Read the following case study “Don’t mention fun”, and respond to the task below. You must refer to relevant theoretical concepts in answering the question.
Case study: Don’t mention fun
A librarian, Scott McDonald, is leading a revolution against management gurus, insisting his staff wear uniforms and banning private phone calls and words such as ‘flexitime’ and ‘team spirit’. He sees himself as leading a ‘counter-revolution’ in the workplace by championing a return to traditional values of discipline, hard work and rigid punctuality.
Mr McDonald, aged 43, has been Head of the Bibliographic Services Department at Great Western University Library for four years, and he argues that his rediscovery of the puritan approach to management is one of the main reasons why his department has maintained a high performance level. ‘The fact is that work has nothing to do with fun. I began running the department on more traditional principles three years ago and the system has decreased rather than increased the level of stress at work and at home,’ he said.
His belief is that fashionable notions such as weekend staff get-togethers, ‘flexible working hours’ and ‘team spirit’ have led to a disastrous erosion of the boundaries between work and private life, which has crippled work efficiency and exploited staff.
The female staff all dress in identical tight-fitting blue tailored jackets and skirts, and work at their desktop computers in a large room dominated by a sign which states emphatically, ‘Those who think that good work is only work that is fun do not belong here’.
No pictures, posters or calendars are to be seen on the office walls, which are kept bare to prevent staff from being distracted.
Departmental ‘rules’ state that uniforms are to be worn at all times, with a rigid 9am to 6pm working day and five-day week, no private telephone calls and no chatting about private matters. It is forbidden to take work home and half-hour lunch breaks are compulsory.
Library staff at any level don’t have regular meetings amongst themselves, nor with supervisors, because these kinds of meetings breed unnecessary insurrection, and Mr McDonald asserts that becoming engaged in teams prevents individuals from contributing fully to their own work.
‘When I began in this position, I fell in initially with the so-called “with-it” approach adopted by my predecessor and other Department Heads. This meant that we started work at around morning tea time and some days finished with wine in the office. I ended up working most weekends and half of most nights. Many of my staff joined me in order to keep up with their work. In the end we were all exhausted and ended up with backlogs of work and giving poor service to our internal and external clients,’ Mr McDonald says.
He blames, for this ‘laissez-faire’ approach to work, the management gurus of the 1990s such as Matt Weinstein, the American author of Managing To Have Fun. In his book Mr Weinstein states: ‘Are you having fun is a pioneering question that will have to be asked in business. Only when we ask this question can we begin to change the nature of our work.’
Mr Donald cites such ideas as examples of the ‘management twaddle’ that has encouraged employees not to work hard unless they feel that they are having a good time. He is equally dismissive of concepts such as ‘flexitime’ which he says is an excuse to make people work until midnight and at weekends. ‘Team spirit’, he argues, ‘allows employees to think someone else will do it’.
His dislike of modern business jargon including ‘deadline’, ‘workflow’ and ‘brainstorming’ has led him to ban the use of such terms in his office and he has set up a system of fines for staff who insist on using them in their work.
Write a critical evaluation of Scott McDonald’s supervisory style, and discuss whether his approach really can create a culture which is conducive to high performance. As part of your discussion, consider the supervisor’s role in communication, motivation, morale and team development.
Use examples from the case study to illustrate your response, and use a range of readings to support your discussion.
This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:
MARKING CRITERIA AND STANDARDS
|Critical evaluation of the supervisory styles in the Bibliographic Services Department and justification of whether this puritan approach really can create a culture which is conducive to high performance.
|Your case study shows comprehensive evidence of a broad range of reading and thinking on the supervisory styles in the case study.
The work demonstrates your abilities to critically evaluate and synthesise the main issues into the most important points, and to fully justify whether this puritan approach really can create a culture which is conducive to high performance.
Your work is expressed very well with evaluation and justification clearly articulated and supported by references and evidence.
|Demonstrated understanding of motivation, morale, communication and team work in the library supervision context.
|Your case study shows comprehensive evidence of a broad range of reading and thinking on motivation, morale, communication and team work and demonstrates your ability to critically analyse, interpret and synthesise them into a number of key points.
Your case study is expressed very well with these supervisory skills clearly articulated and supported by references and evidence.
|Use of appropriate case study format and presentation, general quality of argument, breadth and depth of reading, use of case examples and use of references.
|Follows assessment format and presentation standards perfectly.
An extensive range of relevant literature from scholarly sources has been critically evaluated, analysed and interpreted substantially to support the arguments and your discussions are supported by good examples.
APA referencing conventions in both in-text referencing and reference list have been used accurately and consistently.
The post Write a critical evaluation of Scott McDonald’s supervisory style, and discuss whether his approach really can create a culture which is conducive to high performance. As part of your discussion, consider the supervisor’s role in communication, motivation, morale and team development. appeared first on Essay Hotline.
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