Category Archives: case study

Industrial ergonomics

Question

Summarize and analyze the following information in the indicated NIOSH publication: Engineering and administrative improvements, Proactive action plan The three improvement options mentioned in the publication. The project must include, at minimum, the following components:

  1. Introduction
  2. Engineering and Administrative Improvements
  3. Proactive Action Plan
  4. Improvement Options

Sample paper

Industrial ergonomics

Given the importance of human asset in the workforce of any company, investors are putting more emphasis on improving the working conditions of their staffs. As a result, investors are emphasizing on industrial ergonometric which focuses on fitting, industrial tools, and equipment to fit into the employees’ skills and knowledge rather than trying to fit the employee into the tools and equipment.  In our case, the author successfully summarizes and analyzes the materials purchased by the company to increase its production and meet their customers’ demands and wants.  In additional, the articles attempt to elaborate and describe various techniques and ways that they can use to improve the way its employees can improve manual handling of materials in the organization to make sure that both individual workers and the organization can benefit from the materials. Some of the methods and options provided by the article are meant to improve the overall operations of the manual materials as well as reducing and simplifying workers’ tasks and responsibilities in the organization. It is also worth noting the contribution of the author in developing a four-phase plan that focuses on risk factors, how to improve ergonometric in a company and ways of effectively training employees to get the best out of them (Cheung, 2007). Notably, the author also takes the time to address techniques that can be utilized to minimize if not eliminate risks in an enterprise, how to increase efficiency, methods of minimizing costs of production, safety measures that can assist in reducing accidents and injuries in a workplace. Some part of the article addresses how a company can introduce more efficient systems. This assignment will attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of engineering and administrative enhancements to the employee’s operation as provided in the article.

Engineering and Administrative Improvements

The attempts to fit the job in the form of machinery and equipment will have a direct effect on the demand for the labor in the organization.  Often, when a company focuses on the implementation of ergonometric, it will experience a reduction of a work task that will have a positive impact on the abilities and capabilities of its employees as the results are expected to improve. There exist different ways in which the management of an organization can improve specific tasks in an organization, and the management is expected to choose the best alternative for their company. However, it is worth noting that there is no one different approach that is best for the management to use to improve its ergonomic and importation of ergonomic strategy from another company can result in massive losses. On the same note, the different task may require a different ergonomic plan and strategy and thus, it is advisable for the management to analyze each task independently for the best solution so that it can make an informed decision before adopting a particular plan. The management should be careful to make a sound decision that will set up in the most efficient manner and produce the optimal outcome that will benefit both the company and the individual worker.

The ergonomic process is usually divided into two broad categories; the engineering improvements and administrative improvements. Often, the engineering improvements widely focus on restructuring, adjusting, redesigning as well as re-engineering all the processes and the tools utilized and employed to perform certain tasks in an organization (Cheung, 2007). The administrative improvements ensure that the tasks are performed in the most effective and efficient way possible as it attempts to improve the work process in the organization. Administrative improvements may take different forms such as improvement of the current work process, implementation of new work processes, rotation of employees from one department to another and job rescheduling in a case where tasks are overlapping to ensure that there is no confusion among the employees. Given that employees may get bored by constantly repeating complex tasks every single day, the administration should create a system that will enable rotation of works, especially those who performs extremely well to motivate others as well as spread that success across the organization. Notably administrative and engineering improvements can have minimal or no impacts on the employees if the workers are not trained appropriately to give them the necessary skills and knowledge to perfectly perform their roles and tasks.

