Reference no: EM13852986
INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDY ASSIGNMENT
Read the attached case study: ‘'Too Much Too Soon". Then complete a full case analysis using the format as outlined below.
First, provide a brief Synopsis (summary) of the above case (maximum length one page). Then describe the Symptoms that indicate that there is something wrong at Maddison Inc. using two categories: "Behavioral Symptoms" and "Operational Symptoms". Next state and discuss the Main Issue in detail, using logical thought along with principles and concepts from your Principles of Management course material. Include your explanation as to why this issue has arisen (cause) and clearly identify any assumptions you are making.
Now you can look at how you will resolve the main issue. Identify and discuss at least three (3) viable Alternatives (separate choices that the person(s) who are responsible for solving the problem could employ). Each of these should be focused on the root issue, using additional external research to support your ideas. Be sure to include at least one Advantage and Disadvantage of each one.
Using your analytical skills, provide a Decision (Solution) by choosing from your Alternatives, identified above. Describe how it can solve your main issue and why (justification). Finally outline your Implementation Strategy (Action Plan) on both the short term and the long term. What steps would you suggest be taken in order to implement this decision? What should happen first, second, etc? External research supporting your decision should be included. Elements from more than one alternative can be combined to come up with your optimum solution.
Your case analysis should have a title page - indicating the assignment, your complete name and ID#, and the course name/number and section. Please use headings for each section of your analysis (e.g. Synopsis).
Using paragraph format with complete sentences (grammatically correct with no spelling errors,) your analysis should be word processed (12 pt. Font) and double spaced within paragraphs. Leave additional space between paragraphs. Remember to cite references using APA format if quoting or paraphrasing from your text or other sources.
Case Study: Too Much Too Soon
Sara Patel had been employed at Maddison, Inc. for three years when her boss resigned. Sara's first two years were spent in the Sales Department, which she had joined fresh out of university. She had then transferred to Training & Development, to a position of Sales Trainer. After a year, she became the Acting Coordinator Training & Development, with the hope of the appointment becoming permanent upon successful completion of this probationary period.
The Training & Development Department that Sara was now in charge of had a staff of ten professional trainers and a secretary. Each of the trainers was skilled and experienced within a particular field so Sara did not make any changes to the specific content or methods of their work. She took on the role of Coordinator ensuring that the trainers planned and delivered their courses to meet their department's objectives. The other major part of her job was administrative - preparing budgets, scheduling courses, attending corporate committee meetings, in which training and development issues were discussed and in general completing all of the paperwork associated with running a small department.
For the first while, Sara had no problems. Her staff liked her and they all got along well with one another. There was an air of openness and warmth in the department, members socialized with one another, and there were no challenges to any of Sara's decision or actions. But as the department grew in size due to increasing demands from within Maddison, Inc., Sara began to experience some difficulties. The first problem centered on the allocation of the budget to various units in the Training & Development Department. Sara did some training herself, and it was argued that she had allocated more resources to the people who work in her area - Sales - than was warranted either by the number of courses offered or the number of staff who took these courses. There were constant battles over budgets.
Another difficulty was the allocation of funds to the functional area heads of: Sales & Marketing, Finance, Human resources, IT, General Management - for travel. Each head argued that he/she needed to visit various sites across Canada to discuss training requirements with managers and supervisors. They claimed that e-mails and telephone conversations could not provide the required info nor result in the sense of "team" they were working towards. For instance, often as a result of talking to managers, specific needs would be identified that resulted in new training modules to be designed. Sara became less receptive to new ideas, focusing more on the status quo in the department.
As Coordinator - Sara was responsible for the administration of the Training and Development Department. This entailed preparing a budget, performance assessments for all of the department employees, and the Department's Annual Report. Duties also included representing T& D on a number of management committees reporting to the President, along with ratifying all course offerings and their schedules, hiring of new staff and handling the general administration off what now had become a twenty-six person department.
As her group grew, administrative foul-ups had begun to occur. Reports were late, schedules were mixed-up, and on several occasions the department budget had been sent back because of error. Sara retained all these jobs herself, in spite of the foul-ups and delays. She became more directive with staff, telling them what to do in their courses and requiring them to submit to various bureaucratic processes and procedures. As one staff member remarked: "We're professionals, yet she treats us like kids".
Staff complained about the lack of resources: from state of the art laptops and black berries to basic office supplies such as pens and markers. The budgeting process for office supplies was stringent, while the functional heads responsible for training accused Sara of spending unnecessary dollars on her courses, and often traveling unnecessarily (I .e. unwisely spending the financial resources of the department).
As well, many of the staff felt that Sara was unqualified as a trainer. Most had acquired advanced education in their specialties and extensive related work experience prior to joining Maddison. Sara had never worked elsewhere, and had begun her career as a junior in the firm's Sales Department after university completion and had no additional specialized education.
Several of the senior members of the staff attempted to confront the problem by lunching with Sara weekly, attempting to discuss in general terms the problems the department was facing. Many of the complaints were aired, tactfully and gently, but Sara showed no inclination to change her behavior in any way. Finally, when the group suggested at a luncheon meeting that she "step down as head and return to the more relaxed life of a trainer" she became highly defensive and accused them of plotting her overthrow. Lunch ended with Sara getting red in the face and storming out, showing that she " wasn't going to listen to any more of this sort of thing, and that if they weren't careful she'd fire the lot them then and there"!!
The next day, there were five letters of resignation from her five functional area heads waiting for Sara. Her heart leapt to her throat when she realized that in her briefcase was a memo from the VP of Operations requesting a proposal for a complete program of management training and development courses for the staff of a large company in the US that Maddison had just taken over. To make matters worse, Sara had just spent the previous weekend completing performance assessments on each of the functional heads that were two months overdue; AND because she had been rushed, she'd decided to give them all excellent ratings. Instead of meeting with each of the heads to discuss their performance and sign off their performance review, Sara had mailed them copies, hoping that the favorable ratings would avoid conflict. How was she now going to explain this sudden turn of events? What was she to do?