Principles and practice of management question and answer

One of the departments of Block Industries Ltd. is headed a manager who is responsible for approximately 50 professionally qualified staff, plus ancillary workers. Section heads look after groups of between four and seven members of staff.

The previous manager was keen, understanding and strict; he closely observed performance, weaknesses and strengths of each staff member. He commended what he observed.
The services offered Block Industries Ltd were efficient and highly regarded. Staff used to take part in many discretionary activities such as involvement in public affairs and voluntary unpaid overtime work.

A year ago, a new manager was appointed. The new manager, trained in a famous business school, appears to be cold and aloof. He immediately promoted two section heads to be assistant managers, one in charge of public relations, the other in charge of administration to be responsible for the newly introduced weekly performance reports and briefing meetings. Since the appointment of the new manager, 30% of the staff have left the organization and the rest have gradually ceased all their discretionary activities. There is now a policy of positive non co-operation adopted employees.

a) In you own words, briefly analyse the human resources problems facing Block Industries Ltd.
b) Identify five causes that might have led to the prevailing situation and suggest the ways in which the situation can be corrected.

a) The human resource problems facing Block Industries Ltd
i. The newly appointed managers in charge of public relations and administration departments have no specific training/expertise to handle amicably the affairs falling within their dockets
ii. The new manager has failed to motivate organizational staff since his personality is wanting-cold and aloof.
iii. The values of team work and organizational synergies/coordination are largely wanting
iv. Organisational change seems to have been poorly managed, the introduction of a highly skilled yet poorly human manager. The board appears to have done poor selection and/or bias may have been involved
v. The new manager is hasty in decision making he has not taken time to analyze employee behaviour.

b) Causes of the derailed human resource situation in the company
i. Lack of a clear policy on managerial promotion and transfers
ii. Lack of essential human and networking skills on the part of the new manager
iii. Lack of a sense of belonging among most employees; the new manager appears partisan in his management of organizational affairs
iv. Resistance to change.

Possible corrective interventions include:
i. As a matter of immediate concern, the board should rescind the decision to hire the new manager and higher another one through a more careful and stakeholder- inclusive approach
ii. Clear reporting relationships should be instituted the board to narrow down any misunderstanding on roles as well as authority-responsibility relationships
iii. Performance appraisal systems should be re-evaluated and especially the goals to be achieved through their use should be clearly spelt out.
iv. Train the new managers on interpersonal relations also the assistant managers could be trained on communication and leadership.

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