: Bradley Cooper And Its Unethical Practices; Case Study

Executive Summary

This case study is written on Bradley Company that is a manufacturing company involved in metal work. In this report, some key issues related to human resource management and human resource development is identified. It has been revealed in the report that Bradley Company had to face issue of unethical practices that were being followed by employees. Some of managers and employees in Bradley Company were involved in unethical practices like theft and corruption. Although, due to whistle blowing the organisation got rid of those employees and managers, but, this resulted in creation of many other issues for the company. First of all, the state of distrust was created. Moreover, there was also lack of fit between newly appointed manager’s skills, education and his job.  The employees of company were highly demotivated and dissatisfied due to their lack of engagement in decision making. The manager of company was misusing his power and imposing duties on employees without giving them authority. All these issues resulted in reduced productivity and low performance of employees. In order to improve productivity of employees, a proper code of conduct must be followed within the firm. In addition to this, the human resource management should change its staffing policy and those individuals should be hired who have a fit with their job. Moreover, the employees must be provided with training opportunities for understanding code of conduct and importance of ethical practices. Although, management will have to face some issues while practicing these recommendations but through following various steps and strategies, these issues can be resolved.

2. Introduction

Due to high level of competition and globalisation, it has become highly important for management of organisations to search for those strategies through which they can compete successfully in market. In an organisation, a key role is played my human resource management (Wilton, 2016). Human resource management is a unique approach that is aimed at achieving competitive advantage by deploying highly committed and capable workforce. Human resource management is typically related to employees working in an organisation (Shields et al, 2015). According to Lussier and Hendon (2015), in 21st century human resource management is considered as a process in which skills and capabilities of employees are effectively managed for achieving goals and objectives of organisation. This report is about case study analysis of Bradley Company. First of all, in main body of the report some key issues faced by Bradley Company are identified and after that recommendations on the basis of theories and literature are given. In the end of report summary of whole report is given.

3. Main Body

Due to some powerful changes in global economy, a number of strategies related to human resource management have been altered. The relationship between employer and employee is changed due to the dynamic environment (Stone and Deadrick, 2015). From the analysis of case, it has been found that basically the Bradley Company was facing issue due to ineffective human resource management and lack of management’s focus on human resource development. Although, contemporary business environment requires management to give freedom and authority toemployees, but it does not mean that management totally ignores its employees. It is the primary responsibility of managers to keep an eye on performance of employees (Punnett, 2015). Following are some of key issues related to human resource management and human resource development that were occurred in Bradley Company;

3.1. Problems’ Analysis

3.1.1. Unethical Behaviour of Employees

The first and foremost problem occurred at Bradley Company was unethical behaviour of managers and employees. The employees and some managers of the company were involved in theft activities. This created a state of distrust within the organisation. Due to this the demand for products and services were also reduced.

3.1.2. Lack of Person-Job Fit (Manager)

After identifying employees and managers involved in unethical behaviour, the company hired new manager. From the analysis of case, it has been found that newly hired manager was accountant rather than engineer. This shows that there was lack of person-job fit in case of this new hiring. Due to the lack of fit between education, skills, capabilities and job of the manager, employees had to face a lot of issues (Swider et al, 2015). The manager was unable to identify right machinery, so the company had to face financial loss. Due to the lack of engineering knowledge, the manager was involved in wrong decision making, due to which performance and productivity of company was negatively affected.

3.1.3. Lack of Employees’ Engagement

One of the major human resource management issues being faced by employees of Bradley Company was lack of employees’ involvement in decision making. The new manager did not allow employees to take part in decision making and to share their ideas with him. This resulted in increasing demotivation level of employees. As according to Stankiewicz and Moczulska(2012), when employees are not provided with authority and are not involved in decisions then their motivation level is reduced. This is the reason; Bradley Company was facing issue of low productivity.

3.1.4. Ineffective Leadership Style

In Bradley Company, the newly appointed manager was using ineffective leadership style while managing employees. The manager who was actually the accountant adopted autocratic leadership style, according to which he used to make decisions alone without getting input from employees. As, the manager did not have engineering background, so without participation of employees in decision making like decision related to the purchase of a machinery, the firm had to face serious issues. Aboyassin and Abood(2013) stated that autocratic leadership style results in high level of employees’ dissatisfaction and demotivation. The employees felt disvalued and due to this their productivity was reduced.

