Analyze the highway administrator goal-setting program

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Written Case Assignment (Highway Administrator)

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to: (a) better understand theories and concepts we discussed in this course, (b) implement theoretical concepts into practice, and (c) improve your critical thinking and writing skills.
Please carefully read the "Highway Administrator " case study (located on the second page), and then prepare a written summary of your assessment about the below four questions. This assignment requires critical thinking in addition to an understanding of the course material. To answer the below questions, please use the relevant concepts and theories discussed in Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 6 which include task performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, motivation theories, psychological empowerment, justice, trust, and ethics. You must use and properly cite at least five external sources (e.g., books, journal articles. etc.) not including your textbook and lecture slides, to further explain your answers.


1. What do you think will happen as a result of the highway administrator's goal-setting program? Analyze the implementation process and identify problems of the program with the relevant concepts and theories from Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 6.

2. Compare the desired outcomes of the highway administrator's goal setting program to your predicted outcomes of the program in terms of performance quantity, quality of performance, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. Support your analysis with the relevant concepts and theories from Chapters 2, 3, and 5.

3. Analyze the highway administrator's goal-setting program from the organizational justice perspective. Which of the four justice dimensions (distributive, procedural, interpersonal, informational) would you find most difficult to maximize in this program? Which would be the easiest to maximize? Support your analysis with the relevant concepts and theories from Chapters 5 and 6.

4. Assuming that it was important to you to resolve the pothole problem, describe what you would have done differently (or why you would have employed the same program) if you were the highway administrator. Support your analysis with the relevant concepts and theories from Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 6.

Highway Administrator Case Study

In certain regions, rapid weather changes at certain times of the year cause potholes to form in the roads. The potholes make driving unpleasant and can cause damage to vehicles. It was early in the winter and complaints from city residents about potholes were increasing. The mayor asked the administrator of the Highway Department to deal with the problem. The administrator oversaw 20 road crews that were assigned to fill potholes. There is no money in the budget to hire additional crews, and as the highway workers are unionized, financial incentives based on individual or crew performance are not allowed. The administrator decided to initiate a goal-setting program to improve performance by the road crews.

The first step was to conduct a time study with a few crews to determine how long it should take to fill a pothole. Since the road conditions vary greatly from one part of the city to another, the administrator selected a representative sample of three crews to use in the time study. Based on the results, the administrator set a standard for the number of potholes that should be filled each day by a crew. The standard was 20% above the average number of daily potholes that were currently being filled, which reflected the amount of performance improvement that would be needed to eliminate unfilled potholes. The same standard (same number of potholes to be filled) was used for all of the crews, without regard to where they were assigned to work. Road crews were instructed to record the location of each pothole they filled on a worksheet. Each crew was also given a sheet listing the proper procedures for filling a pothole. Unless the work is done properly, the fix will only last a short time and the pothole will reappear. However, in the few weeks immediately after a pothole is filled (including the following day), it is nearly impossible to tell whether or not the pothole was filled according to procedures.

To follow up on the records kept by the workers, the area supervisors checked some of the repaired potholes on a random basis by driving past the work site the next day to see that the potholes were filled. The supervisors also reviewed the records once a week to determine if each crew achieved the standard. Weekly performance data were posted on a bulletin board so the crews could compare their performances. In order to encourage a sense of friendly competition and further motivate the workers, the crew with the most potholes filled was identified each week and given a small reward, such as tickets to a home game for the city's football team. The administrator assumed that these rewards would be attractive to the workers.

Reference no: EM13867901

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