Situations where the manager might entertain a vague

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situations where the manager might entertain a vague idea of certain changes taking placein the situation without knowing what exactly they are. Such situations call forunstructured interviews with the people concerned.Suppose that a manager is interested in solving a problem in the work setting. In order tounderstand the situation in its totality, the researcher may interview employees at severallevels. In the initial stages, only broad, open-ended questions should be asked, and thereplies to them should inform the researcher of the perceptions of the individuals. Thetype and nature of the questions asked of the individuals might vary according to the joblevel and type of work done by them. For instance, top and middle-level managers mightbe asked more direct questions about their perceptions of the problem and the situation.Employees at lower levels may have to be approached differently.Clerical and other employees at lower hierarchical levels may be asked broad, open-ended questions about their jobs and the work environment during unstructuredinterviews. Supervisors may be asked broad questions relating to their department, theemployees under their supervision, and the organization. The following question, forinstance, may be put to them during the unstructured interview stage:Tell me something about your unit and department, and perhaps even the organizationas a whole, in terms of work, employees, and whatever else you think is important.Such a question might elicit an elaborate response from some people; others may just saythat everything is fine. Following the leads from the more vocal persons is easy,especially when the interviewer listens carefully to the important messages that theymight convey in a very casual manner while responding to a general, global question. Asmanagers and researchers, we should train ourselves to develop these listening skills andidentify the critical topics that are touched on. However, when some respondents give amonosyllabic, crisp, short reply that is not informative, the interviewer will have to askquestions that call for details and cannot be answered in one or two words. Suchquestions might be phrased like the one below:I would like to know something about your job. Please describe to me in detail thethings you do in your job on a typical day, from eight in the morning to four in theafternoon.Several questions might then be asked as a follow-up to the answer. Some examples ofsuch follow-up questions include:Compared to other units in this organization, what are the strengths and weaknesses ofyour unit?If you could have a problem solved in your unit, or a bottleneck eliminated, orsomething attended to that blocks your effectiveness, what would that be?
If the respondent answers that everything is fine and she has no problems, the interviewercould say: “That is great! Tell me what contributes to this effectiveness of your unit,because most other organizations usually experience several difficulties.” Such a

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Term
Spring
Professor
SAMED
Tags
Management, researcher

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