All cases for APPL 641
Organizational Behavior

Trial Case: The Skeptical CEO

Having completed your M.S. degree in I/O psychology, you have just landed your first job as a personnel specialist with Acme Aluminum, Corp. Before completing your degree, you gained experience as an intern where you had the opportunity to develop a test for selecting software developers and conducted a morale survey to determine the reason for the high rate of turnover for the company you worked for.

Your boss, Melinda Maleeva who is the HR director is convinced that someone with your background will be valuable to the organization. However, Al McMettle, the CEO, is wondering why HR would need a personnel specialist. Mr. McMettle came up through the organization from having started as a worker on the shop floor, and learned the aluminum extrusion process from the ground up. Since he has had no management training or formal education beyond his bachelor's degree in engineering, he knows little or nothing about the contemporary status of Human Resources Departments. In conversations with Melinda, he has indicated that knowing how to handle people and getting them to work hard is simply common sense. He believes that some managers are natural leaders while others can never learn to become effective leaders. In his day, the only function of Personnel was to handle payroll and make sure the organization was staffed adequately.

Melinda Maleeva asks you to write a brief (2000 word) statement to her describing what you can bring to the department. She intends to relate what you have to say to Mr. McMettle to convince him you will be worth your mettle.

She says that you need to enlighten the CEO about what I/O psychology is all about and convince him that you can improve the HR functioning. If you make a convincing argument, you stand to gain quite a lot of autonomy and will serve directly under Melinda as her organizational behavior expert and be the chief person to design and bring about needed organizational changes. Keep in mind that, since Al is an engineer, he likes to be persuaded with facts and empirical information, not just a bunch of rhetoric.

In talking with Melinda and others who have been at Acme for a while, you find out that the company has grown dramatically over the past five years from three plants located throughout the mid eastern region to five now. One of the new plants is located in New Mexico and the other is in California. The number of employees has grown from 250 to 385. Two of the plants in the northeast have begun to experience problems with labor unions and morale seems to have become a problem.

To prepare your statement, it might be useful to try to educate Al on what organizational psychology is all about, and how it may help to improve the company's functioning. Since Al is an engineer, he may appreciate how systematic study and observational methods may prove useful to understanding the organization better.

Assignment: Write a statement describing how expertise in organizational psychology can benefit Acme. You must convince Al that you are worth the salary you have been offered and that you can contribute to the bottom line. Be sure to demonstrate that you have a good grasp of what organizational psychology is about, how it has emerged, and how its methods  can be applied to help his organization. The paper should include references in APA style, be well organized and carefully edited. 

CASES for Job Satisfaction

Case: Job Satisfaction  Miracle Medical Center: Caught in the health-care squeeze

Miracle Medical Center was established in the early 1900s in Baltimore City. For over three quarters of a century, it has developed a sterling reputation for providing health care to all city residents in need, both wealthy and poor. It has also established itself as a regional center for treating orthopedic problems and traumas caused by gunshot wounds. Patients who need orthopedic surgery are referred from all over the mid-Atlantic region. MMC offers a full range of medical services to the city and surrounding counties. It has drawn many of its excellent medical specialty personnel from Johns Hopkins U. and the University of Maryland schools, both of which have strong national and international reputations. Up until the last decade, it has been able to maintain a strong medical support staff including nurses and medical technicians, many of whom have been with the institution for most of their careers.

Since the health care reform began to really take hold over the past ten years, MMC is beginning to experience competition from both smaller and larger hospitals which seem to be able to provide services for considerably lower costs. However, it has been only recently, with the decline of the Baltimore population, that MMC has had to focus on cost control to stay viable. In an effort to address the change management issues such as increased competition, restructuring of the health industry and controls exerted by HMOs, MMC retained the help of Bean Counters Group, Inc., a big eight accounting firm, to assist them in instituting cost containment measures.

After downsizing as much of its nursing staff and service personnel that was deemed feasible, BCG informed MCC management that its costs were still significantly higher than its regional competitors'. It seems that the primary reason MMC is unable to develop a competitive cost structure is because the board of directors insists that the institution maintain a full range of services to accommodate the population of city residents they serve. Thus, the board's mandate results in creating a two-fold problem that impedes cost reduction measures available to most other hospitals. Many of the city residents are elderly, have access only to MMC, and are often on some sort of public assistance. Therefore, the third party reimbursement rates are often below what competitors are willing to accept. This of course, places a disproportionate share of the burden on MMC to provide indigent patients with medical care. Secondly, in order to maintain the range and level of services needed, MMC must continually invest large sums of money to buy state of the art equipment and keep it up to date.

In 2010, BCG analyzed the organization and decided to reduce operating costs through downsizing and improving work performance. They began first by analyzing all jobs and eliminated any duplications. Where possible, existing personnel picked up the job tasks for those positions that were eliminated. At this point, there was anecdotal evidence of complaints from technical personnel who already felt stretched.

