The appraisee is the administrative assistant in the marketing department of a large university business
school. The marketing department is responsible for the preparation of marketing plans, production of marketing information and materials and the arrangement of open days and ‘drop in’ events for potential students. In order to keep informed of what is happening in the sector there is a need to amass a variety of information from a range of sources to ensure that they can keep the business school on track in filling its courses. The administrative assistant is responsible for collecting articles and press comments on the particular business school, as well as relevant business education articles and information from competitors in the a meaningful assessment. Organisations structured in teams may be more able to introduce effective peer assessment and this can be formalised through an open discussion forum. Upward appraisal includes the views of those employees who report to the appraise and can be an important dimension of management development. It operates by inviting assessment by the manager’s employees as part of the performance management process. The assessment can relate to managerial style and effectiveness, rather than the achievement of organisational objectives and is most commonly undertaken through the completion and submission of appraisal process documents or, alternatively, as part of an employee attitude survey. These results are analysed and returned to the manager and can provide a forum for discussion as well as encourage a problem-solving approach to management development. Upward appraisal may be threatening for a manager and uncomfortable for subordinate appraisers. Although comments may or may not be individually identifiable, upward appraisal may be effective in an organisation which has an open and supportive culture and which encourages participation as a legitimate element in employee and management development.
Multi-rater appraisal or 360-degree feedback is a way of limiting the effect of the one-dimensional approach of the top-down schemes and building on the positive aspects of peer and upward appraisal. Multi-rater appraisers include peers, subordinates, internal and external customers and the manager. The aim is to achieve a broader view of employee performance. It can dilute subjectivity, increase customer focus, support team initiatives, decrease the hierarchical approach and provide greater employee involvement. The use of 360-degree feedback may be more suited to contemporary organisational structures, especially flatter structures, where the span of control may be such that it is difficult for managers to appraise the increased number of employees reporting directly to them. An important dimension of 360-degree feedback is it can improve validity and encourage self-awareness, thereby providing the basis for improved performance (Leopold, 2002; Fletcher, 2004; Marchington and Wilkinson, 2008). HE sector. Therefore, she keeps an eye on everything that could be of interest to senior management of the school. The appraisee has to check local and national press as well as keeping a watchful eye on relevant international press. She has to collect these articles and circulate them to senior managers, compile statistics in response to queries from the dean and heads of departments and compile a pack of information for the monthly executive board meeting.
The appraisee, who has been in post for 9 months, began well but recently her manager has the feeling that she is not progressing as expected. The initial enthusiasm that she showed when she joined the
department from university is no longer apparent, although her work rate and the hours she puts into the job are generally above average. She has missed some important articles in the past three months and she has required help from others in the department twice in the past three months, to ensure that the pack was not late for the executive board. However, she has received increasing praise from the dean and the heads of departments who are impressed with the accuracy and timeliness of the statistical reports she produces for them. Assess the performance of the administrative assistant using for following ratings:
1 Outstanding – significantly exceeds the requirements for the job
2 Very Good – above the requirements for the job in all key areas
3 Acceptable – performance in key areas in an acceptable range
4 Improvement needed – performance in some key areas below the acceptable range and needs to improve to meet the job requirements
5 Poor – significantly below the job requirements.
1 Record your rating and justify your decision by providing supporting evidence. You may make assumptions that are reasonable within the context of this case and your assumptions must also be recorded.
2 What actions must the administrative assistant take to improve her rating? Translate these actions into SMART or CASE objectives.
1. Do some research on male versus female conflict handling styles. Provide a two- to three-page summary of what you’ve found. Here are two guiding questions: Do women and men handle conflict differently? If so, what are the implications of your findings for supervisors? 2.Develop a paper arguing the pros and cons of the employment-at-will doctrine from the
supervisor’s perspective. After presenting both sides of the issue, select the side you support and describe why.
1. How can conflict benefit an organization? 2. What is conflict management? 3. When should you avoid conflict? When should you seek compromise? 4. What is a devil’s advocate? How does a devil’s advocate produce conflict in a department? 5. Can an organization be free of politics? Explain. 6. How do you assess another person’s power in an organization?
