Scenario A: The decision making process
Kevin James, an owner/manager, had been considering the introduction of a new service to his small business selling printer cartridges to other businesses. This service involved sales, delivery, maintenance and installation of printers that were compatible with the printer cartridges sold. While under consideration, the manager had noticed a few employees being opposed by the idea. The manager did not bother to discuss with employees the idea further to find out what their issues were. He simply made the decision, seemingly overnight, to introduce the service. The backlash from this decision was almost instantaneous. Two staff members quit- they said that their job descriptions had changed (from sales to maintenance) and they had not even been told about it. Furthermore, as the service was introduced and was quite sought after, the manager realised that existing staff members did not have the expertise to install and maintain the printer; most of them had never had anything to do with the printers and their knowledge extended little beyond changing the cartridge. A number of upset customers contacted the manager to say that the service they had ordered was crap. The printers ordered were not installed and working properly, those who had ordered maintenance and repairs had not gotten what they paid for because the employee that was sent was not able to fix the problems. The few employees that stayed with the business were angry, upset and frustrated. The business lost reputation and sales, this loss even extended to the printer cartridges. One more employee decided to leave, and as he left on his last afternoon, he stated: “All of this mess could have been easily avoided if you had involved us in your decisions”.
Task: Imagine that you are the owner of the company. Now you are trying to accomplish the following tasks with your team about the issues discussed above. Your trainer will act as your team member. You will need to show interpersonal, networking and leadership skills in this task.
Think about the following in your role play:
earlier in the decision making process.
employee involvement and provide support.
what could have been done differently previous to introducing the service to change the
Your aim is to spire trust and confidence of employees and ensure that relevant cooperation and support is provided. You will also show that you have the ability to encourage support from key employees about the ideas which you have proposed and explained. Please write a report to address what you did to accomplish the above tasks.
Scenario B: Creating a positive work environment
As a new manager for a large transport company, Bill Evans was concerned with his employees‟
work environment and attitudes. He had noticed that many employees were disengaged and had a negative attitude towards work. He was already aware that the turnover rate and absence hours
were higher than acceptable. He had also noticed that customer complaints made to employees were never communicated or dealt with. When delivery drivers got a complaint from a customer
about late deliveries, missing or damaged items or poor communication, it almost always
happened face-to-face during a delivery, and employees usually responded with something in
lines with: “I have no authority or saying over work, I don‟t make the rules and I am not
responsible for planning”. Bill was quite concerned with this attitude, and decided to try going to
the bottom of the problem to figure out what he could do to improve the situation. He quickly found out that the previous manager had been a real nightmare. Bill suspected that the current
issues were caused by the previous manager‟s style and attitude. Bill wanted to create a positive
working environment for all employees where employees were happy, creative, had the authority and ability to solve problems creatively and be accountable for their work.
Task: Discuss what you think the previous manager would have been like to create such a
negative working environment. Also discuss what you would have done if you were Bill to try
creating a positive working environment that would better serve employees and the organisation. Also discuss what kind of improvements you think would be the result of this change.
Scenario C: Ethical conduct
Natalie Cummings is the manager for the Melbourne-based branch of a national college. When
Natalie got the job she was quite young and inexperienced in the role of manager, and she had to learn a lot on the job. Natalie realised as time went by that she did not have enough knowledge of the industry and its codes, laws and legislation, as she came from a trading background. She had
also realised that there were a lot of codes of practice and requirements that needed to be
followed in order to run a college according with legislative requirements and frameworks. In the
beginning, she had not worried too much about these details; when employees had asked her questions about what to do in certain situations she had just used her own judgement and not bothered to find out if this would be compliant or not. If someone had pointed to a compliance
issue, she had instructed them to either fix the problem or „hide‟ it if the issue was difficult to rectify.
However, she now felt that the situation had spiralled out of control; employees had learnt that this was acceptable, and they were all building a house of cards that would eventually fall. She knew at this stage that they would have a large number of compliance issues and they would be in trouble if audited. Natalie, sensing that an audit was not too far away, decided to start working on solving the problem. She spoke to some of her most trusted employees, and asked them to make up „fictitious‟
evidence of communication to students that was required by law but had been overlooked, as well as
assessment evidence that was the basis for issuing certificates. They all agreed to help, as most of them had already figured out that their jobs were probably at stake come an external audit.
Task: Discuss the problems in this situation from an ethical perspective. What alternative course of
action should Natalie have taken when she started realising they were incompliant? What is her
responsibility in relation to unethical behaviour as the manager of this college? Why do you think this situation got so out of hand? Discuss the role of the manager in modelling ethical conduct and encouraging others to adopt business ethics.
This exam is an individual open book assessment where students are required to complete all
questions. The assessment tests the essential knowledge of this unit. Students need to accurately complete all questions to be competent.
Section A- Short answer
(2 marks each, total of 20 marks for this section)
1) Please explain why it is important for the leader to explain the organisation‟s expectations to
employees, and give an example of what those expectations could be.
2) Please explain why it is necessary to consider the organisation‟s existing risk management plans before making decisions.
3) Why should a leader encourage employees to develop innovative approaches to the performance
of their work? How could this be done?
4) Why should a leader adapt their leadership style to suit the situation? Give an example of different styles of leadership and what situations they would best be suited for.
5) Who in the organisation needs to know about professional codes, by-laws and legislations that are relevant to the business operations? Please give at least one example.
6) Give a few examples of factors a leader needs to think about when communicating with
employees and teams to ensure that the language and media used is appropriate. Also explain what happens when the language and media is NOT appropriate.
7) Give at least one (1) example of what organisations commonly do to ensure that the organisation is represented positively in the media and community.
8) What are some of the things the leader must consider when assigning responsibilities and
accountabilities to teams and individuals?
9) What happens when a team is given tasks and responsibilities without the proper resources
10) Explain why it is important for a leader to clearly state the expectations of each individual and group in an organisation.
Section B- Essay questions
Instruction: Read questions carefully and answer all questions.
the organisation‟s strategic direction. Also explain how these influence the responsibilities of individual employees and teams.
own professional competence level and performance is continuously improved?
6a. Briefly describe what organisational mission, purpose, values and culture is.
6b. Why is it important for a leader to foster and support the continuous improvement of
organisational culture? How could this be done?
results of the investigation be reported to?
that personal and team goals, objectives and outcomes are appropriate and achievable?
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