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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320

260138591 Group Project

QUESTION 1
In order to analyze the situation existent in Richelieu Trading Incorporated (RTI) it is
important that one understands the steps involved in effective performance management.
We will , therefore, first take a brief look at the steps involved in the Performance
Management process and then go on to see, based on the survey results, whether RTI is
executing each of the steps properly or not. We then wrap up the question by discussing
possible steps that RTI can take in order to improve its Performance Management process
to make it more effective.

Performance Management Process


In this part we take a look at the Performance Management as it should ideally be
executed in order for it to be effective. Before proceeding to the steps it should be
mentioned that the steps that follow are only effective if the precondition that the
manager recognizes that the organization as a social system of talented people who are a
vital resource of the company and that the success of the organization lies in successfully
managing this resource is met.

Job identification
In this step the manager identifies all the important aspects of the job and clarifies how it
is related to the goals of the organization. It is important, however, that the manager
involves the worker during the execution of this process so that the employee is clear
about the objectives and sees them as attainable and just rather than un-attainable and un-
just.

Performance expectations
In this step the manager sets the expectations for the quality of the jobs that were
identified in the first step. Moreover decisions regarding the rewards for the successful
completion of the jobs are also made in this step. Again employee involvement is
essential so that the employee does not feel that he is being asked to achieve un-attainable
levels of performance and that the rewards are too little for the work he is being asked to
do.

Monitoring performance
In this step the manager monitors the performance of the employee on a regular basis.
The manager should act as a coach and a mentor praising the employee for work well
done and providing useful constructive advice to improve on weak areas.

Formal performance appraisal


Also known as year-end performance appraisal, in this step the manager reviews and
records the performance of the employee based on the objectives and performance
expectations set in step one and two. If the first three steps were executed properly the
employee should not have problems with the conclusions reached during this step, in fact
it should increase the employee’s trust in the fairness of the process.

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project

Richelieu Trading Incorporated


In this part we see which steps, based on the survey results, RTI is not executing properly.
The recommendations that follow this part will flow naturally from the mistakes we
identify in this part.

Job identification
From the answers to question 1, 2, 5 and 6 we can conclude that RIT is not executing this
step properly.

In question 1 none of the employees surveyed strongly agreed to the question which
enquired if their ‘work unit has a policy on performance-based pay’. While none strongly
disagreed, most of them came close to it. This can only mean that the supervisor, amongst
other things that we will discuss later, either skips the job identification step completely
or does not execute it properly otherwise the employees would be absolutely clear that
their work unit followed a performance based pay policy

In question 2 all the employees took middle ground to the question that enquired if ‘the
policy related to performance-based pay has been communicated to them’. This again
shows improper execution of this step, otherwise the employees would know about it

The answers to question 5 also show poor execution of this step to an extent as the
employees’ perception of their performance not playing an important role in determining
the annual cash bonus can be explained if the supervisor has identified the wrong jobs in
this process step.

However it is question 6 that clearly shows the inefficient execution of this step as all,
except one employee, were unaware of the ‘criteria’ on which their performance was
based.

Performance expectations
From the answers to question 1, 2, 5 and 8 we can conclude that RIT is not executing this
step properly.

The answers to question 1, which show employees are generally unaware about the
performance based pay policy, clearly shows that the supervisor does not sit down with
his employees to set expectations regarding the jobs identified in step 1.

The answers to question 2 also shows the improper execution of this step, otherwise the
employees would absolutely sure about the policy related to performance-based pay.

However it is the answers to question 5 that clearly shows that the supervisor is not
executing this step properly as almost all the employees highly disagree with the fact that
their ‘performance plays an important role in determining the annual cash bonus’.

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project
The answers to question 8 also support the conclusion we reached based on our earlier
analysis as most of the employees agreed to an extent that even though they put in more
effort they were treated unfairly when compared to other employees who hadn’t put in
the same effort. This can only mean that the manager is either inconsistent in setting
performance expectations for different employees or does not reward all employees
equally on equal performance.

