The issues with SNHU pet supply company stem from two basic problems – the inflexibility of traditional management approach and adherence to process schematics without considering their re-evaluation, and the lack of understanding of importance of said processes by employees. Using POLC (Planning, Organizing, Leading, Controlling) framework, it is possible to evaluate how these issues affect the company on several levels (Carpenter et al., 2019).
The failure of planning comes from identifying alternative courses of action for achieving objectives. In the organizing section, management failed to strike a balance between worker specialization and desire for autonomy and variety. The leadership failure was in the adoption of the authoritarian style of corporate governance, expecting employees to obey the rulings they believe to be inane without question. This led to the escalation of conflict between managers and workers. Finally, the excessive use of control forced employees to perform the bare minimum, thus leading to a productivity drop (Carpenter et al., 2019). These issues need to be solved for SNHU to continue to grow.
The main functions of the manager are described by the POLC framework as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. As it has been previously shown, company management experienced failures in all four of their basic functions. Therefore, the productivity drop was the management’s fault, and not the employees’. SNHU’s approach to management can be best described as bureaucratic – a subsection of classic management (Griffin, 2021).
Although this type of management is normally found in public governance institutions, it managed to establish itself in SNHU (Griffin, 2021). It is shown through the managers’ impersonal relations with employees, inflexibility of decisions, and strict adherence to rules and regulations for their own sake rather than for the sake of overall efficiency, solving conflicts, or emphasizing the human capital.
Employees, on the other hand, express a desire for a different management approach. They are making a point that their skills are often better used elsewhere, and that the objectives of the company can be accomplished without strict timetables and adherence to a procedure that has been invented a while ago and did not see any changes since. The descriptions of their preferred approach to management have much in common with the contingency method. Such a style suggests that demands towards employees for planning, organization, and control should change in order to accommodate the task, rather than remain static indefinitely (Griffin, 2021). The conflict between the existing and the desired approaches to management creates animosity.
The situation in SNHU requires a thorough re-evaluation of existing management practices according to the POLC framework. First, it is necessary to identify the objectives of the company in general and various processes implemented in it, and compare the existing method of achieving these objectives to alternative solutions (Carpenter et al., 2019). Namely, it is necessary to figure out if the strict controlling behavior on the management’s part is warranted. If not (the most likely outcome), then alternative solutions will have to be evaluated. A democratic leadership approach should be adopted to involve employees in the decision-making process (Griffin, 2021).
They are more familiar with the processes in question and can provide valuable insight. Once the problematic aspects have been identified, a change management framework will have to be used, to get all members of the company on board with the changes. After changes are made, the management team should adopt a contingency management approach instead of the current bureaucratic one, for improved productivity and employee flexibility.
Carpenter, M. A., Bauer, T., Erdogan, B., & Short, J. (2019). Principles of management (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge.
Griffin, R. (2021). Fundamentals of management. Cengage Learning.