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Employment Problem Solving: Fran Hayden Case Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2020

Synopsis of the Situation

Fran Hayden had pursued a Bachelor’s Degree course in Management Studies in the University of Waikato and by the given evidence, she was a high achiever. After four years in campus, the time to find a job had come and her main interest was working for Dairy Engineering due to the good pay the company offered.

Two weeks later she was invited for an interview in the company. At the end of the interview, she was surprised to be offered a position of an Assistant Cost Accountant. She said that she would think over and when she delayed in responding, the company called her again and this time around she accepted the offer though not convinced that she would enjoy the job.

On the reporting day, Fran having prepared herself well and even bought some new clothes which would match her new work requirements reported to work and got her first shock when she learnt that she was not expected in the Accounting Department but in the Management Information System (MIS).

She joined the department though that was not the plan. The work in the department was not that much as it involved photocopying and compiling of reports, the work was less and she even wondered why the department employed four people instead of less.

One lovely afternoon Rob, the Chief Accountant called Fran to his office and informed her that there was an upcoming management workshop and he would like one of the junior staffs to attend the workshop. He asked Fran if she would be interested to attend. As one would expect, Fran saw it as a good opportunity to move out and share her ideas and accepted the opportunity.

The problem could only arise due to the fact that Peter her Boss in the MIS department was not in to grant her the permission. The Chief Accountant agreed to talk with Peter. Fran attended the workshops and enjoyed very much and even wrote a detailed report of the workshop to the Chief Accountant before returning but contrary to her expectations, on coming back, she found that everything was not alright.

A Sunday before reporting to work, a workmate to Fran in the MIS department called her and informed her that Peter had been too furious on learning that Fran had gone to the workshop without his consent and thus he argued that Fran was overlooking his authority. She reported back to work the following day and the expected confrontation did not take place since Peter was not around during that period.

She forwarded the reports of the workshop to the Rob’s secretary before seeking the advice from her workmates on what she would do where workmates advised her to inform Rob on what was happening. The next day she booked an appointment with Rob and explained to him her fears about Peter’s behavior. The Chief Accountant commended her well written report and said she would discuss the matters with Peter once he came. She left the office reassured that all would be sorted out.

When Peter reported to job later in the week, he called Fran to his office where he attacked her furiously arguing that she should have requested for his point of view before attending the workshop. Life from then never went back to normal for Fran, she became miserable and depressed and even had social problems with her boyfriend and room mates. One day, Vernon her workmate passed through her office and observed that she looked stressed and disturbed in a way.

He enquired what was wrong with her in which she explained what had been going on. He advised her that they discuss with Rob about the situation. The chief accountant listened and asked for a report which he could forward for discussion during a scheduled management meeting. Despite the chief accountant reassurance that the matter would be looked into during the management meeting, he failed to fulfill his promises and during the meeting he did not confront Peter about the issue and thus nothing had been discussed.

Fran was left with two options, either she resigns or seek a transfer but having worked for less than five months resigning was not an option since no employer would be interested in recruiting her since they might assume that she is not suitable.

The only remaining option was seek for a transfer in which she did by applying for a position which was to fall vacant during the next few days. In order to succeed, her workmates told her that she had to apply directly to the Chief Accountant Office since it would be hard for Peter, her boss, to decline the request.

Fran took the request the following day and she was even surprised with the friendly nature of Rob who informed her that he intended to deal with the situation. She left the office not aware of what to expect and later Peter joined Rob in his office. Whatever transpired there no one knew but a few minutes later Peter passed through her office and in a loud voice told her that her business in the company was over and fired she was.

Key Issues

The key issues which needed to be understood in the case of Dairy Engineering was who allocated the jobs in the company since Fran was allocated a job she had not applied for and were there reasons which explained the misallocation of jobs in the company? could the MIS boss have had a hand in the misallocation and why was there a misunderstanding between Rob the chief accountant and Peter the MIS boss over Fran?

Did they have problems which were brought to the limelight by Fran’s case or did Peter just have his own problems with Fran? How the company operates is another major issue and how the different departments work in the achieving of the company’s objective remains a puzzle.

Define the Problem. Identify One Key Problem

The problems with Dairy Engineering appear to have been many with misunderstandings between the company senior employees appearing to have been a major problem. There seems to have a major misunderstanding and some degree of conflict between Peter the MIS boss and Rob the chief accountant.

From the case study, ever since the first day when Fran was reporting to her job, she was supposed to report to the accounting department but that was changed on arrival and she found that she had been posted in the MIS department. She continues working in the department and then a management workshop comes up, and the chief accountant as one of the bosses in the company approaches Fran and informs her about the management workshop, which he requests Fran to attend as one of the junior employees in the company.

With the opportunities the workshop promises to offer and naivety, she accepts to attend and when Peter her boss comes and finds she is not around, he is not happy since he claims that he wasn’t informed and there appears he is being overlooked.

For Fran, that marks the beginning of her problems. Instead of Rob owning up his mistakes and solve these problems with Peter, he seems to be afraid of him and cannot afford to challenge his decisions. Thus, whoever is senior in the company and how jobs and duties are distributed in the company becomes hard to understand.

Alternative Solutions

To avoid the above misunderstanding in the office, the management should have ensured that there was no space for confusion; Fran should have been provided with the details of how the company operates and what was expected of her to avoid the confusion and the latter problems which were brought about by one of the senior employees from the company.

Putting proper procedures in place would have been another solution in solving the office related problems and all employees, irrespective of the position one holds, should be aware of them. This would ensure some problems never arose (Otter & Gwartney, 2007). It is advantageous to put proper procedures in place since no employee will ever argue that he or she was never informed of what was expected of them and thus bearing of own crosses would become easier and everyone would feel appreciated in their roles (McKenzie, n.d).

Solution to the Problem

The misunderstanding between the Chief Accountant and the MIS boss should be looked deeply into since it might lead other employees to the same problems Fran found herself in.

This should be done by the company laying guidelines on what can be done when one senior officer in good faith decides that one of the employees should participate in an activity associated with the company and with the absence of department’s head where employees work under the decision by the other senior officers should be taken as a decision by the company (Khilawala, 2010).


To implement the above solution is simple since the company management needs to meet with the other employees and decide the way forward. This can be done by writing a constitution with the help of a corporate lawyer and lay down the guidelines to be followed.

This will then be followed with establishment of institutions that guide the behavior and character of both the employees and the employers in Dairy Engineering Company. From this we expect misunderstandings such as the one which happened between Rob, Peter, and Fran will not reoccur and if it does action will need to be taken as guided by the constitution even if it means to fire senior employees in the company.

Reference List

Khilawala, R. (2010). Problems in the Work Place. Web.

McKenzie, O. Conflict Resolution. Web.

Otter, C. L., & Gwartney, M. (2007). Preventing Workplace Violence. Web.

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