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Brinkerhoff International Inc Case Study

Essay by review  •  September 1, 2010  •  Case Study  •  2,800 Words (12 Pages)  •  2,831 Views

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MEMORANDUM

TO: JUAN C. ARAQUE

FROM: GROUP #6

SUBJECT: CASE STUDY FOR COMPANY "BRINKERHOFF INTERNATIONAL INC."

DATE: 11/14/00

CC: HUMAN RESOURCE DIRECTOR

OBJECTIVE:

After careful review and analysis of the situation and the facts surrounding the company Brinkerhoff International Incorporated (BII), our team has been able to develop a viable course of action to efficiently improve productivity and relations within the organization.

PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED:

It is apparent through financial records that Rig 1-E by far outperforms any rig by almost double and, in some instances, by almost three times as much. What we need to focus on is what makes that rig succeed and how to improve conditions so that all the other rigs will be able to achieve that kind of productivity.

* A major problem and difference exists between leadership styles of Rig 1-E Manager Rick Kopulos and Rig 20 Manager Tom Rossick. Rick Kopulos is a relationship-oriented leader who gives his subordinates flexibility in operations. This style is apparently successful meanwhile Tom Rossick a manager who strictly abides by the corporate rules and regulations is a ineffective leader.

* Another problem within the company is group dynamics. There is a lack of communication with crewmembers on Rig 20 and their manager Tom Rossick. There are no real goals set for employees to measure their performance and no reward systems in place to encourage people to work harder. The company itself has no goals set in terms of productivity expected from each rig.

* The most important problem is the way the company is structured. Brinkerhoff has too many responsibilities since Don Webster, the former Manager of Contracts and Operations, was let go. Kurt Mannheim does not fulfill his duties as defined by the company, and Rig Managers disagree with the degree of importance of each position within the crews. This creates confusion, strains, tension, and apprehension in the work force.

POSSIBLE INTERVENTIONS:

Leadership Training

To address the inconsistency of the leadership styles of rig managers, we will assess the differences between Rig Managers Rossick and Kopulos. It is clear that Rick Kopulos's leadership style is more favorable then Rossick's. His crew communicates well with each other and cooperates in a cohesive team, which results in high productivity for the company. What we need to do is focus on their main differences and take the necessary steps to improve the leadership of Tom Rossick. The effective style of leadership here is to be more of a friend and not be so demanding, and in the end more positive results will be provided. For example, the crewmembers of Rossick don't feel open enough to talk in front of their manager. They are either afraid or they just don't feel comfortable. These behaviors need to be changed for the betterment of the organization. Obviously the crewmembers are highly skilled workers and, according to the Fiedler model, leaders need to be less task-oriented and more relationship-oriented. Tom Rossick is clearly not that kind of a manager. We have two options: (1) we could invest in training programs to change Rossick's management style, or (2) we could let him go and find a manager with the traits that fit the company. Managers are role models; if they don't care, neither will the workers. Employees read the message that the managers send and model their behavior accordingly. It is true that certain positions require people to take on certain role identities, which make their attitudes and behaviors consistent with a role, such as leaders, who must take a commanding role.

Positives: If the person's leadership style can be molded according to the Behavorial Approach of the 1950's then Rossick's traits can be changed to be more relationship oriented rather than task. It would result in better relations within the hierarchy of management and the communication gap can potentially be fixed. Leadership training programs such as Skill Building Approach where concentration is on practice makes perfect, the Feedback Approach where managers could get feedback on positive leadership styles, and Personal Growth Approach to develop trust in the work environment could be implemented. The second choice would be to fire Rossick and hire managers that possess the leadership qualities of Rick Kopulos. According to the theories of the Contingency approach, if the leadership styles of people are fixed, then this would be the most efficient choice of action. This would be more cost and time effective.

Negatives: However, people can hardly change and do not like to change themselves. Changing leadership styles is difficult to attain because the company hardly has the resources to send them to leadership seminars, and it takes a lot of time to mold someone's style. Conger studies have shown that people are well learned in one leadership style and will revert to it when under pressure. After all the training, the individual may not implement the leadership knowledge due to this or other external factors. If we decided to hire mangers with traits that fit the situation, a problem might arise if the situation changes. Another problem might be the complications with finding people with the exact leadership traits that we need.

Problem-solving Teams

In order to establish a better means of communication between workers under rig 20, problem-solving teams that meet to discuss ways to improve quality and the work environment should be implemented. Team members should agree on what to do and ensure that all members contribute equally in sharing the workload. Under Rossick's management, there was a lot of lateral communication but no upward communication and thus no way to address conflicts, issues, and problems that may arise regarding onsite operations and maintenance. Problem-solving teams for both the crewmembers and the rig managers can be utilized to find solutions on both levels. NEED TO TALK MORE ABOUT PROB-SOLVING TEAMS FOR RIG MANAGERS.

Positives: Through problem-solving teams, problems can be addressed faster and more straightforwardly without having to go through different channels, and creating this team gives the employees a forum to voice their opinions. This will definitely enhance the lateral communication among the crewmembers and increase the upward communication from crewmember to Rig Manager. More importantly, a team ideology is kept within a small group,

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