Project #40689 - Case Study for Supervision

THE SOCIALIZING TEAM LEADER

 

Terry Miles was promoted to a team leader position in Metro Insurance Company's Operations Division. She was chosen for the position by the manager of operations, Ronnie Callahan, who felt Miles was the "ideal" candidate for the position. Miles had been hired five years earlier as a general-purpose employee. Metro crosstrained all new employees so they were capable in a variety of functions. Two other employees had been in the division for at least 10 years but they had consistently expressed their dislike for any leadership responsibilities. In addition, Miles' job performance ratings were very good, her attendance was near perfect, and she seemed to be well liked by her colleagues and others who knew her well.

 

When Callahan told Miles that she was to become team leader of the word processing department, she asked him how she should handle the problem that her fellow employees now would be her "subordinates”. Callahan told her not be concerned about this and that her former associates would soon accept the transition. Callahan also told Miles that the company would send her to a supervisory management-training program sponsored by a local college just as soon as time became available.

 

After several months, however, Callahan was getting the impression that Miles was not making the adjustment to her new position. Callahan was particularly concerned that he had observed Miles socializing with her employees during lunch breaks, coffee breaks, and the like. Callahan had received reports that Miles often socialized with several of her employees after work, including going on double dates and parties arranged by these employees.

 

Furthermore, Callahan had received a number of reports from managers and team leaders of other departments that the work performed by the word processing department was not being performed as efficiently as it should be. Several managers in the company told Callahan that the word processing department employees spent too much time away from their work on longer than normal breaks, lunch periods, and the like. One manager even told Callahan, “Since Miles became team leader, there is little discipline in the department, and it’s just a big social group that reluctantly does a little work.”

 

After reviewing various productivity reports, Callahan realized that Miles had not made a good adjustment to supervising employees in her department. He wondered how much of this was attributable to her lack of experience as a team leader and worried that her former colleagues might be taking advantage of her. At the same time, Callahan was concerned that Miles perhaps did not have the desire to disassociate herself from socializing and being a "buddy” to her employees. Callahan wondered what his next step should be.

 

Questions for Discussion

 

I. Evaluate the decision to promote Terry Miles to team leader. Discuss the advantages and potential problems in promoting anyone to team leader or supervisor over his or her former fellow employees.

2. Besides sending Miles to a supervisory training program, what other actions could Callahan

and Miles have taken to prepare Miles for the transition to the team leader role?

3. Why is it dangerous for a team leader or supervisor to socialize with directreport employees? Why does this leave a team leader or supervisor open to criticism, as exemplified in this case?

4. At the end of the case, what should Ronnie Callahan do? Consider alternatives that may be open.

 

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/21/2014 05:00 pm
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