1. Identify and describe the characteristics of intercultural conflict. 2. Define interpersonal conflict and its characteristics. 3. Identify five different types of conflict. 4. List the basic principles of nonviolence. 5. Suggest some ways in which cultures differ in their views
toward conflict. 6. Understand how people come by their conflict strategies.
1.Explain the importance of “nonmainstream” histories and their relation to cultural identities. Explain why it is necessary to recover nonmainstream histories. 2. Understand the role of narratives in understanding various histories. 3. Understand the importance of history in contemporary intercultural relations. 4. Explain how diasporic histories influence intercultural
Evaluate the role of financial benefits within total reward strategies.
• Contribute to the development of a flexible benefits approach.
• Appreciate the complexity of pensions and explain the principal characteristics of state, occupational and personal pensions.
• Analyze emerging and declining reward trends.
1.“Supervisors should be concerned with helping their employees cope with both job-related stress and off-the-job stress.” Do you agree or disagree? Discuss.2.Visit OSHA’s website (www.osha.gov). Go to a page that discusses a news release on something OSHA is doing. Provide a two- to three-page summary of the news release, focusing on what OSHA
is intending to do, its effect on workers, and its effect on supervisors.
1.As supervisor, what should Cliff have done when it became apparent Sonja was overstepping her authority during the meeting with Cindy? 2. What steps do you believe Heather should take with Sonja? With Cliff? With Cindy? 3. What are the limitations, if any, to work specialization? 4. How might wider spans of control lead to cost reductions for an organization?
Based on your own personal experience and perceptions of individual performance related pay (PRP),
complete the activity below, by circling a number for each statement. If practical, aggregate the results with a sample of students or work colleagues. In any event discuss your responses and findings in small groups – does a consensus emerge?
1. Conduct an Internet search for articles providing data on the pros and cons of using a 360-degree performance appraisal in an organization. Summarize the articles and end the paper with your beliefs on whether 360-degree evaluations should be used in all organizations. 2. Many supervisors say that evaluating an employee’s performance is one of their most difficult
tasks. Why do you think they feel that way?
1. In this study, Buslig and Ocaña found that conflicts that involved one or more of Galician’s prescriptions took longer to resolve than conflicts involving only myths. Why
do you think this is? 2. Buslig and Ocaña also found that female characters are more likely to initiate conflict with their partners than male characters, which is consistent with research in actual interpersonal relationships. Do you think the differences in conflict initiation are due to
gender, or are there other factors that might explain the difference in conflict initiation.
Your managing director wishes to establish closer integration between business strategy and reward strategy and she wants you to prepare a concise briefing paper in which you articulate the organisational conditions necessary for performancerelated pay to be effective. What would be the content of your briefing?
If you are a consumer of your own company’s products, what jobs do you use them to get done? Where do you see them falling short of perfectly nailing your jobs, and why? Who is not consuming your products today? How do their jobs differ from those of your current customers?
What is the purpose of the uninoculated control tubes used in this test? Because only one uninoculated tube is sufficient to show the green color unchanged, why is it necessary to use two controls? Be specific.
Some microbiologists recommend inoculating a pair of O–F basal media (without carbohydrate) along with the carbohydrate media. Why do you think this is done?
What are global money management methods that reduce corporate transaction costs and taxes?
How was the deal between Bucyrus and Reliance threatened by a government agency? 2. What do you think of how Bucyrus’s CEO handled the situation? 3. Do you think governmental agencies will become more involved in business matters? Why or why not? 4. What is the purpose of accounting?
Consider Williams’ three organising principles of social policy – family, nation and work (1989). In what ways did the social evils identified by Beverage undermine the interests of the family, the nation and the workforce? How are they supported by the five outcomes of the Children Act 2004?
