SWOT Analysis Nike, Inc

By Gene Porter,2014-05-16 19:03
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Tutor : Ms. Farah ADAWIEH. Done by: Rowaydeh Khaled Masa'deh. ID Number: 040086. Monday 20/11/2007. Question (1). Write a report of no more than 750 words

Arab Open University

    Managing People B632


    Tutor : Ms. Farah ADAWIEH Done by: Rowaydeh Khaled Masadeh

ID Number: 040086

    Monday 20/11/2007

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Question (1)

Write a report of no more than 750 words addressed to your

    tutor in which you do the following:

(a) Describe and analyze the 'Job Characteristics Model'.

    Then state the critical times when managers have to review

    their jobs and its contents. (5 marks)

    Job characteristics model is a model that looks at the relationship between core job characteristics, employees' psychological states and key outcomes. The

    breadth of the model is a positive advantage for managers trying to understand

    the complexity of the principles of job design, and provides a useful conceptual

    language for talking about these issues.

    ? The Job Characteristics Model (Hackman and Oldham model).

    One of the core job dimensions characteristics is the skill variety which is defined as the degree to which a job includes a variety of activities and therefore

    requires the job holder to use a number of different skills and talents. For

    example, hiring an employee at the warehouses require very different skills from

    the accountant.

    Another characteristic is Task identity, which means the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work. As an Office

    manager at my company, there are many tasks that I do which considered to be

    not of my job, such as ordering goods from suppliers, it’s the job of the Brand

    managers, calculating the Marketing Expenses, it’s the job of Marketing Executive

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and many others. Frankly, I do not mind the extra work as long as I know how to

    start the work and finish it correctly, and my superiors acknowledge it.

    One more characteristic for core job dimensions is Task Significance, this is defined as the degree to which the job has an impact on the lives or work of

    other people, whether within the organization or in the external environment.

    Some people job is more essential than others; they have a significant impact on

    the lives of others, such as doctors and teachers.

    At my company I believe we all work within the same circle; my manager should be the leader and calculate the division's profits correctly. The brand

    managers should always provide safe quantities of stock and the sales people

    should exchange these stocks for money in a healthy way. It does not mean that

    the other administrative departments are not vital to finalize the sales operation.

    We need the Accounting Department to help us pay the suppliers and collect the

    money from our customers. We also need the Clearance and Shipping

    Department to clear on our goods on time.

    Autonomy, the forth characteristics of core job dimensions, is the degree to which a job provides freedom, independence and discretion to the individual for

    carrying out the job.

    For the employee to be effective and maybe innovative he/ she should have the freedom for scheduling and prioritizing work, or deciding on the

    procedures for carrying out the job for example. Having little space or limited

    timing or even scarce resources will definitely kill the spirit of the employee and

    make him/ her like a machine without creativity for the job he/ she is doing, so it

    essential to have some degree of autonomy.

    Feedback, the last characteristics of core job dimensions, is an important aspect of our lives, occurring in almost every situation we encounter and helping

    us to form an image of ourselves and how well we are doing. And feedback can

    be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic feedback comes from outside the job, such

    as praise from my manager when accelerating an order procedure to provide

    goods for the sales staff. Intrinsic feedback comes from knowing that I have

    successfully priced a new product and its sales were great when launched.

    Finally, within the Hackman and Oldham model the core job dimensions- skill variety, task identity and task significance together shape the extent to

    which work is felt to be meaningful, valuable and worthwhile to the individual. If

    any of these factors are missing in the design of a job, the job will not be

    perceived as useful or meaningful.

    There are critical times when managers have to review their jobs and it contents, these are:

    1. When major organizational changes are taking place, for example

    the introduction of new technology such as cameras in every floor

    of the company.

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    2. When recruitment is about to take place, it is a good practice to

    draw up a job description before a job is advertised.

    3. During an annual appraisal, which gives employees an

    opportunity to review their jobs with their manager or colleagues?

