Principles and Practice of Management
Is peer pressure to slow down something that management can control? Explain.
Case (20 Marks)
Cliff Morton, a recent college graduate, was hired by the Capital Casualty Company as a trainee in the safety engineering department. After completing a six-month training program, his function would be to conduct inspections of prospective policyholders’ places of business to determine whether or not safety practices and equipment were in use and to make appropriate recommendations to the Capital underwriters about the extent of the risk involved. Morton progressed through the program effectively and was now in the last stage. He was being introduced to the territory he would take over by an experienced safety engineer who was being transferred to a larger territory. Each engineer worked out of his home, appearing at the office only on Mondays for a departmental discussion meeting. The requests for inspections were mailed to the experienced engineer’s home, and rush inspections were telephoned to him. Each engineer planned his own daily itinerary of inspections, completing the reports at home and mailing them in to the office each day. Cliff Morton found that by carefully planning his daily route in the territory, he could easily make 16 to 18 inspections and complete the reports in a normal work day. During his first week alone in the territory, he averaged 16 inspections a days. The following Monday, at the departmental discussion meeting the engineer who had introduced him to the territory called him aside and admonished him for turning in so many inspections each. “You’ll ruin it for us; we only turn in 8 or 10 each day. If you want to do 16 or 18 a day, go ahead, but only turn in 8 and then take a day off. No one will know”. Cliff didn’t know what to say or do. He was ambitious, but he also knew he had to get along with his fellow employees.
Answer the following question.
Q1. How should Cliff Morton handle this situation?
Q2. Is peer pressure to slow down something that management can control? Explain.
Q3. How can such a situation arise?
Q4. Can a new employee be effective if he resists group pressure? Justify your answer.
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