Assume you are a nurse manager on a unit where a new nursing documentation system is to be implemented
Getting the Project Team Back on Track
Jesse Cruz looked forward to leading his project team in his senior entrepreneurship capstone class. Professor Williams chose Jesse and four other team leaders from among those who applied for the positions. The teams are to create a plan for a new small business. Members may not change teams, though leaders can “fire” one member if that person seriously undermines the group’s efforts. At the end of the semester, each group will present its plan to a panel of business alumni who will determine which has the best chance of success and deserves the highest grade. Jesse’s team is made up of seven members (including himself). The group performed well on the first teambuilding exercises and case studies Professor Williams assigned in class. Team members were friendly with one another and willing to share their ideas, though Jesse was concerned that one member, Ralph, seemed to dominate group discussions. That initial good will dissipated quickly when the team sat down to figure out which kind of business it wants to create. Ralph and two other group members (Rose and Isaiah) are pushing to create a plan for a recreational marijuana store. They want to take advantage of the fact that voters in their state recently legalized recreational pot sales. Megan, Joyce, and Bernie have serious doubts about the proposal. They point out that the group would be selling a product banned by their university and still in violation of federal law. They worry that this type of business may be too controversial for the alumni evaluators and would lower the group’s grade. Joyce voted against the change in the marijuana law and believes that selling pot is unethical. Megan, Joyce, and Bernie have proposed a variety of alternatives, including a smartphone repair shop and bakery, but can’t seem to agree on one option. Tensions are rising as the group continues to discuss which business to pursue. Jesse’s concerns about Ralph have proven to be well founded. He comes across as a know-it-all. He declared on one occasion that those who disagreed with him were “clueless” because they didn’t understand how profitable a marijuana business could be. Ralph, Rose, and Isaiah appear more interested in having their way than in listening to their counterparts. They don’t seem to recognize how frustrated Megan, Joyce, and Bernie are. In fact, Megan appears to have given up and rarely speaks, checking her cell phone instead. Joyce hasn’t helped matters by accusing the marijuana store supporters (whom she referred to as “potheads”) of being immoral. Up to this point, Jesse has tried to remain neutral, though he has serious doubts about the marijuana business plan. He has focused on summarizing major points from both sides and encouraging members to listen to one another. He brought donuts to the last meeting in hopes of encouraging a warmer atmosphere. Jesse realizes that the group is stuck and that the entire project (as well as the semester grade in this senior-level class) is in danger. Even he as team leader doesn’t want to come to the group’s meetings anymore. While tempted to side with the marijuana business subgroup just to break the deadlock, he recognizes that members of the other subgroup may not complete their parts of the project if this plan is adopted. He needs to determine what to do before the team meets again. Time is running out.
1. What has Jesse done right so far as a leader? What mistakes has he made?
2. Should Jesse break the deadlock by supporting the marijuana store proposal? Why or why not?
3. What problems do you note in the interaction between group members?
4. What skills do members need to develop? What procedures or guidelines should they adopt?
5. What steps should Jesse take to foster cooperation and address the unproductive and unethical communication patterns in the group?
6. Should Jesse fire Ralph?
7. What should be Jesse’s agenda for the next team meeting?
1. Stewart Brand is credited with saying in the very early days of internet development that “Information wants to be free.” What is your interpretation of this saying? Think about it in both monetary and philosophical terms. How is the current digital environment fulfilling Brand’s statement? How is it not?
2. Freemium-based payment models are becoming more prevalent. What do you think of freemiums? What arguments can consumers make in favor of and against freemium payments? What advantages and disadvantages do they have for the companies that use that payment model?
3. Most, if not all, “print legacy” media companies have fully embraced digital delivery. Mobile devices provide access to the internet, but they also run apps that have specific functions or provide information for publications. Think about the difference between, for example, reading the New York Times in print form, on its website, and browsing it through its mobile app. What is different about these ways to access the New York Times’s content?
Analyse the skills and competencies that managers need in order to manage the individual redundancy encounter effectively. How can the skills be acquired in this sensitive area of managerial action? Evaluate the effectiveness of the support your organisation offers to employees who are being made redundant.
Advise on the termination of a contract of employment in line with relevant legislation. Contribute to the avoidance of successful claims for unfair dismissal. Describe the employment tribunal process in relation to dismissal. Critically review the redundancy policy of your organisation. How fair, effective and workable are the selection criteria identified in the policy?
Analyse the effectiveness of alternative selection methods for compulsory redundancy. Contribute to the development of policies for the effective management of redundancy, including the development of the managerial skills needed to handle redundancy effectively. Examine the concept of survivor syndrome and consider action necessary to rebalance the organisation post-redundancy.
