Case Study Memo
Case Study Memo
CASE STUDY MEMOS
The purpose of the case study method is to acquaint you with the complexity of management and socialize you to a flexible, problem-solving approach to management issues. Essentially, while there are a number of theories that can serve as guides, most management problems do not have a specific, easy to identify, best solution. Robert Behn (1988) refers to the necessity of learning to manage by “groping along” because each management task is different, providing new challenges and opportunities. Alan Altshuler (1988) refers to management as a “complex craft… with a near-infinite variety of unpredictable circumstances” (665).
A case study approach is well suited to preparing students for the art of managing. Rather than mastering discrete facts, the case study approach forces students to confront conflicting options; juggle organizational, political, ethical, and practical realities; take risks; and make mistakes. In short, it prepares you for the complexities of managerial work. Cases should promote interesting discussion and dynamic interactions between class participants.
Although learning to deal with ambiguity is beneficial, I think a few guidelines for analyzing the cases are in order. In exploring these complexities, case study analysis should be comprehensive, systematic, and rational. Use the following as a general outline for issues to be addressed. (Adapted from Infeld & Kress, 1989.)
1) Essential background information: What are the facts of this case? What are the relevant issues? Who are the key players?
2) What are the issues in this case: What is at stake? What are the primary problems and their components? If possible describe these in terms of their priority. How are the problems interrelated? Who controls the solutions? Do the solutions of one problem have implications for other areas? If so what are they and how does this impact the case as a whole? You are required to support, document, and reference your points with class readings, lectures, and discussions.
(I will attach the materials accordingly)
3) What theories are useful in assessing the case? In what way? This part of the analyses asks you to remove yourself from the personalities of the case and to think about the case conceptually. Because a thorough analysis may require supplemental reading and investigation you are encouraged to discuss your cases with each other, practicing administrators, your mother, your roommate or anyone else who may provide useful insights. You are expected to document your cases with references from the literature.
4) What else do you need to know and what are your strategies for obtaining needed information? (i.e., bring in a consultant, conduct a needs assessment or a budget analysis) Generally you will be asked to identify with a specific role in the case, most often the manager.
5) What do you presume to be the possible courses of action? What are the anticipated consequences (i.e., the benefits and liabilities of each)?
6) Based on the options that you have delineated, what do you consider to be the best course of action? Ground your answer in theory and also present logical arguments based on the facts of the case. Include a systematic presentation of the strategies that you would pursue.
Case write-ups should be limited to 1500 words excluding name, date, and references. Words beyond will be discounted. The following criteria will be used to grade your case. In order to receive an A the analysis should be: comprehensive, logical, justified and well-documented, original and innovative, and well-executed.
The following questions (and percent weighting) will be used to assign your grade:
1) Comprehensive Analysis: Have you clearly delineated all of the issues, players, constraints, and consequences or have you focused only on a portion of the case while overlooking critical components? (30%)
2) Specific, Concrete, and Logical Case Analysis: Is your presentation of options logical, rational, and specific enough? Does it make sense based on the facts that you have presented? Does it make sense based on the facts of the case? (20%)
3) Documentation/Support: Have you documented your analysis extensively and correctly with relevant course reading and information from course lectures? (35%)
4) Execution: Is your paper is well thought-out, well-organized, well-written, attractive, and grammatically correct? (15%)
THE MANAGER’S JOB: WHAT DO MANAGERS DO?
Gero 550 Based on work by Henry Mintzberg
TOPICS FOR TODAY Housekeeping ?Hope you all read the posts on tips for time management ?We will be assigning books to anyone who hasn’t finalized Book Selection Piloting reading discussion with in-class and on-line partners What managers do: background What managers do panel ?Rigo Saborio, CEO Senior Services ?Shaun Rushforth, Facility Administrator ?Allyson Young, Program Director
My takeaways ?Caregiving—Donna Benton ?Choice vs need (freedom/safety, aging in place) Your takeaways from the reading? Questions that should be addressed?
THE NATURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE WORK
Key Question: What is the Role of Managers in Aging Services? What Do Managers Do? How can they strategically spend their time? Topics Covered: Characteristics of managers, work roles, organizational variations, and skills required
WHO IS A MANAGER?
Someone who is responsible for getting work done through others: Supervisors Program managers/Program Directors Middle managers Exec Directors/CEOs
HOW RELEVANT IS THE RATIONAL PERSON MODEL?
The literature tells us that managers plan, organize, coordinate, and control Do they? Should they?
Intensively shadowed 5 managers in different sectors 40 hours per manager Documented and analyzed work activities using chronology records of activities, time spent in activities and mediums used Findings separated folklore from fact Transformed thinking (this work was published in the 1970s)
ASSUMPTION # 1: THE MANAGER IS A REFLECTIVE, SYSTEMATIC PLANNER
Managers work at an unrelenting pace Their work is characterized by brevity, variety and discontinuity, responding to immediate issues They tend to dislike reflective activity and usually have a strong bias for action & “real time” activity In Mintberg’s study ½ the activities lasted less than 9 minutes; only 10% were more than 1 hr. Managers rarely work long without interruption Weighing opportunity costs, plagued by what could be done
ASSUMPTION #2: THE EFFECTIVE MANAGER MANAGES OTHERS AND THUS HAS NO REAL DUTIES TO PERFORM
Managerial work includes a number of ritual and ceremonial duties, ongoing negotiating, and fluid/flexible problem solving In organizations without “redundancies,” managers are substitute operators and gap fillers Managers also scan for information relevant to the future of their organization
#3. THE MANAGER IS AT THE APEX OF THE HIERARCHY AND RECEIVES INFORMATION THROUGH FORMAL CHANNELS (REPORTS, WEBPAGES, ETC.)