3.1.5. Misuse of Power

Power is the capacity of one party to influence other (Clegg, 2013). In case of Bradley Company, the new manager had legitimate power while working as a manager within the firm. The manager was misusing his power. Employees at workshop had to do whatever is asked by manager. Due to the misuse of power by manager, the employees were not happy while working. This resulted in high dissatisfaction level of employees.

3.1.6. Fear of Whistle Blowing

Another issue faced by human resource of Bradley Company was having fear of whistle blowing. The analysis has shown that there were two employees who threaten other employees to report their colleagues on charge of corruption or theft. Employees even after knowing about misconduct and corruption of their colleagues did not have motivation to whistle blow about those issues. In order to ensure that employees follow ethical practices, whistle blowing is considered to be very important (Miceli et al, 2013), but as employees were being threatened by other employees, so they were unable to raise voice against them.

3.1.7. Lack of Training Providedto Employees Regarding Ethical Practices

It can be clearly seen from case study analysis that employees were involved in unethical practices like theft and corruption, so it depicts that employees were not provided with training about ethical practices. According to Williams (2013), in order to ensure that employees follow ethical standards and practices, it is important to provide them training about importance of following ethical standards and norms. This can help the management in ensuring fair practices by employees.

3.2. Recommendations

3.2.1. Code of Conduct

The top management of Bradley Company should formulate a formal code of conduct and all employees should be asked to sign that code of conduct. According to Treviñoet al (2014),  code of conduct will be helpful in promoting moral behaviour, enhancing reputation of organisation and preventing negative legal impacts. Moreover, with the help of formal code of conduct, the management will be able to encourage positive relationships with employees and discrimination and threatening will also be reduced. In code of conduct, the management should highlight all those values that must be upheld by all employees of organisation (Cohen, 2015). This will help the top management in reducing the unethical behaviour like theft and corruption of employees. In order to implement code of conduct effectively, the top management will have to face resistance from employees. In order to overcome resistance of employees, top management will need to communicate all values and standards with employees for making them capable of understanding their importance (Beeri et al, 2013).

3.2.2. Staffing

In order to ensure high performance of managers, it is important to have a fit between individual and his or her job (Hendry, 2012). The staffing in Bradley Company should be considered as a two-way process. At the time of hiring individual, it should be ensured that the person’s skills, knowledge and capabilities are completely matched with his or her job. According to Personality-Job Fit theory, it is stated that there are some specific personality traits of every organisation and individual. With the help of a fit between an individual and his or her job, productivity and satisfaction level of that individual can be increased. Although, this process of staffing requires a lot of time and resources, but through this the top management can ensure high productivity within workplace. The recruitment of manager must be done by considering the match between his or her skills, knowledge and the job (Lin et al, 2014). Like, in case of Bradley Company that person must be hired as a manager who is an engineer and who has an experience of working in a construction industry.

3.2.3. Use of Transformational Leadership Style

For improving the motivation and satisfaction level of employees, managers of Bradley Company should use transformational leadership style. It is a style of leadership in which a leader involves his or her subordinates for identifying required change, to create a vision for guiding the change and to execute change successfully. This will help the management in ensuring high productivity of employees, as they will be motivated to work efficiently and effectively (Choudhary et al, 2013).According to Strom et al (2014), transformational leadership also has a positive impact on self-growth of an individual. According to Maslow hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation is viewed as top of the needs. With the help of transformational leadership, employees in a group can be transformed in to people who transcend beyond self-actualisation. Moreover, it also assists in increasing moral development of an individual. The managers will have to face difficulty in aligning their individual principles and standards with the organisation, but they can do this by committing themselves to selfless ideals.

3.2.4. Training about Ethical Practices

In human resource management, training is considered as one of the important elements. The employees of Bradley should be provided with training for understanding the importance of ethical practices. The management should communicate all standards, norms and values to employees in order to ensure that they follow these standards and values while working within the organisation.In order to practice this suggestion, the management will have to bear high cost, but this will give long term benefit to the management of Bradley, as this way employees will not get involved in unethical practices like theft and corruption (Bratton and Gold, 2012).

4. Conclusion

In the end, it can be concluded from the case study analysis that human resource management plays a vital role for success or failure of any organisation. In order to ensure high performance and productivity of employees, management has to follow those human resource practices through which motivation and satisfaction level of employees can be enhanced. The management should keep an eye on performance of employees and they must be provided with authority to take part in decision making. This can help in increasing their level of motivation. The human resource management of Bradley Company was weak and ineffective, due to which it was facing serious issues. By focusing on some important aspects of HRM, the issues can be resolved easily and success of the company can be ensured.


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