MG655Midterm1 - MG655 Managerial Communication Midterm Case...

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MG655 Managerial Communication Midterm Case One Inland Steel Coal Company: The Sesser Coal Mine Case Study Analysis: 1. 50 points: Review the situation that led to the survey. What are the major employee relations problems at the mine? What aspects of the immediate scene (miners and mining in Sesser) are important? What aspects of the corporate scene (Inland’s integrated operations) are pertinent? What factors involving the industry at this time are relevant? The problem seemed to stem from the Sesser mine falling short of the tonnage it was expected to produce. After a steady rise in its production, it saw three years of a production drop. The problems with decreased production at Sesser spilled over into Indiana Harbor Works. To make up for this difference, Inland had to purchase inferior quality coke, which in turn decreased the production of the blast furnaces and added to their expenses. This coupled with changing mining conditions and governmental regulations resulted in significant losses in production. The situation was complicated by labor problems and wildcat strikes. As a result, Sesser’s management wanted to implement a program to correct problems with both employee relations and operations. Their main objectives included developing training programs, operating manuals, and new positions. They also wished to know if labor problems, including strikes, absenteeism, and productivity were an industry-level problem, or if they could be dealt with locally. They hired the outside consulting firm of The major problems with employee relations at the mine included wildcat strikes, grievances, absenteeism, and declining productivity. The miners’ health and safety were also concerns as was teamwork. The mining scene at Sesser had expanded and as a result, communication became more difficult between employees, foremen, and managers. Managers felt that they were overextended, and they were not always sure of the conditions in the mine despite their being responsible for them. Their area of supervision may have consisted of up to seven miles of mine and up to thirty miners. Their communication was limited by the unreliable mine phones during working hours, so often they had to exchange information at the end of the shift. Unfortunately, even then, communication was limited by the noise of the mine, and it occurred in the cold, near darkness. Management was often quick to intervene when information was not conveyed in a timely manner, and this led to frustration of the foremen in particular. They found the mining operation lacking in coordination, as it functioned as if there were three separate mines. They also felt as if they had no authority to make decisions.
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This note was uploaded on 05/25/2011 for the course MG 655 taught by Professor Leiter during the Spring '11 term at Andrew Jackson.

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MG655Midterm1 - MG655 Managerial Communication Midterm Case...

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