All nurses were asked to assume more responsibility and the floor nurses were re-organized altogether. BCG promoted this as cost saving measure as "job enrichment." By doing so, they were able to "flatten" the organization somewhat by eliminating several nurse supervisors. Unfortunately, those "downsized" were some of the most experienced and most liked by fellow employees. Many unit nurses were reassigned in order spread the staff to cover more units with fewer nurses. This tended to break up established social groups who had worked together for years.

Each nurse was given responsibility for a specific number of patients on the unit. With the exception of the Critical Care Unit, each department was set up using the same formula for assigning patients to nursing staff. Nurses on some units, however, felt that they had a much heavier load than others whose patients generally needed less attention.

Under the "Save a buck" Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program BCG set up, the technical blood work lab was able to reduce the turnaround time for blood tests, and pick up the overflow of testing from a nearby smaller hospital. With this new initiative, and by using overtime more efficiently, the lab was able to save $65 thousand over two years. As a result of their excellent program, they won the Miracle Money Manager Award (MMMA) for three years. They were very proud of their accomplishment until their VP of operations told them that because they were so effective, they should be able to do even a better job in the coming year.

Each unit or department that was able to reduce costs that could be quantified, was rewarded by giving a bonus to all members of the group. Tom Gullikson, a unit supervisor in physical plant, however, informed the CQI counsel that several of his crew were disgruntled since it was well known that only a couple of people in his group really did anything toward the cost savings.

Recently, although the cause is unclear, there has been an increase in turnover, especially for the technical positions. Rod Laver, a personnel generalist, who does recruitment and initial interviewing, noted that other hospitals are paying about two to four thousand dollars more for what he thinks are the same jobs.

Lindsey Davenport, the HR director, is concerned about what's happening and has brought the matter to the attention of the Quality Council. She also talked about it informally with the consultants with BCG. The chief consultant told her that this is to be expected and that any morale problems will dissipate over time, and not to worry about it. He emphasized that she should simply try to motivate everyone to meet the projected savings that are targeted for each department. The Quality Counsel members are more willing to listen. They have heard some of the grumbling, but say that at this point there is no clear evidence that it's really a problem.

The Chief Operations Officer, Richard Reneberg, has been hearing about all of this and has discussed the situation with Lindsey who has asked you, as personnel specialist, to figure out what should be done. She wants you to decide how to address the potential (or real) morale problem and then decide what action should be taken to resolve it. She asks that you come up with a couple of well thought-out recommendations to assess the situation. Although she feels that this is an urgent issue to address, wants you to take into consideration the time and costs that may be involved.

Some questions you may want to address:

1. What job satisfaction theory(s) would best explain the situation here?

2. How is the best way to study the problem?

3. What are the expected consequences to the organization to MMC if things continue as they are?

4. If it's a morale problem, how is it likely to affect productivity?

5. If it is a morale problem, what are the probable sources of discontent?

6. Offer possible solutions, recommend the best one(s) and suggest an implementation.

Case: Job Satisfaction: Kidsgo Corporation

The performance appraisal system for the sales department at Kidsgo Corporation is being challenged by a group of African Americans (AAs) who feel they are not treated fairly by their supervisor in they performance reviews. Fifty of the 70 sales clerks are AA. Although the performance appraisal has not been revised for several years, it seems to be constructed reasonably well regarding the SKAs it assesses. Employees are rated on sales volume, absenteeism, customer relations, looks, friendliness, inventory stocking, and cash register operations. The results are recorded in each employee’s personnel file and are reviewed with each employee in February.

There have been numerous complaints from several AAs who insist that the supervisors, all of whom are white except two, seem to rate the certain sales staff differently when they complete the performance appraisals every January after Christmas sales. Within the last week, there have been three customer complaints to floor managers about discourteous behavior from two of the clerks, both of whom were AA. The store manager, Izzie Friendly, has heard about the complaints and is ready to step in and fire the two. But Anita Toyee, the Personnel Manager, has convinced him not to act precipitously, but to find out more before he takes action.

Chanda Rubin, one of the two AA supervisors, who is also a good friend of Anita’s, hangs out with some of the AA clerks. She has told Anita that she thinks a couple of the (AAs) have a bad attitude and are purposely trying to stir up discontent to cause trouble. Chanda also says that she heard from the grapevine that both of them are planning to quit as soon as they get their Christmas bonus.

As personnel specialists, Anita Toyee, your Personnel Manager, has asked you to look into the situation and decide what to do about it. She knows that you studied about job satisfaction while you were a graduate student. And based on conversations the two of you have had, she is convinced that you know a lot about the dynamics of attitude formation and change.

Her directives are:

  1. Get it done ASAP.
  2. Figure out if it really is a problem, and if so, how wide spread it is.
  3. If it turns out to be a problem, get to the bottom of it.
  4. Decide what should be done about it and how to handle.

1 Adapted from Muchinsky, P. (1993). Psychology Applied to Work: Student Workbook. 4th Ed. Wadsworth: Belmont, CAGroup Case #JSs2

Case: Job satisfaction: Delco Divers, Inc.

