MAN-373: Managerial Communication

MAN-373: Managerial Communication
March 2017 MAN-373: Managerial Communication
Final Project Case Analysis: Excelsior Cleaners, Inc.
For this case study, Excelsior Cleaners, Inc. will be the company used in the
analysis. Excelsior Cleaners is a small company of roughly 15-30 employees,
depending on the time of year and amount of business the company is dealing with at
any given time. This company’s main service is restoring property after it has been
through fire, water, or mold damage. The company also handles the remodeling of
homes and other structures that have been damaged beyond simple repair, but this is
not the company’s main agenda. Excelsior Cleaners, Inc., in essence, is a restoration
company for home and commercial insurance providers.
Company Structure and Hierarchy
A company of this size does not need more than one—maybe two—supervisors.
As it stands, the head and owner of the company, Stan, is in charge and ultimately
makes all of the major decisions. Stan has multiple crews of workers doing different
types of jobs, all year round. His second in charge (foreman) is a man named Rusty. It
bears stating that Rusty is not at all skilled or qualified to make any type of decisions in
relevance to the magnitude and importance of some of the jobs of which he is left in
charge. Regardless—for whatever the reason may be—Rusty is second-in-command and controls the job site atmosphere. His word is final say on the actual job site, unless
Stan changes the plans. Otherwise, Rusty’s decisions are almost always given Stan’s
approval—without Stan practically ever present. After Rusty, the chain-of-command
virtually ends, except in the case that there is an abundance of work. These cases will
have multiple crews, each with one direct “crew chief”, but Rusty is ultimately left in
charge of the day-to-day operations.
Managerial Problems Within the Organization
The amount of managerial problems within Excelsior Cleaners is extraordinary.
This company is not run in a professional manner. Not only is the management
unqualified for their positions, the main individual in charge of the everyday oversight
(Rusty) is not qualified—or even experienced—in this line of work. How can an
individual that does not know many of the basic job duties direct others on how to best
complete the tasks? This is the main issue that causes conflict between management
and employees. This issue is hardly the only major problem facing management at this
company. There is a lack of willingness to deal with conflict, no desire to implement
cooperation strategies, illegal payment and work input records, and many more issues.
For purposes of this analysis, all of these issues do not need to be discussed.
Effortless Conflict Management Effort
For all intents and purposes, the size of this company and the daily job tasks
leave Rusty in charge of the company. Stan is rarely on the job site, and when he is
there, Rusty is on his best behavior. Since Stan is the owner of the company, he can
decide on how he would like his jobs to be handled. Unfortunately, Stan and Rusty went to school together and were in “special” classes, so there is a bond there which
allows
Rusty to get away with the way he runs the company. Stan chooses to use the avoiding
strategy for conflict resolution. He is not overly concerned with the quality of work, and if
an employee approaches him with a problem, he acts unconcerned. The usual
response he gives is, “I’ll take care of it,” which can be considered, as “it will not be
changed.” The avoiding strategy is used in the hope that “the problem just disappears.”
[Hyn08] The latter never happens. This managerial concept goes in circles, with Rusty
using the same avoidance strategy when approached with a question about change. He
simply blames his tactics (untruthfully) on Stan’s policies—another trait of the avoiding
strategy [Hyn08]—and says that whatever he is doing is what Stan wanted. No
employees are ever satisfied with the outcome.
Forcing Rather than Compromising
Another main problem within the company is the way—or lack of the way—
conflict is handled. “A situation characterized by the forcing strategy will probably cause
later conflicts…such language and imagery can result in long-lasting, emotional
wounds.” (Hynes, 2016, p. 342) This is the case with almost every employee-challenged
situation at Excelsior Cleaners. Rusty is not very intelligent and lacks job skills. The man
has his position out of default (nobody wanted to take it when it was available) and he
will do whatever is necessary to keep his power. In order to keep Stan happy, Rusty will
keep employees working long days, then tell Stan the job was done in less than a
normal day’s work (8 hours). Overtime pay does not exist in this company, and pay
rates are low. This is a job for those who, for whatever reason, cannot gain decent
employment. Knowing this, Rusty uses it to his advantage and refuses to compromise with any employee demands. To him, this would mean losing. The ways in which Hynes
describes losing, such as “reduced status, weakness, and the loss of self-image,”
(Hynes, 2016, p. 343) are unacceptable to Rusty. It is either his way or Stan is told lies
about the employee’s non-compliance. Rusty will not hesitate to exaggerate an
employee’s disobedience for his own benefit. He is also very prone to praising himself
and making others look lazy and inefficient. Needless to say, this company is a mess.
A Workplace Scenario
A great example of managerial communication problems within this company lies
in the fact that employees are forced to deal with whatever consequences and actions
are forced upon them by their supervisor, Rusty. The employees can complain to the
owner, but as previously mentioned the only response given is the avoiding strategy,
and that does not sit well with employees. As a result, employees are less motivated to
work and do not give maximum effort. Not only does this cost the company money, it
also causes the customer to be charged for extra man-hours. How can the management
fix a problem that is not being heard? If the owner does not want to deal with his
foreman, what is the solution? There are several questions about management that can
possibly hold the key to bettering the overall production and climate of this company.
How do the Employees get the Attention of the Owner?
