really didn’t jell together. At first, I thought it was a big mistake to bring new people on board to manage the ship-but now we’re past all that, we’re very cohesive, and we share the same vision of how we do business. This is a good thing because when I retire in a few years, I’ll know the company is in good hands.” Everyone in the room seemed to nod in agreement. Another founder, Russell “Rusty” Gee, then looked squarely into Aretha’s eyes and added, “I’m not exactly sure what you are doing here, but we have weathered storms together, and while I admit the last years haven’t been stellar, I know we can handle things ourselves-this was part of the deal, wasn’t it? We know this place better than anyone, so I can’t imagine we’ll seriously consider any recommendations that will upset the apple cart.” Rusty made the statement in a friendly way with a smile on his face, yet Aretha knew he was serious.
Aretha was drawn to one of the women in the executive team, Marlena Jacoba. Aretha knew that Marlena is not happy with her job at HOC. In fact, she had contacted Aretha upon her promotion to ask advice on how to get the attention of the “Big Three” (founders). They want to control everything as if they still owned HOC and pay lip service to RLI. She complained, “They rarely spend the time to talk with me about anything important. Their body language tells me that they are always dismissing me, and communication is almost non-existent. I do not know if they like the work I do or just hate it and refuse to tell me because I am with RLI. Worse yet, I am not sure if I trust them as company players. Do they tell me the truth or just what they think I will report back to you? I overheard Rusty on his phone saying that he is just letting me stay on the team because he has to have a woman.” Marlena is tired of this situation and is considering asking for a transfer to RLI HQ when a job opens. Aretha could feel her stare throughout the meeting.
Although the meeting told Aretha many things, two stood out to her as real problems. First, turnover among the creative design team associates is high: thirty-five percent each year for the last two years, and thirty percent the year before that. The industry average is twenty percent. HOC’s creative design team is integral to its competitive edge in the industry. New patterns, cloth fabrics and uses are essential to the firm’s livelihood. Although the top management team is aware of the problem, they seem to rationalize it as the way business is done. As Jamie Wagner, VP of human resources noted, “We hire the best and the brightest, so it’s only natural that they occasionally get poached by other firms. We try our best to keep them, but we haven’t been able to match salaries with our competitors in recent years. Once things turn around the numbers will go down.” When Henry Smythe was asked if he felt that turnover was high only because of the competition from other companies, or were there other reasons, he replied,” I think that the purchase was also a factor. The creative design team felt they had more pressure on them to do well or they may be fired. I could agree but didn’t want to stop them from producing by trying to alleviate their concerns because ultimately it was innovation that was going to get us out of the sales doldrums.”
Besides the turnover issue, Aretha also learned that the company had been recently sued three times. The cases all involved associates who were passed over for promotion, and who claimed the work environment was so filled with stress that it made them ill and unable to work. Aretha was aware of the first case because it was highly publicized, and HOC was forced to settle the case to get out of the public eye. Afraid of the similar problems with the first case, HOC settled both suits out of court quickly and managed to keep them out of the press. Senior management seemed to be proud of this fact. Before having a chance to ask Jamie if he thought the suits and turnover might be related, Jamie volunteered the following. “We were really unlucky during this period. We hired three associates who didn’t possess the right capabilities for the job, and each had trouble coping in their own way. Most everyone that comes to our design team at HOC is drawn to our reputation for quality and success. We just have to find a better way of finding people who fit.”
Aretha’s conversation with the design team members revealed nothing too far out of the industry norm. Workload and time pressure are high, but not atypical. The design teams are put together by fabric use, and usually, their members are led by a senior client manager, who has the final design approval. HOC’s senior client managers are an older set, each having had years of experience before joining the company and have put in several more years working their way up the ladder of success. Due to the excessive turn-over, the design teams, on the other hand, tend to be millennials with promising talent embarking upon their career. Jamie told Aretha the teams were self-managed; however, that appeared not to be the case. The senior lead assigned tasks to each associate member during the projects. Because the support staff is reduced, team members had to assume a lot of administrative duties.
