Principles and Practice of Management
It is going to be difficult to meet the targets the head office has given to us. As departmental heads, you are expected to give me all the support
Case (20 Marks)
“It is going to be difficult to meet the targets the head office has given to us. As departmental heads, you are expected to give me all the support. Next week, I will spend one day or half with each of you to see the present state and coordinate things you need to meet your targets. Some internal procedures are changed and you will get a written statement by today evening giving new procedures and your targets. Ajay Sharma, the new GM was addressing his first meeting and one of them, Rajiv Sinha commented, ”Things have changed since Mr. John has gone away. I can’t imagine working for this guy”. John, the previous GM for last 6 years at Premier auto, had resigned 2 months back to join a Korean multinational. He had built – up the quality standards in the company and had a very easy –going relationship with all his people. Ajay Sharma had been in production for almost a decade with a large automobile company. His experience and qualifications had made him the first choice for this post. Ajay is a very sure of his abilities to work at the sharp end of management and keeping control of his people. At Premier Auto, he was not satisfied with the friendly and easy going attitude of his managers and felt the need to tighten things up. First thing he noticed at the departments was laxed systems and poor performance. The sales and production departments were not meeting their targets and business was in bad shape. Ajay met the
production manager and briefed him about his views. “You have to do the best you can. Our operation and stocks decisions are out of sync. Unfinished goods are lying everywhere. We will work exactly accordingly to your production plan made last week.” Ajay discussed the problems of small orders with the sales manager and finalised projections for their regular customers and small and infrequent customers. Anil Shrivastva, the sales manager, was also advised to immediately improve on MIS. Ajay Sharma, in the following one month, charted out weekly targets for all managers and called them for a meeting every month to discuss their performance. Six months later, after one such meeting the managers assembled together and discussed his work. “But we are actually working towards better days. My business is growing faster and the regular clients are turning up with more work”, the sales manager, Anil said. In the following meeting next week Ajay said, “We seem to be getting closer to our targets now. You all have worked really hard, thank you. I know it was difficult for you to have a new person with different ways of doing things. I was very particular on targets because all your departments were in lethargy. All of you needed to reorganize your systems and consolidate to show better results. Your order and MIS systems were outdated and production lines were cluttered. But today I feel. I no longer need to put such tighter controls on you. Rather I want you to work as a team with me, not as mere followers of my instructions.” The production manager, Manish Chawla said,” We were not happy with your work and controls. But now I agree that you’d forced us to shed complacent attitudes and perform better. We got very little appreciation from you in the last six month though.” Ajay Sharma replied,” So have I. All of you represented my controls. But now you can see for yourself why I avoided informal meetings and weekly meetings. You were busy planning in the meetings which happened in the past. Without meetings you worked more as a team and shared your skills. I hope, in the future, we shall have lot more of communication; now all of you are aware of your goals and are committed to your schedules.”
It is going to be difficult to meet the targets
Answer the following question.
Q1. What were the immediate challenges before Ajay Sharma in the initial stages?
Q2. Ajay Sharma initially opted for a high task low relationship style of leadership. Was it appropriate? If yes, then why is he changing it now?
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