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Leadership Challenges at Coastal Bank Essay

Coastal Bank is a large bank in a southeastern city. As a part of a comprehensive internal management study, senior vice president, Harris Meade, examined the turnover, absenteeism, and productivity figures of all work groups in the organization. The results Meade obtained contained no real surprises except in the case of the check-sorting and data-processing departments.

In general the departments displaying high turnover and absenteeism rates, such as the clerical department had low production figures, and those with low turnover and absenteeism were highly productive. No surprise there.

When analysis began on the check-sorting and data-processing figures, however, Meade discovered that both departments were tied for the lead for the lowest turnover and absenteeism figures. What was surprising was that the check-sorting department ranked first as the most productive unit, whereas the electronic data-processing department ranked last.

That inconsistency was further complicated by the fact that the working conditions for check-sorting employees are extremely undesirable. They work in a large open room that is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. They work alone and operate high-speed check-sorting machines requiring a high degree of accuracy and concentration. There is little chance for interaction because they all take rotating coffee breaks.

The computer room is air-conditioned, with a stable temperature year round; it has perfect lighting and is extremely quiet and comfortable. It was known that both groups are highly cohesive and that the workers generally function well with others in their department. This observation was reinforced by the study’s finding of the low levels of turnover and absenteeism in both departments.

In an effort to understand what was happening, Meade decided to interview the members of both departments. Meade hoped to gain some insight into the dynamics of each group’s behavior. It was discovered that the check-sorting department displayed a great deal of loyalty to the company. Most of the group was unskilled or semiskilled workers; although they have no organized union, each person felt that the company had made special efforts to keep their wages and benefits in line with unionized operations. They knew that their work required team effort and were committed to high performance.

A quite different situation existed in the data-processing department. Although the workers liked their fellow employees, there was a uniform feeling among this highly skilled group that management placed more emphasis on production than on staff units. It was their contention that pay increases had been better for operating departments and that the gap between the wage earners and salaried employees did not reflect the skill differences. Because of that, a large percentage of the group displayed little loyalty toward the company, even though they were very close among themselves.

There is some degree of urgency to improve productivity. A major competitor in the region is increasing its market share, while Coastal Bank’s market share is trending downward in the last two quarters.

You are Harris Meade and you are tasked with improving productivity throughout the bank.

Case Study Analysis Assignment Requirements

Your 1,200-1,700-word analysis of the Coastal Bank case should demonstrate the application the various leadership approaches, principles, and theories discussed during the course to create a solution to the dilemma. Your solution must refer to and cite the information covered in the textbook.

Your analysis of the case should include the following:

1. Problem statement
2. Key facts
3. View point analysis:

•Who are the key participants in this problem? State their viewpoint of the problem

4. Solution(s):
•How does the course content support acting on this issue?

•What are the challenges and benefits (individual, organizational) to the proposed solution?

•Based on the course content, who should be involved and why?

•How do you decide on the best course of action?

•What is the best method to make the decision?

•How do you implement any change that may be needed?

Evaluation of the case study will be based on the following criteria:

• Clarity and organization of the possible solution.

• The solution demonstrates an application of the leadership approaches, principle and theories covered in the textbook.

• The solution demonstrates the synthesis of additional relevant and credible leadership resources.

• Adherence to appropriate use of writing conventions, coherence and adherence to APA standards.


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