Monitoring performance
From the answers to question 3, 4 and 7 we can conclude that this is probably the only
step the manager is performing with a certain degree of effectiveness.

The answers to question 3 show that the manager does sit with the employees on a
regular basis but the answers to the later questions show that it is not the task of getting
together for a discussion but content of the discussions that results in the inefficient
execution of this step.

The answers to question 4 and 7 clearly show that the supervisor has an autocratic, rather
than a helpful, attitude towards his subordinates i.e. he is more concerned with discussing
the performance of the employees and pinpointing their mistakes rather than giving them
positive feedback as to the reasons for their mistakes and the steps to eliminate them.

Performance appraisal
The answers to all the questions in general, and to question 8 specifically, tell us that the
manager is inefficient in the execution of this step. Had the supervisor been the least been
successful in the execution of this step the result to the survey, which shows a great
degree of dissatisfaction and ignorance about the policy, would not have been so
calamitous as the purpose of this step is to increase the perceived fairness of the policy
and to reduce any communication gaps that might exist.

The answers to question 8, especially, show that the manager does not sit down to have a
discussion with his employees at the end of the performance period, or if he does, he is
unable to convince the employees about the reasons for his decisions.

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project

Recommendations
Based on our analysis in the previous section if we were to rate the performance
management steps that the manager isn’t executing efficiently in increasing order of
severity the order would be step 3, step 4, step 2, step 1.

Thus we see that the manager does not lay down the very foundations of the performance
management process properly and this leads to problems in the implementation of other
steps in general.

Moreover we can also conclude that the manager does not have the right attitude towards
his subordinates. While he is too quick to point out the mistakes they make he does not
help them eliminate them, as a helpful coach would do

Thus my recommendations to RTI would be as follows

1. The manager should ensure the proper execution of steps 1 and 2 of the
performance management process as this would make the implementation of all
the remaining steps a lot easier. The manager should keep in mind that proper
execution not only mean setting clear objectives and performance expectations,
but setting them in consultation with the employees so that they are reasonable
and just.

2. The manager should change his attitude towards his subordinates. The manager
should realize that recognizing the organization as a social system of talented
people who are a vital resource of the company, is an important precondition for
the performance management policy.

3. The manager should try and draft out specific topics that he needs to discuss when
he meets the employees on a regular basis. He should not be overcritical about
their mistakes and in fact should help them explain why they occurred and how
they can be eliminated.

4. The manager should try and sit down with the employees at the end of each
performance period. During this meeting he should not only identify their
mistakes but also help them correct it. Moreover he should try to help them
understand the reasons for his decisions as this would increase their trust in the
fairness of the policy

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project

QUESTION 2
In order to understand the situation presented in the question it is important that we fully
understand the conditions that are existent in Asian cultures, as discussed in the course.
We will, therefore, first take a brief look at these conditions and then see how they can
help us understand the case study presented in the question.

The Asian Culture


In this part we briefly discuss the socio-cultural aspects existent in the Asian office that
make it difficult for the implementation of western concepts in them.

High uncertainty avoidance


As discussed in the course the workers in Asia suffer from high uncertainty avoidance
that is they are reluctant to exercise autonomy and accept responsibility. As a result they
need to be given precise instructions by the manager on what needs to get done.

Such an attitude is an obstacle to Performance Management which requires employees


who are open to participate in the setting of challenging and difficult goals.

Low individualism
The workers in Asia also suffer from low individualism. Which means that family
concerns and group achievements take precedence over the individual’s work
accomplishments. Thus to an Asian worker, individual objective accomplishments at
work is just a spillover from his aim to achieve group objects.

This attitude to work cuts at the very foundations over which the Performance
Management process is built as the worker is no longer motivated by personal gains and
accomplishments but rather by group achievements.

