Workplace Incivility: Case Study Essay (Critical Writing)

Case Synopsis

This case describes the experiences of an individual who becomes alienated from the co-workers, because she continuously observes the negative behavior of her supervisors (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2009). It should be taken into account that the subject is a trainee at the branch of the company Enterprise Rent-A-Car. This person directly interacts with the assistant manager and branch manager.

These people often start heated arguments with one another, and very often, their disagreements lead to the creation of the hostile environment in which the trainee eventually loses the motivation to improve her performance or help other people. Overall, this case is related to such issues as performance, motivation, and satisfaction with the job.

Framework for case analysis

It should be noted that this issue has been of great interest to many researchers. For instance, Stuart Sidle argues that the employees, who face workplace incivility and conflicts, are more likely to experience distraction and stress (Sidle, 2009). Furthermore, these people are not usually satisfied with their work (Sidle, 2009).

This scholar believes that the failure to manage conflicts in the workplace usually adversely affects the performance of many organizations. To a great extent, this situation can be observed in Enterprise Rent-A-Car. This is one of the main issues that is closely discussed in academic literature.

Overall, Stuart Sidle (2007) notes that in many cases, business administrators prefer to avoid conflicts, instead of resolving them. This is one of the reasons why many firms cannot retain the most competent employees (Allen, Bryant, & Vardaman, 2010).

The scholars, who specialize in such areas as motivation and organizational behavior, believe that work culture is critical for the reduction of turnover in the organization and its long-term sustainability (Allen, Bryant, & Vardaman, 2010). These principles should be taken into account because in this way, one can better evaluate the behavior of people described in the case.

Analysis of the chosen case

The analysis of this case should be based on the model developed by Browne and Keeley (2012) since this framework can helpful for discussing a certain organizational problem from various perspectives. First of all, it is important to identify the main issue and its effects on various stakeholders.

In this case, much attention should be paid to the absence of organizational culture which facilitates the resolution of conflicts or disputes and creates an environment in which employees feel committed to the goals of the organization. This is the main issue that should be considered.

There are various reasons that are critical for explaining the behavior of the female employees. First of all, the senior managers working in this company intervene only in those situations when there is an open confrontation. However, very little is done to address disagreements that may occur among workers.

Very often this policy results in the strain-based conflict which means that the interpersonal relations of a person can affect his/her performance in the workplace (Naswall, Hellgren, & Sverke, 2008, p. 129). To a great extent, this problem adversely influenced the behavior and performance of the female employee who joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

The person, who is described in the case, does not have affective or emotion-based commitment to the company (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2009). This means that she does not view herself as an inseparable part of the team. This element is critical for the performance of a worker (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2009).

While discussing this case, one should focus on the Maslow Theory of Motivation according to which individual can be satisfied with work experiences provided that he/she can establish harmonious social relations with the colleagues (Naswall, Hellgren, & Sverke, 2008). If this component is absent, a person will not be able to perform effectively. This situation is described in the case.

Admittedly, the evidence presented in this case may not be accurate because it is based on the experiences of a single individual who may be subjective in her assessment of other people’s behavior. This is one of the main limitations that should be taken into consideration.

Furthermore, one can identify two values that affect the strategies of the company. For instance, the management of the company has to foster cooperation of workers, but at the same time, it is necessary to resolve conflicts. One can argue that this management of this firm cannot reconcile these priorities.

Additionally, the analysis of this case is based on the assumption that the female employee, who described in the case, provides an accurate description of the events. If there are some errors or misperceptions, many of the conclusions can be invalid. Apart from that, one should remember that certain information could have been omitted from this case.

For example, one can mention that this person might have overreacted to the conflict between the branch manager and assistant manager. Additionally, this individual may not be able to cope with stress. This is one of the major issues that should be considered because it suggests that the analysis may not be conclusive.

Nevertheless, one can still argue that the problems discussed in this case can be attributed to the failure of the management to establish policies that can help the employees address conflicts and resolve problems that can be related to interpersonal relations. This is the main argument that can be put forward.

