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Analysis of the managerial styles at Wollongong trucking yard

Question:

Discuss about the Case Study of Restructuring Strategy of a Construction Company.

The main purpose of the assignment is to study employment relations, organizational theories and managerial theories in the light of an organization. The secondary aim is to analyze these theories in the light of  a case study.

The case study is set in the background of Wollongong trucking yard owned by the Top Trucking Company. The case contrasts between the managerial patterns of two managers, the autocratic style of the old yard manager and the transformational style of the new manager. The conditions of the drivers under these two managerial styles outline the differences between them. The assignment also points out how the motivation theories of Herzberg and Maslow can be applied to motivate workers. The importance of trade unions and their role in employee betterment has also found importance in the study.

The assignment has three sections which delves into the various theories of organization and their application in the workplaces. The first section points out how the workplace changes brought about by the new manager complement each other in improving the work culture of the yard. The second section contrasts between the leadership style of the old manager and the new manager. This section outlines how a transfer of the new manager or George, the trade union representative may affect the drivers. The final section compared between the role of the blue collar unions and the public and private in bringing about positive changes in the work culture.

The new manager supported by the new management introduced a number of positive changes that complemented each other. He introduced transformative managerial style and bring about innovations and changes in the operations of trucking yard. His changes though initially created a bit of conflict among the drivers, brought about positive results which were accepted by the drivers (Nye, 2014). The new manager using his transformational leadership style and transparent communication involved the drivers and the union representatives in order to deal with tough situations. He took a more rational approach to problems and involved the driver in solving the problems. The new manager also took steps to improve the safety and security of the drivers in work (Carmeli et al., 2014). The drivers also received training in modern techniques and customer services which enhanced their skills and confidence. The management gave the drivers uniforms and installed a new computer system in the warehouse. The new manager ensured participation from the union person, George and the drivers. This step of the manager enabled better communication between them and the management (Hashim, 2015). The manager discussed things with the union representative to seek his views instead of letting him interfere in the trucking yards operations. This step taken by the manager made the drivers feel free from the clutches of the union and made the inefficient drivers who supported the union resign. The introduction of the uniform motivated the drivers and made them feel important. Their participation the problem solving and decision making process also boosted their motivation. It must be pointed out that according to Herzberg’s theory, better company policies and improved relationship act as motivating factors (Band et al., 2016). The increase in safety and training boosted their self confidences and increased their self esteem (Hung & Petrick, 2016). They initially were apprehensive about the outcome of the changes but later accepted them when they saw their benefits. The new manager instead of following an autocratic managerial style of introducing changes trained the drivers. This step taken by the new manager minimized the chances of conflict (Hajro, Gibson & Pudelko, 2017). The new manager under the modernization theory modernized the operations in the yard and improved driver conditions (Glynn & Taplin, 2013). The new manager communicated the information about performances of the truck yard and challenges with the drivers and the union representative. The drivers thus felt that they were a part of the company and worked harder to improve their performances. They were no more blamed for the problems and were encouraged to participate to solve them which complemented the open discussion policy introduced by the new manager. Thus, it can be said that the new workplace practices like open discussion, safety measures, training and the introduction of the uniform complemented one another. They all contributed to increase of motivation and self esteem among the drivers. This made the drivers work harder which increased their productivity. The drivers look upon the increased market position and productivity as rewards for their efforts (Stavrinos et al., 2016).

Application of motivation theories to motivate workers

The new manager brought about positive changes which improved the working conditions and performance of the trucking yard. He involved George, the union representative in the problem solving processes as if he were a part of the company. This made George get involved in the improvement measures which once again helped the drivers. However, moving on of the new manager or George would pose threat to the sustainability of the new changes and their positive effects. The following comparison will help in outlining the risk of sustainability of the positive workplace changes brought about by George and the new manager (Yamanashi et al., 2016).

The old manager followed an autocratic style of leadership and ill-treated the drivers. The owners did not take interest in the renovation of the fleet and safety of the drivers. The presence of the inefficient drivers caused conflicts, accidents and breakdowns which affected the performances. The manager did not take initiatives to resolve conflicts, improve the work culture or motivate the drivers.

The new owner of Wollongong Yard bought new trucks and installed new computer system to improve management of the warehouses. The drivers got new uniform which increased their motivation. The new manager involved both the drivers and the union representative George in the day to day management of the yard. He encouraged participation and communication among the two groups which helped in conflict management. He gave training to the drivers which improved their productivity. The new manager sought participation of George while George on his supported him.

A comparison between the old management scenario and the new transformation management scenario shows that the new scenario is far better and beneficial to the yard. The case study also speaks about a probable movement of the new manager to the headquarters. This movement may prove detrimental to the new positive changes. The next manager may not follow the transformation leadership style of the new which will hamper the performance of the yard as a whole. The next manager may establish autocratic managerial style like the old manager and deprive the drivers of the important position they have acquired (Chege, Wachira & Mwenda, 2015). The new manager and George act in coordination to ensure the participation of the employees and were dependent on each other. Thus, it can be opined that relocation of the new manager may reduce the importance of George and the drivers. Again, a relocation of George will affect the performance of the new manager.

