During the preparation for your meeting, you discover that UWEAR and PALEDENIM do not currently have any policies in place to provide whistleblower protection as outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act, Section 806. Because UWEAR is a publicly-traded company, as will be PALEDENIM, you recommend that they immediately implement a policy to address this issue.
You schedule a meeting with the two executives responsible for the policy decisions in human resources (HR): Sharon Reese, the HR manager for UWEAR; and Marcia Henry, the HR manager for PALEDENIM.
"Thanks for meeting with me today, Sharon and Marcia," you say as you shake their hands across the table in the small conference room. "As you both may be aware, we have many challenges that are facing us during this transition period of the merger." Watching their body language, you see that they are wondering what you want from them. As a strategic manager for a consulting firm, you have been in this situation before. You are an outsider who is trying to help a company and their employees change, and you have found that nobody likes change.
"Because we haven't had the opportunity to work together up to this point, I was hoping that you could share with me some of your philosophy about management and tell me about your management style," you say. "How do you like to manage?"
"I guess I'll start," says Sharon. "I've been an HR manager for over 17 years with UWEAR and have seen this company grow and change quite a bit in that time. I took this job right out of college after getting my B.A. in human resources management. I feel that I am successful because I make things happen. If something needs to be done and needs to be done quickly, people always come to me. I have a very intuitive management style, and I get a real feel for people and situations. I inherently know what needs to happen to get the job done. Also, I don't think it's necessary to create huge project plans with long implementation timelines. If you want something done, I'll get it done for you. People who invest all of their time in planning and strategizing take too long to get things accomplished. Time is wasted, and the team loses momentum."
"Thanks for sharing that information, Sharon," you say. "I get a feeling that you are someone who can really make things happen, and I can appreciate that. Marcia, how about you?"
Marcia starts, "I have been the HR manager for PALEDENIM for the past 3 years. I have about 20 years of experience in the HR field and have an MBA. I feel that I'm an effective and trusted manager. I seldom interact with my vice president because she trusts me to do the job that I was hired to do. I don't get much glory, but I don't get much grief. My goal is to bring my projects in on time and at or below budget. Sometimes it is necessary to request additional resources to meet time lines if plans don't go off as scheduled, but I am not afraid to speak up and make that request. My projects are planned and laid out prior to implementation. I partner with my team to make sure they are successful and, in turn, I am successful."
Answer the following in a paper of 2-3 pages:
- What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of each manager's approach to management?
- How will you tailor your approach to each manager based on your knowledge of each of them?
- What do you feel will be the challenges faced by each manager in formulating and implementing a policy within a relatively short time line?
- How do you need to advise each manager to ensure that they formulate and implement the policy?