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Problems at DickieWorld
Last year Stanley Spadowski bought DickieWorld, a small aquatic theme park, from the family who started it 25 years ago. However, things are not going well. Stanley’s not sure what the problem is, but he’s noticed that employees don’t seem very excited about coming to work, productivity is low, park satisfaction ratings are dropping, and absenteeism is high. (Even Dickie, the duck-billed platypus has been coming in late!) Employees seem to be drifting through the day, putting in low effort and giving up easily whenever they run into problems. He’s also concerned that he may be sued – as part of his new plans for DickieWorld, he recently hired 30 new park workers. He selected them by taking the top 30 scorers on a knowledge test about Dickie, and ended up hiring 20 White Americans but only 10 Hispanic Americans. To investigate this, Stanley hired two I/O psychologists, Drs. Davies and D’Mello, to help him out, but he’s not sure he should take either of their advice. That’s where you come in.
For the motivation issue, the two psychologists have different recommendations:
1. Dr. D’Mello believes the tasks at DickieWorld are far too ambiguous. Instead, workers should have a few simple tasks that are clearly outlined. She believes the Job Characteristics Model supports this.
2. Dr. Davies says they should pay the employees more. She believes that equity theory suggests that if they overpay employees, the employees will feel guilty and work harder.
For the legal issue, the two psychologists also have different recommendations:
3. Dr. D’Mello says that hiring only 10 Hispanic Americans is a big litigation risk. She suggests making a targeted recruiting effort to find qualified Hispanic Americans is the only way to address this problem.
4. Dr. Davies says the knowledge test is clearly job-related, so it doesn’t matter how many people of either race DickieWorld hires. She believes DickeWorld is safe from litigation.
1. Critique all four recommendations. State whether you agree with each and why or why not.
2. Give your own recommendations for how to address both the motivation and legal issues DickieWorld is facing – you may use any combination of Dr. Davies’ suggestions, Dr. D’Mello’s suggestions, or your own ideas (recommended!). Neither psychologist may have the right approach to either problem!
3. Explain (thoroughly) why you have made each of your recommendations. You may use any evidence from your book or from lecture to back up your suggestion. Do not use external sources. Do not share your personal opinions.
4. This means that your paper should have six sections: four critiques and two recommendations.
Tips and Specifics:
1. Use what we learned in class – book & lecture. Don’t share your personal opinions about management strategies.
2. Follow these directions carefully.
3. Be clear and concise in your arguments.
4. Be specific when you refer to theories, and include all components (if something is missing, I assume you don’t know it… if you think a piece of a theory does not apply, explain why you think that).
5. When you make your suggestions, be very clear about what you would do and why you believe it will work.
6. You are limited to 1000 words, so you will need to get straight to the point. You might consider drafting an outline to help you organize your ideas. When you are writing your critiques, the following might help you:
a. Get straight to the point when you make your argument. For example: “Dr. X is wrong (or right). XXX theory says a, b, & c. Dr. X has misinterpreted the theory. If this theory were interpreted correctly, the recommendation for DickieWorld would be XXXXX” and “I suggest XXX theory. Evidence for this theory shows XXX. I would apply this theory by doing XXX.”
b. It makes it easier to grade if you mark down what you are doing. For example “Dr. D’Mello Motivation Critique: (make your argument)” “Dr. Davies Motivation Critique: (make your argument)” “My Motivation Recommendation: (make your argument).” Be careful to keep each of your critiques and each of your recommendations in separate paragraphs, at a minimum.