Mgs 4420 – Concrete Experience
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Yashar GoulbourneMGS 4420Learning Journal Part II (work application 5-1)Concrete ExperienceSelect a present or past manager who has or had coercive power. Give a specific example of hpw he or she uses or used reward and punishment to achieve an objective. Overall, how effective is (or was) this manager at using rewards and punishment?A couple of years ago I used to work at a dining hall. While working there, I’ve dealt with a number of different managers. Some had a democratic leadership style and majority had an autocratic leadership style. Some of these managers also knew how to use coercive power effectively while others did not. While working at the dining hall, I have experienced different situations of coercive power being used. After leaving the dining hall, one situation stood out the most. It was a Monday night, we were busy and running low on food, meat in particular. The manager at the time knew we were running low on meat but knew there was nothing we can do about it at that time so she went to the refrigerator to see what kind of meats were left. While in the refrigerator she saw some steak that she ordered us to prepare and serve, but the steak was in that refrigerator for two weeks without being properly covered. An employee I was working with noticed that so we try to inform her of that and bring it to her attention. Surprisingly, she told us to still prepare and serve it. We then told her that those actions were not safe for the consumers because the steak can cause potential health problems if consumed by the human body. After explaining that to her, she threatened to send us home for the rest of the day without pay. Although we did not want to prepare and serve the two-week old steak, we felt we didn’t have a choice. She used the coercive power she had effectively, but in an unethical way which lead to a short-term compliance. We knew if we didn’t follow her directions, we would have been withheld of our incentive reward, our salary. After we’ve prepared the steak, our manager tasted it then told us to throw it away.
Reflective ObservationLooking back at the experience, why did the people involved behave as they did? Do you have a better understanding of their perspectives now?Later that day and even until this day I sit back and reflect on that experience. This lead me to evaluating everyone’s actions and perspectives, even the manger’s at the time. As far as myself and the other employees, I don’t think our thought process was incorrect about anything except for the fact that we were willing to serve the food after being threatened. We were thinking in terms of the customers and how that situation would have made us feel if we were the customers and found out we were eating meat that shouldn’t be consumed. Not only would that have looked bad as an organization, but it also would have individually. While preparing it, me nor neither of the employees felt good about what we were doing. If we were to actually serve the food, I know it would have held a negative feeling on us as individuals. The only reason we were willing to prepare and serve the steak is because we’ve been working hard and did not want to be sent home without pay. Now looking back on it, I think we should have denied the manager’s request and be willing to be sent home for the sake of the customers, the organization, and us as individuals. Even though it maybe hard to believe, I understand why the manager behaved the way she did and her perspective on the whole situation. I believe the manager wanted us to abide by her rules no matter what to make sure that we respected her and knew who was in charge of the place. I also believe my manager did not want customers complaining about the lack of food at the dining hall which is why she acted the way she did when giving out the threats. She knew by using her coercive power she would achieve her objective. Although there was a final action of not serving the food, I think the whole situation could have been handled much better from the start.