After analyzing the case, the theories and concepts that relate are: 1. 1 Evidence-Based Management (EBM) theory uses the best available evidence for making managerial decisions. The basic problem that Karen Barton faces with Dave Palmer is that he focused only on the reports that contained mostly qualitative benefits from the programs and did not contain much quantitative benefits and accordingly made his decision of cutting the budget. Whereas Organizational Behavior (OB) states that a manager should use all the three approaches of intuition, faddism and systematic study together.
It states the use of evidence to inform the intuition and experience. 1. 2 Dave palmer also faces Overconfidence and Availability Bias, as he believed too much in his ability to make good decision when it was outside of his own expertise. As he was convinced after the telephonic conversation with Barton that there was nothing more left to discuss even though the last-and the-only executive education program he attended was ages ago in 1980.
He even emphasized on information that was most readily at hand and ignored the fact that in-house program if introduced, could reinforce Stockton’s three-pronged agenda and it would smoothen the integration process. 1. 3 Equity theory explains that employees indulge into comparisons of the ratios of their own outcomes and efforts with those of others to check whether they are treated more or less favorably.
Similarly in the case Karen compared her executive education budget cut by more than 75% to training for lower-level employees by only 10% which made her feel under-compensated and less favorable and secondly when Freita pointed out that he had to demonstrate the bottom line impact for every budget cycle Karen pointed out that If he could spend money on equipment maintenance, modification and improvement, Why couldn’t she do the same for people. This inequity motivated her to attain her goal. 1.
4 “Adjustment function” of attitudes enables a person to bend according to a new situation and to conclude how to act in future so as to attain benefits from such situations in future. In the case we see Karen was disappointed, judgmental and aggressive initially but later on her attitude changed towards the situation and she started to be more practical and relaxed in her approach, as it was critical for her to get the best out of the case that she would put forward in front of Palmer. 1. 5 Attribution Theory in social perception is when we see others behavior we want to understand why people behave the way they do.
Karen similarly wanted to understand how Palmer’s mind worked and so she scanned through Palmer’s bio to decide on how she should make her case to get him on her side so that he approves it. 2. HOW SHOULD BARTON MAKE HER CASE FOR EXECUTIVE EDUCATION? From Barton’s chat with Freitas and Palmer we can infer that palmer is a clear-headed person who believes in performance and evidence. We also get an idea from her conversation with Freitas that her ambitious budget may create an interdepartmental rivalry within the firm.
Keeping all these points in mind Barton requires a presentation that demonstrates both the qualitative as well as quantitative advantages of the executive education program and answers why does Zendal need these programs the most when the firm is dealing with recession and a merger. Firstly she will have to convince Palmer that the executive education programs have come a long way since 1980’s and that the executive education programs are not the same that they used to be when he attended them. She may cite the example of Dreyer’s Grand Ice cream firm.
This will obviously not convince her boss, but will help her in getting the needed attention and seriousness from Dave Palmer’s part. She should start her case by showing Palmer the studies that clearly demonstrate a link between executive education, performance in management and shareholders value. She must tie up executive education programs with the business drivers of the firm and explain how the programs will help the firm in achieving them fast. Then she should talk to Palmer about the kind of leaders he wants in his organization. ‘Are the leaders of Zendal better than its competitors? What is unique about Zendal’s leaders?
The aim of this would be to try to make Palmer realize how an in house executive education program will help Zendal in creating leaders that are different and better than its competitors. Also, the managers of the firm need to formulate fresh strategies to deal with recession and since a new firm has been acquired, the new executives should be made familiar with the existing culture of Zendal as they may find it hard to adjust according to their culture, which would ultimately lead to an inefficient performance from their part. Both these problems can be solved with a single stroke of an in-house executive education program.
