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I.

Statement of Problem

Vreeland Pharmaceuticals is starting anew from scandals that occurred the previous year. To prevent
these scandals from happening again, the HR department, headed by Connie Wyland, decided to
make new policies about the policies and leader competencies. Managers were required to report to
company headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.

However, it turns out that both Mr. Victorio Nunos and Mr. Gary Shaw (managers) are on the self-
justifying mode. They think that this seminar is a result of panic on the heels of the scandals last year,
which fired several people in the management. They also complain about those policies that for them
were just a rehash of the things they learned from business school. Communicating the core values
and policies seem to be unnecessary for the two of them since they already know what is expected of
them. They do feel that they are being lectured and is a slap at every one of them.

They also protested about the irony of “implementing employee involvement strategies” but the
management did not get their input or approval about the action taken. After all that they had said to
each other, they just hoped that someone from the senior management voices some concerns and
that they would just sit and nod at the meeting.

II. Objectives

To help the management take the right courses of action and adapt the necessary principles and
perspectives by answering the ff:

1. Is the HR Department on the right track to avoid manager mishaps by defining a new set of leader
rules and core values and imposing it by fiat, from the top down?
2. Does a more participative and open culture can be imposed on managers with value statements
and training sessions?
3. Why does the other managers are on the defensive and might the emphasis on core leadership
behaviours be handled in a different way?
III. Areas of Consideration/ Major Assumptions
1. Course of Action taken during the scandal (Reactive Management)
According to Gary the management fired the responsible persons, apologize, and analyze the
whole thing to an excessive degree. Implemented endless rules and bureaucratic standards just to
make sure it will never happen again.
What the company did is Reactive Management. It refers to a situation in which you can’t or don’t
plan ahead for problems and opportunities. The company reacts as they happen. At a result, they
are one step behind.
2. Course of action taken after the scandal (Pro-active management)

What the company aims is to have a proactive style of management, wherein the company deals
everything in advance. Connie Wyland and the rest of the HR department made new policies about
leader competencies and imposing it immediately.

3. Culture of the company

Vreeland will back Connie all the way and he’ll never get other managers’ input or approval. Middle
managers such as Vitorio and Gary, who haven’t been with the company for a long time, will just
sit and nod.

IV. Conceptual Framework

To determine whether the action taken by the management is appropriate to the organization, it is
necessary to identify the perspective used:
According to Douglas McGregor “Classical Perspective” was based on Theory X assumptions about
workers and Theory Y as a more realistic view of workers for guiding management thinking. Vreeland
Pharmaceutical showed characteristics that somewhat matched Theory X. Classical Perspective took
a rational, scientific approach to management and sought to turn organizations into efficient
operating machines. Frederick Winslow Taylor, father of Scientific Management (Classical
Perspective), wrote that “the best management is a true science, resting upon clearly defined laws,
rules, and principles.” It clearly showed that the solution taken by the management (HR department)
is through implementation of policies without the input of other managers.

It is also evident in this case that the management implemented bureaucratic standards to prevent
the scandal from happening again. Though bureaucracy has taken on a negative meaning in today’s
organizations and is associated with endless rules, it is still used and practiced by many organizations.
To be enlightened by the concept of bureaucratic organizations approach, Max Weber summarized
the six characteristics of bureaucracy.

Another thing to consider is the concept “Systems Thinking”. Systems Thinking means looking not just
at discrete parts of the organizational situation, but also at the continually changing interactions
among its parts. This situation wasn’t only a concern for the HR department. Sometimes changing one
part to make it better actually makes the whole system function less effectively. Vreeland
Pharmaceutical eliminated or did not seek the insights of the those who were also affected by the
changes.

V. Alternative Courses of Action


1. Sit down with the managers and engage them with ideas on policies and competencies.
2. Have an open culture.
3. Decentralized approach can be done.
4. Have a flexible, collaborative work environment by letting the different levels of the organization
participate and contribute enthusiastically.
5. Collaborate every project with other departments so that it can be supported.
6. Step out of the comfort zone and try some management styles/ideas in modern world.

VI. Recommendations

To get ahead, management should be adept at changing environments and must be able to come up
with innovative management styles and approaches. It is also inevitable that most organizations still
adapt with rational and calculated approach, like the Vreeland Pharmaceutical, to get the precise result.

Taking the first step into changing the environment culture is totally not a bad thing. I would likely
recommend Ms. Connie Wyland and team to start a fresh start in communicating the policies and
competencies to managers. I do think that changes and other fresh ideas can be taken from the middle
managers themselves, as they came from the associates’ position into managerial position themselves.
Through collaboration of ideas, it would be easier for all the managers to accept the changes.

Training sessions is also a good way to have an open culture as long as the participants are welcome
and allowed to speak out despite the differences in their positions. Management should be open-
minded enough to listen to others.
For first line and middle managers like Gary and Vitorio it is also important that they welcome changes.
It showed that they are pretty much contented with their current status which is not a good attitude
especially in the changing environment.