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Bus 517 Assignment 1

In: Business and Management

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1. The situation between Palmer, Olds and Crosby is a difficult one to be placed in. At the end of the case, it was already decided that Olds would no longer be working for Palmer. At that point, it did not matter whether or not Palmer still needed him for auditing work or anything else for that matter. Regardless to whether or not he had any reservations about the decision, the fact remains that the decision was conclusive. The only recourse Palmer could truly have by the end of the case is to look at the situation as a learning curve. He had no way of knowing the outcome or repercussions behind sharing an employee within the same firm to perform two different tasks. He also had no way of knowing the emotional effects the decision would have on the employee’s family life. These factors played a major part in the employees behavior while causing some level of guilt to the supervisor. The proper response to Sands would be to voice the concerns surrounding the decision and implement a solution to avoid future situations like these. Any other response could cause conflict within the company if not expressed in the right context.

2. Losing Olds was a definite blow to Palmer’s team of accountants. However, one step that Palmer could have taken to avoid the situation is to never have agreed to the terms set forth by Crosby in the first place. He could have also opened up the lines of communication between all parties to decide if the splitting of shifts would work for Olds work life and home life. Additional conversations outside of the one that Palmer had with Crosby should have also taken place to make sure that all parties were on the same page the entire time. Knowing the employees preference in terms of workload is also important. The fact that Olds preferred consulting work over auditing work gave Crosby the advantage by allowing Olds access to take on a different type of work. If those doors had never been opened then there would not have been anything to compare projects to. Olds could have been very well as happy doing what he was assigned to do if never given the option to do something different. The lesson that Palmer must take away from this experience is to learn from his experience.

3. One of the apparent advantages of a matrix type organization is the ability for employees to work within their area of expertise across different projects within the same company. Employers are able to allocate shared resources to completing a common goal. Another advantage is being able to pool together a group of people who share common skill sets to complete a specific project. One disadvantage that is apparent from this case is situations that arise that are similar to what Olds, Crosby and Palmer experienced. This case did not end favorably for Palmer who ultimately attempted to be a team player by allowing his employee to work in another department. This scenario backfired on him because Crosby who was the other manager in the case, took advantage of the situation and abused his authority, making work life more difficult for the employee.

4. The management at M & M could effectively manage situations like this by getting rid of policies that allow cross working altogether. They could also put procedures in place to monitor the activity taking place on the job and be able to decipher when the situation needs to change or issues need to be addressed. Failure to effectively manage situations that avoid any one party losing out on a valuable team player could lead to breakdowns in

other team systems. Depending on one member of the team to finish their piece of the puzzle could segue into other components of a project being broken down if not managed properly. Ultimately it takes a dedicated employee to take on the added stress of working for two different supervisors. It is hard enough dealing with one but having to deal with two is reality for companies that practice matrix organization.

Reference
Gray, C., & Larson, E. (2008). BUS 517: Project management: The managerial process: 2009 custom edition (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
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