A Great Way to Care and Donald R. Brown
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Case studies allow a learning-by-doing approach.The material in the case provides the data for analysis and decision making. Cases require you to diagnose and make decisions about the situation and to defend those decisions to your peers. OBJECTIVES OF THE CASE METHOD 1. Helping you to acquire the skills of putting textbook knowledge about management into practice. 2. Getting you out of the habit of being a receiver of facts, concepts, and techniques, and into the habit of diagnosing problems, analyzing and evaluating alternatives, and formulating workable plans of action. 3. Training you to work out answers and solutions for yourself, as opposed to relying upon the authoritative crutch of the professor or a textbook. 4. Providing you with exposure to a range of firms and managerial situations (which might take a lifetime to experience personally), thus offering you a basis for comparison when you begin your own management career. HOW TO PREPARE A CASE 1. Begin your analysis by reading the case once for familiarity.
2. On the second reading, attempt to gain full command of the facts, organizational goals, objectives, strategies, policies, symptoms of problems, problems, basic causes of problems, unresolved issues, and roles of key individuals. 3. Who are the key players in this situation? What are their roles and their styles? 4. Arrive at a solid evaluation of the organization, based on the information in the case. Developing the ability to evaluate organizations and size up their situations is the key to case analysis. 5. Decide what you think the organization needs to do to improve its performance and to set forth a workable plan of action. 29 CASE: TGIF vited to mix in with employees at the weekly beer bust. “What a great place to work!” several people told Bill. The spirit of Quantum continually amazed Bill. Stan and Erin knew how to keep things hopping and yet hold morale at an enthusiastic level. To counter the frantic work pace of 16-hour days and six-day weeks, Quantum had a beer bust every Friday afternoon. Everyone was invited, from Stan and Erin to the part-time janitor who worked nights. No ties, no suit coats, first names only: this was a great way to encourage the team concept. Lately though, Bill Carter had been having second thoughts about serving alcohol at a company-sponsored party.
He made up his mind to speak to CEO Stan Albright about it and started toward the pool where Stan and Erin were holding a lively discussion with three employees. Just then, John Hooker, a new programmer in An Experiential Approach to Organization Development, Seventh Edition, by Donald R. Brown and Don Harvey. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 0-536-63893-4 It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and the weekly beer bust is in full swing at Quantum Software’s Seattle headquarters. The sun shines on the volleyball court and beyond; the patio sparkles over a dazzling view of Lake Washington. Every week most of the employees drop in to unwind and relax at the beer bust for an hour as a reward for extra effort. Quantum Software was founded three years ago by Stan Albright and Erin Barber based upon an idea they came up with in college for forming a business aimed at developing and selling computer software specifically oriented to the needs of independent oil businesses. Few of these firms grow large enough to do their own data-processing systems. Quantum has grown to more than 200 employees and $95 million in sales over the past three years.
One Friday afternoon, Bill Carter, the corporate attorney, dropped in to attend a business meeting.After the meeting, he was in- CHAPTER 1 Organization Development and Reinventing the Organization software development, lost his balance and fell on the snack table, sending finger sandwiches flying in all directions and getting a round of applause. “All right, John!” several people called out. More determined than ever, Bill approached Stan and Erin and said, “Don’t you think this party thing is getting a little out of hand? It used to be a lot of fun, but now maybe we’re growing too fast.We’re getting more people like John there, who just seem to overdo it.” “Take it easy, Bill,” said Stan. “The atmosphere around here would get stale real fast if we couldn’t blow off a little steam now and then.” “Come on, Bill,” Erin added,“lighten up.We need this time to relax and for everyone to socialize over a beer without the pressure of work.” “You should know, Bill, how much these parties mean to our success. I really feel that one of the keys to our continued growth has been the family feeling among our employees. On Fridays at our TGIF get-togethers, we all get to know one another as equals.
That gives me the right to kick butts when I have to because they know I like them and want them to succeed. That’s the real value of these parties.” “Okay, Stan, so you tell me,” asked Bill, “what’s the value in having someone like John who has had too many beers driving home and possibly causing a serious accident? Do you realize that Quantum could be held liable in such an instance?” “Bill,” responded Erin, “you know I’m the one who first thought up the idea of having a Friday bash and I still think it’s a great idea. I agree with Stan that this company is a success thanks to our employees and the esprit de corps that we’ve developed. If we drop the TGIFs as a time to unwind, what can we replace it with? I can see the point you’re trying to raise. I agree that something bad could come out of this, but if we can’t take a few risks we may as well close the doors.These parties are great for recruitment and they define our corporate culture. I feel it would be a big mistake to drop the parties.” “I think you two are missing the point,” answered Bill. “Of course, I realize how important it is to keep our team spirit. What I’m trying to say is, isn’t there a way to keep that spirit and put some limit to our liability exposure at the same time?”