Periodic surveys of unfair dismissal applications have identified the following characteristics of claims: The largest source of claims was in the distribution and hotel and catering industries. Most of the claims were from private sector employees, although the public sector share increased significantly between the surveys.
Attend an employment tribunal which is hearing a claim of unfair dismissal. Write up your experience with reference to the legal framework of dismissal, commenting on whether:
(a) a proper procedure was followed;
(b) the employer acted reasonably in the circumstances;
(c) the employee contributed to the dismissal.
Present an executive summary of the main points to your class.
Read Exhibit 18.3 and discuss why the burden of proof is different under criminal and employment law. What implications does this have for the way that dismissals are handled by managers? Are there any cases of condoned dishonest acts in your organisation? How did they come into being? Do they warrant dismissal? How could they be prevented or stopped?
Critically evaluate the role of the HR specialist in matters of employee discipline in several organisations and explain any similarities or differences. What are the arguments for having a grievance procedure and what are the key professional and ethical characteristics of an effective grievance procedure?
Identify the employee involvement practices used in your organisation. For what reasons do you believe they have been introduced? Are they effective? Should the legal requirement for employers to recognise a trade union if a majority of employees are in favour be retained, abolished or amended? Give reasons for your view.
Undertake an analysis of the way in which pay increases are determined within your organisation. If trade unions are recognised, the analysis should cover the levels at which agreements are made, the different bargaining units and agents that are involved, and how the pay of non-union employees is determined. If the organisation is non-union, the analysis should focus on the criteria and means that are used to decide the level of pay increases and the extent to which employees are able to individually negotiate their pay increases.
What would you look for in your organisation (or one with which you are familiar) to identify whether it has a well-being strategy? How might this strategy be operationalised and how might its effectiveness be monitored? Using the HSE stress management standards, discuss the main sources of stress for particular jobs in your organisation. What are the implications of these organisational stressors for the individual and for organisational effectiveness and how can management respond effectively?
How can the impact of strategic HRD be evaluated? Giving organisational examples explain what information is required and how data should be analysed and findings communicated. Compare and contrast knowledge management and human capital management. What are the similarities and what are the differences?
For your organisation (or an organisation where you are able to get access) use the HSE four-stage process to critically review the management of violence in the workplace. What conclusions can you draw from your review and what recommendations would you make to ensure compliance with the legislative responsibilities?
Central Bar: workplace violence
Central Bar is an independent bar located in the centre of a large university city in the UK. It is a popular bar with students and is always full and very busy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Isabella has been working there for three months and despite always being very busy she generally enjoys the work. A couple of weeks ago she felt very threatened when a male customer started to shout abuse at her because he had to wait to get his drinks. She reported this to her manager and told him that she felt frightened by the incident. A few days later another incident happened when a customer pulled her around when she was walking back to the bar, to complain because he had been waiting a long time. Again, she reported this to her manager, expressing her concerns about the situation. The manager said that this was bound to happen in a busy bar and that she should learn to deal with it. Isabella has had little training except on the range of drinks sold, taking and handling money and issues such as time-keeping and general duties. She speaks to her manager and at this meeting she asks to see the risk assessment and the procedures which are in place for the protection of the employees. The manager brings out a health and safety policy which was written two years previously and he talks this through with her. There has been no risk assessment done for over a year and there is no mention of harassment by customers. The manager agrees to review the policy and to meet with employees within two weeks. Two weeks later he shows employees the actions he recommends. These include:
• A policy on barring customers who threaten employees
• Clear employee guidelines on refusing drinks to customers who are considered to be a threat
• The introduction of door staff at certain times of the year when they are very busy
• CCTV cameras will be installed to allow better visibility of all areas of the bar
1 Do these actions fulfil the legal requirements of the bar owner?
2 Analyse the actions recommended by the Health and Safety Executive in Managing work-related violence in licensed and retail premises (2008b, www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg423.pdf) to manage work related violence and detail the further actions you recommend should be taken to provide a safe and healthy workplace for the Central Bar employees.
