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Management of Paula's Tattoo Studio: Identify five problems and corrective actions

Questions and case study.

7. (A) Describe the difference between leadership and management and (B) provide an example from jobs or organizations you have been associated with in the past.

8. (A) Distinguish between mechanistic and organic organizational systems. (B) Provide an example from jobs or organizations you have been associated with in the past.

9. Define and provide an example of operations control.

10. Define the concept of synergy and how it relates to management of organizations.

b. Part 2 - Case Study Analysis

After reading the case (below), prepare a consultant evaluation of Paula's Tattoo Studio that includes answers to the following questions:

1. Identify five problems, related to the principles of management, with Paula's Tattoo Studio.

2. Describe five corrective actions, related to the principles of management, that could be taken to resolve the problems.

Case Study

In 2004, after twenty years in the Marine Corps, Paula Purdue retired and opened up her life's dream; a Tattoo Studio in Jacksonville, NC. An excellent artist with some business and management acumen she initially preformed all customer services and ran the business by herself for the first year. She solely directed her efforts at male clientele. She was disappointed in the quantity of business she was receiving.

At the end of the first year, Paula hired a consultant to conduct some research. The consultant researched future trends in tattooing and realized that Paula was providing a good service, but was not catering enough to the biggest upsurge in the tattooing industry... women seeking tattoos. After the consultant's report, Paula quickly identified an area of effectiveness and method of concentrating on it. She then redirected her product line. After a new marketing and advertising campaign the quantity of new tattoo orders picked up considerably.

Starting in mid-2005, the demand for services, especially from women, increased exponentially and she interviewed and hired ten new artists in a little over six months. Since she was still providing tattoos to customers and running the business she quickly became overwhelmed. Over the course of a year she also hired two assistant managers, a receptionist and scheduler. The new assistant managers, Chris and Molly, were old Marine buddies from the drill field at Parris Island who had also recently retired. Both were excellent military leaders but neither had any experience nor training in civilian business operation. Paula also hired her husband, to oversee her two assistant managers, but her husband was seldom around and engaged in issues or problems in an inconsistent manner. Quite frankly, several employees have complained that he seems to get too involved in personal or non-business matters. He also had no managerial experience or training.

Chris and Molly considered many of the tattoo artists to have a laissez-faire work ethic and lackadaisical punctuality about their work hours; consequently, they implemented a somewhat rigid delineation of functional duties, work and lunch hours, detailed job descriptions, and a chain of command similar to what they had been use to in Marine Corps.

Molly oversees the receptionist and scheduler. The current employees have over ten years experience; however, Molly insists they bring the green logbook she provided them to her twice a day for review. She also has them check with her in the morning, before and after "chow" and in the evening prior to departure. Any tattoo being scheduled with a cost that might exceed $200.00 needs to be approved by Molly. The current receptionist and scheduler are the second and third respectively hired in a year and a half. Molly insists on handling all customer complaints and excuses anyone else from being involved. Paula recently overheard the receptionist and scheduler say that one cannot talk to can only listen. They also noted that they never receive any positive or negative feedback on their job performance from her.

The receptionist and scheduler seem to be easily bored with their jobs. They received little input directly from customers as Molly always intervenes. They do not feel they own the process. Key appointments have been lost or required rescheduling if the receptionist or scheduler are not available as they have very narrow job descriptions and no one picks up the slack if they are out.

Paula spends most of her time as an artist herself...tattooing customers. She seldom talks to her employees and has never addressed them as a group. Her employees sometime go days without even seeing her and she never stops by their areas and asks how things are going or if they have problems. She assumes that is being taken care of by her husband and assistant managers. She has not shared any goals, objectives, plans or strategic vision with her employees. An employee mentioned having a Christmas party and Paula said she thought it was too late to consider for this year, but we might do it next year. There does not seem to be anyone in the organization that influences by setting objectives.

Paula had a discussion with Mike, a new artist that she recently hired. Mike previously worked in California which required a license. He told Paula that California recently banned some of ink types she used for red coloring and required all tattoo artist to get training in hepatitis prevention procedures. Mike said that he was surprised that Paula had not changed from the Acme red ink manufacturer or initiated the more robust hepatitis prevention procedures. Mike also noted that there is a good internet site that provides training and information on these two issues at minimal cost. Paula wondered if a customer's recent complaint that the red part of her tattoo is itching and whether that had anything to do with the Acme red ink she gets at a discount price. Paula told Mike that, "once the summer rush settles down she'll check into it."

Paula changed the compensation system six months ago. Now, most of the artists get paid 40%, the industry norm, of what is charged for a tattoo. The other employees went from hourly to salary. She thought that would have a major impact on employee retention and satisfaction. The business still seems to be a revolving door for artist and other support staff. Talented and creative tattoo artists have been hard to retain. Initially all seemed positive, but the artists that are bringing in most of the customers seldom stay for more then four months. Employees seemed to be working day-to-day and collecting a check without any desire to view their jobs as a career or long term security. The receptionist had recently given two weeks notice and the scheduler does not appear very happy.

Everyone seems to be working at cross purposes at times and do not support overall organizational success. Actually, Molly, the receptionist and scheduler have undermined several important client sessions by inaccurate, double booking or changing appointments recorded in the new "Time Matters" scheduling tool. The new automated tool was to replace Molly's green logbooks, but both are still being used. The scheduler and reception have not been working closely with the artist to maximize client appointments. Several artists have sat idle for several hours waiting on customers. At other times, customers are waiting hours for an artist to become available.

Customers are extremely satisfied with the art work used in their tattoos; however, an increasing number of customers have noted that they were not completely satisfied with the service aspects of receiving their tattoos or thought more variety was needed in what art work was being offered. Paula really wants to do a better job of figuring out what the customer wants. All employees have informally expressed a desire to provide more input about quality and service provided to the customer.

Solution Preview

7. (A) Describe the difference between leadership and management and (B) provide an example from jobs or organizations you have been associated with in the past.

While leadership and management go hand in hand, they are rather complimentary of each other within organizational settings. Generally, while a manager's role is to plan, coordinate and organize, the leader's role is more inspirational and acting as a motivator. Managers usually take charge of the bottom-line results within a company while leaders are more in touch with the process, preferring to show their subordinates how it is done by being more hands-on. Managers unlike leader already know what is expected, while leaders originate ways and ideas on how to get the team there (Murray, n.d.).


Murray, A. (Ed.)(n.d.). What is the Difference Between Management and Leadership? The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2011 from

From organizations where I have been associated with in the past, the company had just undergone an acquisition of another. One of the managers hired around this time had an engineering background, but was in the banking profession. While the directors of the company knew what they wanted out of the merger and laid down explicit targets on how to get there, the new change manager actually became involved in the daily operations of the process, many times spending time with us, explaining and showing how certain things were to be done. During moments of ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the management of Paula's Tattoo Studio including identifying five problems and corrective actions.