Louise Nance had working on the assembly line of the Jackson Manufacturing Company for about six months. During recent weeks, her supervisor, Ben Miller, noticed that her production had gone down to such as extent that she could not keep up with the pace, and she had caused serious delays. When Miller called this to her attention, Nance told him about the difficulties she was having at home. Her husband had recently left her without any explanation or cause. Miller replied that her personal affairs were of no interest to him and that he was concerned only about her work. He warned her that, unless her production improved, she would be separated from the company.
A few days thereafter, Ben Miller was promoted to a higher manager position. His place was filled by Jack Armstrong, who had recently joined the company. Armstrong immediately took a liking to Louise Nance and started dating her. Although she told him about her marital difficulties, he kept seeing her. When she remarked to him on day that her car needed some repairs, he offered to see whether he could fix it for her.
On the following Saturday, Louise Nance's estranged husband appeared and found Jack Armstrong repairing her car, which was parked on the street in front of her apartment. The two men quickly got into a fight on the street, and police were called to separate them. The local newspaper carried a short report about the Manufacturing Company.
A few days thereafter, Jack Armstrong was called into the office of Kay McCaslin, the personnel director, who had read the newspaper reports. McCaslin advised Armstrong to stop seeing Louise Nance or he might be fired. McCaslin remained Armstrong that informal company policy discouraged close fraternization between supervisors and employees since this tended to weaken a supervisor's authority in dealing with employees. Further, publicity of the this sort would undoubtedly hurt the company's image's in the community. Armstrong replied that this was none of the company's business and that he could spend his time away from the plant any way he chose. He stated that a threat of discharge was totally improper since his private life was his own and not subject to company regulations. Further: Nance work record had improved under his supervision, and it was now about the same as the records of most of the other people on the line. Armstrong left the personnel director's office with the comment that he would continue t date Louise Nance since they were very much in love.
Kay McCaslin wondered whether she should drop the matter or whether she should discuss it with higher management - including Ben Miller who is now Jack Armstrong's superior.
Management Decision-Making Case Problem worksheet Problem Definition
What is the problem?
What are the symptoms?
What are the facts of the case (separate facts from opinions)?
What are the additional consideration (what other individuals, groups, things are involved in this problem)?
Alternative solutions considered (describe all solutions you have considered and number them)
Solution choices (explain in detail and give reasons for choosing this alternative)
Plan of implementation & fellow-up (specific times and dates of actions to be taken)
What are the management axioms, principles, or lessons to be learned from this problem.