High power distance


High power distance is another negative characteristic existent in the Asian office
whereby the worker does not challenge the orders of his superiors. The worker simply
takes it for granted that due to his higher status, the supervisor is always right

As a result of this the employees don’t see their supervisors as a partner and this makes
the process of joint problem solving, which is essential to successful Performance
Management, very difficult

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project
Low masculinity
Another characteristic that hampers the implementation of western concepts in the Asian
setting is low masculinity whereby the satisfaction of affiliative needs is more important
to the worker than the accomplishment of his job objectives.

This thus leads to a personal, rather than professional, work relationship between the
supervisor and the worker which hampers the feedback process, as any negative feedback
is taken as a personal attack by the worker. Moreover, this leads the worker into the
illusion that interpersonal relations are more important and effective than the successful
completion of job objectives.

Case Study
In this part we see how the socio-cultural aspects discussed earlier can help us understand
the case study presented in the question. First we should note that there are two
relationships existent in the case study whose dynamics are governed by the socio-
cultural characteristics discussed earlier. The first relationship is between the General
Manager (GM) and the Senior Managers (SMs) and the second one is between the Senior
Managers (SMs) and their subordinates.

It must therefore be noted that the explanation of the behaviour of the SMs is a bit
complex, as their behaviour is not only determined by their relationship between the GM
but also on their relationship with their subordinates. It becomes more complex when we
consider that they are the subordinates in one relationship (GM) and the superiors in the
other one (subordinates).

The Senior Managers’ initial reluctance about the program, labeling it as an ‘imposition’
from the head office, can be understood if one looks at the SM-employee relationship.
The relationship is characterized by high power distance, thus making it difficult for the
SMs to involve them in a decision making process. Moreover the high uncertainty
avoidance of the subordinates means that the employees need to be told what to do rather
than decide what to do.

The Senior Managers’ point that the policy might lead to a souring of the worker-
manager relationship because of the proliferation of worker-management committees is
also valid if one considers the lack of masculinity. The lack of masculinity means that the
worker-manager relationship is personal rather than professional and this makes any sort
of feedback from the manager look like a personal attack in the eyes of the employee.

The Senior Managers’ reluctance based on the point that it would only be used by the
workers to ventilate grievances can be understood if one sees that they are at the upper
end of a high power distance relationship with their employees and it is thus in their
interest to keep this distance. Moreover the low masculinity of the workers would only
result in the souring of the worker-manager relationship if the point were proven to be
correct later on.

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Saad Bin Farooq Rana MGCR 320
260138591 Group Project

In the second part of the case study the Senior Managers, themselves, can be seen as
being affected by the socio-cultural characteristics that they thought their subordinates
suffered from in the first part.

The SMs’ inability to voice their concerns during the presentation is indicative of the low
masculinity which the SMs suffer from. In their opinion the GM would not welcome any
criticism to a program which he considers essential for the progression of the company.
Moreover the cohesion of SMs as a group and the decision by everyone not to speak up
and leave a positive impression on the GM shows low individualism on their behalf,
whereby they put group aims before personal aims.

The answers from the interview with a Senior Manager also show how the SMs’
behaviour is governed by the socio-cultural characteristics discussed earlier. The Senior
Manager’s response to the first question that other Senior Managers ‘did not wish to
jeopardize their career prospects’ by going against the GM supports our conclusion
earlier that the SMs suffer from low masculinity whereby they believe that their
relationship with the GM will do them more good than the quality of their work.

The Senior Manager’s response to the third interview question as to why he revealed the
information asserts our conclusion about the presence of low masculinity again; although
the senior manager suffers from low masculinity he is willing to take the risk to spoil his
relationship with the GM as he is retiring soon.

The Senior Manager’s response to the last interview question shows not only the lack of
masculinity but also the lack of individualism. It shows a lack of masculinity as the Senior
Manager is unwilling to against his colleagues and jeopardize his relationship with them
and it shows a lack of individualism as the Senior Manager turns down the chance of
speaking up and shining in favour of not talking so that the group as a whole is successful
in its objective.