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Manager Employee Relationships

What are your thoughts on this...questions below:

Colvin was very impressed with Ben's ideas and immediately called a meeting of several of the officials of Acme, including Grayson, to review Reeds plan. This meeting was held during the early afternoon of December 11. About three o'clock that afternoon Grayson entered the area in which the workers and Reeds desks were located, approached Reeds, and slammed down the folder containing Ben's plans, exclaiming, What in the Hell is this? Before Reed could reply, Grayson commenced in a loud voice to lecture on the necessity of going through channels when submitting reports, ideas, and suggestions. His remarks attracted the attention of the office workers, most of whom stopped work to watch the disturbance. Ben Reed interrupted Grayson to suggest that they might continue their discussion in Grayson's office, which was glass-enclosed and out of earshot. Grayson snatched the folder from Reeds desk and stalked into his office. Reed followed.

The discussion in Grayson's office consisted mainly of a continuation of Grayson's diatribe. After Grayson had concluded, Ben stated that he had not been satisfied with his relationship with Acme and intended to submit his resignation in the very near future. He then left Grayson's office.

The next day, December 12, Grayson asked Ben to step into his office for a few minutes. He then apologized to Reed for his conduct of the previous day, remarking that he had had several things on his mind which had upset him and that he certainly had full confidence in Reeds abilities. Reed accepted his apology, remarking that he might have flown off the handle a little bit himself. The meeting ended on a cordial note.

On December 13, Ben Reed submitted his resignation and subsequently left the Acme Company on December 24. At the time of his departure he did not have a new job.

Case Questions:

1. What characteristics of strong manager-employee relationships were lacking in this situation and how, if applied, could they have benefited all parties? Include in your response suggestions for how both Reed and Grayson could have worked to improve their own working relationship as well as improving the communication climate for all.

2. Explain (a) how each of the (or, what aspects of each) management and leadership theories from OHair (Chapter 6) applies to this case and (b) identify the one that you would choose if you were Grayson and why? Be specific and support your conclusions.

The different theories are:

Vroom & Yetton's Leader-Participation Model
Kuhnert & Lewis' Transactional Leadership Theory

That's all that is talked about in that chapter. :-(

Solution Preview

1. There was a lack of chains of command here as Reed went straight to upper Management instead of his direct supervisor to present his ideas. However, this may have been because of something that happened in the past between him and Grayson and Grayson's inability to communicate Reed's ideas to upper management. If there was a chain of command, Reed would have gone to Grayson in the beginning who would in turn go to upper management with the idea. This way the whole altercation between Grayson and Reed would have been avoided. Grayson wouldn't think that Reed is trying to overstep him and Reed wouldn't have a problem with Grayson acting unprofessionally in front of the whole company when it concerned Reed's ideas.

In order to improve this relationship, Grayson would have had to talk to Reed ...

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