Understanding the main points. 1. Complete the following sentences, using your own words



 

1. Complete the following sentences, using your own words.

1. Taylor’s method of management was revolutionary because

     ………………………………………………………………………………...

2. Companies which adopted this new approach to management would benefit

     because ……………………………………………………………………….

3. Scientific Management would also be a good thing for workers because

     ………………………………………………………………………………...

4. At Bethlehem Steel Taylor decided to give workers smaller shovels so that

     ………………………………………………………………………………...

5. As a result of the new working procedures introduced at Bethlehem Steel,

    within a few years the company ………………………………………………

     ………………………………………………………………………………...

 

2. Complete the following table.

 

 

Frederic W. Taylor: Scientific Management (1947)

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
1. …………………………………… …………………………………… 2. …………………………………… …………………………………… 3. .………………………………….. …………………………………… 1. …………………………………… …………………………………… 2. …………………………………… …………………………………… 3. .………………………………….. ……………………………………

      

 

Vocabulary focus

1. Find words or phrases in the text which mean the same as the following:

 

1. making a judgement without being certain (paragraph 2)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

2. calculate (paragraph 2)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

3. quantity of goods produced (paragraph 2)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

4. established (paragraph 3)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

5. amount to be carried (paragraph 6)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

6. fixed period of time worked each day, especially for factory workers

    (paragraph 6)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

7. perception, clear realization, deep understanding (paragraph 8)

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

2. What is the meaning of the shop floor? (paragraph 4)
LANGUAGE STUDY

1. Complete the following chart.  

 

PERSON NOUN VERB ADJECTIVE
manager management manage managerial or managing
    criticise  
performer      
  science    
  training    
      analytical
  industry    
    observe  
      engineering
      revolutionary
    consult  

 

  2. Phrasal verbs and compound nouns with set.

 

A. Match the following verbs and nouns with the correct definitions.

        

     1. set up (v.)            a) keep for a special purpose

    2. set-up (n.)            b) establish a business or organisation      

     3. set back (v.)        c) something that slows or impedes progress

     4. set-back (n.)        d) an organization or arrangement  

     5. set about (v.)       e) start to do, or deal with, something  

     6. set in (v.)             f) put back or delay the development of something

     7. set out (v.)           g) begin an undertaking of some kind, e.g. a journey

     8. set against (v.)     h) start and probably continue

     9. set aside (v.)        i) balance against  

   10. set down (v.)        j) write, make a record of

 

B. Complete the following sentences, using suitable verbs and nouns from

    the list above.

          

      1. When the Managing Director ……………….. to change the management

           structure, no one thought he had a chance of succeeding.

      2. The strike of our shop floor workers ……………….. production at least

           three months.

      3. It looks as if a recession is about to ……………….. . No one seems to

           have any money at the moment.

      4. The new Marketing Manager doesn’t understand the ……………….. of

           our department yet.

     5. It is a common practice of companies to ……………….. certain business

         losses ……………….. taxes.

     6. One of our competitors has ……………….. a distribution network

          covering the whole country. How annoying!

     7. How on earth are we going to ……………….. reducing our costs?

     8. Most companies ……………….. a part of their profits for future

        investment. The money is kept in their reserves.

     9. We had a big ……………….. last year when our warehouse caught fire

        and our stock was destroyed.

   10. If an employee has an accident at work, he or she has to ………………..

        what happened in a report.

 

3. Complete the following passage, using suitable words and phrases from the box

below.

    

assembly line             foreman               schedule             quality control bonus                          lay off                 incentive                 robot capacity                      layout                  overtime                component                  redundant            shift 

 

“I used to work in a company which made ……………….. (1) for cars. Things like spark plugs, carburetors, and so on. We were well paid and we had a productivity ……………….. (2) too. And if we needed extra money for a holiday, you usually had the chance to do a bit of ……………….. (3). The management was generous. They gave prizes, such as car radios, to workers who attended regularly. That was a real ……………….. (4) for us not to be sick! We worked two ……………….. (5) at the factory – I usually worked at night. I liked the ……………….. (6) a lot. He let you get on with the job.

Things changed two years ago. We got several big orders at once and just couldn’t cope. The Production Manager got really upset when we got behind ……………….. (7). The ……………….. (8) people weren’t too pleased either because a number of carburetors had faults, so they were thrown away. In the end, the company brought in some management consultants. They studied our methods of work, then recommended automating part of the plant. That meant changing the whole ……………….. (9) of the factory.

