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Managerial Interview Paper

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Category: Business

Autor: anton 20 March 2011

Words: 2028 | Pages: 9

1. Both managers’ interviewees elected not to have their names mentioned.

Manager A is a store manager at Dairy Queen.

Manager B is store manager at 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment.

2. The Dates, Times, and locations of both interviews were as follows.

Manager A was interviewed Saturday November 5, 2005, at 12:00 pm at my house. Manager B was interviewed Saturday November 12, 2005, at 1:30 pm at her home.

3. The definitions of the training and education for both manager interviewees are as follows.

Manager A received a two year Supervisory Management Degree from Anoka Technical College while working already at a fast-food restaurant. She started working at an early age in the food industry and worked her way to the top. While on the job there were training courses mandated by Dairy Queen that she took while working.

Manager B had almost no education at all except for some training courses after she already had the job. Apparently, this person just knew the right people and worked her way from the bottom to the top.

4. The definitions of the four functions of management as given to each manager I interviewed. The controlling function is the way a person or organization monitors performance, compare it to goals, and take corrective action as necessary. The planning function is the goals set and the decision on how to achieve them. The organizing function is arranging tasks, people, and other resources to accomplish the work. The leading function is how you motivate people to work hard to achieve the organization’s goals.

5. The summaries of the practice of the four functions of management as described to the interviewees.

Manager A- The control function- Monitoring performance in which observation takes place on a daily basis with managers overlooking employees. Restaurant inspections occur every six months where the corporation reviews everything from cleanliness of store, procedures, food quality, food safety, service times, and equipment inspection. Another way performance is monitored is using secret shoppers, which is an evaluator posing as a customer, unknown to employees, who rates service with a smile, cleanliness, speed, uniform (nametags, hats, etc.) appearance of product, accuracy of order, and how it tastes. This evaluation is then sent to that particular store in a few days with a score in each category. Each store is evaluated based on the corporate standards. These standards are then compared to the usual goals of sales increase of 10% every year, labor percent according to sales, (varies between months) 17-21% depending on what time of the year it is summer vs. winter. Food purchase has to match inventory including the allotment for waste and theft. Inventory is taken monthly. Procedure for taking corrective action includes one verbal warning, (must be documented) then three written warnings for the same type of behavior (documented), and then the no-warning (five-shift) suspension, following with termination. The leading function- Motivational tools used are contests like who sells the most for a $25 cash prize or service speed times for sweatshirts and caps. The company has a yearly outing to ValleyFair, free for employees and reduced price for friends or family. The organizing function- Arranging people in the fast food industry is called “aces in their places” which means you put the best people at their best station. The schedule is based on the labor percentages using the total number of hours for the month. For example, if the sales projection is $11,000 multiply that number by the monthly labor percentage of 17%, (typical goal) which equals the total number of hours for the month, 187 hours. Other responsibilities of the manager is keeping the freezer and cooler stocked and organized along with checking in the truck order, which comes two to three times a week depending on sales. The order itself is based on an educated guess or by trial and error, with experience over time, determining what to order and how much to order becomes easier. The planning function- Starts with setting goals for advertising and donating to the community. Implementing radio stations with free prizes to help draw customers will increase sales and ultimately reaching the company’s goals. Other tools to increase profits are raising prices, decreasing overhead, and sales of less expensive items, for example, two for the price of one.

Manager B listed several duties, which fall into each of the four management functions. She is responsible for training new store employees, providing performance evaluations of store employees, scheduling staff for stores, inventory control, overseeing merchandising of the store, carrying out promotional themes at the store level, managing store expenditures/petty cash, and excelling in commissioned sales. Other duties include thoroughly understanding the sales process, creating repeat business, maintaining a positive workplace environment, excelling in telephone usage, working a minimum of 40 hours per week, performing daily responsibilities in the store, providing individual sales performance statistics to the management team, responsible for opening and closing the store, and using computer and POS skills daily.