Delco Divers Inc. employs underwater SCUBA divers to help locate missing bodies, sunken ships, and lost articles (of value). All of the divers are certified and hired only after they have demonstrated their ability to work effectively. Recently, several of the more senior divers have complained to their crew chief that they have heard that their competitor, Scooper Scuba, is paying its divers five dollars more an hour, and doesn’t require them to work when the outside temperature is below 35 degrees. Sandy Bottoms, one of the divers from Scooper, has been showing off her new state-of-the-art high-tech regulator that breathes for her when she forgets to take a breath.

Delco has been having some cash flow problems over the past few months and almost couldn’t make payroll two weeks ago. Dick Diver, Delco’s owner, knows he can’t afford to increase their pay to match the competitor’s pay rates, and says if that’s the only thing that will satisfy the complainers, there’s nothing he can do about it. If their complaints are just a passing concern, Dick feels he could handle that, but he thinks there may be some real problems surfacing. He believes that several are purposely slowing down the recoveries to increase their bottom time for more pay.

Although divers always work in teams of two, they are essentially on their own and have no company official accompanying them on the job sites. Thus, their work cannot be observed directly by management. And since Delco doesn’t have the expensive underwater Eva Marine Video cameras, the crew chiefs have to trust the divers to work steadily and pace themselves properly on the dives.

In spite of the fact that Dick hired you to steer the boat, fill the tanks and do payroll, he also knows that you’re a personnel specialist waiting to snag a high paying job in HR. So, he figures maybe you can scope out the situation and come up with an answer or two. He knows that if he lets another big customer such as Search and Find, Inc., slip away because of diver discontent, Delco could go under for good.

He wants you to find out what the divers are up to by determining the extent of the discontent and how many divers are disgruntled. He would also like to know if any are planning to quit and sign on with Scooper. It’s all on your shoulders to get Delco back on course.

He expects you to come up with:

    1. a strategy to assess the problem
    2. some possible solutions…and do it before you leave class today.

Case: Job Satisfaction:  Faultimore County School System


Until recently, Faultimore County School System has held the reputation for having the best; most dedicated teaching staff in the State of Maryland. However, over the past year, the newly hired superintendent, Stuart Hamm, has moved quickly to "redistribute" staff where he feels they are most needed. Dr. Hamm’s predecessor had established an un-official policy of letting teachers remain in a school once they found one they liked. Dr. Hamm feels, however, that some of the larger schools in less well-to-do districts are getting the short end because the best, most experienced teachers seem to gravitate to the more affluent schools which generally have the best students and fewer disciplinary problems.

In addition to this change, Dr. Hamm has also quickly moved to implement
inclusion" of special education students into the regular classrooms. In addition to being a cost saving measure, he says this is necessary to satisfy the federal mandate, which stipulates that inclusion has to get underway.

Finally, in an effort to "restructure" the school system to put his own management team in place, Stuart Hamm himself has reevaluated his principals and assistant principals. However, in doing so, he has completely disregarded the formal performance appraisal process altogether, as well as past evaluations. He has demoted about 30 in these two job classes and reassigned others without having ever discussed it with them. Not surprisingly, the teachers local union is up in arms both about the drastic personnel actions and the move to begin inclusion without preparing the teaching staff for it.

Unfortunately, there seems to be clear evidence that the central office staff as well as the teachers feel intimidated and fear reprisal if they were to speak out. This notion has surfaced from the bottom up, and even though Dr. Hamm has been informed by a close confidant, he dismisses it as rumor and something to be expected whenever a new forward-thinking superintendent takes over. "This is not an unexpected reaction," he says, and one "that will blow over by next year." He adds that "Even If it doesn’t, that’s too bad….they’re going to have to learn to live with a leader who takes charge and makes decisions the way he knows they should be made."

He knows that his HR Director, Kenny Doit, is extremely competent and an experienced personnel administrator. Therefore, he feels that Kenny can find a way to defend the personnel changes he has made, while at the same time breaking the back of the union. Hamm says that this is something that must be done if the county is to develop a school system capable of addressing the educational needs in the coming decades.

In order to accomplish this feat, Dr. Hamm has decided that he need to demonstrate to the public that the teachers are in fact, very pleased with his management style and the actions he has taken. Therefore, "all we need to do," he said, is to "show with some kind of employee morale survey, that things are just fine here." When Kenny raised the question of "what if there really is wide spread discontent in the system?" Hamm replied, "Even if there were…and I don’t believe if for a minute…any of them who would want to express a negative opinion probably won’t do it because they’d think I would find out who they were." Hamm continued, "What we need to do is have the assistant superintendent send out a memo to everyone telling them a survey is coming around and we need a show of confidence for the ‘Chief.’ He can emphasize that it’s time for us to stand together for the good of the students who deserve a system that will prepare them for the 21st century."

At this point, Dr. Hamm asked Kenny, "Why don’t you have your staff…some of those personnel specialists…put together a survey and make sure they know how to analyze it in a way that will make us look good. I don’t mean that we should try to fudge anything…just put us in the right light. Figure how much time you need. But see if you can get a plan together by tomorrow with a timeline, and make sure it’s a fool-proof strategy. We don’t want this thing to backfire on us. Let me know if you think there will be any problems. If so, I’ll see that it’s taken care of. Any questions?"

