This assignment has two discrete elements:
Part 1: Case Analysis
Instructions: focuses on conducting a critical analysis of the case presented (Julie’s new dilemma). You are required to first review and apply relevant theories to gain insight into the case analysis and then provide recommendations based on the theories you used to improve the situation described in the case.
Analysis of case study:
Apply relevant theories to the case, discussing which aspects of the experience can be explained, and analyse the situation to determine what could be improved from the organisational perspective.
- Literature Review
In the first section of your analysis you will need to review relevant theories. This is best achieved by writing a short literature review. If you are unsure of what a literature review is, literature reviews are commonly used in journal articles to define and discuss the fit of specific theories to the context of what the journal article is all about. When doing your research for this task, take a look at how the authors of journal articles introduce, define and discuss the theories they are talking about in their articles.
Apply the theories you reviewed to the case, discussing which aspects of the experience can be explained by the theories, and analyse the situation (with support from literature/journal articles) to determine what could be improved from the organisational perspective.
Generate recommendations that identify what Julie and/or the Directors need to do to address the issue(s), being sure to provide a clearly defined pathway (steps/goals) for improvement that highlights your understanding of the relevant theories.
Case Study - Julie’s New Dilemma
Julie looks at her bedside table clock... 3am... she is still not asleep. She has had trouble sleeping for the last month or so now. Usually she just lays in bed thinking about work – making mental lists of all the things that she must do the next day as well as replaying the days interactions between her and her direct reports. The workload is extremely high, but that is not the main issue. Since taking on the role of business manager, Julie has felt an enormous amount of pressure to deliver the results for TUQ that Paola, Elliot and Shannon expect. Julie usually enjoys a challenge and has a strong track record of pulling off the impossible but managing the merger between TUQ and Rolled Gold might just be the one that beats her.
Lying in bed awake she wonders how it all went wrong? Physically and mentally, she is no longer herself, she feels fatigued, anxious and on-edge. Because she is so consumed with work, she has stopped doing a lot of the activities that she used to enjoy, such as surfing and playing indoor soccer. She knows that she is not performing to her usual high standard and is starting to second-guess herself at work. This self-doubt not only chews up time, but it’s taking its toll on her self-esteem. She wonders why the Directors thought that she could do the job.
One of the things that she is really grappling with is the loss of comradery that she used to have with her TUQ colleagues. Since being promoted she has felt like more of an outsider and less as one of the team. Although there are a few employees who are still friendly with her from TUQ, most of the TUQ employees who used to be close with her are now quite distant. For instance, she knows that there have been staff birthday lunches and other celebrations that she has been purposely excluded from. She feels upset that she has lost that social connection at work, as that used to be one of the things that she enjoyed most about TUQ.
An incident last week at work has also left her shaken. She was delivering some training on how to use some new invoicing software and half-way through the session one of her direct reports was packing up to leave. Julie asked where the staff member was going, and she replied that it was personal and Julie (not having had much sleep, and feeling stressed about staff being able to use this new software immediately) asked in front of the other five attendees, again, what was so important that the staff member had to leave this crucial training. The staff member burst into tears and left the room. One of the other attendees, a friend of the upset staff member, reprimanded Julie in front of everyone saying that she was unprofessional and insensitive. Julie, unsure of what to do, said nothing and awkwardly just
continued with the training. Later Julie found out that the staff member had to leave to attend a psychologist appointment, she was recently divorced and was struggling with her mental health. Julie felt terrible, she knew that she over stepped but at the same time, everyone needed to be working their hardest right now. As the business manager, she should have been told ahead of time of the absence. News of what happened spread throughout both the West End and Burleigh offices, no one said anything to her directly about it, though there was a higher than usual level of incivility by some staff members towards her and there was definitely a sense that employees would comply with her work requests, but no one did more than what was asked.
Another issue that is keeping Julie awake is that the annual performance reviews for staff is about to start. Now that she is in management, she is expected to take the lead on the reviews. Although she has managed people before, she feels that her authority is severely undermined now and the tension in the office combined with the lack of performance progress from most staff is going to make for some very unpleasant conversations. With the business generating little profit, the staff profit-sharing scheme has not worked to motivate staff as intended. Julie feels out of her depth and does not feel that she has enough experience, confidence or knowledge on how to conduct the upcoming appraisals, particularly delivering the negative feedback.