Well, we did as they said. I must say, our production ……………….. (10) did increase and stock levels became high again. The trouble is, the management decided to cut down the work-force. At first, only a few workers were ……………….. (11), but later staff from all departments were made ……………….. (12).

Nowadays, I’m working on an ……………….. (13) in a car manufacturing factory. I spray the car bodies. Would you believe it, I hear they’re bringing in ……………….. (14) to do my job! So I’ll be out of a job again soon”.    

 

 

UNIT 3 THE QUALITY OF WORKING LIFE

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

An American writer, Studs Terkel, has written a book entitled Working. In it, he describes the working lives and feelings of all kinds of American people. In this

extract, a spot welder at a Ford assembly plant in Chicago, USA, is talking about his job.

 

Read the extract and then answer the questions below.

“I stand in one spot, about two- or three-feet area all night. The only time a person stops is when the line stops. We do about thirty-two jobs per car, per unit. Forty-eight units an hour, eight hours a day. Thirty-two times forty-eight times eight. Figure it out. That’s how many times I push that button.

 

The noise, oh it’s tremendous. You open your mouth and you’re liable to get a mouthful of sparks. (shows his arms) That’s a burn, these are burns. You don’t compete against the noise. You go to yell and at the same time you’re straining to maneuver the gun to where you have to weld.

 

You got some guys that are uptight, and they’re not sociable. It’s too rough. You pretty much stay to yourself. You get involved with yourself. You dream, you think of things you’ve done. I drift back continuously to when I was a kid and what me and my brothers did …

 

It (the production line) don’t stop. It just goes and goes and goes. I bet there’s men who have lived and died out there, never seen the end of that line. And they never will – because it’s endless. It’s like a serpent. It’s just all body, no tail. It can do things to you … (laughs)

 

I don’t understand how come more guys don’t flip. Because you’re nothing more than a machine when you hit this type of things. They give better care to a machine than they will to you. They’ll have more respect, give more attention to that machine. And you know this. Somehow you get the feeling that the machine is better than you are”. (laughs)

 

1. How does the man feel about his job?

2. Do you think that many workers today feel as he does? Explain your answer.

3. What examples can you find in the text of non-standard English?

READING

 

Over the last thirty years, a new approach to management has been developing. Those favouring it say that the way to increase workers’ efficiency is to improve their job satisfaction and motivation. Followers of the Quality of Working Life movement (QWL) have been trying out various methods of making work more interesting. These include job enlargement, job enrichment and new forms of group work.

 

With job enlargement, the worker is given additional tasks to perform. Thus, the operator of a word-processor may be asked to do filing duties as well. Job enrichment involves giving extra responsibilities to workers such as production planning, quality control and technical development of equipment. In some organisations, special types of work groups have been formed where workers share responsibility for certain tasks. For example, at the Volvo car plant in Kolmar, Sweden, assembly workers do not work on a moving production line. They are organized into thirty teams of fifteen to twenty members. They have their own tasks, like assembling heating and electrical systems, and they work in their own part of the factory.

 

As can be seen, the basic idea of QWL is that a worker should have an interesting, even challenging job. QWL encourages managers, therefore, to be sensitive to the needs of employees.

 

The roots of the QWL movement can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s. It was at this time that the famous Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago, USA, from 1927 – 32. Most of the studies were directed by Professor Elton Mayo, a Harvard University psychologist. Their aim, initially, was to evaluate the factors influencing productivity. However, the researchers soon directed their attention towards studying people, especially their social relationships at work.

 

It all began when the Hawthorne Company investigated the effect of factory lighting on production and workers’ morale. They found out that the groups of workers who were studied increased their output whether the lighting was improved or not. This led them to look for the human factor influencing efficiency. To help them in their search, they brought in Professor Elton Mayo and his colleagues.

 

He directed a series of experiments on how working conditions affected output. In the early experiments, his subjects were a group of girls who assembled telephone equipment. Such things as lighting, lunch times, rest periods, wall colours, pay and temperature were varied to see how they affected productivity. The researchers generally discussed the changes with the girls before putting them into effect. Once again, it was found that there was an increase in productivity whether conditions were made better or worse.

