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Business Discussion Questions

1. You are a busy partner in a legal firm and an experienced secretary complains of headaches, drowsiness, dry throat, and occasional spells of fatigue and flu. She tells you she believes that the air quality in the building is bad and would like something to be done. How would you respond?

2. What opportunities and potential problems are posed by the formation of more than one coalition within an organization, each one advocating a different direction or alternatives? What steps can you take as a manager to make sure that dueling coalitions result in constructive discussion rather than dissension?

3. Sandra Holt, manager of Electronics Assembly, asked Hector Cruz, her senior technician, to handle things in the department while Sandra worked on the budget. She needed peace and quiet for at least a week to complete her figures. After 10 days, Sandra discovered that Hector had hired a senior secretary, not realizing that Sandra had promised interviews to two other people. Evaluate Sandra's approach to delegation.

4. Most organizations have been making greater use of teams in recent years. What factors might account for this trend?

5. Some people argue that the matrix structure should be adopted only as a last resort because the dual chains of command can create more problems than they solve. Discuss. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

6. A manager of an international chemical company said that few new products in her company were successful. What would you advise the manager to do to help increase the company's success rate?

7. As a manager, how would you deal with resistance to change when you suspect employees' fears of job loss are well founded?

8. How might businesses use the Internet to identify untapped customer needs through open innovation? What do you see as the major advantages and disadvantages of the open innovation approach?

Solution Preview

1. You are a busy partner in a legal firm and an experienced secretary complains of headaches, drowsiness, dry throat, and occasional spells of fatigue and flu. She tells you she believes that the air quality in the building is bad and would like something to be done. How would you respond?

You would have to be very cautious and careful in your response, both so that you do not offend the secretary but also to avoid the potential for legal liability. My first response will be to ask or suggest to the secretary that she go see doctor for a full checkup to get a professional diagnosis of her symptoms.
I would also ask the reason she believes the air quality is in the building is the culprit and whether she knows of anyone else in the building with similar symptoms or complaints. Finally if further investigation is warranted either from the doctor confirming poor air quality is the root cause or other employees confirming similar symptoms, and then I would in consultation with other partners order a full investigation of the buildings air and environmental systems.

2. What opportunities and potential problems are posed by the formation of more than one coalition within an organization, each one advocating a different direction or alternatives? What steps can you take as a manager to make sure that dueling coalitions result in constructive discussion rather than dissension?

The main opportunity resulting from such a situation is that you would have a multitude of ideas and options presented to you, there would be less danger of group-think ...

Solution Summary

The solution assists with answers business discussion questions.

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