Mr. Vincent, Manager of large supermarket, was taking a management course in the evening programme at a local college. Professor had given the interesting but disturbing lecture the earlier night on the different approaches to management. Vincent had always thought that management involved just planning, organizing and controlling. Now this Professor was saying that management can also be thought of as quantitative models, systems theory and analysis, and even something called contingency relationships. Vincent had always considered himself a good manager, and his record with a supermarket chain had proved it. He thought of himself, “I have never used operations research models, thought of my store as an open system, or developed or use any contingency relationship. By doing a few planning ahead, organizing the store, and making some things got done, I have been a successful manager. That other stuff just does not make sense. All the professor was trying to do was making things difficult. I guess I will have to know it for the test, but I am sticking with my old plan, organize and control approach to managing my store.”
Answer the following problems.
1) Critically analyze Mr. Vincent’s reasoning.
2) If you were the professor and you knew what was going through Vincent’s mind, what would you say to Vincent?
Regional Administration Office of the company was hastily set up. Victor D’Cuhna a young executive was directly recruited to take charge of Data Processing Cell of this office. Data processing was to help administrative office in planning and monitoring. The officer cadre of the administrative office was a mix of directly recruited officers and promotee officers (promotion from within the organization).
Females dominated the junior clerical cadre. This cadre was not formally trained. Administrative office had decided to give these fresh recruits on-the-job training because when results were not upto the expectations blame was brought on the Data Processing Cell. Victor D’Cuhna realized that the administrative office was heading for trouble. He knew that his task will not be easy and that he had been selected because of his experience, background and abilities. He also realized that certain functional aspects of the administrative office were not clearly understood by different functionaries, and systems and procedures were blindly and randomly followed. Feedback was random, scanty and controversial, and Data Processing Cell had to confirm every item of feedback. Delays were predictable. D’Cuhna sought the permission of senior management to conduct the seminar on communication and feedback of which he was an expert. Permission was grudgingly given by the senior management. Every person appreciated the seminar. Following the first seminar, D’Cuhna conducted a one week training course for the clerical cadre, especially for the junior, freshly recruited clerks. Amongst other topics, D’Cuhna laid emphasis on Examination Paper of Principles and Practices of Management, filing system, information tracking, communication, and feedback. This helped reorient outlooks to a little extent. But female clerks favoured to ignore the theme and widely circulated the belief that D’Cuhna was an upstart and a show off. Within a short time, considerable friction had been generated in the administrative office as directly recruited officers supported D’Cuhna’s proposal and specialist officers admired him, senior management become cautious and uncomfortable. Junior promotee officers were prejudiced against him. Grand finale followed speedily. D’Cuhna get irritated with a female clerk. During absence of her officer, who was on the sick leave and had not been substituted by another officer, she started submitting nil returns. D’Cuhna took pains to describe to her that for some topics a nil feedback was not tenable. Current status had to be reported— the stage at which the matter was pending, what had been done, and what will be done about it? Lady reported that it was none of his business to tell her this. He must talk to her officer when the officer reports back from leave. D’Cuhna said he would, but in the in the meantime she must present the correct picture. When D’Cuhna called for the files, she refused to part with them. D’Cuhna fired her and reported the situation to the Chief Regional Manager. The other ladies were up in the arms against D’Cuhna. Lady also complained to higher management that D’Cuhna had made passes at her. Other ladies supported her complaint. She also complained that D’Cuhna had no business to scold her. D’Cuhna countered that had there been a male clerk in her place he would have scolded him too. When females enjoyed equal rights with males, D’Cuhna felt he must remain impartial. Nevertheless, D’Cuhna was transferred to another place. The transfer to another place, rather than to another department in same place, was mostly humiliating to him. A shocked and disillusioned D’Cuhna quit the enterprise.
Answer the following problems.
1) Examine the problem and specify the reasons for the failure of D’Cuhna.
2) What could D’Cuhna have done to avoid situation in which he found himself?