Recommendations

It is possible to provide several recommendations that can resolve this problem. First of all, it is necessary to establish the open-door policy according to which every employee can talk to senior managers provided that they encounter certain problem.

This approach is important because it enables business administrators address problems at the early stage when they do not affect the performance of the company (Colquitt, LePine, & Wesson, 2009).

This policy can be of great use to Enterprise Rent-A-Car in which employees may not be able to communicate with the heads of departments or local branches. This issue can be the underlying cause of the problems encountered by this organization.

Furthermore, the owner of this business should talk to the two managers who constantly clash with one another. These people need to know that they should act as role models for new-comers. Moreover, their conflicts adversely affect the performance and commitment of other people.

This is why the senior officers should clearly explain to the supervisors that their conduct is not acceptable; more importantly, it can result in the dismissal of these two people from the company. This strategy will prompt the local managers to act more responsibly, especially when they interact with new employees who depend on the guidance of more experienced workers. This is the main rationale for adopting this policy.

Apart from that, senior management should work on the development of orientation programs. The objective of these programs is to give new workers insights into the work roles (Allen, Bryant, & Vardaman, 2010).

In particular, these people should know what the company expects from them; otherwise, they may not be able to meet the requirements of the senior managers. Furthermore, the new hires must able to find relevant information as quickly as possible.

Again, this recommendation is important because newcomers like the subject described in this case will feel more independent from others. They will not be affected by the conflicts between the supervisors. Overall, this strategy can significantly improve the performance of workers who want to integrate themselves into the workplace.

Finally, the management should pay attention to the ability of new workers to cope with stress. As it has been said before, the displacement of the female worker can be explained by various factors such as the inability of this worker to do the tasks that were assigned to her by the supervisors.

Certainly, it is not likely that this cause was the most important one. However, it should not be disregarded. These recommendations can be of great benefit to Enterprise Rent-A-Car since they can enable this company to enhance the commitment of the workers. This is why the management should pay attention to them.

Expected outcomes

If these interventions are implemented successfully, the company will achieve several important outcomes. In particular, the company will be able to improve the retention of employees and increase their motivation. The new hires will feel more empowered by the management.

Furthermore, the local managers will motivated to act as role models and set an example for the new workers who want to look at the best practices adopted in the company. Furthermore, these professionals will coordinate their efforts to make sure that other employees can cope with their duties properly. This is one of the main goals that this company should attain in order to remain sustainable.

These recommendations are critical because they will help the management avoid various pitfalls such as strain-based conflict. Furthermore, in this way, business administrators will enhance affective commitment of new workers.

They will see that the company values their performance and their contribution (Allen, Bryant, & Vardaman, 2010). They will be more motivated to stay in this organization. Overall, these individuals will do their best in order to do their work properly. These are the main benefits that can be achieved by the business administrators who should strengthen the culture of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Certainly, there are some limitations and biases that should not be overlooked. This analysis of this case is based on the assumption that the female worker provides an accurate description of the situation in Enterprise Rent-A-Car. As it has been noted before, the emotional alienation of the female worker can be explained her perception of the situation and the failure to integrate into the workplace.

Moreover, she may not be able to cope with stress. However, it is more likely that the problems described in the case are related to the behavior of managers. The recommendations described in the previous sections are aimed at addressing this particular problem.

Reference List

Allen, D., Bryant, P., & Vardaman, J. (2010). Retaining Talent: Replacing Misconceptions With Evidence-Based Strategies. Academy of Management Perspective, 24(2), 48-53.

Browne, N., & Keeley, S. (2012). Asking the Right Questions with Mycomplab Access Code: A Guide to Critical Thinking. New York: Addison Wesley Publishing Company Incorporated.

Colquitt, J., LePine, J., & Wesson, M. (2009). Organizational Behavior: Essentials for Improving Performance and Commitment. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Naswall, K., Hellgren, J., & Sverke, M. (2008). The Individual in the Changing Working Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sidle, S. (2009). Workplace Incivility: How Should Employees and Managers Respond? Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(4), 88-95.

Sidle, S. (2007). The Danger of Do Nothing Leaders. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(2), 75-78.

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