    This is done in my company where the managers evaluate the

    performance of their employees for the previous year, and the

    evaluation form is given to the employee to review it, give his/ her

    opinion on the comments written then sign it.

    (b) Briefly discuss the five approaches for implementing 'Job

    Enrichment'. (3 marks)

    The basic aim of job enrichment is to introduce responsibilities or additional

    tasks in ways that genuinely do make the job more complete, and there are

    certain practices that can be increased to enrich the working life of the employees,

    such as:

    1. Combining tasks; this either gives employees more than one

    part of a job to do or enables them to engage in a variety of work

    practices. Such as combining the warehouses with Transport and

    Delivery in one Department, this way we can guarantee that the

    customers' orders are delivered safely and without delay.

    2. Forming natural work units; work can be designed around

    groups rather than breaking it down into parts.

    3. Giving increase responsibility; design work so that employees

    have responsibility for making personal contact and building

    relationships with people outside the organization. This

    implemented in our company through the Brand managers whom

    are in direct contact with our major customers like superstores

    and A-class supermarkets and pharmacies.

    4. Vertical Loading; this means giving employees discretion over

    work scheduling, training, customer services, cost control,

    recruitment, quality and others. In my division, hiring a new sales

    member must be by the head of the division, however, due to

    busy schedule the manager, allow the sales supervisors to

    interview the candidates then filter the good ones for final

    assessment and recruitment, which is time management and

    more beneficiary to the division.

    5. Opening feedback channels; allowing people to build up

    relationships with clients so that they receive direct performance


    Finally, Job enrichment, aims to create greater opportunities for individual

    achievement and recognition by expanding the task to increase not only variety

    but also responsibility and accountability. This can also include greater worker

    autonomy, increased task identity and greater direct contact with workers

    performing servicing tasks.

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     Question (2)

Write a report of no more than 1000 words addressed to your

    tutor in which you do the following:

(a) What do we mean by the term 'Supervision'? And what

    are the activities that supervisors take part in to maintain a

    balance between Task-related and Process-related functions?

    (7.5 marks)

    Managing people requires all managers to ensure that objectives are

    defined, while in the same time being conscious of the need to support and

    develop staff to enable them to achieve these objectives.

    Supervision is a process which part of it to control and direct, and the other part is to support and meet the individual needs within the organization. Both

    parties must take place regularly and systematically, otherwise, supervision will

    not be effective.

    The purpose of supervision is to coordinate, control and achieve work tasks, and to develop and support the individual in pursuit of these. The relationship in

    which this takes place is that between the supervisor, the person being

    supervised and the tasks in hand. For this relationship to be successful it has to

    be founded on trust and responsibility.

    To make a good relationship between the supervisor and one who is supervised, a ground rules must be established. The line of authority between

    manager/ supervisor and employee must be made clear. Time and resources

    should be available to allow regular communication. All individuals are entitled to

    be treated fairly and to receive the same standard of supervision.

    The most valuable skill in the supervision process is to be able to adapt to what is needed, and this includes taking account of the nature of the task, the

    history of the working relationship and the ability of the individuals concerned.

    The supervision sessions can be formal or informal, but generally they aim to build up trust, allow space for joint negotiation, enable feedback, make clear

    joint responsibility and enable functions of control and support to be realized.

    Running a supervision session best to be held informally, in a private place where the supervisor and one who is supervised can speak freely and without

    interruptions. Sufficient time should be found to solve any emergencies or

    problems. Once these sessions held regularly they will develop their own format

    and be beneficial for both parties.

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    Allow time before beginning of the supervision session and set the objectives, explain the tasks for the individual, provide the target and deadlines,

    and evaluating the results.

    My manager in the end of each month meets with the sales supervisors and brand managers to set the sales target for the next coming month. Upon the

    agreement of all parties, the sales supervisors inform their sales team of their

    targets and follow up with them on a daily basis to confirm the achievement of the

    target. Each sales representative has different sales target every month and from

    his colleagues depending on the area and number of clients he has.

