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 B121: Managing in the Workplace

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مُساهمةموضوع: B121: Managing in the Workplace   الجمعة أكتوبر 17, 2014 8:30 pm

Arab Open University
Faculty of Business Studies






B121: Managing in the Workplace
Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA)





2014- 2015

Semester-1

Fall 2014










TMA: B121 – Managing in the work place.
Cutoff date: 30th November 2014.
Please read these instructions carefully. However, contact your tutor in case of any difficulties with the instructions. You should submit your completed assignment to your tutor to arrive no later than the cut-off Date
Please use standard A4 size paper for your TMAs. Your name, personal identifier, course and assignment numbers must appear at the top of each sheet. Please leave wide margins and space at the end of each sheet for tutor comments. It is better to use double spacing so that you can easily handwrite corrections to your drafts and tutors have space to include their feedback on the script. Start each question in the assignment on a new page.
Completing and sending your assignments:
When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3), taking care to fill all information correctly including your personal identifier, course code, section & tutor, and assignment numbers. Each TMA and its PT3 form should be uploaded on the AOU branch Learning Management System (LMS) within the cut-off date. Keep a copy of your TMA for security. Late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions. All assignments are treated in strict confidence.
It is very important that you ensure that your tutor receives each assignment by the cut-off date given. If you feel that you are unable to meet the cut-off date of the TMA because of unusual circumstances, please contact your tutor as soon as possible to discuss a possible extension to the cut-off date.
TMA weight: 20% of total course grade.
Course material: The Manager’s Good Study Guide, Third Edition
Answering: Your response to the question should take the form of a full essay format divided into a number of paragraphs with introduction and conclusion without subheadings and bullet points.
Referencing: You must acknowledge all your sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (in-text referencing plus list of references at the end).
Textbook: For completing your assignment you can also take the help of your text book (The Managers good study guide).
E-library: You are expected to use E-library sources to support your answers. A minimum of 4 sources is required.
Word count: your answer is expected to be within the specified word count. A 10% deviation from word count limit is acceptable.
Plagiarism:
The Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism.
According to the Arab Open University By-laws, “the following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:
• Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
• Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.
• Copying other students’ notes or reports.
• Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
• Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations’’
Penalty on plagiarism:
The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws:
• Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
• Documentation of warning in student record
• Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.
• All University programmes are required to apply penalties that are consistent with the University by laws.
Examples of Plagiarism:
Copying from a single or multiple sources, this is where the student uses one or more of the following as the basis for the whole, or a good part, of the assignment:
• Published or unpublished books, articles or reports.
• The Internet.
• The media (e.g.TV programmes, radio programmes or newspaper articles) .
• An essay from an essay bank.
• A piece of work previously submitted by another student.
• Copying from a text which is about to be submitted for the same assignment


General instructions for students:
• Use of E-Library- Minimum four sources to support your answer (Add up to 10 % marks)
• TMA Presentation and Structure, and word (Add up to 5% marks)
• Referencing and in-text citation (Add up to 5% marks)

Introduction

The aim of this TMA is to familiarize students with the theoretical understanding of how and why managers do what they do in organizations.


