Control of personnel is among the essential responsibilities of a manager. To ensure that the workforce is productive, managers have to use their decision-making skills to resolve difficult situations. In the case of Bauer Manufacturing Company, the problem resulted from David Smith’s failure to address the needs of employees sufficiently. The Vice President did not approve expenditure for computers; it is most likely that employees demanded new computers because the ones they worked on were becoming slow, which could lower their ability to complete tasks efficiently, thus affecting productivity.
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Although Paul Bush’s decision to purchase a $35,000 computer was indeed an example of intentional insubordination, dishonesty, and a lack of professional integrity, this was done after the problem started to affect employees’ work. The fact that employees had to break old computers intentionally for David Smith to allow them to get newer ones indicates that the issue was persistent and that all constructive attempts to negotiate the purchase of new computers failed.
Therefore, poor control of personnel by David Smith was the reason for the issue that led Bush to buy an expensive computer. It would not be fair to fire Paul Bush on the spot, and it would not help to resolve the underlying issue. Retaining valued employees, such as Paul Bush, is among the eight recommended ways to develop a productive workforce. Given that Bush’s plant is the most profitable one in the company, firing him could result in a performance decrease, which would affect the entire company. Thus, to resolve the issue efficiently, President Stanley Bauer should:
- Issue Paul Bush a warning for insubordination and dishonesty. Even though firing the plant manager is unnecessary, he should still receive a warning to ensure that he does not act the same way in the future.
- As the computer was bought without the approval of the higher management, it should be taken away.
- To address the underlying issue of employee dissatisfaction, the President of the company should enhance his understanding of the issues that employees view as important. For instance, interviewing employees from different departments or asking employees to complete a survey would help to collect the necessary information.
- A meeting with plant managers should be arranged to discuss the problems mentioned by the employees, such as the need for new computers.
- Based on the discussion, the President can decide which problems are most crucial and have to be addressed. For example, if the computers are indeed slow and this hurts employee productivity, plant managers should be allowed to purchase new computers at a set price.
- David Smith should also receive a warning, as he ignored the needs of the personnel and their attempts at negotiating. Building and maintaining a productive workforce requires senior managers to listen to their employees and address their concerns adequately. David Smith failed to do that, which is why he should receive a warning to ensure that a similar issue does not occur in the future.
- Finally, the President should consider allowing plant managers more freedom. According to the Supervision curve, highly skilled employees, such as Paul Bush, require less supervision and can be allowed more freedom to make certain decisions, including purchasing new computers at a reasonable price. It is unlikely that a lower amount of supervision will result in unnecessary expenditures since the plant managers will still be responsible for ensuring that the productivity and profitability of their plants grow.