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MCR003 Management Attributes and Skills Assignment Sample

Please read the Case Study “Sun Spot”

You are required to submit meaningful responses to the three questions that appear underneath the case study
Please use a minimum of five academic references not older that 2015.

Use Harvard Referencing to include appropriate in–text citations

Sun Spots

SunDax CEO Dax Hollandsworth turns his leather desk chair from the blinding sunlight stream- ing through the large office window and leans back, facing Mark Roberts, the company CFO.

"You know, Mark, on the surface this seems impossible. We look at the numbers, we look at energy trends, we look at tax breaks and the grants and loans poured into this effort, and..." his voice trails off as he raises his hands in a gesture of surrender.

"I dread the quarterly meeting and video teed," Mark says. "Everyone has been working really hard and they've come to expect the year-end bonus. Hell, they plan for it, their families budget for it."

"I realize this will come as a huge disappointment, but I really don't think it will come as a big shock to them. Do you want some of these?" Dax asks, taking a handful of jelly beans and extending the jar to Mark who takes a few. "They're working their tails off, but I've detected a decline in overall morale. Everyone here keeps a close eye on the industry and on the mood and efforts at the federal level. They deal every day with the competition from the Chinese, and they see this big trend toward mergers and acquisitions. They may not want to admit it any more than we want to say it, but I think they know the bonus pool is empty and they wonder what the future holds."

The question hanging over the offices throughout the U.S. solar industry echoes that of California-based SunDax, "how could this happen?"

To the outsider, things appear great for solar power. The numbers are staggering, with an overall increase in usage of more than 60 percent over the previous year. And American home and commercial construction shows the rising popularity of solar energy as a viable power alternative. Like the electric automobile, it is the wave of the future. But the public sees only the sun; industry insiders are looking at the sunspots.

Private investments in the early years followed by federal tax credits and Energy Depart- ment loan guarantees enabled solar companies such as SunDax to refine their products, increase inventory, and expand sales worldwide. Boom time brought U.S. Treasury grants to the industry of several hundred million dollars, and as sales increased so did employee bonuses. Many bonuses equaled up to a third of an employee's salary-money for a child's college tuition, down payments on homes, trips, and other luxuries.

Now, amid shaky global economic conditions, SunDax and others see a decline in U.S. and European solar energy incentives while Chinese competitors undercut costs, providing an inventory glut for many U.S. producers. In this climate, there is reluctance on the part of Congress to renew mini-grants or to extend tax credits. The stimulus packages upon which so many companies depended to jump-start market expansion are a thing of the past.

"I'm afraid that employees will believe we are bending to public pressure in withholding their bonuses or they will think we are holding onto financial assets in order to look stronger for a potential merger or acquisition," Dax tells Mark.

"Mergers and acquisitions are the trend right now, and some big names have given in. It we are acquired, they can share in the gains."
"We're not there yet," Dax says. "Our challenge is to shore up faith in our future among employees while dealing with the realities of the market. But if you say 'look at all of these challenges" and, "oh, by the way, don't expect a year-end bonus,' what can we offer to shore up that faith and restore enthusiasm?"


1. What options can you think of for Dax and Mark to mitigate the damage from untul- filled expectations for the annual bonus?

2. What specific steps would you take it you were a senior manager in this situation? Explain why for each step.

3. Do you consider it motivational and equitable when a substantial part of an employee's pay is a bonus based on company results in a highly uncertain environment?