 

The researchers began looking for other factors which would explain the increased productivity. They realized that their study was also about workers’ attitudes and values. It was clear that the girls had developed a high morale during the experiment and had been motivated to work hard. This high morale was put down to several factors. First, the girls had enjoyed feeling they were especially selected for the study and were receiving a lot of attention from management. Secondly, they had developed good relationships with each other and with their superior during the experiment. This was because they had been fairly free to work at their own pace and to divide their work up amongst themselves. Lastly, the good relationships and social contacts had made their work more enjoyable.

 

This experiment was followed by many others. The researchers came to the conclusion that social relations, among workers and between workers and their bosses, affect output, the quality of work and motivation. Another important finding was that a worker needs more than money and good working conditions to be productive. The feeling of belonging to a group, and his/her status within that group, strongly affect his/her behaviour – even if the group is an unofficial or informal one.

 

It is said that Elton Mayo founded the Human Relations school whose offspring is the Quality of Working Life movement. He directed and publicized the Hawthorne experiments which have been so influential to this day. The conclusions of the study challenged the theory of Scientific Management put forward by Frederick W. Taylor. Both men, however, changed the course of management thinking.

 

Understanding the main points

1. Decide whether the following statements are true or false.

 

1. Managers who believe in QWL are experimenting

    with new ways or organizing work.                                  T/F

2. The idea of job enlargement is to make work more

    satisfying for an employee.                                               T/F

3. Job enrichment involves giving workers more tasks

    of the same level of difficulty.                                           T/F

4. The Kolmar car plant is efficient because workers

    specialize in one task.                                                       T/F

5. The QWL approach makes managers more aware of

    their workers’ interests.                                                    T/F

 

2. Answer the following questions.

 

1. In what way did the Hawthorne experiments change direction?

2. In Mayo’s experiments how did changes in working conditions affect

    the workers he studied?

3. Why did the group of girls become more efficient?

    

 

4. According to the researchers what other factors, besides money, affect a

    worker’s productivity?

5. Why have Mayo’s experiments been so influential?

 

Vocabulary focus

 

1. Match the words and phrases to their meanings.

 

  1. motivation                          a) assess, study  

  2. assembly workers               b) asked somebody to come and help

  3. production line                     c) desire or incentive to do something

  4. challenging                         d) state of mind

  5. carried out                           e) causing them to operate

  6. evaluate                               f) factory workers who each have a particular

7. morale                                     job to do in the production of a vehicle,

  8. brought in                                machine etc.

  9. putting them into effect      g) arrangement of workers and machines in a

10. at their own pace                     factory whereby each worker is responsible

11. status                                       for one stage of assembly, and the article

12. challenged                               being assembled is passed from one worker

                                                       to the other (usually on a moving conveyor

                                                       belt)

                                                   h) at their own speed

                                                   i) questioned

                                                   j) interesting, difficult, stimulating

                                                   k) conducted, held

                                                   l) position in relation to others

 

 

LANGUAGE STUDY

1. Complete the following sentences with the correct word or phrase (a, b or c).

 

1. People work harder if they know that someone is ……………….. in their

    progress.

    a) enthusiastic

    b) interesting

    c) interested

 

2. Nothing has been announced but we’ve heard ……………….. that the

    Company Secretary has resigned.

    a) formally

    b) officiously

    c) unofficially

 

3. Friendly ……………….. no longer exist between members of the sales

    department because some got bonuses and others didn’t.

    a) relations

    b) contacts

    c) connections

 

4. ……………….. in the Production Department is low because the workers

    have heard about the plans to reduce the work-force.

    a) Morale

   b) Feeling

    c) Moral

 

5. This is a useful ……………….. .

    a) equipment

    b) machine

    c) machinery

 

6. We have carried out ……………….. into the effect of lighting on our

    workers’ productivity.

    a) a research

    b) some research

    c) researches

 

7. Strikes can be avoided if managers are ……………….. to the feelings of

    their employees.

    a) aware

    b) sensible

    c) sensitive

 

8. Some people like to work at their own ……………….. .

    a) beat

    b) motion

    c) pace

 

9. We have several proposals for increasing sales. We must ……………….. the

    merits of each of them.

    a) cost

    b) value

    c) evaluate

 

10. Has the change in exchange rates had any ……………….. on the cost of

     your raw materials?

     a) result

     b) affect

     c) effect

2. Phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions with put.

 

put down to                 attribute, e. g. I put his mistake down to inexperience.

