Case Study "Bad News"
When George moved to the four-day workweek scheme, should he have expected his managers to work five days for four days’ pay? - Case Study "Bad News" introduction?? Yes, he should. Managers are leaders for the company employees. Therefore, they have to “model the way”. To effectively model the behavior they expect of others, leaders must first be clear about guiding principles. “Words and deeds must be consistent. ” A company is a team, and a team has a complex structure. There are dependencies among members, and among groups within the company. The company is a complex model that is stitched with threads of honest, shared values, responsibility, passion, and etc.
Employees will feel betrayed, if the management will continue being paid as previously. 2. Should George tell anyone except his immediate staff about the impending layoff before the details have been worked out? The employees? Yes, He should. Fear can paralyze. A great leader once said that the greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself. The same can be said for the top managers. Managers understandably fear that they will not be able to find a way through the bad times. Employees too have fears. They will easily sense that times are not what they were.
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They too read newspapers, listen to news, know something about markets and talk with each other. They pay attention to managers’ nonverbal communication that says times are bad, perhaps really bad. Employees feed on each other’s fears. Employee/People have a right to know the truth. Often they are responsible not only for themselves but for their families as well. Knowing the truth employees/people can manage the situation in advance. They will get rid of their fair of uncertainty and begin acting. In a perfect world, managers have to communicate with the employees instead of leaving a message on their table that they are dismissed.
Recognition, Shared Values, Honest, Credibility are useless words for people who were betrayed. What about the board of directors? George should discuss with board of directors about the upcoming layoffs. Probably, there is a chance that the board of directors seeing a whole picture better would make a different decision. The union? I learnt from the case that the union has a strong influence on the company. The union leader gave George a chance to improve the situation by cutting the paychecks. George should inform the union that he is going to layoff bout 900 employees. If he does not continue to communicate and discuss this issue with union he will lose Credibility. 1. Was George’s decision to be open about the impending layoff the ethical thing to do? The way the company treats the people who are leaving sends a strong message about how it will treat the people that are staying. Difficult times are the true test of the company’s ethics . If an organization can do the right thing during a lay-off, it will reap the rewards for years Are there situations in which it is best to try to keep a lid on such information?
Every time when the company is going to change their routine course of business, management can choose to inform its employees. As I said above the company is a team. Everyone is involved in the operation of the company. Everyone has to have a strong understanding of what is going on in the company. Losing operation, starting up new plants, developing a new product, intention of implementing a new technology to the employee’s work place are the subject for discussion. 2. The particular jobs cut at ACI were chosen on the basis of the long-range interests of the business and not on the nationality of the work force.
As the reporter’s questions implied, shouldn’t American businesses favor American employees over foreign employees? I think that the company has to find any possible business solution within the US, than they can do it abroad. In the US, outsourcing has become a hotly debated political issue, the pivotal point being the implications for the domestic workforce. The Democrats have taken a stand against the US firms that outsource work abroad or carry out their operations from overseas locations to evade paying US taxes.
Opinion polls conducted among citizens suggest that at least 65% of the citizens share some of these concerns about the economy. The technology workers of the US also feel threatened by outsourcing, as it affects their livelihood. Instead of creating more new jobs in the country, outsourcing has taken many high-tech or otherwise highly paying jobs to foreign countries. Thus the middle class worker of the US feels that the government, by enabling the outsourcing trend, has failed to protect his/her interests. Let’s talk about from the perspective of the citizens.
The government allows companies to export jobs to other countries. What does it mean for the town in the middle of the nowhere? What if the plant where Americans are working closes its doors but reopens them in Mexico city. Employees are laid off and forced to find others jobs. Now the plant provides them with security, prosperity and happiness. With a little hard work, anyone could make enough money to live there. The plant pays retirement and provides health insurance to the employees and their families. There are small businesses in town that make life comfortable and easy. It is a closed-loop productive cycle.
The main part of this cycle is the plant which provides money for this cycle. The plant pays the city tax. Everyone is happy. Closing the plant will remove the main part of this loop (like an engine in a car) and everything will stop. We have seen this in many places in the country. What do you think George said to the TV reporters? The CEO is ultimately responsible for the management of the company and that includes layoffs. He has to tell reporters how he is helping the laid-off employees; tell that all laid-off employees will get a severance; some will receive an outplacement services.
Probably, he has to tell that they could be re-hired if business picks up. The information will, at the very least, be one positive in a negative story. He should explain the reason for the layoffs. Some workforce reductions are for strategic reasons such as increasing efficiency or cutting costs. Simply saying that the economy or business has gone south is not enough. He should give the media an in-depth explanation of why the company is experiencing problems. This information will paint a better picture of the challenges the business faces, generating sympathy instead of apathy or anger.