She must also state in her meeting that the employees who would attend these programs will be closely monitored and it will be made sure that they use the acquired knowledge. For the quantitative part she may follow the following framework to calculate ROI, on which Dave Palmer has been insisting upon. Investment * Tuition * Salary * Cost of not being able to be not be on the job Add all these up and we will get total cost (per participant) Return * NPV of improved capability in 2 years * NPV of improved team skill in 2 years * NPV of improved ability to make judgment in 2 years.
Add all these up and we will get total financial results of the project But to employ this type of framework, the project must be first approved. For the time being she can show him all the satisfaction reports that she has been getting filled from employees who attend a program and explain how she is careful about the company’s funds and discourages employees from attending programs that have been rated “poor” or “Below average” three times in a row. Lastly to get her funds approved she needs to assure Palmer that there will be no inter departmental rivalry within the organization due to release of huge funds from the upper management.
For that, her HR unit must go and talk to each of the departmental heads and understand their problems and design the education program according to their needs. This will help in two ways, firstly this approach will not generalize the program and serve the firm better by being precise and secondly the conversation with departmental heads will make the heads understand that spending of this huge amount is for the good of their own departments, Thus also solving the problem of interdepartmental rivalry. 3. REFLECTION UPON OUR EXPERIENCES OF WORKING IN A GROUP:
Working with this group was an enriching learning experience for all the group members. It brought some difficulty and stress, because group members had different views on the case study but with the help of discussions and mutual understanding we decided which view to go with for the report. This was also an advantage of working in a group since we got to know many diverse opinions. The group went through the various stages of formation of a group. In the ‘Form’ stage of the group, the members were Aarti Sharma, Arjun Kumar, Pallav Goel, Sakshi Dixit, Vishal Chaudhary, Vipul and Yamini Arora.
During the ‘Storm’ stage, the entire process of working in our group was very systematic in order to avoid any chaos. For the commencement, Aarti called for a group meeting to discuss about the assignment and bring the group together. She invited all members by sending mails. It was then decided that each member would read the case study and analyze the problems of the case study. Sakshi gave the print outs to each group member three days before the group meeting. In the ‘Norm’ stage, the group meeting was held and each member shared their views on the case study, key points were figured out and accordingly work was divided among the members.
The task of putting together the entire project was assigned to Pallav. The group then ‘performed’ their assigned duties and in the ‘adjourn’ stage, since this group was created for a one-time task, the group was then dispersed. The whole group describes: * Aarti as an enthusiastic, dedicated and encouraging group member. She was good at analyzing the problems, performed writing and made us work as a whole group together. * Arjun was serious towards the case study and gave every possible contribution to the assignment on his part. * Pallav as proficient and hardworking.
He devoted all the required time for the project and helped to bring together the entire project. * Sakshi as a reliable group member who timely completed the assigned tasks and played a role in communication with various non-boarding group members. * Yamini as an active participant in the group meetings and played an important part in analyzing various OB theories and concepts. She also took part in writing the project. * Vipul as a responsible team member as in spite of being unwell, he was in contact with the group throughout and put in his share of work and participated whole heartedly.
* Vishal was a part of analyzing the case. The group decided to not elect a leader but selected a coordinator in order to pass information to all group members. Each of us displayed leadership qualities in the group at various times. We influenced each other’s behavior, actions and encouraged each other to dedicate time on the assignment. . Each group member was committed to the group and made contributions according to his/her potential. All inclusive, It was a satisfying experience of working with this group because we worked as a team with planning and learnt to work without any personal prejudices.
REFERENCES: * Kesner, I, Burnett, S, Morrison, M, Tichy, N, & Ownes, D 2003, ‘Leadership Development: Perk or Priority? ‘, Harvard Business Review, 81, 5, pp. 29-38, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 October 2012. * Bolt, JF 1993, ‘Ten Years of Change in Executive Education’, Training & Development, 47, 8, p. 43, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 October 2012. * Traindis, H. C. (1971),Attitudes and Attitude Change,John Wiley and Sons. * Eagly,A. ,and Chaiken,S. (1993),Psychology of Attitudes,NY,Harcourt and Brace Jovanovich.