The Redgrove Axial Workshop
The Redgrove Axial Workshop – Case Analysis Date of Submission:September, 05, 2012 Table of Contents Introduction and Background3 Analysis of the Problem4 Personal use of company resources4 Closed Interest Groups4 Evaluation of Alternatives5 Conclusion6 References7 Introduction and Background There were many documented and perhaps more undocumented cases of employees breaking rules in the workplace and manager is undecided on how to handle those situation. This case study analyses what happens when there is lack of clear or precise Human Resource policies and why this may cause issues within teams at the ground level.
This is an important study in human behavior to emphasize culture and values in an organization and also to show what happens when rules are not implemented uniformly within formal or informal groups. The main issue in this case “The Redgrove Axial Workshop” is the formation of small informal groups which engages in activities/hobbies which are not part of regular work-day and uses company material. Some employees creates some ornaments from metal scraps which otherwise would be sold and earn revenue for ITE.
The case demonstrate the dilemma of Marc Fontaine on how to deal with this situation in the wake of not so clear human resource process and policies. This analysis will evaluate the reasons of workers behavior and how ITE should deal with it. The analysis will briefly describe the issues, describe organization theory that applies and offer some solutions to the situation. In the conclusion, it will present the solution which is considered best for Axial workshop and ITE. Analysis of the Problem
Below is the analysis of few issues that is evident in ‘The Redgrove Axial Workshop” case. Personal use of company resources Marc Fontaine finds out about the ornaments made of metal scraps in the storage room of workshop. Since, he is new to this division, he perhaps doesn’t know company’s code of conduct and can’t determine whether these are made using company’s material and/or workers spent regular work time manufacturing these. Closed Interest Groups a) After talking to Page and Kadosa. Marc also realizes that there is a very closed informal group within the workshop.
Most of the members of this close group are workers who share similar interest and were transferred from prototype workshop to manufacturing workshop. Although normally these kind of informal groups are beneficial to the company as it promotes friendly environment, but in this case the group was not open in communication with management. When Mark Fontaine asked Page about ornaments he sounded as if he doesn’t know anything and instead sent a new employee Kadosa to talk to Marc. As a supervisor he should have talked to Marc about it in details and explored the possible reasons and corrective actions. ) When the group of workers were moved from prototype testing to manufacturing compressors, they might have felt that the advance skills they have is more or less not needed for the current job and in order to utilize the skills they might have formed the interest group of making ornaments. c) From the case it was not clear if workers knew the rules guiding the use of company material/resources for personal use. Company’s regulation, ITE Code of Conduct states that “ITE employees must protect company assets.
Company assets include 1) intellectual property and trade secrets, b) business strategy, c) financial data, d) production material, e) equipment, f) fleet, furniture and g) computer supplies and software. Company assets are intended for the exclusive use of advancing the mission of ITE corporation” which in general mean that in manufacturing ornaments using metal scraps workers are violating company’s code of conduct. The above points determines 2 inherent problem at ITE. 1) Lack of open communication – Companies hierarchical structure is quite wide and there is a big gap between senior management and base-line workers.
There seems to be enough communication between senior and middle management (Marc Fontaine to meet manufacturing director and Redgrove plant director), but there seems to be not so open communication between Middle management and floor level managers (Page was hesitant to talk to Marc). The assumption-observation error is one of the critical errors in communication, and Marc being a newbie might have to establish that trust and open communication channels to better understand the needs to floor workers. ) Possible Lack of motivation about work in workers – There may be a possible lack of motivation in workers transferred from Prototype testing to manufacturing as their skills may not be fully utilized here (Job and Life Satisfaction from Work-Family Conflict model proposed by Pamela L Perrewe and Wayne A Hochwarter), and the job satisfaction may have gone down and thus they are engaging themselves in ornaments making to showcase their craftsmanship and high quality skills.
Conclusion In conclusion, the issue may seem a small one, but when looked deeper, it seems to involve issue related to job satisfaction, organization behavior and HR policies. Different organizational theories suggests the balance approach between organization and informal groups and alternative ways of job satisfaction where under-utilized skills can be better utilized by engaging workers in different activities and giving them some authority.
Solutions alternatives to the problem were proposed and their effectiveness highlighted. In the end, I conclude with following solutions to the problem in this case. 1) Make employees aware of the company’s code of conduct and possible consequences of not adhering to it. 2) Involve in more engaging communication and officially allowing limited use of resource for informal activities and proceeds be divided between charity and employees use.