(1) Options to mitigate the damage from unfulfilled expectations for bonuses

The case study shows how Dax and Mark have a casual approach towards the employees and their failure as a leader. More and more employees desire transparency and accountability from their leaders in the organisation. They want to know the specifications of the packages that they are offered. The year-end bonusesact as a way of encouragement to the innovation, hard work, and loyalty implying the accomplishments achieved on a personal level especially the one connected with the employees' annual performance appraisal (Sanyal and Hisam, 2018). However, it can happen that the bonuses do not materialise because of factors like lower profits than what was anticipated or may be due to a sudden financial distress. Breaking the news about lower bonuses to the workers after they have put so much effort right from setting goals to meeting the deadline in anticipation of some monetary incentive—can never be an easy task to doc Almost 65% of the companies listed in the Indonesian Stock Exchange are expected to inform prospective employees that the company offers a bonus(Miftah and Murwaningsari, 2018). However, some companies qualify their policies by stating that bonuses are not guaranteed; it is discretionary. Before breaking any news, the company may also consider delivering bonus regardless of the actual earned profits. Firstly, SunDax must ensure the salaries are commensurate with the market base pay. The company must ensure that the workers feel that they are being paid a good wage. The company should also articulate, if it feels possible, their plans of improvement in the company's performance and let the workers understand what they should do to improve for a bonus in the future. Dax and Mark who arethe employers can put up and share all the reasons why it is essential to support the circumstances and indeed explain the future anticipations of better business. However, they must be open to their employees. They could have told the actual situation and the impact of the current market scenarios on the benefits given to the employees. The company might decide to allocate ESOPs to the top performers of the company which might help them to keep motivated. In addition to the employers might provide bonuses in kind such as paid vacation or other benefits for management assignment help.

(2) Steps to be taken as a senior manager

As a senior manager, one needs to reassess how SunDax came into the current situation of dilemma. Even though the numbers of solar powers are showing growth to the outsider, but to the insiders, the downward trend is not a surprise. Therefore, careful examination of the reasons for the current predicament is necessary. Therefore, the steps to be taken as a senior manager to address the situation have been discussed below:

Step 1: Investigation: As a senior manager it is very important the factors that are pushing the company to become less profitable must be investigated. This allows the company to remove or counter the problems and thereby, avoid repetition of the situation.

Step 2: Communication: The workers must communicate the actual situation promptly. Finally, their representation will give them a sense of belongingness to the organisation. Delaying the process of breaking news that is not satisfactory will make the company delay opportunities to improve.

Step 3: Inclusiveness: The employees must be included in the decisions related to the bonus pay out. They must be given a clear picture of the company's financial situation and prospects.

Step 4: Transparency: Being transparent with the employees fosters trust and makes the employees feel cared for and valued. Openness is about embracing changes and new experiences in the organisation. At the workplace, it cannot follow an approach of one size fits all. Different solutions for different companies are required depending on the culture and relationships.

Step 5: Applying the principles of servant leadership and stewardship: Servant leadership is a style of management that puts the growth of the team and their wellbeing first over the companies or the leader's ambitions (Eva et al., 2019). The principles of servant leadership that can be applied includes listening, healing, being empathetic, persuasive, stewardship, and many more.

(3) Commenting on bonus based on firm’s result on highly uncertain situation

It can never be justified to link a bonus with a company's performance in a volatile environment. However, one of the popular types of bonuses is the bonus based on profit. The purpose of bonuses related to profit sharing is to make the workers aware of how their efforts are directly connected with the business's overall performance and increase the company's profitability. At the same time, it may seem evident that employees are motivated to work harder because of bonuses. But the recent studies find that employees are driven more by engagement than by financial rewards. Furthermore, the company's performance-based payments are applicable only for specific organisations and not all organisations.

The decisions related to bonuses are made by the people who do not regularly work with the employees in a closed room.A business is not just about financial performance but also values and ethics. A key to connect organisational strategy and employees is compensation(Sarkar, 2018). It can attract as well as retain employees and even impacts optimal performance. The equity theory of Adams is of the view that after an individual has decided to choose an action that is expected the needs, he further moves to assess the fairness or equity of the outcome(The World of Work Project, 2022).

Issues with inequality and entitlement

The employees may lose productivity over time if the novelty of the mechanism wears off. In addition, there may be problems with the perception that unequal and unjust treatment exists. Forinstance,a hard-working employee may be dissatisfied if he or she feels that others work less and receive higher profit share.A significant problem in the profit-sharing bonus plans is that an individual worker enjoys the higher productivity(Albert et al., 2019). However, they do not realise the impact of their performance on the profitability performance of the company. Thus, they may not find ways of improvement. However, in an unstable environment, a team member may feel demotivated to work hard as there is no certainty of receiving an incentive for their efforts to increase the company's profitability. The main reason is an insignificant relationship between individual performance and profitability of the company in an unstable environment.


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