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Case study: The Odyssey Of an Excellent Man

Complete case study attached - The Odyssey Of an Excellent Man. Questions to be answered at end of the case in the attached file.

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A SELF-MANAGING RESTAURANT
Employees help run McGuffey's on an experimental basis
It started with Employee Days. Keith Dunn, president of McGuffey's Restaurants Inc., had been reading books by Tom Peters and others encouraging companies to adopt an organizational structure in which workers are on top, with middle managers acting as facilitators. Last year Dunn decided to experiment by letting employees run the restaurants -- planning the menu and drink specials, handling scheduling, choosing uniforms -- for two days every six months.

1. Is competition a good way to motivate? Why/why not?
2. How do Keith Dunn's employee programs attempt to motivate?
3. What should Keith Dunn's role in his organization be?
4. What's Key in hiring, training, and developing employees?
5. What factors are most effective in motivating employees?
6. How are responsibility and authority interrelated?
7. How can you tell if you have employee problems?
8. What kind of business is a restaurant ? Retail? Manufacturing? Service? Explain.
9. Why do customers keep coming back to a restaurant?
10. How does employee turnover affect a restaurant's business?

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1. Is competition a good way to motivate? Why/why not?
Competition is a good way to motivate when the competition is friendly, mild and not grossly affecting the emoluments. It is not a good way to motivate when all teams except one feel that they have no chances of winning and that de motivated them. In case of the CUDA contest these competitions led to jealousy and malaise and so was not a good way to motivate. Those teams that lagged behind usually started bickering and complaining and felt that they had little chance of winning. So, even though the winning team members felt motivated, the majority of the employees felt de motivated. In addition, those who were still in competition would indulge in extreme measures of cost cutting like working understaffed, not fixing the equipment and running short on supplies.
2. How do Keith Dunn's employee programs attempt to motivate?

By increasing competition among the employees. By offering bonuses or starting contests to perform better. This created a win-lose situation, where a majority lost and a minority won the contest. On the other hand Dunn's employee programs tried to give more benefits to the employees, for example the medical insurance and the dental insurance. In future Dunn had lined up employee stock option scheme. He even tried to attempt to motivate his employees by listening to them, that is taking the opinion of the employees. Finally Dunn started the Employee Days program where the employees would have the authority to plan the menu and drink specials, handling scheduling and choosing uniforms.
3. What should Keith Dunn's role in his organization be?
Keith Dunn's role in the organization should be that of a leader, but not an authoritarian leader but a participative leader. Dunn should be one among his employees, a friend of the workers and a mentor. He should not have the airs of an "owner". He should remove the distance ...

Solution Summary

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"So, even though the winning team members felt motivated, the majority of the employees felt de motivated. In addition, those who were still in competition would indulge in extreme measures of cost cutting like working understaffed, not fixing the equipment and running short on supplies."

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