Along with several others, you have been asked by Kenny to see what you can do to move on a plan to survey the morale of the employees. Kenny asks whether you’ll need to devise one or if there is something already available that would take less time. He tells you it’s important to remember that we don’t want to do anything shady. "Besides," he says "I convinced that by simply playing it by the book we’ll be get what we need, especially given the climate out there these days." He ends by asking you to:

  1. Map out a plan and data analysis strategy before you leave today.
  2. Specify what aspects the survey will assess and decide if you need to create one or find and existing one to do it.

  3. Be prepared to present the plan in detail to "Chief Hamm" tomorrow after you pass it by Kenny.

                                          Cases for Motivation

Case: Motivation: Resistance to Change


 Employees face the threat of the unknown when consultants arrive to study their performance. The incident involves the process of successful change: gaining acceptance, coordination, use of consultants, attitudes, and morale.


As office manager of the Worthless Paper Products Corporation (WPP), Minnie Reems was responsible for the work of approximately forty employees, of whom 26 were classified as either data processors or clerks. Acting under instructions from Kenny Count, the company CEO, she agreed to allow F. Taylor Group, Ltd., (FTG),a team of outside consultants, to enter his realm of responsibility and conduct time and motion, and systems analysis studies in an effort to improve the efficiency and output of her staff.

The consultants began by studying job descriptions, making observations, and recording each minute detail of the work of the data processors and file clerks. After two weeks, they indicated to Reems and her employees that they were prepared to begin even more detailed studies, observations, and interviews on the following day.

The nest morning, five employees participating in the study were absent.  On the following day, ten employees were absent.  Concerned, Reems investigated the cause of the absenteeism by telephoning several absentees.  Each employee related approximately the same story.  Each was nervous, tense, and tired after being viewed as a "guinea pig" for several days. One data processor told Reems that her physician suggested she could ask for a leave of absence based on her complaints of carpal tunnel syndrome if she needed to. Another told Reems, "We ain't no ‘Hawthorne' happy hoppers here in this shop! And, we ain't fixin' to please management just because this Taylor guy thinks we can do more with less."

Shortly after the telephone calls, the chief of FTG's systems-analysis team explained to Reems that if there were as many absences on the next day, his team would have to drop the study and proceed to another department. He said that a valid analysis would be impossible to conduct with only ten employees absent. Realizing that she would held responsible for the failure of the systems analysis, Reems began to create and evaluate alternative strategies to rectify the problem so the study could continue. She could fire all those who were absent without legitimate causes and send a clear signal that non-cooperation would not be tolerated. Or she could simply get some temps in to replace them.

But even if the studies were completed successfully, she was concerned about implementing the procedural changes that she knew would be mandated after the study was completed. Thinking back on her prior experience as a drill sergeant in the Marines, Reems was astute enough to realize that policies declared and orders issued are not always followed by instant compliance, even in the military, and that this wasn't a military operation. She was also concerned that without an increase in productivity, the operation could not remain cost effective. As a result, the operation would probably be outsourced and everyone would be fired.


Analyze the incident from a motivational theory standpoint. As a personnel specialist, develop a strategy BASED ON SOUND PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY to get the workers motivated to come to work and buy into the systems-analysis study so that the consultants can finish their job. The consultants from FTG, not being I/O psychologists, could not have anticipated the motivational problem they created. However, with your training in I/O psychology, you can help salvage the project by using your knowledge of motivational theories. You should consider the various theories such as: need, equity, expectancy, goal setting, and intrinsic motivation (and perhaps others). Which one(s) should be incorporated in your plan? Be specific as to how the theories could be implemented to save the day.

Minnie Reems has asked you to:

 1. Develop a strategy to solve the motivational problem

 2. Present it to the management team and the consultants

 3. Be sure you utilize a(n) motivational theories

 4. Suggest how it can be implemented

 5. Provide evidence (i.e empirical studies) it will work

Case:  Motivation: Production Slowdown at Bendum Metal Fab, Inc.


When the new supervisor improves production dramatically at the expense of employee relations, the plant must face rumblings of rebellion. The incident calls for considering grievances, using authority, gaining acceptance of change, generating motivation, obtaining commitment, and linking output with job satisfaction.


May B. Wright had been made supervisor of a production line at Bendum Metal Fabrication, Inc.(BMF). The plant manager, Sommer Flimsay, made her responsible for operating the entire production line efficiently and effectively. Wright supervised 6 forepersons and 48 assembly line workers.  Her job was to keep the assembly line going at the scheduled 150 units per hour.

When Wright took the supervisor's job two months previously, the production line was losing 90 minutes of production a day.  Line stoppages, maintenance problems, absenteeism, and workers stopping the line for repair were some causes of lost production.  The 90-minute loss was approximately 20 percent of the daily operating schedule.

