Organizational Behaviour

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Case study is the description of a situation that has a problem to be solved or a decision to be made. As a BMS student you need to analyse the company or industry case study and propose solutions to a theoretical problem. When you are reading the case, question your own assumptions and assertions continuously and think of the case analysis as if it were really happening.

Case Study:

When Prakash Mathur joined the Beacher Corporation, he started out as an assembler on line. Mathur remained in this position for 5 years. During this time there were two major strikes. The first lasted 5 weeks; the second went on for 18 weeks. As a member of the union, Mathur was out of work during both of these periods, and in each case the strike fund ran out of money before a labor agreement was reached. Last year Mathur was asked if he would like to apply for a supervisory job. The position paid Rs. 8,000 more than he was making and the chance for promotion up the line made it an attractive offer. Mathur accepted.

During the orientation period, Mathur found himself getting angry at the management representative. This guy seemed to believe that the union was too powerful and management personnel had to hold the line against any further loss of authority. Mathur did not say anything, but he felt the speaker was very ill informed and biased. Two developments have occurred over the last 6 months, however that have led Mathur to change his attitude toward union-management relations at the company.

One was a run-in he had with a shop floor worker who accused Mathur of deliberately harassing one of the workers. Mathur could not believe his ears “harassing a worker? Get serious. All I did was tell him to get back to work,” he explained to the shop floor worker. Nevertheless a grievance was filled and withdrawn only after Mathur apologized to the individual whom he allegedly harassed. The other incident was a result of disciplinary action. One of the workers in his unit came in late for the third day in a row and, as required by the labour contract, Mathur sent him home without pay. The union protested, claiming that the worker had really been late only twice. When Mathur went to the personnel office to get the worker’s time-in sheets, the one for the first day of tardiness was missing. The clerks in that office, who were union members, claimed that they did not know where it was.

In both of these cases, Mathur felt the union went out of its way to embarrass him. Earlier this week the manager from the orientation session called Mathur “I’ve been thinking about bringing line supervisors into the orientation meetings to discuss the union’s attitude toward management. Having been on the other side, would you be interested in giving them your opinion of what they should be prepared for and how they should respond?”. Mathur said he would be delighted. “I think it’s important to get these guys ready to take on the union and I’d like to do my share,” he explained.

Questions:

a) What was Mathur’s attitude toward the union when he first became a supervisor?

b) What barriers were there that initially prevented him from changing his attitude regarding the union?

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