Individual Case Analysis #1 -Maple Leaf Shoes Ltd. : An Exercise in Job Analysis Preparation for Job Analysis Lance failed to first familiarize himself with Maple Leaf Shoes Ltd (MILS), which is important as Job analysis procedures are affected by an organization’s character. In addition, as MILS is a unionized organization, Lance should have taken measures to ensure that Job analysis steps meet various provisions of the collective agreement between the management and the unions.
He could also have studied industry and government reports (Sandwich, Dads, Wager, Passing & Bullish, 2013, p. 2) on Human Resource management (HARM) positions first to collect information on HER management and the factors for Job success. Collection of Job Analysis Information Lance carried out this phase fairly well. He chose to do face-to-face interviews that allowed him to use his questions as a guide but add other questions when required. (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 8) He effectively did so by keeping the interviews in an informal and free flowing format, letting the interviewees pursue points they consider relevant. With reference to the textbook, face-to-face interviews also allow or explanation of any vague questions and clarification of ambiguous answers. In addition, he interviewed both the HER department (incumbents) and supervisors, allowing for verification of information to improve accuracy. However, the representatives of the sample (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 8) may be lacking as Lance only interviewed two out of the five key managers. Furthermore, his interview with Clark was inadequate; Reckon provided little information as he was new and Joseph McDonald did not provide any useful information, as he was mingle more concerned for his own Job security in order to pay for his son’s medical school fees. According to the textbook, this in turn may affect the validity of the information received. On top of that, Lance was facing time constraints and face-to-face interviews may have been too time-consuming.
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Alternatively, he could have formed focus groups. In a focus group, typically five to seven Jobholders or others who are knowledgeable about the Job are brought together by a facilitator to interactively discuss the Job’s duties and responsibilities. Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 59) This is especially applicable to the case as the three senior managers provided varying viewpoints. A focus group would allow them to gain consensus on Job duties and responsibilities. Collection. However, his interview questions lacked specificity.
Instead of asking general questions like “What do you expect from the HER department”, Lance could have asked more specifically about the major duties, specific tasks and responsibilities, human characteristics and their level of importance. (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 5) This gives a more accurate account of what is expected of the HER department. Lance may have failed to do so due to a lack of time with some of the interviewees, such as Clark who had to leave after half an hour. In this case, Lance could have let interviewees complete Job analysis questionnaires (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 4). Mailed questionnaires would also have allowed Lance to get feedback from managers that were unavailable for interview and improve the uniformity of data collected. The disadvantage of using mailed questionnaires is that it is less accurate. Therefore, it would be optimal for Lance to use a combination of a face-to-face interview, a focus group and a mailed questionnaire concurrently. (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 59) Additionally, Lance only obtained data from human sources. He should also have obtained data from non-human sources such as current Job descriptions and specifications. Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 54) Professional Journals are applicable to the case as MILS is currently dealing with global competition from China, India and Korea. Professional Journals can provide insight into how HER managers in other entries perform their Jobs, which helps to establish performance standards and benchmarks for quality to enable MILS to better compete with global competitors. 2. Use of Information The president of MILS emphasized greatly on looking beyond today’s needs.
Therefore, Lance should focus on the future in writing Job descriptions and specifications, led by current and prospective needs rather than past actions. (Sandwich, Dads, Wager, Passing & Bullish, 2013, p. 75) For example, in Job specifications (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 63), Lance should include human heartsickness such as “able to build rapport with employees and managers in other departments” and “able to work well in teams” to ensure that HER decisions are made collectively after discussions between the HER and other departments.
Other characteristics include “motivated to initiate and influence change” to lead the HER department in switching from a support to a leadership and developmental role. The new HER manager should also be “tough yet diplomatic” to deal with aggressive trade unions, which helps MILS cut labor costs by firing unnecessary employees while maintaining union-management relations. Lance should also engage in redesigning the Job of the HER manager.
Job design is the process of assigning tasks to a Job, including the interdependency of those tasks with other Jobs. (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 68) This is applicable to the case as it mentions a lack of continuity in the HER department. This could be due too lack of employee consideration. Firstly, the HER department is not considered to be important important to others within the organization or outside it, making the Job more meaningful for incumbents. Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 2) Task significance is vital as it enhances one’s personal sense of self-importance, pride, commitment, motivation and satisfaction, which tends to improve performance. Therefore, Lance should change the mentality and image of the HER department by increasing staff strength in the HER department and upgrading computer hardware and software to show the importance of the HER department in MILS, which can increase task significance and lead to increased motivation. Secondly, Lance should improve Job enrichment, which adds new sources of needs dissipation to Jobs.
This increases responsibility, autonomy, and control. (Sandwich, Dads, et al, 2013, p. 73) This is applicable to the case as the HER department currently takes on a low-key, record-keeping, support role when it should be taking a leadership and developmental role. Lance can help to enrich the HER manager’s Job by getting the HER department to engage in Job design and organizational planning to integrate HER management with the overall strategy of the firm. This can also help to increase employee motivation and satisfaction.