Wright reduced absenteeism and took other steps to prevent the loss of scheduled production time. She kept the main line going even when some feeder lines stopped. "The workers don't like it," said Wright. "They resent working the required 7 hours and 45 minutes a day instead of only 6 hours and 30 minutes."

The disgruntlement of the production line workers toward Wright seemed to be centered in Izzy Short and Monica-Lou Inski. The complaints against Wright were varied and included the following. Both Short and Monica-Lou said that Wright laid off workers for being two minutes late.  They also said that Wright had forepersons picking up trash. Short said that Wright had threatened him with an iron bar about eight inches long and claimed that Wright was guilty of using "speed-up" tactics. Insky said she had friends in high places and would do whatever it took to get some action.  As a result of these events, the two filed a formal grievance targeting Wright.

The plant manager knew that Wright was the target of increasingly vitriolic verbal protests by Short and Inski. Both were openly defiant and implied that they were ready to take matters into their own hands, especially Monica-Lou.

Confronted with this high and rising level of employee unrest, the plant manager reflected upon Wright's inability to achieve simultaneously adequate production and adequate behavioral relations with her workers. He wondered "Are these two goals necessarily incompatible? Does the problem lie with Wright, the assembly line workers, or the situation?" More importantly, Flimsay knew that prompt decisions an actions were essential to defuse the explosive situation. He particularly didn't want the press to get hold of all this and blow it all out of proportion.

While action was immediately needed to extinguish the agitation among the assembly line workers, the plant manager wished to use Wright in a positive role, and he desired to maintain the improved production rates achieved under Wright's leadership. For the longer run, he reasoned that developing specific operational policies would be essential in areas such as  supervisory training, introduction of change, team building, and other areas relevant to balancing supervisory concern for task performance with concern for behavioral relationships. Implementation of these policies would be difficult, and he knew it. As the plant manager pondered his plight, his stress increased. He was uncertain where to begin. Should he call his lawyer first, or later?


Analyze the scenario from a motivational theory standpoint. As a personnel specialist, develop a strategy BASED ON SOUND PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY to motivate the workers to buy into the systems. Wright, not being a good manager, has contributed to her line workers' disenchantment. She did not anticipate the motivational problem she helped create. However, you, as a clever personnel specialist, can help salvage the manager and improve the line workers' morale by using your knowledge of motivational theories. You should consider the various theories such as: need, equity, expectancy, goal setting and intrinsic motivation. Which one(s) should be incorporated in your plan to help motivate (train) Wright and which one(s) should be employed to motivate the line workers?

The personnel manager, Kit Gloves, has asked you to:

 1. Develop a strategy to solve this motivational problem

 2. Present it to her and Sommer, the plant manager

 3. Be sure you utilize a(n) motivational theories

 4. Suggest how it (they) can be implemented to address both
         problems: Wright and the workers

 5. Provide evidence to support why your proposal will work

Case:   MOTIVATION:   Robot Repercussion


Industrial robots offer the potential to improve manufacturing performance and to decrease manufacturing employment. Accordingly, labor unions desire to bargain decisions on the use of robotic technology, on advance notice, on retraining for displaced workers, and for spread-the-work programs which are all related to traditional management rights.


Manley Principal, Vice President of industrial relations for Manley Manufacturing, Inc., sat in his office reviewing the list of benefits the company expected to realize from increasing its use of industrial robots. In a few minutes he would walk down to the labor-management conference room for a meeting with Kenny stoppum, president of the labor union local representing most of the company's industrial employees. The purpose of this meeting would be to informally exchange views and positions preliminary to the opening of formal contract negotiations later in the month which would focus on the use of computer-integrated robotic systems and the resulting impact on employment, workers, and jobs.

Both Principal and Stoppum had access to similar information flows relevant to industrial robots, including the following. Unlike single-task machines, installed in earlier stages of automation, robots can be programmed (re-tooled) to do one job and then reprogrammed to do another one in record time. The pioneering generation of robots is mainly programmed to load machines, weld, forge, spray paint, handle materials, and inspect auto bodies. The latest generation of robots includes vision-controlled robots which enable the machines to approximate the human ability to recognize and size up objects , using laser-beam patterns recorded by television cameras and manipulates the images relayed by the camera in a "smart" or artificially intelligent way.

Experts concluded that the impact of robot installation on employment would be profound, although the extent of the worker replacement was not clear. The conclusion was inescapable that robot usage had the capacity to increase manufacturing performance and to decrease manufacturing employment.

Principal walked down to the conference room. Finding Stoppum already there, and after exchanging appropriate greetings, Principal stated the company's position regarding installations of industrial robots. "The company needs the cooperation of the union and our workers. We don't wish to be perceived as callously exchanging human workers for robots." Principal then listed the major advantages associated with robots: (1) improved quality of product due to the accuracy of robots; (2) reduced operating costs, as the per-hour operational cost of robots was about one third of the per-hour cost of wages and benefits paid to an average employee; (3) reliability improvements, as robots work tirelessly and don't require behavioral support; (4) greater manufacturing flexibility since robots are readily reprogrammable for different jobs. Principal concluded that these robot advantages would make the company more competitive, which would allow the company to grow and increase its work force.

