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Universiti Sains Malaysia

Graduate School of Business


ADW 613

Management and Organizational Behavior


Weekly Exercise
Case Study: ARCTIC MINING CONSULTANTS

Lecturer:
Student Name:
Matrix No:
Email:
H/P No:
Submission Date:

Dr. Yusliza Mohd. Yusoff


Chua Kok Tiong
P-GSM0282/15
chuakt@msn.com
012-9621274
08/12/2015

Case Study: Arctic Mining Consultants


Case Synopsis:
Tom Parker worked as geological field technician and field coordinator with Arctic Mining
Consultants. In this case study, Parker worked as a project manager, who did a involved staking
15 claims near Eagle Lake, Alaska. He selected John Talbot, Greg Boyce, and Brian Millar, all of
whom had previously worked with Parker, as the field assistants. The 15 claims would require
almost 60 miles of line in total. This means that each of the four stakers would have to complete
at least seven lengths each day.
A summary of table how much they had complete:
Name
Parker
Talbot
Boyce
Millar

D1

D2
8
8
6
6

D3
8
7
5.5
5.5

D4
8
8
7
7

D5
8
7.5
6
6

D6
8
8
8.25
8.25

D7
7.25
7
6
6

D8
10.25
8
5.5
5.5

Case Analysis
1. What symptom(s) exist in this case to suggest that something has gone wrong.

Tension building between Parker and Millar


Its obvious that Parker and Millar having conflict between them. What is conflict?
Conflict is process which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or
negatively affected by another party. In other words, conflict is ultimately based on
perceptions; it exists whenever one party believes that another might obstruct its
effort, whether or not the other party actually intends to do so. In this case, Parker
seems to have relationship conflict instead of task of conflict towards Millar. Even
though Boyce doing much worse than Millar, still Parker release his rage against
Millar.

Low productivity from Millar on Day 8


On day 8, after comparing himself with Boyce, he eventually giving up on achieving
the target set by the Parker and the team. Instead of completing the remaining 2 and
half lengths, Millar choose to give up causing the team failed to achieve the target.

Communication problems
From the case, we can see that Parker is having relationship conflict with Millar. So,
instead of communicating nicely with Millar, Parker is shouting to him. Parker should
have asked Millar and Boyce if they failed to achieve the target at the first attempt.

However, Parker didn't do so. He assuming that they will catch up with the pace. The
less communication further escalate the conflict because each side has less accurate
information about the others intentions. Not only that, Parker refused to listen to
Talbots advice which could save whole team from this mess.

Poorly motivated staff


From the conversation between Millar and Boyce, we knew that only things that kept
Millar to work are the distance between work site and the highway and also the $300
bonus. If not because of these two things, Millar would have quit the job. This shows
that Millar are not intrinsically motivated.

2. What are the main problems that have led to these symptoms?

Job satisfaction and work behavior


According to EVLN, we may observed that Millar actually respond to the
dissatisfaction according to the model.
EXIT
After the project, Millar eventually exit the organization and never went back again.
VOICE
Millar voiced out his dissatisfaction towards Boyce. In this case, Millars voice out
considered more confrontational.
LOYALTY
Loyalty here suggests that Millar stay until the project is done then only he quit. He
stayed on, in other words. suffer in silence.
NEGLECT
It is obvious that Millar began to reduce work effort on the last day of the project.

Equity theory
By using the equity theory in this case study, we may see that why Millar acting such
way. Millar begins to compare his own outcome/input ratio with Boyces
outcome/input ratio. As we can see for the table, though Millar is doing much better
than Boyce, still he got scolded by Parker. This has led to consequences that Millar
changes his out by reducing the effort. Lastly, after the project is done, Millar leave
the organization and never come back again even he got the offer from Parker
himself.

Low employee engagement


Employee engagement is individuals emotional and cognitive motivation,
particularly a focused, intense, persistent and purposive effort toward work-related
goals. It is typically described as an emotional involvement in, commitment to, and

satisfaction with work. Low employee engagement of Millar caused him demotivated.
The only motivation he has is the $300 bonus as he got relatively low pay as field
assistant.

Work-related stress
The reason why tension is building up between Parker and Millar is because of the
stress.
Stressors that may be identified here will be work overload and low task control.
Work overload
We may see that Millar as field assistant actually having his work overload. He had to
work for a very long hour with very low pay. This caused the stress to build up within
Millar.
Low task control
The employees are more stressed when they lacked control over their tasks. Millar
doesnt have the control over his works pace. All he can do is to work longer work
hours which caused him fatigued in the end.

3. What should Arctic Mining Consultants and/or Tom Parker do to minimize these problems in
the future?
There are various ways that Parker or company can implement to minimize the problems in
the future.

Feedback
Parker should give feedback to his staffs at the second night regarding their progress.
This is because feedback motivates when it is constructive and when employees have
strong self-efficacy. One of the characteristics of effective feedback is it should be
timely. The information should be available soon after the behavior or results occur so
that the employees see a clear association between their actions and the
consequences. During the first report session, Parker really should tell the feedback
and his thought to Millar and Boyce.
He can do this by applying or implement strength-based coaching. Instead of trying to
correct Millar and Boyces mistakes, he can maximizing their potential by focusing
on their strength.

Reviewing the Financial Reward Practices


As we can see, the field assistants pay is really low despite the long working hours.
Perhaps the company should consider raising the wages for the worker. Pay increment
will definitely motivated employees to work harder. Besides that, instead of using

team performance based rewards, I think that company could try with individual
rewards, whoever reach his personal target shall get the rewards.

Building organizational commitment


Perhaps Parker or AMC should start building employees commitment towards the
organizations. First step to do so is by applying the concept of organizational justice.
Parkers will need to be fair when it came to evaluating each staffs performance. We
can see that Parker is unfair to Millar. This caused Millar to act at such a way that he
is not part of the company.

Applying expectancy theory


Expectancy Theory can be divided into 3 parts, those are E to P expectancy, P to O
expectancy and Outcome Valences.
For E to P expectancy, Parker should provide the examples of similar employees who
have successfully performed the task to those who failed to do so. In this case, Talbot
who success and Millar and Boyce who failed.
For P to O expectancy, what Parker can do is to measure job performance accurately.
This means that there is no biased and no personal feelings. Company can make sure
that the staff that has good performance eventually got higher rewards.
And for the outcome valences, AMC will need to individualize the rewards. Try to
introduce the individual rewards instead of the team performance based rewards.