Management exercise and need support

Your Case 2 is on page 204 – You make the Call – James Mathew. You will need to identify and discuss what James should and could have done differently. Reference materials from the chapters and convince me on what James’ approach should have been.

Define communication and explain its importance in today’s culture.

Discuss the implications of the new communications age.

Analyze the channels of communication available to the supervisor.

Identify and discuss the barriers to effective communication.

Describe ways to overcome communication barriers.

Explain how supervisors can better manage meetings with their own managers

Above are the questions needs to be answered. and must be answered from below case. not out side reference read thoroughly and answer from this case only.

You Make the Call!

James Matthews is the departmental supervisor in the water maintenance department in the city of Middletown. Middletown is a medium-sized community that has renovated itself in the twenty-first century by aggressively pursuing new industry and businesses and by providing economic incentives to support expansions of the existing firms. The town has built a new high school and a new elementary school and demolished many structures and homes that had fallen into disrepair. However, the cost to city residents for services and taxes is now much higher than that of comparable cities. Nevertheless, the city is viewed to be a great place to live.

Three months ago, James was promoted to day shift supervisor. His management style is MBWA (‘Management by Wandering Around’). He is in his office from 8 to 4 Monday through Friday. But the employees know that as he wanders around he may show up at any of the four shifts—weekdays (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.), evenings (3 to 11 p.m.), mornings (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.), or weekends (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.). Seventy-five percent of the workforce is on the day shift with the remainder evenly divided among the skeletal crews in the evening, morning, and weekend shifts. Backup crews supplement these skeletal crews as needed.

James believes that he is familiar with all employees and knows their strengths and weaknesses. His employees know that he is willing to help out when needed even though he prefers to let employees work out their problems on their own.

One of his first actions was to move Alphonso Robas from evening shift supervisor to the day shift position and promote George Harris to the position of evening shift supervisor. About a month ago, James heard through the grapevine that Thomas Smith, an employee on the evening crew, had threatened Harris during a virtual confrontation witnessed by several employees. When James discussed the incident with Harris, Harris felt that he had resolved the disagreement. Harris further explained that Smith appeared to have some personal problems that were negatively affecting his work performance, and in the discussion about performance, Smith became angry. But Harris assured James that as he was extremely busy with his new supervisory responsibilities and the increasing workload of the evening shift, he had not bothered James with the incident.

Late yesterday (Wednesday), James again heard through the grapevine that Smith had been overheard to say, “I will shoot Harris!” Immediately, James went to Harris and divulged what he had heard through the grapevine. Harris assured him that the grapevine had blown the situation out of proportion. James was concerned and called Deborah Barnes, the director of human resources, but she would not be in her office till Friday. He pondered what actions he should take.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, a ringing cell phone woke James from a sound sleep. The call was from the hospital emergency room police informing him that George Harris had been shot in the water maintenance parking lot and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A subsequent call from the desk sergeant informed James that Thomas Smith had strolled into the jail, admitting the shooting, and turned himself in. Smith, a 25-year city employee, had alleged waiting in the parking lot with a .22-caliber handgun. Police reported that Smith shot Harris three times, twice at close range and once—the fatal shot—while standing over Harris, who had fallen on the ground. Smith told police that Harris “was ruining his life and giving him a hard time.”

Later on Friday, when James interviewed several employees, he realized that he did not know his workers as well as he thought. Not only were both Smith and Harris separated from their wives, but most employees knew more about the situation than he did. They knew both Smith and Harris had argued not about work-related issues but about women.

The local newspapers detailed additional information. Smith’s attorney announced that a set of mitigating circumstances would weigh in his client’s favor when the case went to trial. Smith had turned himself in almost immediately and had no past criminal record. Even though Smith and Harris had been friends for many years, Smith had accused Harris of having a relationship with his wife and had been hostile toward him since becoming a supervisor. Smith claimed that Harris was “obsessive” about Smith’s wife and had sent her flowers on the day of the murder.

Now James is having trouble sleeping at night and wonders what he might have done to have prevented this tragedy.

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