Stoppum's response was direct and strong. "We aren't' Luddites racing around ruining machines. We know it's necessary to increase productivity and that robotic technology is here. But we can't give the company a blank check. We need safeguards and protection." Stoppum continued, "we intend to bargain for the following contract provisions: (1) establishment of labor-management committees to negotiate in advance about the labor impact of robotic technology and , of equal importance, to have a voice in deciding how and whether it should be used; (2) retraining rights for workers displaced, to include retraining for new positions in the plant, the community, or other company plants; (4) work to be spread among workers by use of a four-day work week or other acceptable plan as an alternative to reducing the work force." Stoppum's final sentence summed up the union's position "We in the union believe that the company is giving our jobs to robots in order to reduce the labor force."

Their meeting ended amiably, but Principal and Stoppum each knew that much hard bargaining lay ahead. As Principal returned to his office, the two opposing positions were obvious. On his yellow tablet, Principal listed the requirements as he saw them; (1) a clearly stated overall policy was needed to guide negotiation decisions and actions; (2) it was critical to decide on a company position regarding each of the union's announced demands and concern; (3) an implementation plan must be developed.

As Principal considered these challenges, he idly contemplated a robot possessing artificial intelligence and vision capability that could help him in this work. Immediately a danger alarm sounded in his mind. A robot so constructed might be more than helpful and might take over this and other important aspects of his job. Slightly chagrined, Principal returned to his task, needing help- but not from any "smart" robot.


Analyze the incident from a motivational theory standpoint. As personnel specialists, develop a strategy to motivate the workers to buy into the robot implementation plan. Principal, not being wise to I/O principles of motivation, did not anticipate the problem he helped create. However you, as a clever personnel specialist, can help get Stoppum to convince his members to accept the plan. You are asked by Principal to use your knowledge of motivational theory to solve this difficult problem. You should consider the various theories such as: need, equity, expectancy, goal setting and intrinsic motivation. Which one(s) should be incorporated in your plan to help get agreement between management and labor? What concessions would labor and management each have to make to accommodate your plan?

Principal, the VP, has asked you to:

 1. Develop a strategy to solve the problem

 2. Present it to him and the CEO, Howard D. Doit

 3. Be sure you utilize a(n) motivational theories

 4. Suggest how the theory(s) can be implemented to convince
         labor to cooperate

 5. Provide evidence to support why your proposal will work 


Case:   LEADERSHIP: Manny Flavors Cookie Company (MFCC)

Manny Flavors CC, Inc. is a family owned company now in its fourth generation. The company began in 1889 making only one standard sugar cookie. Over the years it has prospered, and now it produces over 50 flavors of cookies. The company's motto is "cookies for any occasion." Rising sales revenues have brought in a lot of dough, so now money can be allocated to increasing line personnel and managerial staff. Manny, who is addressed as "Mr. Flavors" by employees, has finally added an HR specialist (you) to help with personnel and organizational behavior problems.

He has asked you to help with what he feels is a problem of worker morale in the operations division. Willie Keepum, VP of operations, has complained to Manny that most of his workers have bad attitudes and don't seem to want to work. He says he's prepared to fire them all if they don't shape up. Willie has informed Manny of his intentions, and believes he (Willie) needs to "clean house" to show them who's boss. Besides, he thinks a lot of them have become complacent and don't care about quality. Willie also pays little attention to the mid-level managers' opinions stating that, "I'm ultimately responsible, so I'll make the decisions." Based on some anecdotal evidence it seems that production has declined over the past year and Manny believes it's because of how Willie has been behaving.

Manny knows that Willie can be heavy-handed in his management style and that he believes workers come to work either motivated or not. Willie has told him "there's nothing you can do to make them work if they don't want to." Knowing everything about cookies, but nothing about people, Manny isn't sure whether it's the workers or Willie that's creating the problem. He wants to know that if it is Willie, can he be changed? Or is it hopeless? He wants you to tell him if you think Willie or the workers should go. If you think neither should, then what are the ingredients needed to cook up a solution? This thing's getting on his nerves. He wants to get it behind him and get back to his cookies. Therefore, Manny asks you to analyze the situation using your knowledge of leadership theories, and recommend at least two possible solutions so he can decide what to do.

Your assignment:

1. Decide if either the workers or Willie should go

2. Analyze Willie's management style and compare it to

others that might be better

3. Consider whether the workers or Willie can be changed and if so, how to do it

4. Back up your analysis and recommendations for two solutions with sound theory

5. Provide evidence to support why your proposal will work

Case:   LEADERSHIP:    :Klipper Kuik, Inc.