Creative design teams have the autonomy to work wherever and whenever they need. This arrangement gives employees flexibility,y and working odd hours in remote locations is not unusual. Aretha heard one story that a creative dinner was held in the private room of a local restaurant. The team paid the owner $1,000 to keep the room available to them for as long as they needed. The team stayed overnight and left just before lunch the next day. While all the members were on board with the idea, one member had to leave because of a family obligation. The team produced a successful product for a prominent client. Bursting with pride over the story, the senior client manager who revealed the story remarked, ”fantastic team building experience for those that chose to tough it out” and “it perfectly reflects the company’s ‘work-hard, play-hard’ mentality.”
Upon Aretha’s inquiry as to how the design team’s job performance is managed, she learned that towards the end of the calendar year, senior client managers get together and spend an entire day on the evaluation process. The evaluations focus on the extent to which the member contributed to the designs of the team they worked on the previous year. All members are given scores and listed. The member’s names are placed in one of three categories using their job performance score. The top ten percent will receive a bonus of up to fifty percent of their base pay and are fast-tracked for senior client management positions. The next thirty percent will receive a twenty-five percent bonus and are consider on track for promotion. The last group gets two to three percent of their salary as a bonus. The bonus checks are mailed to the members home before the winter holidays to “avoid bad feelings and conflict, that can naturally come about among teams” Jamie remarks.
Lunch with the senior client managers told Aretha that the subjects of turnover and the lawsuits are touchy. One manager said “Around here, you’re rewarded for paying your dues, for doing whatever is thrown your way. Yes, it is demanding, and requires sacrifice, but how else can we find out if people have what it takes? Those of us sitting at this table have been through it, and we know it works – look how successful we have been. Hires who claim they can’t take it or that it’s abusive just can’t be tolerated.”
After lunch, Aretha met with a group of associates who seem to shed yet another perspective about life in the design department. As an example, one associate member said, “I learned a lot from dealing with the pressure at the beginning, but the work is non-stop. They say it’s ‘work-hard, play-hard,’ but even the play feels like work. The projects are great, but I never really feel like I’m fully involved. I’m always trying to get a chance to be heard.” Another member agreed and added “It’s okay I guess if you get plugged into the right manager from the outset, but I’ve never seemed to gain favor no matter how many hours I work. To top it off, the crazy hours are creating a lot of conflict at home, and the strains are adding up.”
Source: Adapted from a Case entitled “Managing Commitment in Demanding Jobs” found in “Organizing Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace” by Jason A. Colquitt, Jeffery A. Lepine, Michael J. Wesson McGraw-Hill/Irwin New York NY 10020, 2013. Page 551
ASSIGNMENT: CANDIDATE QUESTIONS
Aretha has decided that she wants another person’s perspective on the issues that she faces. She has asked you, a respected colleague, to answer the following questions to help her get that needed input:
Does the cultural and age diversity present in HOC’s top management team impact its functioning and effectiveness? Answer and explain why or why not?
Does HOC’s top management suffer from groupthink? Explain in detail. Be sure to give examples from the fact pattern to support your ideas.
Identify the primary sources of stress that the associate members of the design team are experiencing. Explain how some of these stresses have led to the turnover and lawsuits. Are there differences between the understanding of senior client managers and associate members as to how the work should be conducted and what should be expected from the company? If so, why? If not, why not?
Based upon our week 6 learning materials by Katzenbach and Smith, are the HOC design teams high performing teams? Why or why not?
Week 6 learning material: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/unssc/unpan021887.pdf
What type of organizational culture has evolved at HOC, and how does it affect both job performance and commitment?
Based on your findings above, Aretha would like you to give her three recommendations on how to transform HOC into an engaged workplace in which employees are committed to job performance and the organization. Explain the justification for each one.
Suggest the best way Aretha should communicate the changes brought about by your three recommendations. Be detailed, explain how, what, when and who should communicate the change?
In a memo format provide the answers to the candidate’s questions.
Step One: How to Set Up the Paper
Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is single-spaced. Use 12-point font. The final product will be approximately 2000-3500 words in length excluding the title page and reference list. Write clearly and concisely.
Use the template provided, ensuring the final document includes:
the Title Page
the Reference Page
Address the Memo to Aretha Cantros.
Step Two: Completing the Paper
Read the grading rubric for the project. Use the grading rubric while completing the project to ensure all requirements are met so as to earn the highest possible grade.
