Assignment File 1 Assignment 1 Due date: 26 November 2012 Coverage: Units 1–2 Length: The total length of the essay-type questions should not exceed 2,000 words. Those exceeding the upper word limit will be strictly penalized. Question 1 (20 marks) For each of the following ten sub-questions, select the best answer. Each correct answer is worth two marks. 1 Basket Maker uses phone surveys to gather customer feedback about service and quality. This is an example of the management function of ________. A planning B leading C organizing D controlling Paul Chan is the President of WV Railroad. His organization faces issues related to the environment, government regulation, and competition. He will need to rely primarily on his ________. A conceptual skills B technical skills C human skills D controlling skills 3 Which of the following is not an example of a constituency that makes up the specific environment? A customers B socio-cultural factors C suppliers D competitors 2 MGT B240 Principles and Practices of Management 4 Which of these is a major criticism of scientific management?
A It ignored the impact of compensation on performance. B It overemphasized individual differences. C It overemphasized the intelligence of workers. D It ignored the social context of work. 5 Bierderlack has a policy stating that more than three absences in a six-month period shall result in a suspension. Erin, the manager, has just decided to suspend one of her shift employees for violating this policy. This is an example of ________. A a programmed decision B a nonprogrammed decision C an insignificant decision D poor management 6 Kari is a manager at MySize Clothing.
Her job is very complex and she feels that she does not have enough time to identify and/or process all the information she needs to make decisions. Kari’s situation is most consistent with which of the following concepts? A bounded rationality B the classical model of decision making C brainstorming D scientific management 7 Which of the following is an example of a procedure? A Without exception, all employees in customer-facing roles must be formally attired at all times. B Before going on a leave of absence, fill in the application form available on the company’s online leave management system.
All applications will be approved/rejected within two days by the employee’s immediate supervisor. C We promote from within, whenever possible. If qualified applicants are available internally, a job posting will be issued by the HR department providing the necessary details about all vacancies. D Employees working with power tools must wear safety glasses at all times. Assignment File 3 8 Sophie is in charge of recruitment at her company. During a particular interview, the first thing Sophie noticed about the applicant was that he was improperly attired.
Though the candidate possessed the necessary qualifications and effectively answered all her questions, Sophie rejected him. This is an example of the ________. A randomness bias B self-serving bias C anchoring effect D representation bias Read the following scenario and then answer questions 9 to 10: Tom has just been promoted to chief technology officer at his company, Global Tech Solutions, Inc. His first assignment is to identify four project managers in the company who are likely to successfully manage new projects. Tom selects Robert, Frank, Sue, and Jan, who all are recent graduates from a local university.
He informs them about a current situation. 9 During a discussion about e-business, Robert tells Tom that he understands that e-business is a comprehensive term describing the way an organization does its work by using ________ in order to efficiently and effectively achieve its goals. A globalization of the marketplace B innovation and growth C electronic linkages with key constituencies D entrepreneurship and leadership skills 10 Discussing the three categories of e-business was not difficult. Tom simply stated that the three categories included all of the following except ________.
A e-business enhanced B e-business enabled C total e-business D cross-sectional e-business 4 MGT B240 Principles and Practices of Management Question 2 (20 marks) a In your own words, explain why the Hawthorne Studies were so critical to management history. (10 marks) Read the following article and then answer the questions below the box: News of Steve Jobs’s death on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 drove the Apple Inc. (Apple) share price down more than 5% on the Frankfurt stock market the following morning. Steve Jobs is Apple’s co-founder and ex-CEO.
Jobs was ousted from the company in 1985 and went on to operate a new business, animation studio Pixar, before returning to Apple in 1997. Apple was near bankruptcy then and worth just $2 billion. But then it came up with many innovative and popular products including iPods, iPhones and iPads. Jobs is regarded as the mastermind behind this empire of products that revolutionized computing, telephony and the music industry. Apple’s stock price has risen more than 9,000% since Jobs returned in 1997. Tim Cook, who took over as new CEO in August 2011, also ended up being the highest paid CEO in America.