Klipper Kuik, Inc. sells sail boats to upper crust clients who live in the Chesapeake Bay area, particularly, Annapolis, Maryland. The company has been in existence only a short time, but sales are up and business is booming. Sara Tonin, the CEO, got the company off to a good start with her patented sail design. She discovered a way to make smaller sails which could catch more wind, even when there is no wind. She guarantees smooth sailing in any weather condition. This has made the boats very attractive to weekend sailors. Sara says, "let's capitalize on this while the gettin's good." As she puts it, "get'em in, sell'em, and clip'em quick before they get away."

However, her husband Jibb, who she assigned to supervise the sales staff, has had problems getting his salespersons motivated to do their job. Some seem to want no supervision while others want to know exactly what it is they are supposed to do. A couple of them insist on being managers themselves.

Jibb is confused about how to organize and lead the staff. Should he develop teams, supervise them individually, or just leave them alone? Since Jibb's only work experience was as a weekend life-guard before he met Sara, he is floundering, as he puts it, "rudderless in a turbulent sea." He wants you, an expert HR specialist consultant, to help steer him back on course. Therefore, he has contracted you at $1000 a day to develop a leadership development plan for Klipper Kuik, Inc.

The contract specifies that you will:

1. Decide on what leadership theory(s) to implement

2. Develop a plan to train managers if necessary (this means an extended contract for you)

3. Use sound reasoning to justify why your leadership plan will work for his company

4. Have it in "ship shape" and ready to sail by the agreed upon deadline.

5. Make sure it will fly with Sara since she's the Captain of this ship.

Case:  LEADERSHIP    Scenario: Drugs Unlimited, Inc.

Poppa Pill, the original owner of Drugs Unlimited, has been running his generic drug manufacturing operation since he started it in 1930. His most successful pharmaceutical is what he calls the "life extender" which has been a very popular over-the-counter product for decades. Poppa knows he's getting on up in years, so he's planning to develop a new subsidiary called Head Cases. He wants to get it up and running smoothly before his anticipated retirement in the next two years. Since he won't have time to run both companies and still play squash four times a week, he's decided he'll have to find someone to take over the leadership of Drugs Unlimited.

Before his wife died three years ago she was managing the operations. However, because of her dictatorial management style, turnover was always a problem. Since then Poppa has seen sixteen VPs of operations come and go. He believes that the more successful ones seem to be "people friendly" types, and notes that many seem to become more care-free and outgoing once they learn a lot about the company products. The workers seemed to always be happy and motivated, especially those working on the production lines. However, since the FDA came in four years ago and tightened up specifications and record keeping, the workers are starting to act like those found in most companies. Some say they want no supervision, others want to know exactly what it is they are supposed to do, and a couple insist on being managers themselves.

Poppa has retained you, an expert HR consultant, to help him establish effective leadership for the organization. Therefore, he has contracted you at $1500 a day, to develop a leadership development plan for identifying and training managers who can successfully lead the company into the next century.

Your contract with Drugs Unlimited, Inc. specifies that you will:

1. Decide on what leadership approach(s) to implement.

2. Develop a plan to train managers.

3. Use sound reasoning to justify why your leadership plan will work for his company.

4. Have the managers up to speed by the end of the year.

5. Make sure the plan won't be a bitter pill for the line workers to have to swallow.

Case:  LEADERSHIP:  Guns 'n Things, Unlimited (GUNTU)

Kenny Katchem has been selling guns and accessories for years at his eighteen local retail operations in Baltimore. Business is always good during hunting season, and for the ten months afterwards when the woods become quiet again. Phil M. Upp, the personnel manager, is responsible for staffing the managers and clerks in all of the stores. Once every month on Sunday, all of the company workers get together at their hangout, the Krazy Klubhaus, located in Charles Village. Here they celebrate and fire their weapons. Since the club is in a sound-proof basement, well insulated and out of harm's way, they have never had complaints about the noise from the neighbors or had to deal with intruders like the police.

All of them have permits for their weapons and know how to handle firearms. This is a job requirement since they often have to protect themselves from intruders who are not serious customers, but who seem to expect to be given guns even when they already have some of their own.

"Ditty" Doit, the sales VP, has been having trouble with many of the retail managers who don't seem to be showing up for the celebration (i.e. sales meeting). The sales in these stores seem to be down, and the managers don't appear to be concerned about the reduction in sales volume. Both Ditty and Phil know that motivating workers is the leader's primary responsibility.

Therefore, they have asked you, a high-priced personnel consultant, to help solve what they think is a leadership problem. Should they develop teams, supervise them individually, or just leave them alone? What's happening now it isn't working. They tell you that the personnel in these stores are usually strong willed, like to do things their own way, and sometimes can get pretty insistent about it. A couple have even suggested they may revolt and take over the Krazy Klubhaus to start a new club of their own.

Upp and Doit want you to find the magic bullet that will restore the workers' commitment to Guns n' Things and bring revenues back to what they were like in the good 'ole days. Therefore, he has contracted you at $2000 a day, to develop a leadership development plan for training store managers or finding new ones if need be, who can successfully lead the company into the next century. As part of the contract, they have offered to provide you with sufficient firepower to get the job done.

