Dilemma at Devil's Den_Group 2
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INTRODUCTION The case study, ‘Dilemma at Devil’s Den’, revolves around the dilemma of a student, named Susan from a business school faces at her part-time work place, a campus snack bar. This snack bar was managed by 30 student employees and 6 student managers by a contract with an external company called ‘College Food Services’. This case deals with an issue where the employees of this snack bar were taking free food for themselves and their friends, taking advantage of the fact that there was weak supervision by the student managers and no lack of firmly written rules. Susan, being a person of values felt that this act of the employees was unethical to tolerate any longer. She finds out that, easy access to the unlocked storage room, low wages of the employees, lack of proper training to the student managers etc. might be the reason behind such an act. What bothered her more than the financial loss was that the Den might have experienced the absence of certain values like true sense of responsibilities, loyalty towards the organisation, respect for rules in the student managers. Needless to say, there were a few responsible student managers like Bill, who had taken care of things which would prevent such acts in the Den. Though Susan always wanted to take this issue further and solve the problem, she was scared of the fact that no one else was really concerned and she was apprehensive if the management would consider her appeal as they have never in the past bothered to report of any significant losses to the employees. In addition to that, she felt that, raising this issue would only leave her with people frowning at her and might ruin her chances of becoming a student manager in the next semester. She also felt that she could do something about this once she becomes a student manager. She ponders on what can be done in the meantime. Objective
What should be done when there is discrepancy in the values one believes in and in those followed in an organization she/he is working for?
Should the employees be a Whistle Blower even when they know they will have to bear the consequences or should they remain silent?
Shouldn‟t there be a provision in an organization to support the employees willing to take strong corrective measures for the good of the company or other employees?
Character Sketch Susan She is a 21 years old business student, specialising in finance. She has been working for a semester at the snack bar Den as a part-time employee to earn some pocket money .She aimed at becoming the student manager of that snack bar by the next semester, which would not only help her enhance her managerial skills but also add value to her resume. But she is unhappy with the way the things at Den were being carried out there were no work ethics which were being followed. The employee‟s followed no rules and carried out activities against the welfare of the organization
they worked for. These issues bothered her conscious and the values she followed. She wanted to blow the whistle and take the corrective measures but at the same time dint want to lose on the opportunity of becoming the student manager. Employees They are 30 students of the college working part time for the night shifts and weekends. Their friends and they themselves take free food indenting loss to the company College Food Services; still they felt secured about their jobs. No corrective actions were taken against them by the student managers or the company‟s management. So they could easily get away with this unethical behaviour. Student Manager There are 6 student managers, who earlier worked as employees, chosen by other student managers and the full time day manager. They are weak in supervision because of which the part time employee gets opportunity to practice unethical behaviour. They themselves take away food for free setting up a bad example. Even if managers like Mack checked and discouraged such activities they were unable to carry out strong corrective actions. Management of CFS It played a passive role throughout either they did not know about the problem or they completely ignored it. Analysis During Susan‟s stint at the bar, she observed that the employees (mostly freshmen) of the company were allowing their friends to take food without paying for it and also the employees were taking food in large quantities when off duty, thus violating the norms of the company. The employees involved in this were mostly the ones working during night shift and were inefficient in that as well. The student managers were indifferent to the problem probably for the fear of losing their friends or being frowned upon by others. Also, the employees were working at low wages and at unearthly hours making them indispensable. The supervision by student managers was weak and there were no strict guidelines and people were normally let off with a mild warning for any misconduct. Susan being a conscientious and morally correct person was upset over this problem. She felt that the student managers and employees were not carrying out their responsibility in a satisfactory manner. Also, the company was incurring financial losses due to the slackness in the attitude of