Proactive Action Plan

For any innovations or improvement to take place, there is the need for the management to have a plan that can aid in solving the problems at hand.  The articles have explained in details for steps that the management should seek to implement to help them solve all the problems in the organization in regards to their industrial ergonomics. The first step focuses on the identification and examination of the problem affecting an enterprise. The management assesses the workplace to identify the problem and the need for improvements.  Through the review of employee complaints, review of the recommendation boxes, as well as compensation reports assists in; identify a burning issue among the employees that need immediate attention.  The second step involves the evaluation of the problem and its impacts on the employees concerning their job performance as well as motivation to carry out their roles effectively and efficiently. However, it is prudent and advisable fort the senior management to involve employees and other managers in coming up with the solutions to their problems to reduce resistance from the workforce as well as improving unity and cohesion between the labor force and the management. When workers are consulted before the implementation of a particular policy, they feel that they are part of the organization and appreciated for their contribution to the company (Cheung, 2007). The third step involves choosing the right alternative that can aid in solving the problem. The management should not be the only body that can come up with the solution, but rather all, the entire company should play a part in the formulation and implementation of the solution. Finally, the management has the duty to monitor and evaluate the success of the implemented solution to ensure that it performs the intended duty and if there is the need for any improvements.

Improvement Options

There exist a variety of improvement options that are open to a company that ranges from a simple option to a complex solution to a problem. However, improvement plan and option entirely depend on the nature of the problem at hand. A simple modification or implementation is techniques of lifting, lowering, filling or emptying containers manually. Lowering stress on the employees back and shoulders as well as minimizing the energy required executing this simple task of reaching and bending to left or empty containers is an easily recognized benefit. However, other tasks may be too complex and demanding to implement such a simple improvement plan. Simple stress-free ways are to improve grip, minimizing stress on the back and shoulders as well as decreasing the contact pressure on the shoulders. Implement a simple, non-powered then powered equipment rotation alternating manual handling of individual containers. Thus, having a better understanding of the problem at hand before the implementation of an improvement option increases the probability and the likelihood of implementing the right and appropriate improvement plan.

Summary

Judging from the solutions and, guidelines provided in the NIOSH publication, I feel that the article has not fully elaborated the improvement process and can be very risky for another organization to follow the guidelines to improve material handling in their organization. On the same note, given the nature of my industry a proactive plan can have more positive plans than reactive plan. Proactive plans help in identifying problems, set priorities, and making changes as well as follow-up activities.  Additionally, I support the improvement options considering that they make the tasks easy for the employee thus enhancing their results. Improvement plans help reduce the risk factors, increasing productivity, lowering costs by eliminating production holdups. They help reduce injuries and reducing workers’ efforts by decreasing employees handling materials.  However, it is worth noting that one improvement policy cannot work effectively without the other (Cheung, 2007). Thus, both the engineering improvement and the administrative improvement must work hand in hand for the organization to get the best out of their employees, reduce workplace injuries as well as enhancing the results of the company in general. Implementing simple controls can help reduce reaching and bending, lowering stress on the back and shoulders as well as reduction of the efforts and forces necessary to conduct their work tasks.

References

Cheung, Z. F. (2007). Ergonomic guidelines for manual material handling. (DHHS [NIOSH]                  Publication No. 2007-131).

Related:

ABILITY TO CONSTRUCT CIRCUITS

Dave Empire Courier Service Case Analysis -BBA 3210, Business Law 5

Question

Case Analysis

Dave is a driver for Empire Courier Service. Around the company, Dave is known as sort of a hothead. During his previous employment at another company, Dave had been involved in a workplace fistfight with a fellow employee, resulting in criminal charges.

One day, between deliveries and in a company vehicle, Dave decides to get lunch. While leaving the parking lot at Big

Burrito Bistro, the favorite lunch spot for most Empire Courier employees, Dave negligently causes a car accident with

another vehicle, resulting in injuries to Victor, the driver of the other car. As Dave and Victor are waiting on the side of the road for the police to arrive, Victor comments to Dave, “Oh, you drive for Empire Courier Service. It doesn’t surprise me that Empire hires bad drivers because their service stinks, and their prices are too high!” Dave is so offended that Victor would insult his employer’s professional reputation that he punches Victor in the face, causing Victor to suffer even more injuries. Empire Courier Service does not, as a matter of policy, do criminal background checks on its employees.

Considering the legal principles discussed in Chapter 20, explain who is liable for Dave’s negligence for causing the car accident, and explain who is liable for Dave’s intentional tort for punching Victor. Provide your answers in a case analysis of a minimum of 500 words. Cite any direct quotes or paraphrased material from outside sources. Use APA format.

