15 October 2013
Case Study #1 Fran Hayden was a recent graduate from The University of Waikato with a degree in Management Studies. She had applied for a position in Hamilton, New Zealand at Dairy Engineering (NZ) Ltd. When she accepted the position, she thought she was going to be assistant accountant but instead she was assigned to the management information systems department. Fran seemed happy with her new MIS colleagues, however she was not impressed by the work she had been given. She had become the copier, puncher, binder, and stamper; her degree meant more than doing this kind of work.
After some time, out of nowhere, Fran was called into the Chief (Rob) Cost Accountant’s office to be offered a big opportunity. Fran was offered the chance to attend a workshop in Auckland, which she accepted gratefully; but she did so without formally letting her boss (Peter) know because he was on leave for a few weeks. Peter eventually found out and he was furious that Fran had attended the workshop without his knowledge. When Fran returned to work she was very worried and even asked Rob to help her out about this situation. Once Peter returned to work, he called Fran into his office, he verbally abused Fran about what she had done, and he told other coworkers not to talk to Fran. Miserable, Fran consulted in a coworker, Vernon. She was convinced to write a report to Rob about what had happened since she had started working to possibly get a transfer. After no response from the report given to Rob, Fran thought she only had two options: transfer or resign. She had recently been told that there was an opening in a few weeks in the Accounting department. Fran applied directly to Rob the Chief and requested a transfer from Peter. After meeting with Rob about the new job, he seemed a little upset and said that he could have handled the situation. Shortly after, Fran saw Peter talking with Rob. Minutes later, Peter had yelled that Fran was done with the company. It seems crazy how a short period of time can cause such a situation.
After understanding Fran’s situation, it is clear that there are some problems with Dairy Engineering Ltd. The first problem that came to surface was her job placement. This deals directly with lack of communication, which is “the process by which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people” (261). When Fran arrived for her first day, no one was expecting her. This situation can result in a negative behavior change for Fran due to the shortage of communication. She thought she would be in the Cost Accounting department working as an assistant accountant, but instead she was assigned to the management information systems department. She is very dissatisfied because she feels like she is overqualified for this position she has been given. The lack of communication led Fran to a lesser well-being. If Dairy Engineering would have talked with Fran about what was going on Fran probably would have a better outlook on the position or maybe she could have sorted out another arrangement within the company.
Another problem dealing with communication in Dairy Engineering Ltd. was the fact that Rob was going to tell Peter about Fran going to Auckland for the workshop. However, when Fran returned, Peter was extremely angry with Fran because he had no idea that she went. Here too, is another case where “communication supports employee well-being” (261). Peter and Fran had no contact about her going to Auckland for a workshop and Rob also failed to talk to Peter. Thus Peter took it the wrong way, and became very angry about the situation. This could have been avoided if there was effective encoding and decoding between the sender and receiver (262). Since Fran is a new employee at Dairy Engineering there probably was not a strong channel between her and Peter. Also, since Rob said he would tell Peter, Fran had no motivation to communicate with Peter.