Since Stan, the owner of the company does not heed much of what the
employees tell him, how can the employees get Stan to change some of Rusty’s
attitudes toward the employees? How can the employees prove that Rusty is not only
ruining the morale of the employees, but also causing the final product to turn out shoddy? There are several solutions to the latter questions that will be answered
in the
next section of the analysis, but there are more questions to be asked in the case that
Stan still does not pay attention.
What should a Group of Employees Do To Make Change in a Small Business?
Excelsior Cleaners is a company that at any given time will usually have 10—or
less—employees. In such a dictatorship like atmosphere, whom should employees talk
to about the violations of his or her rights? The jobs are often performed in violation of
standard operation laws, and Stan and Rusty, causing pay to be affected and longer
hours to be worked for virtually free, violate many workers’ rights. What is the solution to
this type of problem? If there is only one person superseding Rusty, the menacing
manager, it is up to this one person to change policies. Rusty can do whatever it is he
likes and Stan will never know the difference. Job results turn out poor, and there are
times that work must be redone. Rusty never takes responsibility for this type of action,
but is usually at fault for the result. What can the employees do—without fearing the
loss of their job or repercussions—to fix the work climate and still keep an atmosphere
of harmony between the management and employees?
Recommendations for Change and Better Results
We have reviewed our situation of the manager, Rusty, lying about his poor
performance and causing money to be lost by the company. We also have the problem
of employees not being paid their proper wages. So, how can the upper management
(Stan) fix a problem that is not being accurately told? How do the employees get the message to the owner without undermining the manager? Is this a possible action?
There are some potential solutions to this particular problem.
The Group Effect and the Win-Win Strategy
If Rusty can be approached without confrontation (which is not an easy task) it is
possible that using the win-win strategy as being, “a mutual problem-solving approach
rather than a combative one,” (Hynes, 2016, p. 343), will work. Rusty is a very insecure
manager, knowing he is unskilled and in fear of losing his position at any time. If one
employee that Rusty respects can approach and explain to him that this is not about
power, but cooperation, it is possible he will listen. If he does listen and decides to
change his ways, the problem is solved. This is not a guarantee, however. Maybe it is
necessary that the company employees, as a whole, need to approach Rusty and
discuss their problems and concerns. Maybe Rusty is not aware of what his actions are
doing. The most effective way to deal with this would be to use the concepts that have
been defeating, thus far: groupthink. Since it is groupthink that has employees allowing
Rusty to get away with this, the same frame of mind can be used to “turn the tables.”
Put the pressure on Rusty to be accountable for his actions or let him know the entire
crew will go to Stan at once.
If for some reason this does not work, Stan needs to be filled in on the actions of
his manager. Stan cannot be allowed to just avoid the situation. At the cost of losing a
job, some steps are going to be necessary to make change in this company. This goes
back to the question of how one changes the inner workings of a small, dictatorship-like
company. Since Stan has no boss, he must be accountable to a higher authority: The State Board of Labor. Since this would come across as more of a threat, win-win must
be tried with Stan if Rusty is not a successful with the concept. Since Stan is more
understanding, the concept of win-win will appeal to him more so than Rusty. Rusty has
a job to lose, but Stan has a company and reputation. Stan is also liable for lawsuits and
other repercussions. He will respond—more than likely—to some approach used by the
company. If there is no response from Stan, there is only one place left to turn.
Undermining the Boss
If every other step and solution fails, Stan must be given an ultimatum: either
deal with Rusty or customers as well as officials will be notified. Once customers are
notified of the company practices, there can be no turning back. This is, in all likelihood,
job suicide. Stan will not be allowed to fire employees for reporting such actions, but the
work climate will be affected in a negative manner. One last step that can be taken
before any of these actions is to tell Stan that either Rusty has to change, be demoted,
or let go. If none of these are put into effect, then let Stan know what the intentions of
the employees will be afterwards. More than likely, Stan will take action rather than deal
with government officials, as well as the possibility of complaints by customers. The
customers do not know that the chemicals used to treat their home are diluted, corners
are cut, some areas are simply hidden, and a list of other violations. If Stan knows that
this will be exposed, fear will set in. Fear is the great motivator for change. This is most
likely where the employees get their way. The Aftermath
Once this scenario is dealt with, there will be one of two results: either the
management will take to the win-win strategy and realize that everybody can be a
winner, or the forcing, egotistical ways will continue until an ultimatum is given. It is
apparent that the atmosphere and work climate will change if the confrontation does not
go easily. Dealing with the company’s management is going to be anything but easy if
threats are felt. There will be tension and a sense of distrust for the remainder of the
employment of those involved. This is why the confrontation needs to be a perfect use
of the core strategies of negotiation. Without proper timing and the right element of
surprise, all of the change, if accomplished, will be worthless. It may be a better idea to
attempt to find another job. The main idea here is to get Rusty to go along with the winwin strategy and realize it is not power that he needs to effectively run the
company. If
Stan has to be involved, there is likely to be problems. It is not so much managerial
communication that is most important here, but how the employees deal with the
managers—almost a reversal of roles. The given situation in such a small company will
not be easy to fix, but if it can be accomplished, the changes will need to come from an
individual better fit to manage the company than Rusty. Perhaps this was the answer all
along: finding a different manager! Works Cited
Hynes, G.E. (2016). Managerial communication: Strategies and applications, (6th ed.).
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

find the cost of your paper