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Compact case
Case from journal
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Reference no. JIACS17-01-09
Published by: Allied Business Academies
Published in: "Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies", 2011

Abstract

In this case a successful, locally owned department store initiates a remodeling and expansion project of its cosmetics department. To save money on the upgrade, the store manager solicits the help of cosmetic department employees in dismantling old shelves and equipment and relocating products. A former employee was hired on a temporary basis to help with the move, and the department manager, Mellissa Hart, thought she could rely on her tight knit employees to pull together and finish the project with little supervision. Unfortunately this was not the case. As the project proceeded, employees started grumbling about the extra work, and shirked the remodeling task, leaving Hart and the temporary employee with the bulk of the work. Even worse, morale broke down as employees competed for diminishing commissions. At completion the cosmetic department had a very nice physical space, but its employees were full of hostility and morale was non existent. The entire store was questioning Hart's handling of the project and she was left wondering what she could have done to prevent the problems. This case describes the unexpected conflicts that arise when a heretofore smoothly functioning cosmetic department is asked to temporarily alter its work routines. It could be readily used to demonstrate the benefit of using multiple perspectives to analyze a situation. Secondarily, it could be used to elicit discussion related to motivation, leadership, structure, or politics. The case has a difficulty level of three, appropriate for junior level students. It could be used in a principles of management, organizational behavior, or organization theory class. The case is designed to be taught in one class hour and is expected to require three hours of outside preparation by students.
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Abstract

In this case a successful, locally owned department store initiates a remodeling and expansion project of its cosmetics department. To save money on the upgrade, the store manager solicits the help of cosmetic department employees in dismantling old shelves and equipment and relocating products. A former employee was hired on a temporary basis to help with the move, and the department manager, Mellissa Hart, thought she could rely on her tight knit employees to pull together and finish the project with little supervision. Unfortunately this was not the case. As the project proceeded, employees started grumbling about the extra work, and shirked the remodeling task, leaving Hart and the temporary employee with the bulk of the work. Even worse, morale broke down as employees competed for diminishing commissions. At completion the cosmetic department had a very nice physical space, but its employees were full of hostility and morale was non existent. The entire store was questioning Hart's handling of the project and she was left wondering what she could have done to prevent the problems. This case describes the unexpected conflicts that arise when a heretofore smoothly functioning cosmetic department is asked to temporarily alter its work routines. It could be readily used to demonstrate the benefit of using multiple perspectives to analyze a situation. Secondarily, it could be used to elicit discussion related to motivation, leadership, structure, or politics. The case has a difficulty level of three, appropriate for junior level students. It could be used in a principles of management, organizational behavior, or organization theory class. The case is designed to be taught in one class hour and is expected to require three hours of outside preparation by students.

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