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Learning and organisational behaviour - Case Study ARCTIC MINING CONSULTANTS

This case focuses on the importance of leadership and motivation in an organisation. Here the given scenario is of a mineral exploration and extraction firm, Arctic Mining Consultants, wherein the Project Manager, Tom Parker, has assigned the job of extracting 15 claims near Eagle Lake, Alaska, within himself and 3 other assistants John Talbot, Greg Boyce and Br ain Millar. All of the 3 selected have previously worked with Parker as field assistants. The task had to be completed in one week s deadline; hence Parker assigned the target of 7 and half lengths per day to each one including him. We see in this case that Parker being twice as old as the other three assistants have consistently performed in line with the targets and sometimes over-achieved the targets. However, two of his assistants were not able to cope up with the task and were under-performing. As a result, the target was not achieved and all four of them had to work extra hours to complete the task. Now further in the case analysis, we will discuss how Parker tackled this situation and what different he could have done to achieve the results in assigned time-frame.

One Length is equal to 500 yards.  15 claims would require almost 60 lines in total.  $300 bonus given to each individual for the completion of assigned target (i.e. 7 ½ lengths per day)  Day 2 Results :  Parker 8 lengths  Talbot 8 lengths  Boyce 6 lengths  Millar - 6 lengths  Day 3 Results :  Parker 8 lengths  Talbot 7 lengths  Boyce 4 lengths  Millar - 5 ½ lengths  Because Boyce & Millar were not able to complete their targets, Parker shouted at them.  Tablot tried to communicate with Parker and suggested some changes, however Parker ignored the same.  Day 4 Results:  Parker 8 lengths  Talbot 7 lengths

6 lengths Millar collapsed in an exhausted heap. Day 8 Results:  Parker 10 1/3 lengths  Talbot 8 lengths  Boyce 7 ½ lengths  Millar .                Boyce 6 lengths  Millar .6 lengths Seeing the results.5 ½ lengths Parker instructed each one of them. at the table. Parker blasted.7 lengths Day 5 Results:  Parker 8 lengths  Talbot 7 ½ lengths  Boyce 6 lengths  Millar . I have listed some of the observations and findings as below: . Millar never worked for the company again. Day 6 Results:  Parker 8 lengths  Talbot 8 lengths  Boyce 7 lengths  Millar . Millar was de-motivated and started showing casual attitude. to help the others.8 1/3 lengths  Day 7 Results:  Parker 7 1/3 lengths  Talbot 7 lengths  Boyce 7 lengths  Millar . Parker was furious again and the he blamed Millar for the delay. to complete 8 task. He finished only 5 lengths by the end of the day. but this time only at Millar. Parker took the initiative to complete the remaining 10 lengths. he was too tired even to eat. OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS: Based on the facts gi ven in the case. Talbot works full-time. and if they finished early. Boyce sometimes work for the company. now they had to complete 34 lengths in one day. Millar commented to Boyce. Because of the delay. that he would have quit if he would not have to walk 50 miles on highway and would have not needed the $300 bonus.

this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership. The leader could give team members some control of their income/reward by using incentives that enc ourage even higher standards or greater productivity. He comes across as prejudice and biased. also he forms perception about people pretty soon. so that team as a whole can achieve the common goal. The below traits of leadership was practiced by Parker: Task-Oriented Leader: Highly task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done. they all fall under different types of followers. Parker is experienced and knowledgeable in his work. Transactional leadership is really a type of management. with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff. It has serious limitations for knowledge -based or creative work. we see that each of these individual gives different results in same scenario. Exemplary / Effective Follower: They are independent and active followers. the re ason behind. and monitor.The Leader (Tom Parker ): As stated in the case. Autocratic leadership: Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership. The Followers (John Talbot. Transactional Leader: This style of leadership starts with the idea that team members agree to obey thei r leader totally when they accept a job. not a true leadership style. In my opinion. The "transaction" is usually the organization paying the team members in return for their effort and compliance. John Ta lbot falls under this kind of follower. Now. Team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction under transactional leadership. However he is not very good in people management as he is in process management. is that. because the focus is on short -term tasks. b ecause task-oriented leaders don't tend to think much about the well -being of their teams. . The leader has a right to "punish" team members if their work doesn't meet the pre -determined standard. Greg Boyce and Brain Millar): Now as per the case. put structures in place. plan. organize. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions. as he always achieved his target and tried to communicate with the leader and make suggestions. even if these would be in the team's or the organization's best interest. However. works creatively and enthusiastically. They actively define the work and the roles required. Makes suggestions and takes intelligent risks. where leaders have absolute power over their workers or team. however it can be effective in other situations.

He did not communicate enough with his employees. He nce all of this contributed in de -motivating the employees. this causes the de-motivation for the employees.Sheep / Passive Follower: These types of followers always rely on t he leader and seldom challenge the process and avoid any resistance. which Parker failed to take care of. Hygiene Factor: The inter-personal relations. Expectancy Theory Effort-Performance-Reward This theory tells us that every individual analyses his/ her task based on the above three parameters. all comes under the hygiene factor. The task required working long hours and the wages paid were not very attractive. the working conditions were not very favourable. Supervision. they quantify the effort required for the task against the benefits they are getting. on the last day. Boyce and Millar both failed to achieve their targets on more than 2 occasions. Theory of Inequity Inequity . In my opinion both Boyce and Millar falls under this category. salary. hence he gave up on the last day. First. They are play -safe people. or is giving less than he or she is receiving . Similarly.the situation in which a person perceives he or she is receiving less than he or she is giving. They are just spending/passing time and also require an excessive amount of supervision. however Millar was too de motivated. hence he gave up. leader s attitude etc. The only motivational factor present here was the bonus of $300. in this case we saw that Millar. They believe that the organization doesn t want their ideas so the leader is going to do what he/she wants anyway. achievement. etc. Parker always criticized his work. And then they evaluate if the benefits they are getting are useful/ valuable for them or not. evaluated the effort he is suppose to . even though he could have achieved his targets if worked harder. So. and employees were being pressurized to complete the task. Millar avoided doing the same. Boyce required help from Talbot to achieve his target on the final day. Though Boyce communicated his reasons of not being able to achieve th e target. As per Millar. the working conditions. Lets evaluate why the employees were de -motivated: The Two-Factor Theory Motivation Factor: The leader (Parker) did not take care of the motivational factors like recognition. growth. MOTIVATION: One of the major factors for the failure of the task was lack of motivation in the employees. so even if he completed 7 ½ lengths he would have got the same scoldi ng s as he ll get for completing 5 lengths. This was the situation with Millar.

Interpersonal communication is important in building and sustaining human relationships at work. Communication is the evoking of a shared or common meaning in another person. Leader (Parker) gave no importance to the communication between the team. valued rewards etc. RECOMMENDATIONS: Parker need to change his leadership style. he will not be able to comp lete the task and will not enjoy the benefit. wherein he can communicate and motivate his sub-ordinates. . He never bothered to ask about the issues & problems which are being faced by the individuals nor did he ask about the progress made. He needs to communicate more effectively and continuously with his followers. Here in this case. He needs to adapt more attractive ways to motivate his sub-ordinates like Rewards contingent on good performance. Communication: Communication between the team was again a major problem. He needs to give more importance on team work than the individual work.put to get the results and then he came to the conclusion that even he put the required effort. There was lack of Interpersonal communication between the employees and the leader. He was just bothered about the end results per day without taking employees perspective into the c onsideration. due to which the team failed to achieve the task. He needs to take care of working conditions and hygiene factors for his employees. So he gave up.