BBA 3210, Business Law 5

Dave Empire Courier Service Case Analysis -BBA 3210, Business Law 5

The relationship between the employer and employee is explained in the agency relationship or the agency theory. The agency theory largely focuses on solving the problems that can exist between the employer who is largely known as the principle and the employee widely known as the agent. However, it is worth noting that the only problems that can be solved using this theory are work-related challenges as a result of unaligned goals distinct aversion levels to risk. According to the theory, all agency relationships involve a particular level of confidence and trust between both parties (Kubasek, 2016). Additionally, the employee is required to work in the best interest on the principle for his activities often creates legal obligations for the principal. In the case given, Dave is the agent and is required to put the interest of his principal ahead of his own interests work in the best interest of his principal who in this case is the Empire Courier Services. Therefore, his actions such as careless driving and negligent accidents will eventually have legal implication on his employer.

Despite the existence of this strong relationship between the agents and their principal, agents are always liable for the torts they commit. According to the law of the country, there is a substantial difference between torts prompted by the principal himself and the torts which were not prompted by the principal making him or her innocent in such a case. Therefore, if the principal gives clear instructions and directions to his agent to commit a tort or had the knowledge of the repercussions of the agent’s executing his directives would bring harm to someone, the principal becomes liable for the injuries inflicted. Therefore, in the case above, the Empire Courier Services is innocent based on the direct liability principle. However, according to the vicarious liability principle, the principal is always liable for all actions and activities of their agents despite the fact that they may not be aware of their agent’s actions. Moreover, the principle says that the principal may expressly prohibit the agent from engaging in the activity, but still become liable for the injuries caused by his agent. (Forbes-Pitt, 2011) The principle of respondeat superior means that the principal is practically liable for every activity and action were undertaken by his or her agent. The modern basis for vicarious liability states that the principal often organizations with employees have the wherewithal to incur the costs of paying for any injuries traced in one way or another to the events they set in motion.

Therefore, in this case, Empire Courier Services can be held liable for the actions and activity of their employee who negligently causes an accident. Additionally, despite the fact that the company did not summon their employees to defend their professionalism, it is clear that Dave was trying to protect his employee and the company should be held liable for the tort committed (Forbes-Pitt, 2011). His liability for the accident and the punch should be carried by the Empire Courier Services based on the respondeat superior which places liability on the principal for any injuries or harm caused by an agent.

References

Forbes-Pitt, K. (2011). The assumption of agency theory: A realist theory of the production of agency. London: Routledge.

Kubasek, N. B. (2016). Dynamic business law: The essentials (3rd ed.). . New York, NY: : McGraw-Hill Education.

 

Forrest Gump Case Analysis

Case: Confrontation versus Cooperation

Question

    1.Define the Problem-Describe the type of case and what problem(s) or issue(s) should be the focus for your analysis.

    2, List any outside concepts that can be applied-Write down any principles, frameworks or theories that can be                     applied to this case.

  1. List relevant qualitative data-Find evidence related to or based on the quality or character of something.

  2. List relevant quantitative data-Find evidence related to or based on the amount or number of something.

  3. Describe the results of your analysis-What evidence have you accumulated that supports one interpretation over another?

  4. Describe alternative actions-List and prioritize possible recommendations or actions that come out of your analysis.

  5. Describe your preferred action plan

  6. Write a clear statement of what you would recommend including short, medium and long-term steps to be carried out.

Answer

Case: Confrontation versus Cooperation

Define the Problem

The problem in this case is that a customer is receiving poor treatment from a customer service representative. A customer service representative should respect the customer at all times. Maria deserved full attention from Tina and she should have been served with a polite and friendly attitude. The cause of the conflict is not because Maria failed to observe the return policy, but because Tina was impatient and rude. She ought to have been patient and listen to Maria attentively. In addition, she made things overly complicated while all she had to do was calmly explain the store’s policy to Maria.  Today, customers are experienced, sophisticated, technically savvy and most importantly, they are aware of the services they should get. Maria ought to have felt supported and understood by Tina. However, Tina approached her with rudeness, impatience, and offered poor services. This was the basis of the conflict (Lewis, 2016).