the employees. She wanted to report the matter but was not sure as she wanted to become a student manager the next semester and also did not want to be mocked at for acting as the „watchdog‟. Susan was unsure if her woes would be heard as nobody, including the company, seemed to be bothered with the way the snack bar was working. In Susan‟s opinion it was imperative for the student managers and the employees to understand their responsibility towards the company and that they be fair and just in all their dealings. But she was in a dilemma whether to or not to voice her concern. The issue is related to the weak value system possessed by the characters. The student managers and employees behaved in a reckless fashion and were not doing justice to the job at hand. They were misusing their authority and the privileges given to them. Apart from that they also encouraged their friends to take undue advantage and steal
food. The company, managers and other employees remained oblivious to the misconduct and supported the guilty even if they themselves were not involved. Apart from the unsavory aspects of the work environment, management also has trouble retaining quality employees due to the following reasons: · Inadequate training · High turnover · Low wages · Decreased morale · Nonexistent controls · Shady corporate culture · Inconsistent punishment · Lack of written policies and procedures
Desired solution to the problems can be: 1.Whistle blowing: A whistle blowing policy encourages staff to speak out if they have legitimate concerns about wrongdoings, as distinct from individual grievances, and establishes an accessible procedure for doing so. Advantages: 1. It will end long-standing wrong doing that would have otherwise continued. 2. It acts as an early warning system and makes it more likely that concerns will be raised internally, thus reducing the risk of involvement by external regulators. 3. It indicates to those outside the organization, eg investors and customers, that good practice is being followed. Disadvantages: 1. The risk of negative publicity - if an allegation is made and not handled correctly. 2. Employees who are treated badly eg dismissed as a result of blowing the whistle may end up recouping substantial damages against their employer. 3. The whistle-blower can get stigmatized as "disloyal" and be discredited in some way. 4. Sometimes colleagues may exact some form of revenge or somehow "scapegoat" the person. 2. Resignation: A resignation is the formal act of giving up or quitting one's office or position. Advantages: 1. She can be true to her moral and ethics. Disadvantages: 1. Her wish of becoming a student manger will not be fulfilled. 2. Her extra spending will be stopped.
3.Asking Mark to form new policies under CFS guidance and making them aware of the wrong doings: Mark being a student manager can talk to the CFS about the malpractices being performed by the employees and certain rules and regulations can be laid down which all of them including the student manager has to follow, but must be careful while performing such an act so that no one is aware of it. But the most difficult task is to motivate Mark. Advantages: 1. Wrong doing can be brought under control. 2. Susan will not be affected and her wish to be student manager can be fulfilled. 3. The morning employees will not be burdened. 4. CFS will be aware of the malpractices performed and it will lead to increase in sales and profit. 5. Also Mark can gain goodwill in the eyes of CFS Disadvantages: 1. Mark will be denounced as "disloyal" iff caught. 2. Also both Susan and Mark can be forced to leave the job, iff other employees come to know about their strategy. Best solution: Solution 3 although the riskiest, will suffice only, if the act is performed carefully. The effect of doing so will not only help Susan to stand by her moral and ethical values, but also will make CFS aware of the malpractices. CFS can be careful in future business practices and this will help CFS grow. MANAGERIAL LEARNING From the given case, “Dilemma at Devil‟s Den”, we see the various problems the protagonist faces.We observe the different work behaviours, their ethical implications, responses to rewards, punishments and different views on what‟s wrong and what‟s right. The choice that a manager would have to make is between: Doing the right thing and standing up for the company, one‟s values, therefore projecting loyalty and managerial integrity, or Keeping silent about misconduct at the workplace and adhering to the work culture, resulting in pleasing friend, colleagues and maintaining a good image in the company . The most common faults at all the levels of an organization are: disregard Ignorance Succumbing to peer pressure Self interests over the welfare of the organization
Major faults on the part of the franchise at the local level are against the core human values. These are:
Cheating Theft Trespassing
Corrective Measures It is important that such situations should not arise in an organization at any level. It is because of some unresolved issues like: Negligence importance of Formal training Negligence importance of Governance and control Tardiness
Improper communication Unmotivated employees
An effective business is an efficient one.