1. Discuss the role of social capital and power in the problems that exist for helene and some other members of staff.
2. what type of infuence tactics are evident in the case study.
CASE STUDY It's all for show By Christel Ramloll, Charles Telfair Institute We've been practising continuous professional development here for years, and now something we used to take seriously has degenerated into a superficial competition. It's all for show, and I'm not actually sure I want to work anymore!" That was most unlike Helene. She'd joined Mycrea" as a junior marketing officer 16 years ago, rising up the raj to become marketing manager. A vociferous champion of continuous professional development (CPD) practices the organisation, she consistently emphasised their importance as being key to success both at an individual and at organisational level. Helene had been asked to co-chair the CPD committee, a role at which she excelled. She never boasted about achievements in pushing the CPD agenda forward, seeing it simply as her duty. Recently, though, it had become obviousthe she was getting frustrated. As clear as her commitment to furthering CPD practices remained, she had taken to expressing real dissatisfaction in departmental meetings. Eventually, her director, Didier, called her for a meeting to discuss this "Helene, I can tell you're unhappy. What's the problem, and how can I help?' "Didier, I am extremely frustrated: the youngsters who've come into the organisation are, like many people their age lacking in experience and awareness. But because they're so vocal about what they do, they're the ones who progres Meanwhile, the people who really do the work but don't make a fuss about it are being made to look lazy in comparison As shocked as Didier was to hear this, the fact that it came from Helene made him realise he needed to take action and quickly. That same week he met with his most experienced members of staff. Their message was clear and consistent the new employees, who seemed to be driven almost exclusively by competitiveness, had worked out strategies to pleas management. They made sure they were at the forefront of every initiative, a situation which had unfortunately, if accidental been encouraged by the managers. At every general meeting, there were announcements about staff achievements in reg to CPD initiatives. Although most of these initiatives had been in place for a long time, the impression that was given that it was the new staff who were doing all the serious CPD innovation. Innovation was something that Mycrea had always prided itself on, and this had instilled in the organisation a cullin of continuous improvement. The company had set itself apart from its competitors by developing strong ties with the business schools so that its staff could have access to the latest tools and techniques to develop further in their fields, We the years, the continuous professional development strategy had been refined and explicitly tied into KPis, Obvious
this organisation-wide initiative relied heavily on the involvement of managers and directors, not only in motivating and encouraging staff to really embrace the learning culture but also in sourcing CPD opportunities. Part of their motivational strategy was the aforementioned systematic reporting of achievements in the monthly general meeting. Continuous professional development was managed by the CPD committee, one co-chair of which was Helene, the other co-chair being the HR manager. It had become clear that most of the CPD-related achievements that were given prominence in the monthly meetings emanated from the HR department-a coincidence that merited investigation. Some of Mycrea's long-standing customers were commenting that something seemed to have changed at the organisation; and they wanted to know why some of the newer staff were asking them to fill out performance evaluation forms. It wasn't just customers who'd noticed a change. Several members of staff had mentioned that CPD at Mycrea had become far less about acquiring skills and far more about competitive self-promotion. In addition, during a recent performance appraisal exercise, many staff had commented on the need to be 'politically correct' to gain salary increases. There were clear signs that demotivation was creeping in. Another thing that had aroused comment was that three members of staff who were prominently linked with CPD initiatives had been chosen to take part in special projects including research, key presentations to the organisation's partners, chairing committees and sponsored training. There was a general perception that these three people had become the senior managers' pet clique. Didier was debating whether to raise all this at the next management committee meeting. At some of those meetings, other heads of department had been asked to be more proactive and to push their staff more. Had that added to the current issue of competitiveness? Also, two of the more recent recruits were clearly showing signs of unrest, and when Didier asked them what the matter was, one of them, Elliott, quite openly said that he did not want to work for an organisation where he felt pressured to fit a certain 'mould', 'I like my job', he said, 'but I firmly believe that most of it happens on the field with the customers. I am not here to put on a show designed solely to impress the managers, but that's what seems to be the key to success here, As stinging as this was to Didier, it was Liliane's comments that were the most worrying: 'To get on here, all I have to do is compliment the right people, work on one CPD opportunity after the other and make a noise in meetings about all the wonderful things I'm learning and how they help me do my job better. You know the best thing about the whole deal? The organisation pays for it all.'
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