It is possible that Tina was having a rough day but she did not intend to be rude. However, a customer service representative should always treat their customers with respect regardless of whether they are having personal problems or not. Tina should have known that Maria was probably not impressed by the belt sander that she claimed was defective. The abrasion that ended up with her husband seeking medical attention should have been received with utmost concern and regrets. Tina had a responsibility to understand where Maria was coming from. Tina had poor communication skills that were reflected by use of offensive remarks. She accused Maria’s husband of not been literate and had Joe not intervened, she would have continued. Her attitude obviously upset Maria more that she was when going into the store. In order to calm down the situation, Joe had to make a decision that would have probably upset one of the parties. However, the customer service team owed to Maria and all its other customers to deliver the best services so that their customers can return.

Related:  Case Analysis Preparation

Positional Bargaining Approach

Joe can consider the positional bargaining approach and stick to the store’s return policy. This means that Maria’s goodwill will not be restored and she might never consider buying from the store. Adopting this position means that the store would prefer to lose a customer than compromise on its policies. Joe will have to convince Maria the store cannot honor the return policy and also apologize for Tina’s rudeness. This approach is not likely to restore Marias faith in their services and she may not recommend them to anybody. However much Joe apologizes for Tina, Maria’s disappointment in the store will heighten and she will be genuinely hurt for buying what she claims is a faulty sander and being disrespected by a customer service representative.

The problematic aspect of this approach is that the negotiators will be more committed to their positions. Joe will continue to defend the store’s policy while Maria will stick to her word that the sander was faulty. A strong commitment by the two parties to defend their position might lead to lack of attention (Spangler, 2003). This should not happen considering that the first customer service representative was not paying attention. By the end of the day, if Joe takes this position, chances are that Maria’s interest will not met. Maria will also use Tina’s rudeness as leverage in order to have the store’s return policy revoked. She could also file an independent complaint about Tina’s rudeness which could make the situation worse.  This position will not resolve the conflict.

The Win/Win Approach

Joe should consider a win/win approach and accept the return even though the store policy does not support it.  This compromise will ensure that the store does not lose a customer and that Maria gets what she wanted. This situation is arrived at considering the poor treatment from Tina. Under normal circumstances the return policy would not have been observed but the store has a reputation to uphold. The success of a business is highly dependent on how customers are treated. Customer satisfaction should always be kept a priority. In this case, the store should cater for any loses instead of taking a step that could ruin their reputation.

Alternative Approach

Alternatively, the store can accept the return and also compensate Maria for the costs she incurred with her husband’s hospitalization.  This approach will ensure that relationships are maintained and give Maria faith in the business.  This approach will separate Tina’s rude behavior from the values of the business. It will also save time and costs that may arise due to the situation. The store should also take an action against Tina, for example, she can be suspended. This will give her time to solve her issues and rethink her choices. By adopting this approach, the business will assure Maria and other clients that their satisfaction will be prioritized (Okbar.org, 2015).

In order to avoid such issues in the future, the store’s customer service representatives should be trained on how to treat their customers. When customers are frustrated or upset and the representatives do not know how to react, they should refer the customers to senior representatives who can handle the situations comfortably. This will ensure that the store does not suffer loses and the customers are happy.

References

Spangler, B. (2003). Positional Bargaining. Beyong Intractability. Retrieved 3 March 2017, from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/positional-bargaining

Lewis, J. (2016). 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Excellent Customer Service | Provide Support. Providesupport.com. Retrieved 3 March 2017, from http://www.providesupport.com/blog/customer-service-dos-and-donts/

Okbar.org,. (2015). Methods for Resolving Conflicts and Disputes. Okbar.org. Retrieved 3 March 2017, from http://www.okbar.org/public/brochures/methodsforresolvingconflictsanddisputes.aspx

Case studies have been selected from real world scenarios to allow students the opportunity to connect theory to practice.

Case studies have been selected from real world scenarios to allow students the opportunity to connect theory to practice.