George got involved with the new manager and the drivers in the problem solving processes of the yard. He was instrumental in creating a transparent communication channel between the manager, drivers and the union which helped to avoid conflict. Relocation of George may result in involvement of a union representative who may not cooperate with the new manager. He may instead use his position to fulfill the demands of the trade union and control it’s in their favour. Thus it would again result in autocratic management of the union and the new manager may lose his say. The union rule may result in undermining of drivers’ safety and efficiency. It may also give rise to efficiency, conflict among the groups involved and loss of productivity. Hence, relocation of the new manager or George will hamper the sustainable changes while will result in loss of goodwill of the yard (DiStaso et al., 2011).

Role of trade unions in employee betterment

The blue collar unions are less likely to bring about positive changes compared to the public or private unions. The blue collar union members are mostly fight for the rights of the employees involved in construction, technical installation, custodial works and so on. They are often qualified and have specialized training, licensing and certification. The blue collar union workers are often salaried people who get salary every month.

As opposed to the blue collar unions the public unions are present in almost all the industries irrespective of their types. For example, the Public Service Union of the United Kingdom play the important role of ensuring minimum wages for the employees, improving work safety and many other rights (Barcevicius, Weishaupt & Zeitlin, 2014 ). The unions play a very crucial role and enjoy legal rights according to the constitutions. The Australian Council of Trade Union works towards improving the living standards of the workers. They fight for social security systems like medical allowances and trainings of the workers (Actu.org.au, 2017).

A comparison between the blue collar unions like the Transport workers union and the public unions reveal that the blue collar union members are professionally trained and salaried people. The public unions like the Australian Council of Trade Unions on the other hand are not necessarily qualified and are not salaried. These union workers fight for the right wage payments for the factory labours. The public unions are more likely to fight for bringing about workplace changes. The case study reveals that the drivers did not have any power under the previous management in spite of the presence of George, the representative of the Transport Workers Union. They did not receive any training and the management did not enforce rules for their safety. The representative did not bargain for the rights of these driver and the inefficient drivers hampered productivity. Hence, in the light of the above case it can be opined that presence of public unions could have bargained for the safety measures to benefit the workers(Esping-Andersen, 2013).

Conclusion:

The study shows that the dynamic work culture today requires transformational managerial style. A comparison between the leadership styles of the two managers prove that autocratic leadership hampers productivity as it does not encourage employee participation. It can be reiterated that motivation and participation of the employees is very crucial to bring about changes in the organizational culture. The following recommendations can be made in the light of the case study and the theories applied:

The management should not relocate the new manager and the union should not relocate George. The two people and dynamic and encourage employee participation in the decision making process. Their cooperation and coordination motivate the drivers and increase their self esteem. Their presence is very crucial to sustain the positive changes in the working conditions of the factory.

References:

Actu.org.au. (2017). About the ACTU. [online] Available at: https://www.actu.org.au/about-the-actu/about-the-actu [Accessed 16 Apr. 2017].

Band, G., Shah, N. V., Sriram, R., & Appliances, E. (2016). Herzberg Two Factor Theory among the Management Faculty in Nagpur City. In International Conference on Management and Information Systems September (Vol. 23, p. 24).

Barcevicius, E., Weishaupt, T., & Zeitlin, J. (Eds.). (2014). Assessing the open method of coordination: institutional design and national influence of EU social policy coordination. Springer.

Carmeli, A., Sheaffer, Z., Binyamin, G., Reiter?Palmon, R., & Shimoni, T. (2014). Transformational leadership and creative problem?solving: the mediating role of psychological safety and reflexivity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 48(2), 115-135.

Chege, A. N., Wachira, A., & Mwenda, L. (2015). Effects of Leadership Styles on Implementation of Organization Strategic Plans in Small and Medium Enterprises in Nairobi. Management and Administrative Sciences Review, 4(3), 593-600.

DiStaso, M. W., McCorkindale, T., & Wright, D. K. (2011). How public relations executives perceive and measure the impact of social media in their organizations. Public Relations Review, 37(3), 325-328.

Esping-Andersen, G. (2013). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. John Wiley & Sons.

Glynn, P. J., & Taplin, R. (2013). The essential role of employment and the workplace in climate change policy and effective disaster risk management planning. In Climate change and disaster risk management (pp. 399-409). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Hajro, A., Gibson, C. B., & Pudelko, M. (2017). Knowledge exchange processes in multicultural teams: Linking organizational diversity climates to teams’ effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 60(1), 345-372.

Hashim, J. (2015). Information communication technology (ICT) adoption among SME owners in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Information, 2(2).

Hung, K., & Petrick, J. F. (2016). Developing a measurement scale for cruising motivations.

Nye Jr, J. S. (2014). Transformational and transactional presidents. Leadership, 10(1), 118-124.

Stavrinos, D., Heaton, K., Welburn, S. C., McManus, B., Griffin, R., & Fine, P. R. (2016). Commercial truck driver health and safety: exploring distracted driving performance and self-reported driving skill. Workplace health & safety, 64(8), 369-376.

Yamanashi, Y., Teramoto, M., Morimura, N., Hirata, S., Inoue-Murayama, M., & Idani, G. I. (2016). Effects of relocation and individual and environmental factors on the long-term stress levels in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): monitoring hair cortisol and behaviors. PLoS One, 11(7), e0160029.

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[Accessed 01 March 2024].

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