- Discuss the case in terms of the attitudes and beliefs of the managers and workers. Pay particular attention to issues related to satisfaction and organizational commitment.
The case is a perfect example which portrays the intricate relationships of the persons of a factory which govern the production and work. The proprietor of the company, J.K. Roberts had kept an amiable relationship with his employees and that came across as a positive thing for all the workers. The company had been seeing good growth until the recent times when it was faced with competition which ignited the urge to control production costs and minimize wastage.
Peter Roberts, the son of Mr. Summers, had taken over as the production manager and his recruitment tagged along certain changes in the administrative policy of the company. This placed the onus on the shoulders of the workers, who were already trying to cope up with the low wages by working overtime. Peter planned to cut down on costs and increase production. His high-handedness and strictness did not go down well with the workers of the company. His image was portrayed to be that of an inconsiderate, overpowering individual who was not concerned about the opinion and well-being of the employees.
While previously these workers engaged in work with deep interest, this imposition seemed to thwart the general course of production. Peter had instructed the foremen to implement the measures of cost control and better production. As such, these foremen came to be seen as hierarchically overpowering and demanding in stark contrast to their previous image of being amiable to all the workers. Bob endeavored to keep the situation under control, but with no avail. The tremendous dissatisfaction of the workers took its toll on the overall production process, while the managers implemented stricter rules to accommodate their ambitions.
The workers retaliated by slowing down their work being put to work ten hours a day for four days a week. They were resentful for being denied overtime working opportunities. The organizational commitment of these workers had been impeded by the actions of the managers and the mounting dissatisfaction had barged in animosity between the managers and the workers.
- Using theories of needs, discuss the differing needs of the male and female workers, the foremen, Mr. Peter Roberts, Bob Green, and J. K. Roberts.
It is quite intriguing to comprehend the different needs of the individuals associated with the company. The male workers were faced with the peril of low wages for running their family and expenses and were constantly endeavoring to enhance their resources by working overtime. Their need was that of safety and security.
The women folk who worked in the company were finding it too strenuous to work ten hours at a stretch for four days a week. This obviously was taking a toll on their health and a sixty year old lady was even reprimanded by the foreman for her inability to cope up with the workload. The authority had turned a blind eye to the fact that the women who were involved in the production could actually feel the pressure as the work would accumulate in the authority’s bid to cut down on wastage and increase production.
The foremen had kept amiable relationships with all the workers previously. But under the transformed circumstances, they were instructed by Peter Roberts to be strict as the helm. They were made responsible for showing improvements in production over the next period and their failure would lead to severe actions which could lead to their losing their jobs. As such, the foremen were made to implement their clutches of authority making the employees feel the pressure. These people were working likewise just to keep their jobs as they would face the brunt otherwise.
Bob Green was made responsible for helping Peter with his work of production manager. This meant the success or failure of the plans to have better production would see his pivotal role. However, he was seen mediating and at times implementing the regulations only to satisfy the need of achieving esteem. Even the failure would mean that he would be put to question by J. K. Roberts.
J.K. Roberts had once seen massive growth in the business and he had almost monopolized the trade until his supremacy was challenged in recent times. This needed prompt action on the part of the authority of the company and the proprietor acted likewise. He wanted to implement measures which would make the company prosper and regain its paramount position in the trade. He was motivated and governed by his need of restoring his omnipotent esteem in the business by neutralizing all competition.
- Discuss the case in terms of the uses and abuses of power.
The company saw the use of power by the production manager, Peter Roberts, who implemented measures which actually increased the problems of the employees and sparked off an ambiance of dissatisfaction among all. Peter was seen as someone who imposed his opinion on others and even abused his position as he utilized the company employees and materials for making full swing set for his children as well as repair his camper.
He had called all the foremen and declared that they were responsible for the increase in production in the respective departments. A failure would make them get reprimanded and even fired. This strict directive made the foremen become extremely non-lenient and they became villainous in the eyes of the workers.
Peter Roberts also revoked the opportunity of working overtime by any employee without his permission. The workers used to earn an extra buck by toiling for some time more at the factory to compensate for their low wages. But this move was quite antagonistic to any such endeavor. The production manager wished to cut down on the expenses through this procedure.
When this measure fell flat, he implemented stricter rules which would lead to the subtraction of one half hour’s pay for every five minutes of being late in joining work. Also, no worker was now allowed to leave his post or position without the permission of the superior. In case an employee was noted to be not working during the hours for quite a number of times, he or she would be dismissed from work. All these measures could be seen as tremendous abuses of power. These regulations enhanced the strain on the workers who toiled day in and day out for the company. The implementation of power on the workers obviously worked as the deterrent and had an adverse effect on the production of the company.
- Knowing what you know about work motivation, what would you do if you were confronted with the situation outlined in this case? Be as specific as possible in responding to this question.
The ambition of increasing the production in the company could be achieved only if the ambiance of animosity and non-cooperation and dissatisfaction could be neutralized. The workers needed to be made aware of the intensity of the need. Extrinsic motivation could help a lot as the workers who were already suffering from getting low wages could benefit from the incentives. Also, the amiability of the managers and foremen could act as the intrinsic motivation for achieving the goal.
The workers needed to be made aware of the opportunities of progression if the goals could be achieved. The betterment of company would lead to the individual’s profit with respect to career and monetary strength. The equity of the input and output needed to be made clear to the workers. However, the denial of overtime acted in the opposite sense.
The workers needed to believe in the internal locus of control, as was the situation prior to the appointment of Peter Roberts. This would propagate a healthy ambiance and promote production in the company.
It should be kept in mind not to treat the employees high-handedly and unreasonably. If anything of that sort is carried out, that would lead to the impending problems that would thwart the growth of the company. While the company has the hierarchical power structure, it still needs to be recognized by the helm that if the workers impede the production, the company would collapse. Hence, it is best to work with optimum cooperation with the workers of the company.
Porter, Lyman W., and Gregory A. Bigley, and Richard M. Steers. Motivation and Work
Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2003.Print.