It is 5am now...another sleepless night for Julie. She gets up and goes to the kitchen. As she waits for her coffee machine to heat up, she wonders what she can do to make the situation better? The Directors have left Julie to manage everything and they know that she is trying her best, and she appreciates that, but she also knows that their patience is not going to last forever. Julie opens her laptop to get started on her emails and sees an email alert from your HR consulting company announcing a new blog post on your company website. Remembering the effective evidence-based leadership coaching that your company was able to provide for Julie’s manager at her previous employer, she wonders whether you might be able to do the same thing for her.
Later that morning Julie gives you a call. She explains the situation to you. What do you advise she do?
Part 2 - Ethical Dilemma
This is a discrete separate question. You are provided with an ethical dilemma (below). You need to determine a course of action using Kidder's ethical decision-making framework.
Using Kidder’s steps for making ethical decisions:
- Identify potential ethical dilemmas/considerations resulting from your recommendations.
- Set-out and evaluate potential alternative courses of action to resolve the ethical issue
- Determine a course of action
Note, providing this as a table below the Ethical Dilemma case study.
- Word limit is 500 words
- No reference required for this section.
You have been the Manager at Sunshine Child Care for 5 years now and although it isa busy role, you thoroughly enjoy working with children and the wonderful educators at the centre. The centre has facilities to look after small babies (i.e., newborn) right up to 5-year old’s in kindy. The centre is open from 6.30am until 6.30pm Monday to Friday, and recently, at the request of parents who needed childcare over the weekends (usually so they could work their weekend jobs), the centre has started opening a few rooms up on Saturdays from 8am – 2pm. The centre caters for approximately 300 children, with 50 educators (staff who look after the children) as well as additional staff who perform the administrative, cleaning and cooking duties. Whilst about 10% of the staff are either full-time or part-time permanent workers, most of the educators are casual workers. Permanent staff work only Monday to Friday (usually between the hours of 8am – 5pm), whereas casual staff can work any day or time.
Due to the weekend penalties, any casual educator who works a Saturday shift is eligible to be paid twice the rate that would usually be paid on a Monday-Friday shift. This has caused some tension amongst staff. Some staff are worried that only the ‘favourites’ of management will be picked for the Saturday shifts, and other staff are concerned that some casuals will try and ‘game’ the system by limiting their availability during the week so that they can work the more coveted Saturday shifts.
In response to the concerns by staff and to make things fair you have designed some rules around how the rostering for those highly desired Saturday shifts would be shared amongst the casual staff. Your plan ensures that over the course of 1 month, every casual employee will have the opportunity to work at least 2 Saturday shifts. This means that everyone gets an equal share of earning the Saturday rates, and should eliminate any perception of bias or favouritism. Your plan was well received by staff and seems to be working as intended – staff are happy, the rostering for the Saturdays is being evenly spread and not impacting the scheduling for the Monday-Friday shifts.
About 1 month into the implementation of your rostering rules, one of your best casual workers, Sharon, has knocked on your door asking for a chat. As she sits down and you close your door, you see that she is very upset and looks quite tired. Sharon explains that recently her husband Tony had to abruptly stop working due to some health issues. She has been working her usual hours during the week but would like to work a regular weekly Saturday shift as well. Sharon says to you that she would not usually ask for special treatment, but she really needs the extra income. She is very stressed about how she is going to pay for Tony’s health care as well as their living expenses now that he is not working. Sharon’s sister has been helping look after Tony during the week when Sharon is at work but given that Sharon’s sister also works it is not possible for Sharon to take on any additional shifts Monday-Friday. Sharon’s sister does not work on Saturdays which means that she could look after Tony so that Sharon can work at the centre. You really like Sharon and she is one of your best workers – loved by children and staff. You would love to help her out, but you are concerned about what the implications would be if you said yes to her request. What do you say to Sharon?
What do you say to Sharon?
1.Identify the ethical issue or problem
2.List the facts that have the most bearing on the decision
3.Identify anyone who might be affected by your decision and how
4.Explain what affected person would want you to do about the issue
5.List two alternative actions and identify the best and worst case scenario for each alternative, anyone who would be harmed by this choice (and how), any values that would be compromised by selecting this alternative, and any automatic reasons why this alternative should not be selected (legal issues, rules, etc…)
6.Determine a course of action, that is, what do you do?