Managers favor informal, usually verbal media (phone, quick email, “conversations in the hall”, text) Studies show that about 4/5 of communication is verbal (prior to email) Reports need to be succinct and to the point Managers value “soft” information, gossip, hearsay, clues about what is going on and how to respond, needs her ear to the ground. Written info may not be timely or interesting enough Most interesting and valuable data bank is in the managers head Makes delegation difficult
ASSUMPTION #4: MANAGEMENT IS A SCIENCE Management, to some extent, remains a black box Lacks specific data on effectiveness/ outcomes Job is challenging, complex Cross cuts a number of roles based on different types of organizations: clergy, coaches, government, business. The key questions are ?What are the commonalities? ?What are the unique features based on the role?
MINTZBERG’S NOTIONS ON MANAGERIAL ROLE Work is open ended. Mangers compelled to work at an unrelenting pace Work is characterized by brevity, variety, and fragmentation Superficiality is an occupational hazard; managers are conditioned by workload to prefer interruption Managers gravitate toward action rather than well-defined/routinized Prime tools are: mail, telephone, unscheduled meetings, scheduled meetings and tour. Managers prefer verbal; mail gets cursory treatment.
MINTZBERG ON MANAGERIAL ROLE CONTINUED
Informal media are used for brief contacts when speed is important The scheduled meeting consumes the most time Managers spend little time in tours (MBWA) External contacts consume 1/3 to ½ of a managers time. Network of information manager between organization and its environment. Subordinates consumer 1/3 to ½ of a managers time Managers spend little time with superiors (10%) Managers control work by initiating activities and selecting from among competing interests
MINTZBERG’S 10 ROLE FRAMEWORK TO CATEGORIZE MANAGERIAL BEHAVIOR
Interpersonal Roles ?Figurehead ?Leader ?Liaison Informational Roles ?Monitor ?Disseminator ?Spokesperson
Decisional Roles ?Entrepreneur ?Disturbance Handler ?Resource Allocater ?Negotiator
INTERPERSONAL ROLES: FIGUREHEAD
Symbolic Critical function Related to leadership role Seen as a taking away from legitimate work Representing the persona or embodiment of the organization
INTERPERSONAL ROLES: LEADER
Among the most important Motivates, inspires Creates the sense of vision and purpose Manager has formal authority to act; leadership provides informal support to do so Manager vs. leader?
INTERPERSONAL ROLE: LIAISON
Linkage to network Includes attending task force meetings, serving on boards/ committees, Strengthened by leadership role and reputation Very important role in aging organizations (ask Rigo)
INFORMATIONAL ROLES: MONITOR
Keeping up with what is going on in the organization and its environment
“Rumor processing” piecing together scraps of information to make decisions and lead organization as well as to inform others
Usually relies on verbal but can be other sources
INFORMATIONAL ROLES: DISSEMINATOR
Managers process information or interpret it for others Sometimes they are a conduit bringing back information through networking role Entails power (information is power) Motivation to become involved in multiple outside activities
INFORMATIONAL ROLES: SPOKESPERSON Speaks on behalf of and represents the organization to influentials including: ?Constitutents ?Funders ?Board Keeps key stakeholders informed Means of sending signals
DECISIONAL ROLES: ENTREPRENEUR
Manager has the formal authority to commit to a course of action using the organization’s resources over and above managing “what is”
Look for opportunities, initiates and designs models and innovations (and/or involves others) and makes it happen
Turns problems into opportunities
DECISIONAL ROLES: DISTURBANCE HANDLER
Must act because something must be addressed or fixed Can include: ? Conflict ?Rebellion ?Resource loss Disturbances (and managing change) are part of the job Role of disturbance depends on structure (last week)
DECISIONAL ROLES: RESOURCE ALLOCATER Includes money, time, support staff, materials, equipment, authority, titles, programs ?Must consider/know constraints Many aspects involve zero sum game Managers must weigh cost/benefits of how resources are allocated Political decisions with program consequences Sense of fairness is important
DECISIONAL ROLES: NEGOTIATOR
Represents organization or specific department on budgets and other resources (receiving side of resource allocation)
Requires skills in dealing with others
Also requires political attention to keeping support
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT IN 2016? Managers traditionally learn to be reactive/responsive, multi- focused, welcome and address interruptions
Knowledge society ?How much is enough ?How to set priorities for information gathering ?How to focus?
2016—80% of people say they too often go down the rabbit hole
CONCLUSIONS Similarities across different types of management Managerial work is highly challenging and non-programmed The manager is both a generalist (in management) and a specialist (in gero) Power comes from information (how much is enough?) Superficiality is an occupational hazard Managerial work is far more complex (and interesting) than much of the literature suggests
PANEL: WHAT DO MANAGERS OF AGING SERVICES DO? CEO/Executive Director: Rigo Saborio, MSG Facility Administrator: Shaun Rushforth, MSG Program Management/Coordination, Allyson Young, MSG