United Biscuits and the stress management standards
United Biscuits decided to manage stress using the management standards in order:
To address the increase in reported ‘stress’ cases during the period 2003–2005.
• To introduce preventive measures to tackle work-related stress with a view to reducing litigation.
• To take responsibility and care for the well-being of employees.
Apply the legislative framework, and in particular the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Health and Safety Regulations 1992 (consolidated in ERA 1996 and MHSW Regulations 1999), which implemented EU Directives. Contribute to the creation of an active and positive health and safety Culture.
Assess the significance of human resource development (HRD) for individual and organisational performance and change. Evaluate the systematic approach for identifying and responding to learning and development needs. Assess different approaches to HRD strategy formulation
Health and safety in Cobras department store
A year ago you were appointed by the store director as the competent person responsible for assisting with health and safety in the Cobras department store. The store has a turnover of £30 million per annum and a staffing establishment of around 400. This case relates to the general services, warehousing and maintenance (GSWM) department. There are 50 staff in the GSWM department who undertake work associated with cleaning, general maintenance and repairs, transport and storage of goods and store security. The GSWM working environment contains many hazards and is characterised by significant risks to health and safety.
The GSWM department has traditionally had a poor health and safety record. The demands of supporting customer-focused sales departments have resulted in health and safety concerns being subordinated to operational demands. There is a carefree and fatalistic attitude towards health and safety among the staff, which is evident from high accident, injury and absence rates. Other problems include:
• unsafe manual handling
• irregular use of personal protective equipment
• untidy working areas
• poor storage of goods.
Critically evaluate the impact of the following national initiatives as a way of redressing the UK’s skills gap: Train to Gain, Skills Pledge, apprenticeships, raising of the education leaving age.
Recognise that prescriptive legislative approaches have been found wanting and the health and safety focus has shifted to ascribing employee and employer duties and responsibilities.
What is the distinction between manager training, manager development and management development? What are the challenges of integrating work-based and off-the-job forms of management development and what can be done to meet the challenges? Explain the perceived tension between the performance imperative and employee health and safety at work.
Critically discuss the extent to which the processes in the systematic training cycle are carried out in your organisation. Which stages in the cycle receive most attention and which receive least? What are the limitations of the systematic training cycle as a framework for practice?
SPS Research: HRD strategy of ‘build not buy’
SPS Research is a leading provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data and valuations services. As part of an organisational refocusing process a ‘people strategy’ was launched that gave more responsibility to line managers for HRM and HRD processes. The HR strategy comprised three main strands: a ‘build not buy’ approach to recruitment and development; performance management, and rewards; all of which were linked to the wider business strategy and to a number of organisational performance outcome targets. A number of interrelated policies were needed to achieve these requirements. First, the HR strategy targeted inexperienced yet skilled staff in recruitment and selection processes. Line managers were then encouraged to be actively involved in providing opportunities for their ‘fast track’ development through work-based learning opportunities such as job placement, job design and job rotation of team members and identifying where attendance at formal training courses was necessary. Individual employees were also expected to be responsible for the self-management of their own development and to ensure that they gained maximum benefit from the work-based development opportunities that were provided for them. In this way a ‘build not buy’ HRD approach was adopted. Training, learning and development throughout the organisation was also seen as a fundamental part of HR strategy. A highly experienced HR director led the functional team with the remit of ensuring that line managers’ development was prioritised as a key feature of the support of HRD processes. The incentive for everyone involved in the HR strategy was success in a highly competitive business environment; the perpetuation of an enviable reputation for excellence and the development of hard to copy ‘people capabilities’ able to sustain the competitive advantage that SPS had built up over the years.
Discuss the extent to which the ‘build not buy’ approach would be effective in your organisation.
What HRD resources would need to be in place?
