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Management Lesson

Part 1.

1. Do you agree with Howser’s suggestion to “sit tight and ride out the storm” or should the partners take some actions immediately? If so, what actions specifically?In fact, Howser’s suggestion seems to be unreasonable, taking into consideration the fact that he has already provoked a severe crisis within the company. To put it more precisely, his actions have provoked the deterioration of relationships within the company, the schedule did not meet employees’ needs and expectations and Howser’s policies provoked a number of other problems. In such a situation, the partners should fire Howser and start changes in the company. The main point of changes is the improvement of the organizational culture. In such a situation, the partners should focus on the improvement of relationships within the company. The company should return to the flexible schedule and provide employees with larger autonomy and freedom in their initiatives. Furthermore, the company should focus on the improvement of the performance of its affiliates in other cities. In addition, the company should focus on the maintenance of customer loyalty. For instance, the company should provide customers with the possibility to postpone payments, if they cannot afford payment at the moment. In fact, it is more important for the company to retain loyal customers than to receive payments at the moment. Even if the company suffers from some financial losses, the company will retain customers. At the same time, the company should maintain positive relations with the local community but not through the sponsorship or charity. Instead, the company should offer consulting services for local community members and develop educational programs for children living in the local community. For instance, each Saturday, an employee of the company can teach local children. In such a way, the company will improve internal atmosphere and organizational culture, regain customer confidence and loyalty, and improve relationships with the local community.

2. Assume that the creation of the GM-Operations position was a good decision. What leadership style and type of individual would you try to place in this position?

The transformational leadership style would be effective for the company because such leadership style would provide the company with essential flexibility and democracy in leadership. Instead, Howser developed authoritarian leadership style which did not work effectively. Instead, the transformational leadership style could maintain positive relationships within the company. The leader would help employees working in the company to improve their performance and guide them in their work. Moreover, a transformational leader would explain employees the purpose of changes and contributed to better understanding of purposes and outcomes of changes in the company. Therefore, employees will be certain in their future and they will support the change.

3. Consider your own leadership style. What types of positions and situations should you seek? What types of positions and situations should you seek to avoid? Why?

In fact, I am inclined to democratic leadership style. I would try to develop positive, friendly relationships with employees. I would attempt to listen to each employee and take into consideration his or her position. At the same time, I would try to communicate the strategy of the company to employees working in the company. In fact, I would try to introduce the position of GM but I would also create a board, which could control and direct the work of the GM. In such a way, the management of the company would be more effective, while I, as a leader, would facilitate the communication within the company.

Part 2.
1. Think of a job you hold currently or held in the past. How would you describe the psychological contract? How does (did) this affect your attitudes and behaviors on the job?

In fact, psychological contract is very important for the effective work and interaction between professionals within the organization. In this respect, I could refer to my personal experience. In fact, I did not have any sort of formal contract, which could regulate my relationships with my colleagues strictly. Neither our company had a code of ethics. Nevertheless, we had a psychological contract because our leader has managed to create positive interpersonal relationships and promoted mutual respect between professionals working within the company. Our psychological contract was rather an unwritten law, which we all followed. We felt the respect from the part of our leader and so we respected our leader and each other. We were responsible because we understood that our contribution in the organizational performance was extremely important.

2. Give some examples of situations in which you wanted to do a great job but were prevented from doing so. What was the impact on you, and what would this suggest to you in your efforts to motivate other people to perform?

However, there were cases, when I expected to complete projects I was eager to work on but, in the last minute, another manager was appointed to manage these projects. For instance, once our company attempted to organize free classes from children in the local public school. I was eager to plan and implement the educational program. The leader of our organization promised me to give the project to me but, suddenly, he changed his mind and gave the project to a more experienced manager, while I got the position of her assistant that was extremely unpleasant for me and discouraged to work on the project at all. Therefore, I was not really cooperative while working on the project. Instead, I did what I was asked to.

3. Assess yourself on McClelland’s three needs. On which need are you highest and on which are you lowest? What are the implications for you as a manager?

Achievement, affiliation and power are McClelland’s three needs, which I possess. However, these needs are different for me. For instance, I am highly motivated in terms of achievement and affiliation but I am not really concerned with power. I stand on the ground that power is just a tool with the help of which I can reach better achievements and improve affiliation with my colleagues and other professionals in our company. The need of achievement motivates me to work better and to reach organizational goals, which is very important for me as a manager. Similarly, affiliation improves my cooperation and interaction within the organization. However, too much concern on power may undermine my relationships with my colleagues and subordinates.

Part 3.
1. What type of team would work best in this situation? Support your answer with concepts from the text that apply to the proposed venture.

Cross-functional team would be probably the best for the team created by Gagnon. In fact, the cross-functional team will allow each team members to focus on his/her specific function and to perform it successfully for Gagnon attempts to gather the team consisting of team members working in different fields. In such a way, the cross-functional team will allow to work each team member autonomously, whereas Gagnon will unite them to meet their common goal managing the team to meet its marketing goals. The cross-functional team contributes to the effective cooperation within the group.

2. What kinds of problems would you expect this group to encounter? What is the best way to work through those problems?

The major problem the group is likely to encounter is the poor communication. Therefore, Gagnon should focus on the improvement of the communication. Otherwise, the team members will be unable to cooperate effectively with each other. At the same time, team members should develop close cooperation and make it effective that may be another problem because they know each other but they have never worked together. In such a way, Gagnon should manifest his managerial and leadership skills and qualities to manage the team work effectively. In this regard, Gagnon should set the rules of the team work and encourage team members to focus on interests of the team above their personal interests. Each team member should understand that the success of the team will be more beneficial for their business than their personal success.

Part 4.
1. Think of an occasion when you faced a miscommunication problem. What do you think caused the problem? How do you think it should have been handled better?

I faced the miscommunication problem, when I expected to be appointed the project manager but another person was appointed instead in the last moment. Obviously, this was miscommunication because the leader of our organization recognized the fact that I could work on the project successfully but I expected that I will take the position of the manager but, instead, I obtained the position of the assistant of the manager.

2. What do you think about the practice of open-book management? What would you think about it you were running your own company?

The open book management may be effective but this practice implies fair and positive interpersonal relationships between people. In such a way, the book management may be effective, when the company has positive, healthy organizational culture. However, the company needs to use the open-book management, when the company starts changes and is confident in its employees and effectiveness of their work. However, the open book management will not work in the authoritarian organization. As for me, I prefer the democratic leadership style and I believe the open book management may be quite effective.

3. Have you ever tried to coach someone, in anything? What did you do well and what mistakes did you make? How can you become a better coach?

Once, I tried to coach a new comer in our organization but it was an extremely difficult task for me. At first, I made a mistake because I tried to lecture and to provide my coachee with the essential information. However, steadily I came to the point, when I understood that I need to let my coachee to do some tasks on his own and to find solutions without my direct involvement. Instead, I just gave him the direction, where he should work on to reach positive outcomes.