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Published by:
Lagos Business School (2017)
10 pages
Data source:
Generalised experience
This is part of a case series. Yaja, the planning Manager of Martadel, was the custodian of his overall group's budget. He supervises the preparation, defense, and management of the entire budget of his group. He had a functional relationship with all the line managers, but reports directly on budget matters to the Manager, Mike. During the budget process, this section identified that the cost of an approved project was underestimated. He drew the attention of the manager in charge, and helped him make necessary correction. He expected the manager to get the buy in of all approving officers after recalculating the economic parameters of the project. He however, did not inform his direct boss, Mike, of the changes and what was supposed to be done. He also did not cross check to ensure that the project owner informed all concerned. He rolled up the budget and submitted to top management as the budget for Mike's group. The project was not an ordinary project. It was strategically located for the organisation and for Yaja's boss, Mike. Top management had expressed doubt as to capability of Mike's group to handle the project successfully, and Mike had to defend his group. Because of the sensitivity of the project, Mike paid great attention to its execution and demanded that the project team report any issues to him. He was particularly interested in the cost and execution time for the project. The Deputy Managing Director, Manna spotted what he felt was a double budgeting, and wrote an email to Yaja for explanation. Mike was copied in the email. Yaja wrote directly to Manna stating that the project cost was exceeded. He however, did not intimate Mike before making his reply. Yaja's action angered Mike, who set up a team with specific instruction to identify the duplicated cost. The team found no such cost, but reduced various components of the project to arrive at the original cost of the project. From this point, the team disagreed on how to communicate what was done. While Yaja wanted full disclosure the other team members wanted cover up to avoid further questions. Yaja had to decide whether to compromise or insist on his full disclosure. The case reveals the serious consequences in not understanding and managing the expectation of someone's boss. It forces people to consider how they handle communication up in the organisation.
Learning objectives:
1. Handling communication process in the organisation. Precisely, the case considers the effect of 360-degree communication. 2. How to identify stakeholders’ interest in issues in the organisation and how to manage these expectations even when they conflict. 3. How to manage at 360-degrees to include boss, peers and subordinates.
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