Four functional managers of Zelte USA have expressed their concern on the attitude of their General Manager Hans Meindle, which they fear, will destroy the progress of the company. The importance of trust in stewardship of any organization is cited in this article critique and recommendations are made to rectify the situation.
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His lack of trust in people, meanness shown in office expenditure, partisan attitude, status consciousness as opposed to basic human courtesies, and above all compartmentalizing client accounts to his domain not allowing the functional heads to operate on, and similar behaviors have annoyed not only his immediate reporting officers of four functional areas, but also everyone in the organization. Office staffs see him as a person from a different ethnic background, and sometimes refer him as a German monarch.
Born a German, Meindle is a self made man, who has contributed to the company’s success. Particularly, he enjoys the trust of the company’s founder and Chairman Dr. Fischer. The four managers reporting to him are concerned about the company’s progress. They feel that Meindle must be relieve of his responsibilities as otherwise it would damage the company’s progress and also their individual career progression. Meindle has proved once his unethical approach of revising the price of items supplied to a valuable customer, who chose to withdraw the order. Dr.
Fischer had to fly down all the way from Germany to see that the orders were renewed. Zelte USA, although at present making only $10 million as compared to $350 million business of the parent company, the ten time progress rate it has achieved in about 13 years, gives good promise for a great growth. So, it is important for the Company to take appropriate action to improve the morale of the people, which is very low at the moment. As we go through the case, the only cause is Meindle’s approach to people working with him contributes to this low morale level.
The main issue is about the stewardship of Meindle, the General Manager. “Crucially, stewardship is not created through formal rules but rather is facilitated through organizational structures that help leaders to generate interpersonal and institutional trust, clarity regarding organizational strategy, and intrinsic motivation in followers, which, in turn, encourages followers to act with moral courage in service to the organization or cause.
”(Hernandez, M. 2008) It is therefore necessary for Zelte USA to attend to this issue with utmost concern, by bringing in structural interventions which will promote more transparency and understanding. The following recommendations are made: Hans Meindle needs good counseling by Dr. Fischer, who must be aware of the personality factors of Meindle. If necessary, he must be sent to a good training program with a reliable business school.
A person, who has learnt business management by experience, will understand the nuances of organizational behavior well through a business school program. Dr. Fischer should also sit with the four functional managers periodically in scheduled business meetings, in which Meindle should also be present. Initially, these meetings should be held once every month, if not once every fortnight. After a period of 12 months, this frequency can be reviewed and revised depending upon requirements.
The Organization should also go in for project teams and Project Managers for their expansion work in the United States, such teams reporting to Dr. Fischer. By these steps, the morale and trust level at Zelte USA will improve. The cost of training would be relatively negligible and it will be normally considered a business expenditure. Reference Hernandez, M (2008). Promoting Stewardship Behavior in Organizations: A Leadership Model. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(1), 121-128. Retrieved April 25, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Global database
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