Approach and perspective: Keep in mind this is an analytical business report not an academic writing assignment. In a typical academic paper, you would research the library and summarize the articles about the topics studied. In contrast, a business report is analytical. Do not summarize article after article. Instead, get to your point, make your point, and prove your point. You will state your point (the point sentence in a paragraph). Explain it (this is where using key facts from the case are helpful) and then prove it using our required course content from the classroom. Give in-text citation.
Voice: In this assignment, you are presenting yourself as an objective, reasonable professional. You will need to use first person “I” when appropriate to speak about yourself. At all other times, write objectively in third person voice. There should be no opinion statements such as “I think” or “In my opinion.” Write objectively and analytically, yet refer to yourself (“The results indicate I…”) when you are the subject. Third-person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second-person writing). If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person
Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.
Write your own original thoughts as you understand the material you have read. Always cite the source that informed your thinking even though not quoting it verbatim. Provide the page or paragraph number when using in-text citations. Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa. You may not use books as source material.
Use of case study material: Do note that you will at times need to take phrases or sentences from the case being analyzed to explain the point you are making. It is important that any phrases or sentences are set off with quote marks. The phrase or sentence should begin and end with “. Give an in-text citation for the case study and full reference in the reference list. An acceptable reference list citation for a case study is:
University of Maryland University College. (2019) BMGT 464 Name of scenario (e.g. Project 2 scenario). Retrieved from (give URL to the course content access for this scenario).
You may not use books as source material other than those provided in course content.
You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario paired with the weekly course readings to develop the analysis and support the reasoning. For this reason, you are discouraged from seeking external sources. Your primary sources must be the learning materials provided in the classroom content area. No more than two (2) external resources can be used in completing the assignment. The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings. If any material is used from a source document, it must be cited and referenced.
Step Three: Review the Paper
Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present. Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.
Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.
Read the paper aloud as a first measure;
Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
Have someone who has excellent English skills to proofread the paper;
Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC). The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.
Step Four: Submit the paper in the Assignment Folder
(The assignment submitted to the Assignment Folder will be considered the student’s final product and therefore ready for grading by the instructor. It is incumbent upon the student to verify the assignment is the correct submission. No exceptions will be considered by the instructor).
NOTE: All submitted work is to be your original work. You may not use any work from another student, the Internet or an online clearinghouse. You are expected to understand the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy. It is your responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources as specified in the syllabus and other class materials.
Rubric Name: Project 2 – 20%
This table lists criteria and criteria group name in the first column.
Criteria for and Excellent project, to get an A
Completion all questions
All five questions were completed with thorough answers.
Accuracy and Development of Question Answers
All answers to questions (including follow up questions) discussed all aspects of the question(s) asked with accurate and insightful use of the class material. The explanation of the conclusions drawn in deducing the answers were logically and directly answered using the case study facts and class material to support and explain comprehensively the question asked. Sources mentioned in questions were used appropriately.
Three recommendations for better workplace
More than three recommendations were clearly made and developed.
Justification of recommendations
Each recommendation was justified clearly, insightfully and logically. Justifications applied the case study facts and class material to explain comprehensively and insightfully how employee performance and commitment will be improved for the betterment of HOC.
Suggested ways as how to communicate implmentation of recommendations
Explanation discussed how, what, when and who will communicate the implementation of the recommendations made. Explanation was detailed, insightful, and logically and directly answered using the case study facts and class material to explain comprehensively how ineffective communication of change can affect job performance and commitment.
Use of class material and case study facts to support conclusions
All conclusions and ideas presented were supported with appropriate class resources and case study facts.
Attention to Instructions
The paper contains all major assignment tasks. The paper also includes completion of all minor aspects of the assignment such as table creation if required, third person writing, required use of course material, outside sources if needed, inclusion of page and paragraph number, no use of books, assignment format and avoidance of using direct quotes.
Strictly adheres to standard usage rules of written English using paragraphs and sentence rather than bullets, including but not limited to capitalization, punctuation, run-on sentences, missing or extra words, stylistic errors, spelling and grammatical errors. No contractions or jargon used. Zero to two errors noted.
APA Style (6th ed.)
One to two APA style or usage errors; Proper citation of source material is used throughout paper; Reference titles follow APA with only the first word, the first word after a colon and proper nouns capitalized.
COURSE MATERIAL TO BE USED FOR IN TEXT CITATIONS AND REFERENCES
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