The contract with Guns n' Things specifies that you will:

1. Decide on what leadership approach(s) to implement.

2. Develop a plan to train managers or hire new ones.

3. Use sound reasoning to justify why your leadership plan will work for this company.

4. Have the managers on the line by the end of the year.

5. Make sure the plan won't backfire.

6. Have it done by the contract deadline or suffer the consequences


 Case for Teamwork 


Case:  TEAMWORK Scenario: 1st National Piggy Bank First National Piggy Bank was established in 1930 and experienced some difficulties during the Great Depression when it was just getting started. However, the name gave customers a sense of confidence and trust in the bank. It portrayed a level of trust and security that other bank names didn't since piggy banks were thought to be safe and secure. In subsequent years, the success of the bank was monumental. In 2005 its market share was over thirty percent of the Baltimore region and competitors such as NationsBank and Signet were becoming concerned that First Piggy would eventually dominate the region when interstate banking became a reality.

In order to maintain its competitive advantage, FNPB acquired several other banks in the region. As a result, management was able to outsize about 20% of its workforce, most of whom were VPs and mid-level managers. Within the next two years, they will have 150 branches in the Baltimore, Washington region.

The corporate management team is now interested in decentralizing control and has committed to restructuring in order to implement total quality measures. Each branch will develop a team approach to customer service. The principal jobs involved at each branch are: Branch Manager, assistant manager, Customer Service representative, tellers, loan officers, electronics technicians who handle the ATM machines, and other technical aspects of the branch computer systems.

Each branch is expected to increase quarterly sales for FNPB products and attract new customers as well. FNPB has a wide variety of products such as the traditional checking /savings accounts, CDs, mortgage loans, mortgage re-financing, student loans, electronic home banking, commercial loans, small business, and home equity loans. Each branch is also expected to develop good relations with the comity in which they are located. For instance, if the branch is in an urban area with a high concentration of an African American population, they would be sensitive to insuring that they do not discriminate in home mortgage loans. If their clientele is extremely affluent, they would be expected to provide financial consulting services.

Therefore, to better serve their customers, the management at FNPB will implement a team structure which departs from the typical branch bank organization. To accomplish this, Ms. Be Hog, the president and CEO of FNPB has asked Anitta Hamm, the HR director, to develop a realistic plan for implementation. Anitta, recognizing that she herself knows nothing about teams, has asked you, their HR specialist, to come up with the plan. She has given you the following assignment:

1. Draft a plan to implement a team structure at the branch level of the organization.

2. Make sure the plan specifies the type(s) of teams, how they would operate, and what their functions would be.

3. Include in the plan:

a. A rationale for restructuring to a team environment

    b. A description of how the teams will work, and a specific example of the composition of one type of team and a     procedure to be used to select team members in order to insure group cohesiveness.

    c. A brief training component which includes the major elements of the training content.

    d. A description of anticipated problems such as intergroup relations, (intra and inter-group conflict, cooperation, other group dynamics), and a means for handling them.

    e. An assessment component to evaluate the effectiveness of the team initiative over the next two to three years. Be sure to specify a method for assessment and identify criteria (at least one) that can be used as a measure.

4. Provide a five page report by the deadline specified. 


Miracle Medical Center / Job satisfaction data

Problem: Based on anecdotal evidence provided by a couple of nurses in interviews with consultants, the nurses appears to be dissatisfied with their pay. Two nurses threatened to quit if management did not increase their pay to a level they feel matches their job responsibilities. You must analyze the data from a recent Job Satisfaction Survey conducted as part of a management effort to assess employees’ satisfaction with pay and other organizational factors. MMC has 474 employees in three job classes: administrative, nurses and nurse supervisors. All employees responded to the survey.

Information on the case was described by a previous consult and can be found at:

The survey used is one developed by Dr. Paul Spector. References and norms for the JSS (Job Satisfaction Survey) can be found at

Your assignment is to

  1. Analyze the data using SPSS to find where there may be differing level of job satisfaction among job groups. (data available on request)
  2. Determine if the workers at MMC are any more or less satisfied than those in comparable occupations.
  3. Write a brief report to communicate your findings to management.
  4. Recommend how the issues should be addressed if you feel they are contributing to a problem for MMC.

The report should be no longer than 5 pages and include an executive summary.


* Get acquainted

- Introduce yourselves. See if anyone has special information, related experience to bring to the team. Often there are team members who have special expertise, know someone who does the job (for an interview) or has access to useful information.  

- Exchange phone numbers in case you want to discuss the case, share findings before next meeting

* All participate

- Leader make sure all contribute. sometimes you have to control the discussion by politely saying "I Think we got the idea....let's see what others think about it", or "good idea, anybody else have other suggestions?" It may be necessary to prod some into contributing.

* Organize

- Determine roles You may divide tasks, all do the same things, and then choose the best (this one is dangerous). It's usually better to allocate tasks by interest or expertise. that way, all have something unique to contribute and reduces competition for having one's own ideas used. Teams are usually defined in part by how each is given a special role.

* Leadership

- Determine authority structure Will the group decide (consensus), or will the leader make the final decision?