Principles of Management Midterm Exam

Topics: Economics

Piyabalo Padaro MGT 301 Midterm Exam 17 November, 2012 1. A re-organization will require that some employees are provided severance packages while other reassigned. What interpersonal managerial roles developed by Mintzberg will a manager confronted with this employ? Explain. Most of us agree that for the companies to function more efficiently and effectively, some changes need to be made sometimes to ensure that the current requirements are met. Managers most of time have to reorganize and restructure companies to deal with the new changes. When Farm Fresh Inc.

for example, was confronted with the economy downturn, its managers had to close some of their stores. This led to some employees being laid off or being reassigned. Laying off or reassigning employees required managers to play some interpersonal managerial roles developed by Mintzberg to make sure the outcome will not be disastrous. A manager will be confronted with the role of leader. He or she has to help the employees in this transition towards the new change in the organization and thus, need to ensure that employees’ resistance is being met with ease and apprehensions.

To do this, a manager has to be able to direct and motivate subordinates, training, counseling, and communicating with subordinates. One of my neighbors John who worked at one of the Farm Fresh stores in Virginia Beach, Virginia told me that before he was laid off from his job, leaders held meetings with all employees who were being laid off to give them counseling. Leaders offered to help them find jobs in other companies.

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That is what a manager will have to do: use his or her leadership skills to help employees that re provided severance packages or employees that have been reassigned.

Also, a manager in this situation has to make sure all concerns and queries of the employees regarding this restructuring lay off and reassignment of jobs are being adequately answered. The manager is required to show exceptional leadership skills to manage this transition in a reasonable manner as employees will not be ready to embrace change. Hence, he or she needs to use his or her experience, charisma and knowledge and establish strong trust with employees to convince them for embracing the new change in the organization. Leadership skills are the most important nterpersonal managerial roles a manager has to use to help employees. When employees are laid off or reassigned due to a re-organization, it can be painful for them to handle this change. Managers have to comfort them, give them advices, and help them through their transition. If managers do not use their leadership skills to do this, employees can confront them, even try to hurt them or themselves once they reach the breakpoint without any help. These outcomes will not help organizations; they will just destroy our society. 2. A manager has decided to use the Hawthorne Studies to improve productivity in an office.

How would she accomplish this? Would the results be short- or long-term? Explain. When an organization functions without any work team, it is most likely that employees will intend to underperform, because there is no observation within employees. “The Hawthorne studies, a series of study that provided new insights into individual and group behavior, were without question the most important contribution to the behavioral approach to management” (Robbins, DeCenzo, & Coulter, 2011, p. 27). The studies are used most of the time by the managers to improve productivity.

The real question here is how a manager accomplishes this and what type of results he or she will get for using the Hawthorne Studies? A manager would accomplish this by encouraging team work or establishing work teams in the organization. Productivity would increase due to the use of teams because team members will perform better when they are being observed by other team members, as per the Hawthorne effect. I remember when I worked in one the grocery stores in Washington DC, my manager used to put us in two teams to carry boxes from the trucks to the store. There were two trucks and each carried hundred twenty boxes of mangoes.

Each team has five members. It took us only thirty minutes to discharge the trucks, because each one of us in my team worked hard not to be outperformed by other team. When we were not working as teams, it used to take us more than an hour to offload the trucks. People are motivated and performed better when they are put in teams, because each team works harder to be champion. This performance increase productivity just like it increased my team performance at the grocery store. If the organization adopts team based approach on a permanent basis, just like how y grocery store did, Hawthorne effect will lead to longer term change in the productivity of the employee. Our manager used this approach as a long-term action to increase productivity at the grocery store. If the team based approach is used for a short term or observational purpose only, the impact will be short term as people will move back to their old habits once they know that they are not being observed. So, the results could be a short- or long-term depend on how a manager intends to use these studies to boost the productivity. We, as human beings tend to slack off when not observed or when not put in competition.

The Hawthorne studies are the foundation of employee’s motivation in organizations. To me, all managers need to use this strategy to increase productivity in their organizations. People work better and harder when they know that they are being observed, and most importantly when they know that they will be rewarded if they performed at their best. 3. Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman argued that, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game” (Friedman, 1962, p. 133).

Do you agree with Friedman? Explain. I partially agree with this statement. Even though it is true that as long as businesses adhere to their social and ethical responsibilities or stay within the rules of the game to maximize profits for their shareholders, they can be termed as socially responsible. However, I believe that sometimes, it becomes the social responsibility of businesses to forego profits or benefits for fulfilling their social responsibilities. Social responsibility goes beyond the concept of profits. It is an obligation for businesses to pay back to the society and community, even if it means sacrificing profits at times.