Question

Case studies have been selected from real world scenarios to allow students the opportunity to connect theory to practice.  With the exception of the Critical Assignment, students will be responding to a series of questions in addition to completing the Harvard Business Publishing’s “Case Analysis Worksheet” for each case

Answer

Whole food is a major global food product organization that specializes in providing natural and less processed food. Although the organization has been successful in the market, the high price for its commodity is a major problem that if not dealt with effectively, the rising number of competitors that is coming up could take a large share of its market (Gary & Bill, 2007).

Abstract

A major principle of the economic theory is that where there are many sellers, they particularly tend to settle on a single price. However, this does not occur always. Under some circumstances, a business may charge a premium for its products. The price charged by a business is critical in determining the number of customers, and consequently the profitability levels. In the retail food markets, price is an important factor in influencing the flow of customers. A sizeable number of firms characterize the retail food market. This is due to the presence of few market barriers to entry of new firms. This means that there is a high level of competition among firms in the retail food market. Price is often used to create differentiation in the retail food market. The price-sensitive consumer responds by seeking the cheapest alternative that offers value for his/her money. With regard to this, firms in retail food markets need to watch keenly the behavior of rivals. This paper is a case analysis of Whole Food Markets, an American grocery store. The analysis will dwell on the specific challengers affecting the grocery store. By using qualitative and quantitative data, it will also be possible to establish possible solutions to the problems Whole Foods Market is facing.

 

 

 

Case Study, Case 5.2 – Why Aren’t They Listening?

Question

After each of the elements of the rubric guidelines have been addressed, take the information and put it into a cohesive narrative that will end up being the deliverable for this project.

Elements of the Rubric Guidelines to Address:

  1. Define and describe the problem(s) or issue(s) that should be the focus of your analysis.

  2. Note any relevant quantitative or qualitative data and/or evidence that is pertinent to the case.

  3. Describe the results of your analysis and share your thoughts as they pertain to what some of the possible actions might be.

  4. Share what you believe the preferred action plan should be.

Answer

Case Analysis Preparation

Problem(s) and Issues that should be the Focus of this Analysis

The problem of major concern in the case study is lack of commitment to training by the middle level managers. Most managers felt that the training sessions did not add any significant value to their line of work. As some of them said, “Here we go again: a fancy in-house training program from which we will gain nothing”, indicating that they expected to gain little or nothing from participating in the seminar. The focus of Jim Anderson was teaching listening and communication skills and making the seminar as interesting as possible. However, this did not seem to fit well with the middle level managers. Another issue relates to the content of the training program. It is possible that that middle level managers were highly competent in the area of listening and communication skills. In addition, past training programs may have focused on this area. As such, providing training in this area did not add any key benefits or value to the middle level managers.

The delivery of the program could be an issue, and specifically the manner in which Jim conducts the seminars. Jim does not create any rules for the training session, but rather lets the managers decide on their own whether to attend the sessions. Jim seems to have introduced the laissez-faire style of leadership, which is not effective in this case. Another problem is that there is no reward system in place to motivate the middle level managers. Jim should introduce a reward system to ensure that managers feel motivated to attend all the sessions. Introducing a reward system could help in increasing the motivation levels and thus optimize attendance levels.

Relevant Quantitative or Qualitative Data and/or Evidence

One of the quantitative aspects is that the training program runs for 6 weeks. This seems to be a lot of time considering the fact that nearly all of the managers hold advanced degrees. Jim could design a shorter training program to ensure that the group remains focused throughout the program. The training program comprises of about 25 middle level managers. A class size of 25 individuals seems appropriate for a communication and listening training program. It is worth noting that the larger the group, the more time it may take to complete training. A key qualitative aspect is that previous training programs had not been effective in delivering new knowledge or skills required by the middle level managers. This is a major reason why the middle level managers did not see the need to participate in the program. Another qualitative aspect is that the training sessions were lengthy; taking an entire day and hence leading to boredom. Shorter training sessions could have been more appropriate in this case.

Results of the Analysis

This analysis indicates that the main problem was a mismatch between the training program and the specific needs of the middle level managers, leading to a lack of commitment. As Northouse (2013) asserts, “effective leaders are those who can recognize what employees need and then adapt their own style to meet those needs” (p.100). Jim Anderson did not clearly understand the specific needs of the middle level managers. Thus, even when designing the program he did not have the specific needs of the managers in mind. This led to lack of commitment among the middle level managers who saw the program as a waste of time. In order to avoid this problem, Jim Anderson should have consulted with the middle level managers in order to learn about their specific needs. This would enable him to tailor the program to address the specific needs of the middle level managers.

