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Kathy McCarthy was the manager of a production department which manufactures office equioment.




Kathy McCarthy was the manager of a production department which manufactures office equioment. The workers are not uninized. She read an article about participative management and believe it can benefit her department. Kathy selected two decisions for for an experiment in participative management.;The first decision involved holiday schedules. Each holiday the workers are given two week holidays but no more than two workers can go on holiday at the same time. In prior years she made the decison herself. She would ask the worker to indicate their prefered dates then she considered how the work would be affected if different people will be out at the same time. When more than two workers wanted the same time period and they had similar skills the worker with the highest productivity was selected.The second decison involved production standards. Sales has been oncreasing steadily over the past few years ands the company installed some new equipment to increase productivity. The new equipment would allow more to be produced with the same workers. The company had a pay incentive system in which workers recieved a piece for each unit produced. Ti[ management wanted to readjust the production standards to reflect the fact that the new equipment made it possible for the workers to earn more without working any harder. The savings from the high productivity wree need to pay for the new equipment. Kathy called a meeting of her 15 workers an hour before the end of her shift and explained to them that she wanted to discuss the two issues and make recommendations. She left the alone to discuss the two issues. When Kathy returned she was suprised that the workers recommeneded keeping the same standards. The spaker for the group explained that their base pay has not kept up with the inflation and higher incentive pay. On the holiday issue the group was deadlock. Several of the workers wanted to take the holiday during the same wo week period and could not agree who should go first. Some worker argues that they should have priority because they had more seniority, while others based it on productivity as oin the past.;The purpose of this case is to provide students with a better understanding of the potential pitfalls of participative leadership. Students are asked to read a case describing two decisions for which a participative approach was unsuccessful. The mistakes made by the manager in this case demonstrate the importance of leader skill in making difficult decisions involving inherent conflicts of interest.;1. Were the two decisions suitable ones for a group decision procedure?;2. What mistakes were made in using participation, and what could have been done to avoid the difficulties the manager encountered?;3. Were these decisions appropriate ones for introducing participation into the department?


Paper#32357 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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