Dick Spencer Case Study Example Essay

This case study is about the case of Dick Spencer who was a manger of the company in Modrow, which was the Canadian branch of tri American corporation. The business of tri American corporation is mainly dependent on the production of aluminum and integrated operations related to aluminum. The plant manager of the Modrow branch of tri American is trying to include some modernization concept in the company and expansion plans of the projects. But the budget for the project is costly. However the expected outcome from the project makes it feasible. The manager instituted the cost cutting campaign and emphasize that the first aim of every employee should remain the cost reduction plan in the company. Major emphasis of the case is on the management strategy and organizational behavior that Dick Spencer adopted to run the company as a manager of the plant and also emphasizes on his techniques for human resource management. In tough time or for cost production the manager has to hold the situation of the company and employees technically not forcefully (more business.com). In this case the author wants to point out some mistakes that dick Spencer attempted in his career of management as a part of the tri American company’s Modrow branch. Variables that were affected by his misconceptions and wrong strategies were his family, the company and employees of the company. He adopted the strategy of pressurize implementation of his orders which according to him are innovative and necessary in order to get better outcomes along with cost reduction.

The case of dick Spencer has a strong relationship with the organizational behavior problems and human resource management problems. There are several models of human resource management that specifies the technique of how to tackle with the situations specially the one in which dick found him. The fombrun, tichy, and devanna model of HRM that specifies the coherence of activities related to human resource by giving the four step model to increase the performance of the employees (Bratton, Gold, 1999). Whenever something new is implemented this is the responsibility of the manager to opt for the strategy that will be accepted by the employees and it has to be suitable for the culture of the company (Armstrong, 2000). In the case of dick he tried to institute the new concept forcefully but it was not acceptable by the employees. Another reason of rejection of the proposed idea can be the way in which he wants that to be implemented. The manager is just like a leader and the way the leader conveys his message has to be convincing (Putzier, 2001). The forcing style imprints a negative effect on the listener and hence words are left unheard because of the refusal of the style (Wagen, 2007). This is the main reason that the situation took a wrong turn and started affecting his career life as well as his personal life because of stress that he took due to the failure in his management capabilities as the company was not recovering from loss by his set of actions. He was also lacking in his organizational behavior since organizational behavior is the way in which the manager applies his knowledge so that individuals, employees and groups act according to his strategies for the increment of organizational performance. (Big dogs and little dog’s performance juxtaposition).


I found a lot of inconsistencies in the dick Spencer’s case with the theoretical predictions. As the manager is supposed to be a leader who works to eliminate differences if exists between any individuals but it was missing in the case of dick Spencer (Kinicki, 2009). He himself has a lot of understanding issues with his employees which he failed to settle down and ultimately results in the failure of his organizational behavior which is the greatest challenge for any manager (Stroh, Northcraft, Neale, 2002). The manager has to keep track of activities that are going on in his organization but he is not supposed to stroll around the plant as dick was doing which was found objectionable. This creates another inconsistency in employee boss relationship as employees get uncomfortable by his frequent visits (Rashid, 1993). The manager is supposed to understand the concepts and assumptions that any model of human resource management carries before applying it in the company (Mabey, Salaman, Storey, 1998). Dick Spencer was failed to identify these concepts and assumptions as he did not noticed the behavioral change of his employees whereas a manager has to be capable enough to understand the requirements of the company and employees(Griffin, Moorhead, 2010).

Alternate course of actions:

There can be a lot of distinct alternate steps that could be taken in place of dick Spencer being a part of the company as a manager. I am going to specify some of the most appropriate below. He can promote methods that could help him in maintaining his relationship with employees. The misunderstandings between him and his employees can be removed by his flexible style of implementing new proposals and cost reduction plans. He has to manage to suggest his ideas in a convincing style. He can promote the new method of aluminum sheet folding by telling its great benefits that can be achieved by his employees like they can save their energy of cutting the foil and it would also reduce the possibility of tragedy of electric shocks or accidents by saw. The manager has to keep the positive tone when giving orders to his workers because it is one of the key concepts of HRM models. Another key point that placed the negative impression on his employees was his frequent visits on the floor and wandering habit to find out any flaws in the work of employees. This is a habit that affects the comfort level of employees to work which is not appreciated for good organizational behavior. This method of wandering around in the plant can be deducted from the alternate course of actions in order to increase organizational performance. These are some alternate actions that can be adopted for better management.


The case of manager of the tri American corporation’s Canadian branch points out two major flaws of management. The first one is the flaw in human resource management. The dick Spencer was lacking in the people management power. He suffered with the failure phase of his management due to his forceful attitude. All HRM models suggest that the manager should adopt the flexible attitude and should promote ways to sort out understanding problems in employees and I suggest the same alternate action to solve the human resource management problem. The second major flaw that I found was in organizational behavior of dick Spencer. Organization can only be run by great leadership power and by thorough understandings of the concepts of HRM model (Sims, 2007).


Armstrong Michael, 2000.Strategic human resource management: a guide

Bratton John, Gold Jeffrey, 1999 .Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. John bratton and jeffery gold

Griffin Ricky W., Moorhead Gregory, 2010. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations . south western cengage learning

Kinicki, 2009.Organizational Behavior 3E. Tata McGraw hill

Mabey Christopher, Salaman Graeme, Storey John, 1998 . Human resource management: a strategic introduction. Blackwell publishers

Putzier John, 2001."Get weird!": 101 innovative ways to make your company a great place to work to action. Michael Armstrong

Rashid S. Anwar, 1993. Organizational Behaviour. Methuen publications

Stroh Linda K., Northcraft Gregory B., Neale Margaret Ann 2002.Organizational behavior: a management challenge. Lawrence Erlbaum associates

Sims Ronald R., 2007. Human resource management: contemporary issues, challenges, and opportunities. Information age publication

Wagen Lynn Van der, 2007.Human resource management for events: managing the event workforce. Butterworth Heinemann

Big dogs and little dog’s performance juxtaposition retrieved at 3 Sep 2010 from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadob.html

More business.com, human resource management in a recession economy retrieved at 3 Sep 2010 from http://www.morebusiness.com/hold-on-employees-recession


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