It was assumed that she would come around to it gradually. To encourage this, she was occasionally sent on other courses to learn about additional features, such as mail merge, that would save time. But somehow, Paula never had the time to create the necessary files, and the equipment was only used when someone specifically, and firmly, asked for a document to be put on the machine (which did not happen very often). Even when it was obvious that a document would be revised, or used again in the future, she preferred not to use the word-processing system.
When the word-processing software was updated, Paula went on another course, and ‘learned’ the new version….. But still, she did not use it. When Pretty, a former secretary, became the manager of Paula’s section, she discovered that Paula had no idea of how to keep track of documents on the machine, knew only the simplest editing commands, never used standard formats, or ‘boiler-plate paragraphs’, and was still typing out the address labels for regular mailings individually. Paula was booked on an expensive, four-day course on desktop publishing.
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Pretty’s view was that Paula could be doing 10% – 20% more work, if she was using the system properly, and that the documents would look better. Pretty also discovered that, after the original decision to purchase the system, the previous manager had never taken the time to discuss Paula’s difficulties, or reservations properly. Nothing had been done, after any of her numerous courses, to ensure that she had ‘protected time’ to go over, and then practise what she had been taught (if anything, the reverse was the case – a backlog awaited her).
In addition, the previous manager had not arranged access to the ‘local experts’ in word-processing in other sections. Paula’s lack of progress in word-processing had never been discussed, and she was not appraised – so, no cleat statement about what was expected of her had ever been expressed. The possibility of re-defining her role, to take advantage of Paula’s many strengths had never been considered. It was also apparent that the staff Paula worked for avoided making improvements to documents, and often felt frustrated by the slow service that they received.
They seemed vaguely aware that Paula was not making full use of the equipment, but did not like to push the matter. She was, as was often pointed out, one of the best secretaries, and the section was lucky to have her…… If you were Pretty, what steps would you consider taking to develop Paula’s word-processing skills? Note any potential pitfalls, and what you see as the main difficulties to overcome. 2.
Many organisations espouse the ‘soft’ version of HRM, which focuses on treating employees as valued assets, and a source of competitive advantage. The ‘Hard’ model of HRM stresses HRM’s focus on the crucial importance of the close integration of human resource policies, systems and activities with business strategy. Discuss fully, the Soft and Hard models of HRM 3. Consider the following scenarios and answer the questions after them. a. A company has for many years offered a wide range of fringe benefits to its employees, including a subsidized canteen, company cars and free Christmas hampers.
In reviewing its policy, the company conducted a survey which revealed that employees would have preferred to have received the cash value of the perks, which they could then spend at their discretion. In the light of this finding, the company instituted a profit sharing policy, whereby all 10 000 employees received an annual cash payment equal to between zero and 10% of their annual salary, depending on the financial performance of the company. b. A manufacturing company has always believed in treating all employees the same in terms of their employment contracts and pay structure.
While the workers at the main plant seem to be generally happy with how they are treated, the sales force, which consists of individuals operating largely independently, working from home and pursuing their own leads, has been complaining that its pay is too low. After a steady stream of resignations, the company responded by offering to pay commission of 1% on the sales increase which any individual sales person manages to achieve over the previous year’s sales. c.
Members of a small, closely knit team -Blue team – greatly enjoyed the weekend they spent together last year at a country hotel, courtesy of their employer, as a result of being the team which achieved the lowest number of defects during the year. This year they were told that the company would not be operating the ‘top team treat’ policy because of financial stringencies introduced in the face of a difficult trading environment – but the firm did say that the scheme would be reintroduced next year. This decision was accepted as fair by the employees.
In the event, the company had a better year than expected, and so the managing director made a surprise announcement at the end of the year that the award would be made. He announced simultaneously that Blue team had won for the second year running. d. A public sector organization recently introduced a performance related pay scheme. Basic pay in the organization was below that offered by the private sector companies, but staff were highly committed to their work. Although managers could not offer everyone more money, they calculated that, by offering the prospect of higher pay, they would increase both satisfaction and effort.
Accordingly, a scheme was introduced which paid an annual cash bonus based on the performance of each employee, assessed through the performance appraisal system. i. In each of the cases above, what can you say about expectancy, instrumentality and valence? ii. According to expectancy theory, in which case was motivation likely to be highest? 4. A group of idealistic young people start a co-operative business, recycling or disposing usefully, of various waste and surplus products from industry.
They start off sharing the different sorts of work, and paying themselves equally. The business is successful, grows, and develops new lines, eventually running an innovative, technically complex, waste re-processing centre. A) What difficulties would the system of equal pay cause? B) In the arguments about whether to change the reward system, which employees would you expect to base their arguments on ‘fairness’? 5. Discuss fully, the following three standard approaches to job design: a. job enlargement b. job enrichment c. job rotation 6.
Hiring for Person-Organisation Fit will become the only effective selection model for the typical business environment. Discuss fully, the person-organisation fit approach to organizational entry END OF ASSIGNMENT ———————– INSTRUCTIONS You are required to select and answer any 4 questions. Each of your answers should not exceed 3 A4 sides. Conceptual models and frameworks will earn you marks. Assignment to be sent to me in digital format by 19 February, 2012 the latest. My email address is: [email protected]. ac. zw Each question carries 25 marks