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Bob Byrne?s ear was still ringing. Byrne was direc...




Bob Byrne?s ear was still ringing. Byrne was director of the audit Staff at Zack Electrical Parts. He had just received a phone call from Jim Whitmore, the plant manager. Whitmore was furious. He had just read a report prepared by the Audit Staff concerning cost problems in his Assembly Department. Whitmore, in a loud voice, said he disagreed with several key sections of the report. He claimed that had he known more about the Audit Staff?s work, he could have shown them facts that denied some of their conclusions. He also asked why the report was prepared before he had a chance to comment on it. However, what made him particularly angry was that the report had been distributed to all the top managers at Zack. He felt top management would have a distorted view of his Assembly Department, if not his whole plant. Byrne ended the call by saying he?d check into the matter. So he called in Kim Brock, one of his subordinates who had headed to audit team for the study in question. Brock admitted that she had not had a chance to talk to Whitmore before completing and distributing the report. Nor had she really had a chance to spend much time with Dave Wells who headed the Assembly Department. However, Brock claimed it was not her fault. She had tried to meet with both Whitmore and Wells more than once. She had left phone messages for them, but they always seemed too busy to meet, and were out of town on several occasions when she was available. So she decided she had better complete the report and distributed it on time to meet the deadline. That same day, Whitmore and Wells discussed the problem over lunch. Wells was angry, too. He complained that Brock had bugged him to do the study, but her timing was bad. Wells was working on an important assembly area project of his own that was top priority to Whitmore. He couldn?t take the time that Brock needed right now. He tried to tell her this before the study began, but Brock claimed she had no choice but to do the audit. Wells remembered, with some resentment, how Brock was unavailable last year when he needed her help. The staff audit group seemed to have plenty of time for the study when he couldn?t give it any attention. Whitmore said he would look into the matter, and agreed that they both had been unnecessarily raked over the coals. 1. What were the causes and antecedents of the conflict between the staff audit group and the managers in the plant? 2. How can staff units work with line managers to minimize such conflict?


Paper#7400 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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