During Rick’s years at the university, he was known to be a smart and a hardworking student. He studied MBA and received good grades which motivated Peterson Paper Products to absorb him for an internship program. Rick was allowed to serve as the head of the sales department. Peterson Paper Products which produces paper stocks for companies was founded by Val Peterson seventeen years ago. Val Peterson requested to meet Rick to towards the end of the internship in order to discuss the future. Due to his experience in business administration, Rick was able to identify some problems in the sales department after working there for some time.
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From the given case study, there are various reasons which describe Rick is not someone who allows things to go free or escape. Rick has joined Peterson Paper Products fresh from the University and he still lacks relevant work experience. During his internship period at the company, Rick has strived to know more about the plants and its operations as well as the company’s employees, especially those working in the sales department. Ricks level of dedication on the job is demonstrated in his ability to identify problems in the sales department. Additionally, Rick has begun to make changes in the company after being in the company for just a few months. For instance, he has brought computers to Peterson Paper Products and he wants to begin training employees on how to use them, an idea which many managers do not support. Following close analysis of the company, Rick has realized that it will be very difficult for him to change the mentalities of the company’s employees and this is why his idea of integrating computer use in the company has failed. Since he lacks the experience to influence employees and managers to accept the new technology, one can say that Rick is a let go.
Both reinforcement and expectancy theories apply in Rick’s case. Positive reinforcement is observed when Val Peterson accepts Rick’s proposal to bring in new technology to the company, while negative reinforcement is evident when resistance to change is felt from managers and employees. Expectancy theory applies in this case in the sense that, Rick is motivated to make change in the company because he believes that such changes will solve problems in the sales department (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2011).
Rick has explained to Mr. Ball about the significance of using a centralized computer system in the sales department, but Mr. Ball decides to stop him due to security concerns. When Rick brings computers to the company, Rosie and Walter are not happy with the move and they try as much as possible to prevent implementation of the new technology in the company. Rosie refers to Rick as an outsider who is not aware of most of the things that are taking place in the company. Walter thinks that they will be seen as losers who cannot do anything at the end of the day if Rick, a newcomer, brings computers to the company. In order to gain acceptance, Rick could have taken his time to blend with everyone in the company before implementing the new technology. He could have discussed the problems in the sales department with the managers and ask them for possible solutions. In addition, Rick could have taught Rosie and Walter on how to use the computers prior to bringing them in the company.
Since Rick is new to the company, old managers do not like him. Rosie has warned Rick several times that Peterson Paper Products has a family culture, but he fails to understand and goes ahead to implement new changes. Rick should have applied social learning theory to fit into the company. Social learning theory assumes that, people learn new things by observing social factors in their immediate environment (Bandura, 1969). People who observe positive behaviors in their immediate environment are likely to imitate and adopt them. Therefore, a person is motivated to engage in positive behaviors if he or she desires positive outcomes. The breakdowns in Rick’s process have occurred immediately he fails to take his time to observe the social factors in his environment.
If I was hired by Val Peterson to develop a management training program for the senior management at Peterson Paper Products, I would begin by training Rosie and Walter on effective conflict management strategies. Furthermore, I would train all the company’s employees and managers on effective negotiation strategies and on how to respond to unfair tactics. Additional skills that I would train managers and employees on include effective decision making skills, stress management, and effective leadership skills. If Rosie and Walter are effectively trained on the named skills, they will automatically recognize their roles in the company (Jehanzeb and Bashir, 2013). Specifically, Rosie will be able to perform her accounting roles properly and Walter will improve performance of cash individuals.
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