Cook’s pay package was valued at more than all of the next nine highest paid CEOs of 2010 combined (in US), at about $356 million. Required: Explain whether the stakeholders of Apple Inc. hold the omnipotent view or the symbolic view of managers’ powers. What negative consequence might result from upholding the particular viewpoint identified from the article? (Hint: Your discussion should draw on relevant information from the article such as the stock performance and the pay package for Jobs’ successor. ) (10 marks) b Question 3 (30 marks) Discuss how a manager can make good use of the relevant knowledge about Hofstede’s national culture framework to better manage workers/subordinates who came from: i a high power distance culture; ii a low uncertainty avoidance culture; or iii an individualistic culture. (15 marks) Assignment File 5 b Read the following short article and then answer the questions below the box: On 13 December 2011, Hongkong Electric Ltd and China Light & Power HK Ltd (CLP) announced power-rate increases higher than the rate of inflation. Hongkong Electric said it would raise rates by 6. 3%. CLP presented a 9. % increase, effective 1 January 2012. The size of the increases sparked widespread dissatisfaction in the territory. The Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, urged both power companies to consider their social responsibility and to ensure they don’t cause hardship to the public with their proposed tariff increases. Bowing to public pressure, CLP later lowered its planned increase to 7. 4% by deducting the increase for fuel cost. Required: CLP’s action to reduce its planned tariff hike is most compatible with which of the following ideas? Explain and elaborate your view on each idea. social obligation; ii social responsiveness; or iii social responsibility. (15 marks) Question 4 (30 marks) Read the following case and answer the questions that follow: Case: Out of control With a worldwide recall of some 8 million cars and 51 deaths that US regulators say have been caused by mechanical failures in its cars, Toyota Motor Corporation faces a corporate crisis of epic proportions. What happened at the car company that had finally achieved the title of world’s largest car maker? (It overtook General Motors in 2008. ) What factors contributed to the mess it now found itself in?
At the core of Toyota’s manufacturing prowess is the Toyota Production System (TPS), which has long been touted and revered as a model of corporate efficiency and quality. Four management principles (the 4P model) were at the core of TPS and guided employees: problem solving, people and partners, process, and philosophy. The idea behind these principles was that ‘Good Thinking means Good Product. ’ Taiichi Ohno, a longtime Toyota executive, is widely credited as the innovative genius behind TPS. During the 1950s, Ohno, along with a small 6 MGT B240 Principles and Practices of Management ore of other Toyota executives, developed several principles of car-making efficiency that became what is now known as lean manufacturing and just-in-time inventory management. ‘Ohno’s ideas not only changed the auto industry, they changed latetwentieth-century manufacturing. ’ At the very core of these concepts were attention to detail and a ‘noble frugality. ’ However, over the years, it appears that Toyota’s executives slowly lost the ‘purity’ of that approach as the once-strong commitment to quality embedded in Toyota’s corporate culture became lost in its aggressive moves to grow market share and achieve productivity gains.
From about 1995 to 2009, Toyota embarked on the ‘most aggressive overseas expansions in automotive history’ and at the same time had a laser-like unparalleled focus on cutting costs. Four major cost-cutting and expansion initiatives severely strained organizational processes and employees. One initiative was localized manufacturing. Started in the late 1990s, Toyota established manufacturing hubs in Asia, North America, and Europe. Such an approach meant relying more on local suppliers and design teams to tailor cars to local tastes.
Another initiative was called Construction of Cost Competitiveness for the 21st Century, or CCC21. It was a massive cost reduction program. Through an ongoing process of redesigning parts and working with suppliers, more than $10 billion of savings were achieved. The Value Innovation initiative was a more ambitious version of CCC21. Under this program, more savings were achieved by making the entire development process cheaper and by further cutting parts and production costs.
And finally, the Global 15 initiative was a master global plan for attaining a 15% share of the global car market by 2010. As of mid-2010, Toyota had an 11. 7% share of the worldwide car market. However, this ‘combination of high-speed global growth and ambitious cost cuts led to the quality lapses that tarnished the once-mighty brand. ’ Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda apologized for the company’s actions and said, ‘We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization.
I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced. ’ So what is Toyota doing to remedy its problems? In addition to the massive recall, the company’s president says that it is setting up a system to respond more quickly to complaints. In fact, the automaker has promised to give regional executives a bigger role in issuing recalls based on local consumer complaints, although Mr Toyoda says that the final decisions regarding recalls with continue to be made in Japan.
The company is also holding twiceyearly global quality meetings and more frequent regional quality meetings. And finally, the company is re-committing itself to better training employees in quality control. Assignment File 7 Required: a Using the seven dimensions of organizational culture (Exhibit 2. 5 of your textbook) and information from the case, describe the culture at Toyota Motor Corporation. Why do you think this type of culture might be important to a car maker? 8 marks) How do you think a long-standing culture that had such a strong commitment to quality lost its ability to influence employee behaviours and actions? What lesson can be learned about organizational culture from this? Explain. (8 marks) Taking the company’s stakeholders into consideration, do you think it was important for Mr Toyoda to apologize for the company’s decisions? Why? (6 marks) What could other organizations learn from Toyota’s experiences about the importance of organizational culture? (8 marks) b c d Source: Robbins, S P and Coulter, M, Management, 11th edn, 93–94.
Related article: Time Management – Work File
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