    In order to close the supervision session, all sales representatives must submit their objections on their sales target before the meeting is off. Otherwise it

    will be presented to our IT Department who will announce it to the top

    management and then it will not be changed.

    We like to describe this period of each month like a battle, there is always shouting, threatening to leave the company, taking vacations but in the end ALL

    sales representatives accept their destiny and achieve their targets, sometimes

    more than scheduled.

    (b) Identify and explain the difficulties or drawbacks that

    supervisors may face while supervising. (7.5 marks)

    Sometimes supervisors may face difficulties or drawback while supervising such as, there may not be a conventional line manager, and therefore, the

    supervisory element of the relationship may be weak.

    Another difficulty face the supervisors while supervising us excessive supervision; which it can happen for several reasons;

    - The supervisor still wants to be directly involved in the work and has not

    accepted the fact that being a supervisor is a different role.

    - The supervisor is anxious about the individual's ability and expected

    performance and what will follow from it.

    - The supervisor fails to see the difference between helping the individual do

    something in their own way and expecting them to do it in the supervisor's way.

    One more difficulty is infrequent supervision, which the usual excuse for infrequent supervision is lack of time, which may mean that supervision and

    support are not valued, but there can be other reasons too, for example, feeling


    Supervisor may also face another difficulty which could be defined as inadequate supervision while supervising. This can happen because the

    supervisor wants to avoid facing up to difficulties or complexity, or because of

    major differences in the life experiences of the individual and the supervisor which

    make it difficult for either or both parties to raise certain topics or deal with them


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    Progressive overloading is also one of the difficulties that face the supervisors while supervising. Too much delegation can lead to overload and

    stress. This often occurs in positive relationships, where the supervisors and the

    individual have a high regard for each others.

    Finally, inconsistent behaviour in supervision, employees and supervisors may have role confusion. The supervisor may be a manager in one point and a

    friend in the other. Inconsistency can also arise as a result of fluctuating

    workloads, when priority may change.

    Most of our sales representatives have a good relationship with each others and with their supervisors, sometimes they got confused when their

    supervisor refuse to allow them to break the law for instance. And the supervisor

    asks too much like achieving unreasonable target of his team because he wants

    to prove himself in front of the top management.

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     Question (3)

     Write a report of no more than 750 words addressed to your

    tutor in which you do the following:

(a) Discuss the factors that might affect an induction

    programme, then talk about your Induction experience (in

    relation to the factors you have mentioned) when you first

    entered your organization. (5 marks)

    Induction is the tangible process of helping a new employee adjusts to their work environment. Induction can be structured at individual, job, departmental and

    organizational levels.

    Dessler identifies some of the problems of the initial entry stage for the newcomer as being due to the following factors: change, unrealistic

    expectations about the nature of the new job and surprise at the unfulfilled

    expectations of the job.

    Therefore, an induction program might be important in overcoming possible sources of anxiety. They are a sequence of planned activities to enable

    employees to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and capability to carry out

    their role and tasks to a satisfactory standard in the early stages of their


    Induction programmes will vary in length according to the complexity and level of the job. They should provide a range of activities over a period starting on

    the day of entry and continuing up to a time when the individual might be

    expected to feel comfortable with their new job.

    The induction process can be seen as having three aspects An administrative exercise, A welfare and employee support process, and finally A

    human resource management process.

    There will be significant costs if the induction process is not done well, such as poor quality work, mistakes, waste of time, employing someone else to the

    replace the one already hired, and it is damaging for the organization's image to

    keep hiring and dismissing employees in a relative near time.

    Therefore, induction activities must be planned and phased carefully. Information can come form several sources and be acquired in a variety of ways.

    One can organize an induction by:

    - Giving out documentation, handbooks and relevant policies to the person

    before they start work. Such as the internal system of the organization;

    working hours, earned leave hours and vacations, dress code,...etc.

