Term Paper: Dimitri's Baked Goods Inc

Pages: 8 (2526 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This large span of control has been attempted to be managed by providing written guidelines to all agents and by expecting agents to manage themselves. The fact that 75% of agents do not make even one sale per year suggests that this span of control is too large, or that greater effort needs to be made to compensate for it.

While decision-making for the company as a whole is concentrated in the three managers, the agents are expected to act independently and manage their own operations. This is an example of decentralized decision-making with employees empowered to manage themselves. This is an effective method of giving control to employees to act on their own. This approach is justified considering the nature of the role and the fact that agents need to use their own judgement and make decisions quickly and effectively. However, the success rate of employees suggests that something is missing that does not make this empowerment as successful as it should be.

Leadership

Marie's approach to leadership is a centralized approach where she controls staff and tells them what to do rather than accept any input from staff. This focus is task-oriented rather than people-oriented. One of the major reasons this approach is not effective is that Marie is using an authoritative approach but has no power other than that given to her because of her position. This is legitimate power, but not a power that commands respect from subordinates since she has little experience in this area and only has the position because she is the wife of the owner. This leadership might be effective if Marie had expert power and was more qualified and experienced than her subordinates. However, as it is, there is no reason for employees to respect her position.

The leadership style of Harvey and Paul can be described as an interactive approach, where an interactive approach is one that is focused on the environment, rather than the tasks. Harvey and Paul believe that they can achieve results by "providing great working conditions and by establishing excellent interpersonal relations between them and their staff." Harvey and Paul aim to create an open environment, enhancing this by holding social activities and having company meetings. The effectiveness of this method can be seen by looking at the issue in terms of the situational theory of leadership. This theory links the leadership style to the task readiness of subordinates. The management style of Harvey and Paul is suitable to those employees high in readiness who need little direction and have the skills, confidence and willingness to work. However, for employees with low task readiness, more leadership is required. This explains why some employees are suited to the environment while others are not. To fix this problem, Harvey and Paul either need to provide more leadership and direction to employees or need to be more selective in hiring employees with high task readiness who can be successful in the environment provided.

Motivation

As the case study says, "The Brokers motivate their sales staff by, in part, working hard and generating sales themselves." Motivation is also provided by the "open board" where all the listing and sales are compiled, with viewing the accomplishments of other agents expected to encourage employees to work harder. This approach can be related to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, with these motivation tools relating to esteem and self-actualization needs, the two highest needs on the scale. The problem with this motivation is that the company has not first provided for the lower level needs such as physiological, safety and belongingness needs. By only paying employees commission, employees do not have the definite income to meet their physiological needs. By not providing job security, employee's safety needs are not met. Finally, while the company attempts to create an organization based on teamwork, these motivation methods also mean that employees are competing with each other. Employees are not provided with any status or even a desk-space unless they make a certain amount of sales. This high pressure environment makes it difficult for these belongingness needs to be met or for employees to feel comfortable. These methods may work for some employees that are highly competitive and at the self-actualization stage, but for most employees these methods are counterproductive and more likely to decrease motivation.

The working conditions can also be related to Herzberg's two-factor theory. This theory states that for employees to be motivated, first the hygiene factors must be present which ensure employees are not dissatisfied. These hygiene factors include pay and security, company policies and interpersonal relationships. These hygiene factors are not provided for. Pay and security are not provided since employees are only paid by commission. Clear company policies are not provided, giving employees nothing to base their behaviors on. And, while the owners claim to want to create an organization with strong interpersonal relationships, they also are difficult to approach and discourage employees working together. These factors all contribute to the dissatisfaction of employees.

Communication

Vertical communication is informal and on a group rather than an individual basis. More formal methods of communication include the Action Realty house newspaper and the booklet of company policies. Policy meetings are also held monthly, with these an opportunity for open communication between management and employees, though employees are not required to attend and part-time employees are not aware of the meetings. This indicates that there is opportunity for upward communication, but whether this communication is effective is not clear. Not involving all staff in the meetings suggests that the upward communication is limited.

While management say they prefer problems to be taken to them, there appears to be little one-on-one communication. This indicates a lack of individual attention that is also likely related to the large span of control.

Horizontal communication is encouraged on a social level, though employees are also encouraged to work on their own. There is an inconsistency in communication, where on one level employees are expected to communicate openly and yet are also encouraged to work separately and to compete against each other. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Dimitri's Baked Goods Inc.  (2002, October 20).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/dimitri-baked-goods-inc-structure/9637513

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"Dimitri's Baked Goods Inc."  Essaytown.com.  October 20, 2002.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/dimitri-baked-goods-inc-structure/9637513.