Read each Scenario and answer the questions at the bottom of each scenario. The
Scenario 1: Jenny Smith is very unhappy. She was a member of a team set up to establish a performance appraisal program for the the service department consisting of 23 individuals who handle calls from customers. These calls are equally divided between product information calls and calls relating to problems with existing products. The team concluded that special bonuses should be paid based on (a) the number of calls handled per hour and (b) the short satisfaction survey responses which were administered at the end of each call. Jenny was a firm supporter of the new program.
Her view has changed dramatically. "Product information calls tend to be short (5 minutes or less) and very pleasant. However, since I have the most experience, the supervisor passes the problem calls on to me. I can spent 20 to 30 minutes on the phone with one client and they are not happy when I tell them what it will cost to fix their problem. At the end of the year, I had the lowest number of calls handled and the worst satisfaction rating. "
Is this system basically unfair? What is the company’s objective in terms of this customer service department? What would you do to improve the system?
Scenario 2: In business circles, Porter Lang was known as the "Terminator." He was called in by the management of companies that were close to bankruptcy with the mandate to turn the operation around.
His approach was the same each time. He would spend a month studying the financials, evaluating the product lines, talking with the personnel, etc. And then the pink slips would begin to fly. At one company, he eliminated more than half the product lines, closed down 18 out of 32 plants, and terminated 62% of the workforce. The remaining part of the business was profitable and grew substantially over the next couple of years until Porter moved on to wield his ax elsewhere.
Would you describe Porter Lang as a manager or as a leader? Would you describe him as effective and/or successful? Would others describe him differently?
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