Read the case provided below and:
- Identify a cause of poor motivation (in other words, a primary problem) by applying expectancy and one other motivation theory to any aspect of the case (approx 1 page with a minimum of 4 different sources).
- In a two column table define all source (primary) and secondary (symptoms) problems?
- Provide a SWOT analysis for the organisation in an appendix (1 page maximum).
It is highly recommended that you use the template document, TemplateIndividualCaseAnalysis.doc for this assessment. Simply download this from the BUS176 LMS website and complete the sections required before following the instructions in the document and saving prior to uploading to the unit website. This template provides the document formatting and instructions to observe key standards. Other essential criteria to be observed in order to pass include:
- A minimum of 7 different and credible sources cited in the analysis for question one.
- Word processed with all discussion for question 1 referenced per the Chicago method.
- Answers to question 1 must have ideas effectively organised within structured paragraphs.
- Activities planned for workshops are outlined in the Learning Guide herein and are designed to assist in completing this assessment. Debriefs will be posted on the unit website at the end of the week which provide an overview of key solutions for the Trial case used in these exercises.
Solutions to the primary problems will be given to you at the end of this assessment to help you prepare for the report (see Group Case Report further below).
6.1.1 The Analysis and Report Case: Helpdesk and AMPA
The case below is ‘the case’ with respect to the individual analysis and report.
The late 1990s were heady times not just in the IT industry, but many industries as large firms sought to use the internet just as AMPA had planned to do. New “Dotcom” startups were almost an hourly occurrence and firms launched numerous and often expensive campaigns to recruit bright new IT talent in order to move quickly into promising un-chartered territory. Large traditional brick and mortar firms like AMPA often struggled to find the skilled workers to drive the implementations of numerous internet projects, all while still servicing the hefty overheads of maintaining traditional competencies in their older text based computer systems. However, there was no question that due to the efforts of many extremely talented programmers, AMPA had capabilities that helped it achieve a unique place in its competitive environment.
AMPA had the lowest transaction costs of any insurer in the entire industry. In part this was made possible by a strong brand and that helped create the highest renewal rate in the industry but, what was not widely known is that AMPA’s computer system provided greater capabilities with respect to managing and storing data. This helped inform decision making, enhance services and better manage risks in insurance portfolios. These supply side factors in conjunction with the demand side brand driven advantages ensured operating costs were kept to less than 60% of revenues. This fat margin had made AMPA a great employer to work for, which in large part helped explain why it once had so many talented IT people.
It was long term employees like Brian which really made things happen in AMPA. Often he would be thrown into projects involving the implementation of new technology and excelled whatever the challenge. While much of his expertise was acquired with the older computer and telecommunications architecture, his phenomenal understanding of the firms business and how converging technologies could be used by AMPA bred a natural inquisitiveness. Time and time again he would obtain samples of hardware from various suppliers and then achieve a level of integration with existing systems that left many software and hardware developers so impressed they often regarded him as a go to man for working through incompatibilities. From Brian’s perspective though, he simply wished that his major achievements at AMPA’s Help Desk would eventually be recognized with a formal appointment as its coordinator. He had already created the control systems to service the many internal customers and demonstrated a capacity to lead a team of technical staff charged with resolving the many and varied problems.
However, to his annoyance Brian was often taken out of his role as Help Desk coordinator. Each time a new major project was started up, Brian was often forced out of this role to enable him to focus on technical issues; an event that would always lead to chaos on Help Desk. One senior person summed up the problem simply by saying, “Most of the dead wood in the IT area is on Helpdesk because the job is not well liked due to the demands of dealing with multiple tasks for internal customers and the relatively poor pay. Brian has been the only person who seems to be able to get the team working effectively as the complaints drop off every time he’s on deck.” He also noted that Brian was “… unhappy some poor probationary employees were given permanent jobs by Trev against his wishes.”
Resources were a major problem in many ways. Despite the many IT projects AMPA’s expensive system development chewed up an inordinate number of their talented staff. Furthermore, the move to the new web based system left many of the highly skilled programmers for the old system feeling like their days were numbered; an idea only nurtured by managements request for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy. Other major firms that chose to shelve plans for the deployment of new web based systems were not slow to lure AMPA’s skilled staff. It was not long before a lot of the knowledge that made AMPA’s old system great, left for greater job security elsewhere. While the new young programmers had the technical skills for new internet developments, they had little understanding of what the new web based system actually had to deliver. Eventually, complaints and cost over-runs built up and while some doubted if the IT skills were there to cope with the demands, others contended most problems stem from a lack of the management skills and staff with knowledge of the business itself.
In this environment there is little wonder Brian was now feeling tired all the time. His direct manager Trevor frequently made decisions that were poorly thought through due to his lack of technical prowess in IT. Often when his mistakes were exposed, Trevor would blame Brian which was frequently accepted by some senior managers as Brian had obvious eccentricities that were too easily misinterpreted by others. Yet despite the extreme Mohican haircut and various piercings, Brian was still the “go to” man to sort out management problems on Help Desk and to fix the technical problems that frequently dogged new IT projects. In the end Brian like so many others was showing signs that his enthusiasm for the job was waning.
One day after Brian was pulled off an important project yet again to get the Helpdesk running effectively, he finally took action. He called an employment consultant he had been informed about by an old hand who’d left months earlier. He was astounded by the offers he received and soon gave Trevor his notice. Trevor promptly lost his temper and accused Brian of leaving the whole area during a desperate time of need. Yet to Brian’s amazement, Trevor suddenly changed his tune when he explained what he had been offered.
It was a better job in every way. The salary was not only 50 % more, but he would get a title, power and position that formally recognized the responsibilities he had been performing at AMPA. When all this was brought to Trevor’s attention, he simply replied “Brian, you’ll need help in this new job and I think I may be able to help….” Brian could tell what Trev was thinking and cut him short by simply replying, “Sorry Trev, I already have a good manager backing me up in this new role and all he needs me to do is what I’ve been doing here and get a new haircut. Thanks anyway.” He then left Trevor who returned to his usual cursing ways. Content in the knowledge he only had to tolerate him for two more weeks.
End of Case Background