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    - Arrange for a co-worker or a volunteer to act as a "buddy" for a while.

    - Arrange for the new member of staff to meet colleagues and to have

    sessions with people in other departments or divisions.

    - Devise special projects for the newcomer to help them find out the

    information they need and increase their self-sufficiency.

    - Ensure that a specific task is available for the person to get started on from

    the first day.

    However, induction program might be affected by:

    - The degree of formality inherent within the organization generally. For

    example informal induction, involves learning from colleagues on the

    job. More formality would involve setting up personalized programmes

    within a department for new members of staff.

    - Whether induction is individualized or a group activity, this will depend

    on the average number if new employees in an organization.

    - The degree of emphasis on organizational fit; organizations that require

    high commitment to a particular set of values may use induction events

    to assimilate staff into culture of the organization.

    - Resources available; the size to the organization and the time and

    resources available will be limiting factor on the type and extent of

    formal induction that is provided.

    When I first joined my current company, Munir Sukhtian Group (MSG) which by the way was the first real job I do back in 1998, I was hired to be an

    executive secretary for the General Trade Division and assist the Office manager.

    I was greeted by the office manager and she was the one who introduced me to the whole company, which is located in Al Abdali Area and have eleven

    commercial divisions, and six administrative departments.

    It was very huge amount of information to handle one lot, but with time I begun to observe most of the tasks I should do and got familiar to the people

    working within my division and the company.

    The Human Resources Department provided me with my job description at first, and with a booklet of the internal system of the company, which was about

    fourteen pages and includes everything about the company; my rights and


    Its over nine years now since I joined MSG, however, the induction is still the same, the old or the current employees introduce the newcomer to the

    company. In big division such mine, we start with our division and team, and then

    with the divisions or departments we have direct contact with. Otherwise, it will be

    difficult for the new employee to contain all the information provided.

    If the newcomer do not have anyone in his/ her department to assist him/ her to be acquainted with the company then, it comes the Human Resources

    Department to introduce him/ her to the company and its facilities.

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     (b) What do we mean by 'Halo' effect? And does your

    company adopt such principle while recruiting? (2.5marks)

    Halo effect; is a term used while a recruiter interviewing a person, he/

    she might be influenced by one of the candidates attributes and ignore their other

    weaknesses, and be impressed by characteristics or similarities to the recruiter

    themselves. The Halo effect can work in either a positive of negative direction.

    In my company they prefer to hire people who graduated from foreign university especially USA universities. Maybe because the Chairman has

    American Citizenship, or may be the one who got hired do not know a thing about

    the Jordanian market and will accept anything for a salary, or maybe because in

    Jordan generally we have a weakness for English language and hiring a

    graduates from USA will guarantee an efficiency in English language. Honestly I

    don’t know.

    However, the Halo effect is existed in some way, and will be existed as long as the interviews are conducted by human beings and not by machines the

    personal factor will arise when deciding to hire anyone.

(c) What is mentoring? And how does it differ from coaching?

    Identify the attributes required from a mentor, and then

    illustrate the four roles involved in a mentoring programme.

    (4.5 marks)

    Mentoring is when a role model, or mentor, offers support to another person. A mentor has knowledge and experience in an area and shares it with the

    person being mentored. For example, an experienced teacher might mentor a

    student teacher or beginning teacher.

    Another definition for Mentoring is a process held by mentors, who are often older, or at least considerably more experienced than the individuals they

    are mentoring. The mentors provide support, encouragement and opportunities

    for development, and act as sounding boards for ideas.

    Coaching on the other hand, means a way of transferring knowledge and skill from a more experienced person to a less experienced person.

    Although there is a fundamental difference between mentoring and coaching represented in the fact that mentors should not be the employee's direct


    However, there are attributes required of mentors which are included in:

    - A strong motivation to assist the development of others.

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