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MGT 216

BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS SKILLS GETTING WITH THE PROGRAM Goal To encourage you to understand the relationship between organizational structure and a company’s ability to attract and keep valued employees. Background Information You are the founder of a small but growing high-tech company that develops new computer software. With your current workload and new contracts in the pipeline, your business is thriving, except for one problem: You cannot find computer programmers for product development. Worse yet, current staff members are being lured away by other high-tech firms. After suffering a particularly discouraging personnel raid in which competitors captured three of your most valued employees, you schedule a meeting with your director of human resources to plan organizational changes designed to encourage worker loyalty. You already pay top dollar, but the continuing exodus tells you that programmers are looking for something more. Method Working with three or four classmates, identify some ways in which specific organizational changes might improve the working environment and encourage employee loyalty. As you analyze the following factors, ask yourself the obvious question: If I were a programmer, what organizational changes would encourage me to stay?  Level of job specialization. With many programmers describing their jobs as tedious because of the focus on detail in a narrow work area, what changes, if any, would you make in job specialization? Right now, for instance, few of your programmers have any say in product design.  Decision-making hierarchy. What decision-making authority would encourage people to stay? Is expanding employee authority likely to work better in a centralized or decentralized organization?  Team authority. Can team empowerment make a difference? Taking the point of view of the worker, describe the ideal team.  Intrapreneuring. What can your company do to encourage and reward innovation? FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS 1 With the average computer programmer earning nearly $70,000, and with all competitive firms paying top dollar, why might organizational issues be critical in determining employee loyalty? 2 If you were a programmer, what organizational factors would make a difference to you? Why? 3 As the company founder, how willing would you be to make major organizational changes in light of the shortage of qualified programmers? EXERCISING YOUR ETHICS: INDIVIDUAL EXERCISE MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS The Situation Assume that you have recently gone to work for a large high-tech company. You have discovered an interesting arrangement in which one of your coworkers is engaging. Specifically, he blocks his schedule for the hour between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon each day and does not take a lunch break. During this one-hour interval, he is actually running his own real estate business. The Dilemma You recently asked this employee how he manages to pull this off. “Well,” he responded, “the boss and I never talked about it, but she knows what’s going on. They know they can’t replace me, and I always get my work done. I don’t use any company resources. So, what’s the harm?” Interestingly, you also have a business opportunity that could be pursued in the same way. QUESTION TO ADDRESS 1 What are the ethical issues in this situation? 2 What do you think most people would do in this situation? 3 What would you do in this situation? EXERCISING YOUR ETHICS: TEAM EXERCISE TO POACH, OR NOT TO POACH … The Situation The Hails Corporation, a manufacturing plant, has recently moved toward an all-team- based organization structure. That is, all workers are divided into teams. Each team has the autonomy to divide up the work assigned to it among its individual members. In addition, each team handles its own scheduling for members to take vacations and other time off. The teams also handle the interviews and hiring of new team members when the need arises. Team A has just lost one of its members who moved to another city to be closer to his ailing parents. The Dilemma Since moving to the team structure, every time a team has needed new members, it has advertised in the local newspaper and hired someone from outside the company. However, Team A is considering a different approach to fill its opening. Specifically, a key member of another team (Team B) has made it known that she would like to join Team A. She likes the team members, sees the team’s work as being enjoyable, and is somewhat bored with her team’s current assignment. The concern is that if Team A chooses this individual to join the team, several problems may occur. For one thing, her current team will clearly be angry with the members of Team A. Further, “poaching” new team members from other teams inside the plant is likely to become a common occurrence. On the other hand, though, it seems reasonable that she should have the same opportunity to join Team A as an outsider would. Team A needs to decide how to proceed. Team Activity Assemble a group of four students and assign each group member to one of the following roles:  Member of Team A  Membe
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