 

put forward                  suggest, propose ( an idea, scheme)

 

put across                     explain or communicate clearly

 

put back                        move to a later date

 

put off                           postpone or delay

 

put on to                       give someone information about, e. g. You need expert

                                      advice about this. I can put you on to a very good 

                                      lawyer.

 

put through                   connect by telephone

 

put up                            invest, provide money for, e.g. They have put up

                                      $50,000 for the project.

 

put out                          (a) put someone out – inconvenience him or her

                                      (b) put oneself out – make a special effort

 

put up with                    tolerate, endure

 

put one’s finger on        find the cause of the trouble

 

put one’s foot in            say the wrong thing or make an awkward mistake

 

put paid to                     destroy, ruin completely, e. g. His accident put paid to

                                       his chances of being promoted.

 

put in a good word for   recommend someone

 

 

 A. Rewrite the following sentences, replacing the words in italics with phrasal

 verbs or idiomatic expressions from the list above. Make any other necessary

changes.

 

    1. I think we’d better hold the meeting a week later.

        ……………………………………………………………………………

    2. Apparently a foreign investor has provided $1 m to finance the project.

        …………………………………………………………………………….

 

    3. At such short notice, I can’t postpone my visit.

        …………………………………………………………………………….

    4. My boss won’t accept any inefficiency from his staff.

        …………………………………………………………………………….

    5. She knows a lot about the use of computers but she can’t seem to express

        her ideas clearly to the rest of us.

        …………………………………………………………………………….

    6. Our chairman has presented a proposal for a profit-sharing scheme.

        …………………………………………………………………………….

    7. I’m not surprised by our poor financial performance. I think it was caused

        by ineffective leadership.

        ……………………………………………………………………………..

    8. I’ve been trying to discover why the morale of the sales department is so

        low but I just can’t understand what the problem is.

        ………………………………………………………………………………

 

B. Complete the following sentences with phrasal verbs and idiomatic

    expressions from the list above.

       Make any other necessary changes.

 

    1. Our sales have been low this quarter. That’s ……………….. to my

        chances of a bonus.

 

    2. (on the phone) Hello … yes, it is … Mr Smith? Certainly. Hold on a

        second. I’ll ……………….. you ……………….. .

 

    3. It’s very kind of you to ask me to dinner. I hope I’m not ………………..

        you ……………….. .

                                                   

    4. When senior managers from head office come to visit us we really

        ……………….. ourselves ……………….. to make their stay enjoyable.

 

    5. You want to know the prices of houses in the United States? Sorry, I can’t

        help, but I can ……………….. you ……………….. to someone who can.

 

    6. I ……………….. it when I asked Mr Johnston how his wife was.

        Apparently, she’s just left him!

 

    7. You’d like to transfer to the Personnel Department, would you? Perhaps

        I can ……………….. for you when I see the Personnel Manager.

 

 

3. Think of a particular ethical issue that concerns you. Write a letter to an

organisation asking what its policy is on this issue.


 

UNIT 4 DECISION-MAKING

 

 

DISCUSSION

Read the following case study. Then, working in groups of two or three, answer the questions below. Finally, compare your answers with those of the other groups.

The time is almost midnight. Sheldon, Chief Executive of Reprox, a photocopying equipment firm, sits in an armchair, looking shocked. He has just had a phone call from Donald, his Marketing Manager, and what Donald has told him is very worrying. Sheldon pours himself out a stiff whisky and considers the facts.

 

Apparently, the previous night, Donald had gone to a local restaurant with his wife. There, he had seen the firm’s top salesman, Melvin, having dinner with a woman. Donald had been amazed at Melvin’s choice of a dining companion, for the woman was Lois Markham, an executive from Hitex, one of their main competitors.

 

The next day, Donald called Melvin to his office, intending to give the top salesman a quiet warning about mixing with the enemy. However, the conversation did not go as planned.

 

“If you must know, I’ve been living with Lois for about a year now. And I might very well marry her,” Melvin said, “but I don’t see that it’s any business of this company’s”.

 

“Come on now, don’t be so naïve,” Don answered. “Think of the security aspect. We’re in a competitive business – it’s dog eat dog”.

