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Slade Painting Dept. Case Study

2797 words - 12 pages

Slade Plating Department

In the case of the Slade Plating department there are a number of problems that occur within the company. The main problem is that most of the employees within the department punch fellow co-workers timecards out when the employees are not there. A lot of these problems can be linked to the business’ organizational behavior.
There are many employees within the firm that have organized into teams. The most organized being the Sarto and Clark groups. Employees in these groups and some within smaller groups have developed a system where one person in the group stays after the manager leaves at 5:00pm. The alternating individual staying late punches out the other ...view middle of the document...

Herman consistently produces much lower than any other employee in that department and lacks motivation to perform better. There is simply no incentive for him to produce more efficiently because there will always be more work to do. Herman always arrives late, never works overtime on weekends, and does not socialize with other employees. In addition, Herman sometimes makes arrangements with Partridge to punch him out for a fee. There is no one who gets along well with Herman and that does not seem to bother him.
A large contributor to this problem of “buddy-punching,” is poor motivation due to low wages and a long workweek. The plating department is comprised of relatively skilled workers that receive less training than other sections. The company pays only a few dollars over minimum wage and a typical Monday through Friday workweek is approximately 60 hours. In addition, employees usually work on the weekends. The rate for the first 40 hours of the workweek is paid on a straight-line basis and any additional hours are paid at time and a half. The weekend overtime rate is paid at double the regular wage.
The variability in wages is an incentive to work long hours to receive a higher wage. One can see how this system could entice employees to lie about their hours. The work varies frequently in the plating department due to revisions in production schedules and last minute orders. There are also a large variety of working conditions in the plant. The employees in the extremely hot or cold and humid areas are more likely to want to leave work early.
In this case both the Reinforcement Theory and Group Think come into play. The members of both the Sarto and Clark groups have become close friends in and out of workplace. The cohesiveness of these groups has allowed for problems like theft and low productivity to arise. Members of these groups are likely to go along with each other and not think separately. The groups frequently do favors for each other and the most common is “buddy punching”. This system allows one member of the group to stay at work and punch the rest of the members out once they have left work. The organization of these groups led to the formation of other groups of “cliques” in the department. There are only three members of the department that do not use a “buddy-punching” system, which shows how influential groups can be.
There is a high correlation between the group’s cohesiveness, their performance norms and their levels of productivity. Having high cohesiveness and relatively low performance norms directly contributes to the low level of productivity and high level of dishonesty.
Problems with the individuals employed at the Slade Plating Department also include their attitudes, behaviors and personality traits. Attitudes displayed by the employees, particularly those with lower group status, are factors creating a culture of theft. The type of jobs offered in relation to the skill level needed to be an employee is...

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