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Case Study Ch 2: Howe 2 Ski Stores

Essay by   •  March 31, 2016  •  Case Study  •  807 Words (4 Pages)  •  3,144 Views

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OB-1 Case Study Chapter 2:

Howe 2 Ski Stores page 75-76

  1. What are the main problems occurring in the Howe 2 Ski Stores? To what extent are the problems due to personality versus characteristics of the work environment?

The main problems occurring in Maria Howe’s stores are orders being late and a decreased productivity. These issues can mostly be explained by personality divergences amongst member of staff and/or staff becoming too familiar with each other, the work environment remaining unchanged cannot explain them.        

  1. What behaviours need to be maintained or increased and what behaviours should be reduced or eliminated?

Behaviours such as punctuality, attendance and good performance need to be maintained and/or increased; on the other hand behaviours such as absenteeism, lateness, socialisation during work hours and lack of care are behaviours that have to be reduced, or better eliminated.

  1. What do you think of Maria Howe's attempt to respond to the difficulties in the stores? Use operant learning theory and social cognitive theory to explain the effects of her merit performance system. Why was it not more effective?

Maria tried to respond to the difficulties in her store by putting in place a merit performance system for her moulders. These employees then learnt that a certain behaviour would lead to a reward or consequences (depending on the nature of the behaviour exhibited).

The merit system she chose was only directed the some of her employees, creating tensions amongst departments who may have felt as they all deserve to be part of the merit system. As well this system was directed to employees working at a separate location where they felt like their work could not be accurately monitored. This would explain why it wasn’t as effective as she hoped for it to be.

  1. What do you think Maria Howe should do to respond to the difficulties in the stores? Refer to operant learning theory and social cognitive theory in answering this question.

I believe Maria could respond to the difficulties she is meeting in her store by monitoring closely the behaviour of her managers. Having her managers well trained and leading by example, setting goals and rewarding them for achieving said goals. The social cognitive theory suggest that human behaviour is best explained by personal, environmental and work factors; complementing the operant learning theory explained in the previous question.

Having her managers lead by example will teach employees the expected behaviour in a positive way rather than directly experiencing consequences. Praise and recognise where employees self-efficacy is enhancing their performance and thus allows them to contribute positively in the task at hand. Praise and recognise self-regulation, when a good behaviour is displayed and progresses towards the achievement of higher goals and performances.

  1. What organizational learning practices might be effective for changing employee behaviours? Consider the potential of organizational behaviour modification, employee recognition programs, and training programs. Explain how you would implement each of these and their potential effectiveness.

In this case Maria should consider an employee training program, in which she will have every employee learn about the sport and equipment they are selling as well as the behaviour expected from them. Regular training is a must as every employee must keep up-to-date with the new technologies and new products available for the sport. Each employee must take part in the training to make it efficient.

An employee recognition program such as Employee of the month, a most helpful employee award (customer driven program) or a peer recognition program (co-worker driven) can also be a very useful tool for Maria to use and in encouraging her employees to behave in a certain way.  Using rewards that can be cash, holiday package or even a plaque.

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