Eric is a fleet manager at ABC Shipping Company. He leads a team of supervisors who look after the daily operations of the company’s ships. He can solve any complex operational issues, and motivate the supervisors given his rich experience in the field. He has to assign tasks to his team members, and monitor their performance. He directly reports to the managing director (MD). Recently, Eric and the supervisors have been
working from home for almost three months, and only visit the office once a week. One day at the office, Eric over heard this conversation between the supervisors, “I do not really see the need for fleet managers in our company; we are able to do our work well from home without much supervision. I think I am more productive this way than wasting my time at the office with direct reporting and attending meetings”. Another supervisor talked to Eric that he was thinking about furthering his studies with a ‘management course’ as he wanted to explore new ways to manage employees during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Eric approached you, who have studied management, to advise the supervisors on the importance of managers by addressing the following questions:
(a) Define the term ‘manager’, using your own words. Identify the three (3) levels of managers at ABC Shipping Company. Using a ‘functional approach to management’, recall why managers are important to organisations by discussing their key managerial responsibilities when performing the four managerial functions. Provide relevant examples from the case. (12 marks)
(b) “I do not really see the need for fleet managers in our company; we are able to do our work well from home without much supervision”. Do you agree that a manager’s role is getting less significant when organisations are operating in the ‘new normal’, after the COVID-19 pandemic? State and justify your view. Referring to the three ‘managerial roles’, propose three (3) ways to manage staff in the new normal at ABC Shipping Company. Provide relevant examples
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