LSC Clothing: four stages of the training cycle
LSC Clothing is a manufacturer of leading brand casual wear employing almost 4000 people across 25 countries with products that can be found in retail outlets across the world. In 2005 concerns were raised by senior managers about inconsistent sales performance within the sales division. It was recognised and accepted within the division that a step change in effectiveness was needed but opinions differed about the nature of the current performance problems. The learning and development team set out to undertake a detailed learning needs analysis process relating to the sales process which incorporated a range of different forms of information from different stakeholders. The use of a systematic diagnostic process meant that the organisation could get a consistent view of the current capability gap. The learning needs analysis process provided the foundation for the learning and development team to develop a tailored training and development programme for the salesforce focused on the basic principles of good selling within the LSC Clothing business model. Four ‘Sales in LSC’ training modules were developed in partnership with sales executives over a period of 12 months. Each module focused on one ‘phase’ of the LSC sales cycle. The initial courses were delivered by a specialist sales training organisation in collaboration with local sales directors from the different country groups. Those who had participated were then responsible for cascading the modules in their own locations. Each of the different modules was scheduled to occur at times when they would be most relevant to the LSC sales cycle to ensure that what had been learned could be applied directly and so become embedded into ongoing sales practices. Effective learning programmes rely on the involvement and support of top managers at all stages of the systematic learning cycle and the learning and development team ensured top level management involvement by asking sales directors to devise and introduce a ‘dashboard of key metrics’; figures that would assess sales effectiveness and sales skills and would feed directly into the training evaluation process. In addition senior managers (not learning and development specialists) conducted a series of telephone interviews with a sample of the sales staff to find out what participants had found useful about the training, which of the tools they were using and how the training process might be improved.
1 Critically comment on the effectiveness of the LSC Clothing approach.
2 How could the effectiveness of the sales training be evaluated?
The CIPD survey (2008a) of management practice in dealing with employee absence reported the finding that around 27 per cent cite ‘other absences not due to genuine ill health’ as a cause of short-term absence. Clearly, this is a perception and the reality is difficult to verify, but the implication is that a substantial proportion of sick absence is not genuine. Make your own assessment of this finding – is it the case that 27 per cent of absence involves dishonest intent? What does this mean? What can be done about it?
In small groups critically review examples of individual performance objectives; what objective measures would you use to assess performance against these objectives? Critically examine the process for collecting sick absence information in your organisation. How effective is it in capturing accurate, timely and reliable data?
The directorate of your organisation is considering the introduction of flexible benefits for all employees and is seeking your advice. What advice would you give, first, about the added-value business advantages of flexible benefits and, second, about the feasibility, design and implementation of an
appropriate flexible benefits scheme?
Managing absence and attendance: comparative strategies
Reducing unplanned leave of absence at a major supermarket
Each employee is to be given three extra days of paid leave each year, but sick pay will not be paid for the first three days of any illness, regardless of whether the illness is genuine or not. Shopping voucher
incentives will be given to employees who have zero unplanned absence in a year. The HR manager has
stated that ‘the aim of the scheme is to reduce absence which affects the level of customer service and increases the pressure on the employees who have to cover extra work. The aim is to encourage employees to plan absence and although we do not want to penalise genuinely ill employees, we do want to discourage employees from taking regular days off.’ The HR manager provides reassurance that the organisation will be sympathetic to reasonable employee requests for time off for family or domestic matters to avoid employees feeling they have to claim to be sick to attend to pressing personal matters. The scheme has the tentative support of USDAW, although they are less happy about the lack of sick pay for the first three days of sick absence.
Managing absence at a UK train operator
Managers are reluctant to appear heavy-handed and want to maintain good relations with the recognized trade union. It was recognised that there were deficits in accurate sick absence data and in management capability to manage sick absence. In particular there was a lack of understanding of the purpose of return-to-work interviews and therefore they were rarely undertaken. Absence management was perceived by line managers, who were intensely financially focused, as not their problem and expected HR to deal with it. The response of the organisation was to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data, to produce a league table which was made available to managers and employees and to introduce a ‘One of our team is missing’ training programme to raise individual awareness of the impact of sick absence on the rest of the team. Other initiatives included enabling easier access to occupational health professionals, setting up a joint management and trade union ‘Sickness and release group’ to focus on preventive measures and setting targets of a reduction in sick absence from 9 to 7 per cent for on-train employees and from 5 to 4 per cent for station-based employees.
1 Discuss these two approaches to managing absence and attendance and identify the management challenges associated with them.
2 Evaluate the extent to which each approach is likely to reduce the frequency and/or volume of sick absence.