Another issue regards the design of the program. Jim Anderson should have focused on introducing punishments and rewards. During the third session, attendance dropped to about 15 managers, meaning that as time went by, more managers dropped out. In addition, more managers were skipping the afternoon session. If the managers were interested in learning, they could not miss classes. Jim should have ensured that there is some form of rewards and punishment to keep the managers interested. Leaders have an obligation to ensure that those in lower levels are motivated (Wächter, Lungu, Liu, Willingham, & Ashe, 2009). This can be accomplished by rewarding desired behavior.

Preferred Action

Jim Anderson should understand the specific needs of the managers. He can achieve this by obtaining feedback from the managers about the training program as well as the previous training programs. Obtaining feedback from the managers will help Anderson to recognize what the managers need and modify his teaching methods to cater to those needs. The situational leadership model holds the premise that leaders should adapt their style to match different situations. A leader should examine the competency level of the employees or those under him. This can in turn help in developing the content and in choosing an appropriate leadership style. For instance, the leader may choose between a directive and a supportive style depending on the circumstances. Jim Anderson failed to assess the current situation during the training program. This resulted in a substantial number of managers quitting the training program or showing low enthusiasm by reporting late.

Questions at the end of the case

  1. What style of leadership is Jim Anderson using to run the seminars?

Jim Anderson is using a supportive style of leadership. Supportive leadership focuses on relationship behaviors. The key is to make the group members experience comfort with regard to the situation and the coworkers. In developing supportive relationships, the leader ensures that there is open communication with those in lower levels. The leader also ensures that there is a strong social and emotional support among all individuals in the group. Jim Anderson employs supportive style of leadership since his training design encompasses various elements of supportive leadership. For instance, he encourages socializing and networking, listening, problem solving, and other elements.

  1. At what level are the managers?

The managers are at a delegating level, contrary to Jim who seems to be in the extreme opposite end. The delegating level is one of the highest levels in the organization. At this level, the leaders provide little direct input. The leaders have less involvement in planning and control, instead leaving the employees to plan and set their own goals. At this stage, the leaders act as consultants. The leader monitors the team’s success, making sure that there are no signs of regression. The managers at this stage are responsible for developing strong inter-organizational relationships. For instance, the managers continue to solicit for more stakeholders who may be of benefit to the organization. Lastly, managers at this level are involved in seeking necessary resources that the team requires in order to fulfill the business goals.

  1. From a leadership perspective, what is Jim doing wrong?

Jim’s failure stems from the fact that he has not established any authority by allowing workers to arrive at their own time. Jim should set some rules to ensure that managers respect the training program. Jim should introduce punishments to those who report late as a way of deterring lateness. As a trainer and a leader in the training program, Jim should display his leadership skills, such as establishing rules. As the trainer, Jim should set the tone for the entire training program. He should make the managers aware that coming to the program late is wrong. Although Jim is clearly in a lower position compared to the managers, he should show confidence by setting rules rather than expecting the managers to arrive at any time of their discretion.

  1. What specific changes could Jim implement to improve the seminars?

Jim can improve the seminars by introducing a punishment/reward system. Punishment and reward system are fundamental in the motivation process (Wächter et al., 2009). Although they are considered external motivating factors, they are still crucial in the motivation process. Punishment should be introduced to those who report late during the training program. They can serve as important deterrents to lateness. Punishments should not be severe as this can lead to low attendance rates. Rewards should serve to encourage positive behavior. Rewards have a positive influence on behavior, while punishments can be used to discourage the occurrence of particular behavior.

References

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Wächter, T., Lungu, O. V., Liu, T., Willingham, D. T., & Ashe, J. (2009). Differential Effect of   Reward and Punishment on Procedural Learning. The Journal of Neuroscience : The     Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience29(2), 436–443.           http://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4132-08.2009