Business Case

Communication - the key to success
A FKI case study
Introduction
This case study focuses on the issue of communications. It describes a range of ways in which organisations communicate with their workforce in order to:-
• help employees understand fully what they are required to do
• provide feedback on how well they are meeting that requirement
• give them an opportunity to share ideas on how products and services can be improved
• let them know how the company is succeeding and its plans for future development.
FKI is a multinational group of companies engaged mainly in engineering. It has member companies in the UK, the USA and Europe. The independently managed Companies within the Group are involved in design and manufacture and supply a wide range of high tech solutions to engineering production and services, to the material handling, hardware and automotive engineering industries. FKI member Companies have customers throughout the world and have earned an international reputation as leaders in their field. Building and maintaining a reputation such as this is gained by dedication to quality and technical excellence - a clear priority when meeting customer needs.
This means that the Companies must stay ahead of competitors in aspects of quality and innovation. But it is the people within those companies who are vital to its success in rapidly changing markets. Employees at all levels need to cope with rate of change unlike anything they have known before - a pace of change which will go on increasing.
Meeting the challenge of change has meant that restructuring within parts of the Group has been necessary in recent years. This has caused uncertainty and anxiety amongst some employees, requiring their commitment to the company, their patience and goodwill. What are the priorities of successful Companies such as those in the FKI Group when it comes to handling change? Managers throughout FKI Companies acknowledge that success comes through people at all levels working as a team.... working together to solve problems. If they are to do this successfully, they need to communicate properly. This means Talking!
1. The process of communication
Communication needs to flow in all directions in a successful organisation. The Board needs to devolve their objectives through management to all employees but equally need to be able to receive ideas and input from all corners of the business. Here are some of the ways businesses communicate:
1.1 Annual Reports
Each employee receives an annual statement from the Managing Director of his or her Company which summarises Company successes or problems in the previous year. It provides an outline of changes planned for the year ahead and how these fit into the Company strategy for the medium and long term. It also summarises the financial progress of the Company.
1.2 Team Briefings
Messages about new developments and changes in production methods or the solutions to problems can be rapidly cascaded by team briefings - a regular and systematic provision of up to date information. The Board agrees key messages, these are communicated face to face with managers, managers pass these on in face to face meetings with supervisors and they in turn pass on the messages through similar meetings with production teams.
1.3 Working Groups
"Quality Improvement Teams" Sometimes a problem can be solved or change achieved by bringing together people from different departments and different levels to deal with a specific issue. It might be the introduction of a different manufacturing process or a problem with defective products, missed deadlines or customer complaints. The Group is brought together to discuss a particular issue for a specified period, it makes recommendations and disbands.
1.4 Quality Circles
Groups of people meeting together to deal with problems of quality which they have identified in their day to day work. The groups are retained on an on-going basis. Membership is voluntary, meetings are held during normal working hours and the group itself sets priorities for the topics they will cover. Often the group members will receive training in problem solving techniques and they may call on the advice of experts in a particular field for specialist advice.
1.5 Notice Boards
An old and far from "high tech" technique, but if used properly, posters and notice boards can provide accurate and speedy information on production achievements, safety records and quality performance. This can help to correct some of the misinformed and exaggerated stories which will flourish on the unofficial "grapevine" in every workplace. Saturation poster campaigns can be used to support drives on particular issues such as quality or safety.
2. Job appraisal
All employees agree with their immediate manager the scope of their job. This Job Description means that the objectives, duties required, responsibilities and performance levels expected are understood and can be used as a basis for regular appraisal. At appraisals, the manager can give feedback to employees on how well they are performing against job requirements, the employees can express any ideas they might have for improving their performance and together they might identify any training needs which need to be met.
2.1 Suggestion Schemes
Employees are encouraged to produce ideas - in writing or orally - on how products, processes or administrative procedures can be improved. A sifting committee drawn from various parts of the organisation checks out the feasibility of the proposals and assesses their worth. Sometimes cash awards are made for ideas which when adopted can help the organisation to save money or improve customer services without additional costs.
Some examples used successfully in FKI Engineering Companies:
An Active communications policy has been adopted by the Board. Directors use half-yearly meetings to keep employees informed of long term strategies, future developments for the Company, how it will get there and what role the employees will play. The meetings also provide an opportunity for questions to be asked of Directors. Points raised can include order intake, new product development and new investment.
Weekly meetings of Directors and Middle Manangers enable messages to be cascaded quickly through the Company. Middle Managers in turn pass on information obtained to supervisors and work teams, varying in size from 6 to 30 people.
Implementation is now focused on a Team Enterprise approach – authority is delegated to production teams. Team Leaders facilitate training of their team members and are responsible for liaising with the leaders of other teams. The teams manage quality and production levels and bring in specialist help from support functions within the Company to help resolve production problems.
3.Project teams
Project Teams are formed for short periods to address cross Company issues, acting as a problem specific "task force". They include representatives from the various production and support teams involved and provide a method of drawing ideas on solutions from the shop floor.
The Board has recently developed a Mission Statement for the Company which is a brief statement of company aims and values and acts as a guide to employees on Company values. The Business Plan has been condensed into a 20 page version which is copied to each employee, summarising Company objectives and developments for the coming year. A two page summary of the plan is posted on the Company Notice Board .
Each employee participates in an annual appraisal, which is used as an opportunity to identify the training needs of individuals.
Directors address all the workforce together at a quarterly meeting, an extension of the successful use initially of half yearly meetings. The meeting provides an explanation of business plans, forecasts, progress and problems. Questions and suggestions are encouraged.

4.Top down communication
The Company has five operating departments and each has a monthly review meeting. Every three months, group meetings known as sector boards bring together representatives from the various departments. These provide a means of jointly dealing with common problems or new developments and the results are communicated to the Directors.
The Management Team puts a heavy emphasis on Top down communications to keep the workforce informed on what is happening in the Company. Notice boards are regularly used to inform employees of new appointments in the organisation, new orders and trends in orders and sales. Senior Managers attend a regular monthly meetings with Directors and then cascade information gained throughout their own departments. Whatever methods of communication are used, formal or informal, written or spoken, they should contribute to keeping employees continually informed on the following key questions:-
• What do I need to do?
• Where does my work come from and go to?
• Why is my job important?
• Who is my line manager?
• What are my work targets?
• What changes are being made and why?
• How can I help to improve what is done?
Conclusion
There is a role in the workplace for every method of communication, but any successful communication strategy cannot omit face to face communication and the spoken word. Messages are much more readily absorbed when received in this way.

Reference
http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/fki/communication-the-key-to-success downloaded on 30-9-2014.
TMA Questions

Answer the following questions, using an essay format, with reference to the above case study. You need to draw and use the theoretical concepts, techniques, principles and models which you have learned in B121: The Manager’s Good Study Guide and external resources like e-library resources.

1. Explain the importance of internal communication in the context of the work place. (Word count: 250, Marks: 20).

2. Discuss different ways of communicating with others in the computer mediated environment in the workplace. (Word count: 250, Marks 20)

3. Describe the importance of active listening in the process of communication. (Word count: 250, Marks 20).

4. Analyze the possible challenges faced by a manager in the processs of effectively communicating in the workplace. (Word count: 250, Marks 20)


TMA Guidance to Students

Explain: Provide reasons for something. It also means to make plain, interpret and account for.

Discuss: Investigate or examine by argument, to sift and debate, to give reasons for and against.

Describe: Give a detailed or graphic account

Analyze: Separate out a thing into its component parts to identify the components, to work out causes or to identify underlying principles.


End of TMA

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