Employee Empowerment Chapter

Length: 4 pages Subject: Leadership Type: Chapter Paper: #43143677 Related Topics: Excel
Excerpt from Chapter :

Empowering Cases

What guidelines related to empowerment were violated by Ken Hoffman? By Ruth Cummings?

If you were an outside consultant attending the meeting, what advice would you give Ken? What advice would you give Ruth?

Should this decision be made by you alone? Why or why not?

If you answered the question, "Should I involve others?" affirmatively, which alternative in Figure 8.2 should be used in making a decision? Justify your choice.

What are the most important considerations in deciding whom to involve in this task?

If others are to become involved, how much empowerment should they have? What would you do specifically to achieve the appropriate level of empowerment?

Part

What guidelines related to empowerment were violated by Ken Hoffman? By Ruth Cummings?

As discussed in the case, Hoffman and Cummins seems to have both violated several of the informal guidelines that foster empowerment. The first case was on the part of Hoffman as she did not clearly state the goals and objectives of the company. As is evident from the case of the regular buyer who wanted to be billed more than $3,000, Cummins did not allow the customer to make the purchase. Hoffman possibly had not made it clear to Cummings that the primary objective of the company was allow for sales and to ensure customer satisfaction. Cummings did not allow the customer as it was not a rule to allow such a big billing at a regional store. Therefore the customer had to waste time to go to the main store to make the purchase and the company was frustrated for Cummings following rules of the company and not allowing the customer to make the purchase. Hoffman also should have made it clear to Cummings that customer satisfaction was the ultimate goal which led to better sales.

Another shortcoming for Hoffman was that she did not allow the fostering of the personal mastery of individuals of dealing with problems to excel. Whenever Cummings tried to take advantage of situation and tried to master a problem, Hoffman reprimanded her reminded her of the rules and the norms of the company. In the case where Cummings tried to solve the problem of managing the inventory Hoffman intervened and accused her not consulting the seniors on the issue. This was violation of the accepted norms of empowerment by Hoffman.

Hoffman violated another empowering norm. She, in all probability, encouraged others to develop negative feelings getting in the mind of Cummings. By the way she confronted Cummings twice for something that Cummings did for the betterment of the company and criticized her for not following the norms of the company is bound to instill some negative emotions in the mind of Cummings. These probably resulted in Cummings not taking the decision of allowing the customer in making a billing of $3,000 following the rules of the company as she was pulled up and criticized for not following the company norms on two earlier occasions. Moreover, Hoffman accused Cummings of neglecting the headquarters in making decisions which would negatively impact on the mind of Cummings.

Norms of empowering was violated by Hoffman when she did not provide the requisite resources to Cummings who required an assistant to look after the inventory so that she could look after the more critical aspects of business like sales, promotion and marketing. On the contrary Cummings was pulled up for not having consulted the head office before making the appointment of the staff that looked after inventory at a salary that was a little more than the best paid sales staff.

Hoffman failed to connect to the outcome of the decision and the work of Cummings on two occasions. In the case of inventory assistant and the TV show, both the actions were made in the wider interest of the company but Hoffman failed to understand and connect to the outcome of the actions.

The first two incidents where Cummings was pulled up by Hoffman did nothing to install confidence. This is another norm of empowerment that Hoffman violated.

If you were an outside consultant attending the meeting, what advice would you give Ken? What advice would you give Ruth?

As an outside consultant, my advice to Ruth would be to get clear directives from Ruth about what the boundaries of her actions would be with respect to the issues that have come up in the case. Ruth needs to get it clear about whether she follows...

...

The reasons for this is that that the team leader alone does not have requisite expertise to efficiently prepare the report. While he is an expert in one subject, there are other areas that need expert advice in the report. There are experts in the requisite fields in the team who can be used. The attitude of the team is a bit of a problem when it comes to agreeing to one solution on the best ways of investing. However as the team leader, one can take measures to incapacitate the ill effects of the bickering among the team members. The team leader does not have any personal insecurity from the team members and there is no dearth of trust of the team leader on the abilities of the team and their skills and expertise on the subject. Therefore the team leader should discuss the issues with the team members to resolve it efficiently.

If you answered the question, "Should I involve others?" affirmatively, which alternative in Figure 8.2 should be used in making a decision? Justify your choice.

Having decided to approach and include the team members into the discussions for the preparation of the report, it is crucial when to include the team members into the discussion for the preparation of the report. It is established that the subordinates have the required expertise to take part in the discussions. The subordinates also do not have noted conflict about commitment to the organization. It is not advised that the subordinates be formed into a group as they tend to disagree on subjects. The decision making ability should remain with the team leader to keep control over the situation and the final conclusions of the report. The team should be delegated the work singularly according to the personal expertise of the individual team members. This is because the team members do not agree among themselves about various issues including the best ways to invest. The leader needs to motivate the subordinates through interaction and any disagreements during the individual discussion would probably lead to better solutions.

What are the most important considerations in deciding whom to involve in this task?

While having decided to include the subordinates in the discussion process, it is important to decide who would be involved in the process. The critical questions to ask is would subordinates be consulted a steam or should they be discussed singularly. As is disclosed in the case, the team members and the subordinates quarrel among themselves and are often not able to agree to the best method of invest. Therefore involving a group in the discussion is not feasible as they would probably not be able to come to a proper decision and there would be chaos. Therefore it is suggested that the manager should consult and delegate each of the subordinate separately and engage with each of the subordinate singularly. Thus should be decided on the personal skills and expertise of each of the individual team members. However the final decision on the subject is to be taken by the team leader after considering the views of the subordinate taken seriously.

If others are to become involved, how much empowerment should they have? What would you do specifically to achieve the appropriate level of empowerment?

In the case at hand, others -- the subordinates have been involved in the empowerment process. In this is preparing the financial report, the team leader has decided to involve the subordinates though not as a team but as separate individuals. The empowerment levels should be limited to the degree of expertise that the subordinates have. Moreover the attitude of the others needs to be taken into account. Such attitude would include outlook to the job, commitment to the organization and working as a team member.

To achieve the appropriate level of empowerment, it is recommended that the other involved in the process be granted a degree of freedom to making decision as is warranted for the betterment of the decision. If it is considered that the others are not capable to arrive at a…

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