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Case - Essay Example

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From the nine prescriptions for fostering empowerment, it was evident that Ken Hoffman violated the following: (1) articulating clarity in vision and goals; (2) providing support; (3) enhancing emotional arousal; (4) providing information; and (5) creating confidence. It was…
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Minding the Store: Case Analysis Question What guidelines related to empowerment were violated by Ken Hoffman? By Ruth Cummings?
From the nine prescriptions for fostering empowerment, it was evident that Ken Hoffman violated the following: (1) articulating clarity in vision and goals; (2) providing support; (3) enhancing emotional arousal; (4) providing information; and (5) creating confidence. It was apparent that the only goal that Ken Hoffman provided to Ruth Cummings when she was promoted as branch manager for the Saks Fifth Avenue store was that he was putting her in charge of the store and that “your job would be to run it so that it becomes one of the best stores in the system” (Author 459). The goal was not consistent with the definition of effective goals as it did not conform to the elements identified in SMART goals (Author 453).
Likewise, every strategy implemented by Ruth, as deemed crucial towards the achievement of the defined goal by Hoffman has not be appropriately supported and thereby enhanced negative, rather than positive emotional arousal. By providing insufficient information as to the extent of leeway given to Ruth regarding company policies (like providing credit in excess of $1,000), all the more Hoffman diminished Ruth’s confidence in running the branch.
On the part of Ruth Cummings, the guidelines that were apparently violated are as follows: (1) modeling; (2) providing information; and (3) creating confidence. When Ruth applied strategies that were innovative (hiring an administrative assistant and appearing in a local TV show), she failed to appropriately advise Hoffman to seek approval and support for the strategies. Also, hiring the administrative assistance and paying above norm potentially diminishes the morale and confidence of internal human resources (top sales clerks).
Question 5: If you were an outside consultant attending the meeting, what advice would you give Ken? What advice would you give Ruth?
Pursuant to the guidelines of empowerment that were violated, the advice that an outside consultant could give to Ken are as follows: (1) provide clear (SMART) objectives to Ruth to enable her to design appropriate strategies that conform to these goals; (2) provide positive social and emotional support; (3) clearly provide information for scope of approving authorities through identification of details from company policies that could be waived (if any) in terms of providing credit beyond the stipulated amounts or needed protocols requiring management’s approval prior to implementation (hiring or firing human resources, for that matter). These moves would create the needed confidence to be exuded by Ruth in carrying out her responsibilities as the branch manager.
On the other hand, the advice that would assist empowering Ruth as the branch manager are as follows: (1) to be oriented and be apprised of company policies and procedures, especially of scope of approving authorities; (2) to design strategies that adhere to the objectives of the organization and to connect to potential outcomes; and (3) ensure that the strategies implemented would improve performance and productivity of the personnel by sustaining high morale in the work setting. Ruth must acknowledge and respect the authority delegated to her by Ken and ensure that her actions would achieve the defined vision and goals of the organization.
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Author. “Minding the Store.” Book Title. Publisher. Date. Print. Read More
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