 

“I haven’t done anything wrong. You’ve got no right to interfere in my private life. And if you start doing so, maybe I’ll have to look for another job”.

 

Sheldon considered the problem. Should he turn a blind eye to what was going on? Or was some sort of action needed on his part?

 

 

1. Summarise briefly the problem that Sheldon must solve.

2. What factors should he take into account before taking a decision?

3. How should he deal with the situation?

4. Can firms do anything to avoid this type of problem?

 

READING

 

In carrying out management functions, such as planning, organizing, motivating and controlling, a manager will be continually making decisions. Decision-making is a key management responsibility.

 

Some decisions are of the routine kind. They are decisions which are made fairly quickly, and are based on judgement. Because a manager is experienced, he knows what to do in certain situations. He does not have to think too much before taking action. For example, a supervisor in a supermarket may decide, on the spot, to give a refund to a customer who has brought back a product. The manager does not have to gather a great deal of additional information before making the decision.

 

Other decisions are often intuitive ones. They are not really rational. The manager may have a hunch or a gut feeling that a certain course of action is the right one. He will follow that hunch and act accordingly. Thus, when looking for an agent in an overseas market, a sales manager may have several companies to choose from. However, he may go for one organization simply because he feels it would be the most suitable agent. He may think that the chemistry between the two firms is right. Such a decision is based on hunch, rather than rational thought.

 

Many decisions are more difficult to make since they involve problem-solving. Very often, they are strategic decisions involving major courses of action which will affect the future direction of the enterprise. To make good decisions, the manager should be able to select, rationally, a course of action. In practice, decisions are usually made in circumstances which are not ideal. They must be made quickly, with insufficient information. It is probably rare that a manager can make an entirely rational decision.

 

When a complex problem arises, like where to locate a factory or which new products to develop, the manager has to collect facts and weigh up courses of action. He must be systematic in dealing with the problem. A useful approach to this sort of decision-making is as follows: the process consists of four phases: i) defining the problem; ii) analyzing and collecting information; iii) working out options and iv) deciding on the best solution.

 

As a first step, the manager must identify and define the problem. And it is important that he does not mistake the symptoms of a problem for the real problem he must solve. Consider the case of a department store which finds that profits are falling and sales decreasing rapidly. The falling profits and sales are symptoms of a problem. The manager must ask himself what the store’s real problem is. Does the store have the wrong image? Is it selling the wrong goods? Or the right goods at the wrong prices? Are its costs higher than they should be?

 

At this early stage, the manager must also take into account the rules and principles of the company which may affect the final decision. These factors will limit the solution of the problem. One company may have a policy of buying goods only from home suppliers; another firm might, on principle, be against making special payments to secure a contract; many enterprises have a rule that managerial positions should be filled by their own staff, rather than by hiring outside personnel. Rules and policies like these act as constraints, limiting the action of the decision-taker.

 

The second step is to analyse the problem and decide what additional information is necessary before a decision can be taken. Getting the facts is essential in decision-making. However, as already mentioned, the manager will rarely have all the knowledge he needs. This is one reason why making decisions involves a degree of risk. It is the manager’s job to minimize that risk.

 

 

Once the problem has been defined and the facts collected, the manager should consider the options available for solving it. This is necessary because there are usually several ways of solving a problem. In the case of the department store, the management may decide that the store has the wrong image. A number of actions might be possible to change the image. New products could be introduced and existing lines dropped; advertising could be stepped up; the store might be modernized and refurbished or customer service might be improved.

 

 

It is worth nothing that, in some situations, one of the options may be to take no action at all. This is a decision just as much as taking a more positive course of action. Peter Drucker, in his book The Practice of Management, gives a good example of the no-action option. He writes about a shipping company which, for twenty years, had problems filling a top position. Each person selected got into difficulties when doing the job: In the twenty-first year, a new President asked, ”What would happen if we did not fill it?” The answer was “Nothing”. It then turned out that the position had been created to perform a job that had long since become unnecessary.

 

 

Before making a decision, the manager will carefully assess the options, considering the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Having done this, he will have to take a decision. Perhaps he will compromise, using more than one option. Thus, the manager of the department store may solve his problem by making changes in the product range, increasing advertising and improving the interior of the store.   

 


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