6. Manager A has a combination of theories that match her management style. The system viewpoint and the behavioral viewpoint compliment one another in this case. The system viewpoint at her company has many parts working together to achieve a common purpose. The four parts are inputs, outputs, transformation processes, and feedback. The inputs include the people, the money, the information, the equipment, and the materials needed in food service. The outputs include the products, services, profits/losses, employee satisfaction/discontent all produced by the organization. The transformation processes include the management and technology ability to convert inputs into outputs. Feedback is the reactions by customers about the outputs, which in turn affects the inputs. The behavioral viewpoint corresponds to fast food because it deals with understanding human behavior (customers) and motivating employees toward achievement. She does not consciously use theory but after I mentioned some of the theory behind the behavioral viewpoint she said this is used daily and is something she follows but she did not know it was a theory. The step in the control function that is emphasized is the performance evaluation because someone is always being evaluated in this field, whether it is the employees, the managers, or feedback from the customers, which is used and recorded to help make changes. The kind of control that is exercised the most is concurrent, which is dealing with problems as they come up, but in reality, it would depend on the situation. The impact of the organization being service oriented in which it deals with customer complaints can only be done as they happen so in a fast-food restaurant concurrent control seems most relevant. In the fast-food business, quality control is extremely important. As I stated earlier there routine inspections where quality is a point of emphasis and the use of secret shoppers also makes sure quality is a priority. On a daily basis, food safety procedures are performed where the temperatures of all products is taken to verify that they are within the proper range of temperatures, and recorded in the food safety checklist book. This goes hand in hand with the quality management theory (total quality management) which is making an effort for continuous improvement a priority, where all employees are involved. The organization must listen and learn from other employees, customers, and use standards that are accurate to identify and eliminate product quality problems. The primary control tool used is performance evaluations. This tool helps not only on a daily basis with customers but is also used when it is time for an employees review. The other tools do not apply to this industry whether that means they are too complex or just do not incorporate anything useful to the fast-food industry.

Manager B does not use theory consciously and was not familiar with any of the theory that I mentioned. The closest theory that I found to match her organization was operations management, which focuses on managing the production and delivery of an organization’s products or services more effectively. Some of things she does and works on match this theory like work schedules, production planning, location, and maintaining optimum inventory. The control function emphasized is monitoring performance where she must keep her sales staff aware and up on latest trends and sales promotions and this is done in part by evaluating them on a monthly basis. They will compare performance to standards and based on that will determine what a particular employees status is with the company. In this case, the kind of control mostly used is feedforward control, which is trying to anticipate any problems. Since they deal with expensive equipment, problems need to be avoided if possible. Ultimately, it would depend on the situation, for example, if it dealt with an employee it would be handled differently. This organization is a service, selling fitness equipment, so the impact this has on the type of control used is that in sales some of the salaries are based on commission and any problems should be taken care of before hand so that the customer will be a repeat customer and buy again. Quality management to this particular company is quite important since the customer has the option to buy slightly used equipment; the quality is always brought into question. Total Quality Management (TQM) is used at her company they just do not have a name for their system. They want to improve, have everyone involved, listen/learn from customers and employees, and use the standards in place to identify and eliminate problems. She said her most important facet of the company is delivering the customer value, reason to shop their again, and having them feel free to ask any questions. She uses a performance evaluation for her whole department and individual employees and has not heard of the other control tools that I mentioned. Almost all companies use some form of performance evaluation because it is a good way to give reviews for employees for raises or increased recognition or promotion.

7. Manager A deals with many issues on a day-to-day basis. She deals with customer complaints, truck orders, managing breaks for all employees, counting tills, making sure customers enjoy their stay, and employee control, “aces in their places.” Other emerging issues that affect her job include the job is always getting more and more involved with ever-increasing standards and regulations. In addition, updated nutritional information can change customer viewpoints of the fast-food industry. Deciding who to promote from the “crew” level position and how many can be promoted because the salary is not enough for most people. As far as the internal and external environment of the company, it is hard to keep everyone happy all the time.

Manager B deals with some issues from time to time more during the busier winter months where their sales are highest. They have to know as a company the latest in nutrition because they are licensed in nutrition to give advice, similar to a fitness club where you go to work out. She deals some with customer support although not her main focus and needs to know every piece of equipment in detail. Issues that might affect her work is that America as a nation gets lazier and lazier each year and they are open for business to people that want to keep in shape so if that number goes down so do their sales. Their external environment has to have a need for fitness equipment since that is basically all they sell and internally employees have to be motivated about fitness and know good fitness and nutrition facts so the customers trust their judgments and advice.

8. Manager A interview went well and was more informative than the other interview. More of what was said matched up with the theory and just had more information given. Even though this position is not considered an upper manager, the context was more informative.

Manager B interview was not as easy matching to a theory and was less informative. I asked her how she got the job and she happened to know someone in upper management of the company and was just promoted after only working there for a couple of years. As the old saying goes, “It is not who you are, it is who you know.”

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