Society expects companies with greater resources to extend help to the society in whichever manner they want to, and this approach is way beyond profitability. Hence, social responsibility constitutes all acts, whether profitable or not for the business that are undertaken to ensure that the business fulfills its responsibility towards the society and community that it operates in as it is one of the most important duties of the organization. The Food Bank Corporation, for example, goes far beyond profitability to help community. The corporation collects food items that are about to expire from grocery stores.

It then cooks meals to feed poor families across the United States. The corporation is not looking for profit. The social responsibility for this corporation is to make sure people who are in need for food, are well being taken care of. It is true that businesses sometimes have to engage in activities designed to increase their profits. However, social responsibility is more just than maximizing profits. It is a moral obligation towards people. Food Bank Corporation saves lives every day without thinking about maximizing profits. That is the reason why I agree partially with Milton Friedman argument. . Please evaluate this scenario by detailing what the manager would do for each step in the decision-making process. i) Two employees are blaming each other for a project they collaborated on which failed. The manager will hear viewpoints of both the employees on an individual basis and try to ascertain the root cause of the issue. The manager will then ask both the employees to sit together with him, ask both the employees to express their viewpoints and opinion and arrive at a decision or conclusion with the consensus of both the employees.

The manager will encourage both the employees to take this decision as a constructive exercise to avoid such problems in the future and help both the employees to resolve differences and issues to avoid this problem in the future. I recall when I first joined the Navy in 1999; I was working on flight deck with one of my shipmate Bernard. Our job on fight deck was to make sure we troubleshot one of our jets, so that it can be flown in one hour time frame. We both read the instructions wrong, and the jet was not ready at the time of flight.

When we were called by our supervisor to explain what happened, Bernard started blaming me for our failure. I also, fought back by telling our supervisor that it was Bernard’s fault. Our supervisor told us to stop blaming each other. He called us in his office, and asked us individually to address our viewpoints and opinions. After that, we both realized that we had no reason to blame one another. We all got it wrong, we found our mistakes, it is just a lesson learned, and we knew it will never happened again in the future.

So, what our supervisor did was exactly how managers have to do when confronted with two employees blaming one another for failure. Employees will sometimes blame each other, especially when something goes wrong. It is a manager responsibility to use his or her decision- making skills to help employees express their viewpoints and opinions, so that they work together to avoid future failures. ii) The department’s last three hirers all quit within six months. The manager will identify the cause of the issue in the first place by talking to the existing employees and hirers.

Based on the identified issue, the manager will evaluate various alternatives to resolve the cause, such as restructuring of incentives and remuneration, personal growth and development opportunities, change in corporate culture, etc. The various alternatives will be discussed with (Human Resources) HR team, top management and other senior employees and the best course of action will be implemented to rectify this problem in the organization. This scenario actually happened all the times in organizations. Back in 2007, our Supply department hired six Navy contractors to help with supply delivery in Aviation support Division (ASD).

Five out of six of these contactors quitted their jobs in less than three months. Our supply Officer was determined to find out why these workers quitted their jobs instantly. He questioned us individually, and talked to HR team about the issue. He comes to realize that these contractors quitted their jobs because, when they delivered parts to the squadrons, squadrons’ personnel were rude to them; they treated them with no respect. So, they decided to quit avoiding insults. The Supply Officer held the meetings with the squadrons’ leaderships to address and fix the issues.

Since then, all new hired personnel never quit jobs. Everybody was treated with respect, and the work atmosphere got better. When employees in any organization quit their jobs frequently and instantly, the manager role is to use his or her leadership skills to find the reason why this situation occurs. That is what my supply Officer did; that is what all managers suppose to do to make sure the retention of the employees within the organization is high enough to foster its prosperity. 5. Competition with China has eviscerated many American industries, how can women’s clothing companies compete? Car companies?

Please use Michael Porter competitive advantage categories: cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy, and niche in your answer. Explain. It is very difficult for American companies to compete with Chinese companies on cost leadership basis as Chinese manufacturers, be it apparel or car manufacturers, are the pioneers in the low cost manufacturing. Hence, American companies will need to compete on the basis of differentiation strategy. They need to clearly communicate the value proposition, quality and uniqueness of their products as compared to Chinese products to their target customers.

They need to ensure that their products are not easily copied by the low cost Chinese manufacturers and hold an edge in terms of quality, features and characteristics. This will enable them to charge a premium for their products and establish a different market for themselves that is not served by the Chinese companies. American industries such as women’s clothing companies, car companies-just to name a few- often suffer from competition from China because, Chinese industries easily can reproduce the same products but with low quality to sell them cheaper than American products.

As I previously mentioned, the only way for American industries to remediate this problem, is to control their products to make sure they are not copied easily. The products originality needs to be protected. That is the only measure American industries need to take to compete against their Chinese counterparts. References Robbins, S. P. , DeCenzo, D. A. , & Coulter, M. (2011). Fundamentals of Decision Making. In Custom Business Resources (p. 27). Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions

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Principles of Management Midterm Exam
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