- Provide a SWOT analysis for this firm ensuring that core internal and external aspects are identified correctly in the right place
- Identify define and apply two motivation theories to illustrate the sources/causes of poor motivation
Incentive motivation theory
This theory is based on the fact that people tend to be more motivated to work when they expect an external reward. In the case of Saltspray, the management has not put in place structures to reward and appreciate employees who attain high sales, quality designs or any other outstanding contributions. Martin is for instance an outstanding employee and had contributed immensely to the success of the company in its early days but he is not mentioned to have been appreciated or rewarded for his efforts. Although the employees get substantial bonuses and profits and they have shares in the company, Jeff the CEO steps in and sidelines his expertise to the disadvantage of the employees. This lack of an effective reward system has left the employees disgruntled and willing to leave the company.
Drive motivation theory
This motivation theory suggests that people are usually motivated to take actions in an effort to reduce the internal tension within them that is caused by unmet needs. There is an unmet need in the employees of Saltspray to see their organization succeed but their efforts to achieve this need are hampered by Jeff’s interference. Jeff is an overbearing manager who interferes with the passion of the talented designer at his company. The employees have the drive to produce quality products for the market and all they need is a minimal interference and appropriate facilitation aspects which are both lacking at Saltspray and hence the poor motivation.
- List three primary problems evident in the case
- The growing competition posed by large clothing retailers on small clothing designers and retailers such as Saltspray
- Excessive interference of the management on the operations by employees.
- Forced outsourcing of key manufacturing operations
- Heavy borrowing to invest in equipment and plant upgrades leaving consuming large portions of the company’s operating costs
- Lack of reward scheme for employees
- List at least eight secondary problems evident in the case
- Loss of business due to domination of the market by large industry players
- The realization of reduced profits as huge sums of money are spent in repaying of loans
- Production of low quality goods by oversees manufacturers entrusted with production operations.
- The loss of talented employees
- Loss of distinctive competency in design since the company lost touch with the market demands.
- Inability to exploit the talent of the employees due to the overbearing and unaccommodating nature of the management led by Jeff.
- Massive defects of products produced at oversees production facilities
- The eventual collapse of the company due to quality problems and decline in the demand of the company’s products.
- Compile a list of at least five key recommendations that should aid in fixing the main problems including at least one way to reduce resistance to the changes you recommend.
- Saltspray’s management should ensure that it retains its talented pool of employees. The management can do this by increasing the salaries, offering incentives, long term contracts among other moves to appease the employees. The retention of talented designers ensures that the company safeguards quality concerns and is therefore set to compete with large scale retailers.
- In order to fix the problem of excessive interference from the manager; the employees should collectively address him on the issue. When united they will not feel intimidated by their boss to tell him to give them room to bring about professionalism and innovation in the business.
- In order to overcome the problem of poor quality production by the company’s oversees partners, the management should revoke the ongoing contracts. Thereafter it should cautiously select and partner with a manufacturer who can ascertain to produce quality products.
- The management should also seek to clear the outstanding debt as fast as possible. This will set the company on the path to profitability in a short time thereby allowing for growth and expansion. One way to increase profitability would be to increase the working hours of the current employees. The profits are then used to clear outstanding debts.
- The incorporation of team-building exercises into the management of human resources. Team-building involves participation in fun activities in a setting outside the workplace. Team building brings about cohesion among the workers and irons out conflicts in almost all human resources areas. This also reduces resistance by employees to the recommendations that the management may have regarding the future of the company.
- Define and apply two theories relating to perception and/or decision making errors that may be playing a role in problems
The constructivism theory of perception
This theory explains that knowledge is formed in the human mind when new information comes into contact with existing knowledge. This existing knowledge is developed by past experiences. In this case, Saltspray’s employees have a perception that the involvement of Mr. Jeff the manager is always uncalled for and that his opinions are old-fashioned. It is common belief that people from the older generation have ideas contrasting those of the younger generation. This usually leads to one group rejecting the ideas of the other. Probably Mr. Jeff could have some workable solutions and interventions and the perception among his employees that he is interfering could be misguided thereby contributing to the current problems.
This is a perception theory that suggests that perception is not a passive process. It states that human beings do not simply receive information through their senses but rather people are actively involved in perception by supplying much of their experiences. This perception theory should open up the management and the employees of Saltspray to realize that they are part and parcel of the problems facing the company. The employees should stop heaping blame on Mr. Jeff because they too were there during the downfall of the company. They should accept that they make mistakes so that they are in a position to collaborate and work towards elimination of the company’s problems.
- Apply two leadership frameworks to explain how leadership could improve in this situation
Leadership frameworks provide a consistent approach to the development of leadership in an organization. Some of the leadership frameworks that could be used to improve the situation at Saltspray are the structural framework and the human resource framework.
The structural framework
This leadership framework tries to design and implement a structure or process that is suitable to the current problems. Such a framework may clarify the organizational goals, clarify the lines of authority, manage the external environment, and develop a structure to respond to specific problems. Structural framework focuses on logic, facts, tasks and not emotions and personalities. In the case of Saltspray, the management should redefine the company’s goals and clarify the authority of the management as well as the other employees. Leaders such as Mr. Jeff should have their roles clearly spelt out to avoid interference on employees’ activities.
Human Resource Framework
This type of leadership framework considers people as the heart of any organization. It attempts to respond to the goals and needs of the people in order to gain loyalty and commitment. Emphasis is on empowerment and support. The management of Saltspray should aim to maintain talented employees such as Martin, make them leaders and appreciate them accordingly. This way the employees are retained and they contribute valuable ideas to the management of the company.