Quiz 19: Managing Operations

Business

The state department of education has implemented a new system for evaluating the public-school teachers. This new system was implemented to enhance the accountability of teachers towards the learning progress of the students. As per this system, teachers were assigned accountability scores based on principal's and master teacher's evaluations as well as student's test scores. The strengths and weaknesses of this system needs to be evaluated. The major strengths of the feedback control system used in the schools are described below: • One of the most important strength of the system was that the teachers were not solely evaluated based on the students' test score. Sometimes, it is possible that despite of a teacher's best efforts, student test scores are not very high as compared to other teachers. There might be other reasons for the same, therefore judging a teacher's performance only on the basis of students' scores is unfair. • The new system has different criteria of evaluating teachers for different states. It means that the evaluation criteria for school teachers from a metropolitan system was different from the county system and rural system. This was a strength of the feedback control system as it would provide fair evaluation results. For example, learning progress of the students depend on several other factors besides teacher's skills, knowledge and efforts including the effectiveness education system, facilities and infrastructure, student demographics, etc. Therefore, judging the teacher from a county system and a metropolitan system would be unfair for the teachers of metropolitan system as they do not have the same infrastructure, study resources, and student's proficiency in English language. The major flaws of the feedback control system used in the schools are described below: • The personal observations by the principals and master teachers were subjective in nature, which would make it difficult to measure the comparative performances of the teachers across the districts. • The accountability scores of the teachers were largely determined by the principals' feedback constituting 40 percent of total score. Therefore, any biasness from the principals would significantly affect the performance score of the teachers. • Lack of expert opinion was also a major shortcoming of the feedback system. To judge the subjective knowledge and skills, expert opinions needs to be included in the feedback system. In absence of this criteria, teachers could not be evaluated effectively. • One of the biggest flaws of the system was that no principal would score their education system less than perfect or below average as it would affect the reputation of their school. Therefore, scores given by the principals would be biased and it could not reveal the actual performance of teachers. • The master teachers were required to submit their evaluations on the basis of four class observations, which is not sufficient. The frequency of monitoring needs to be increased to obtain more fair results. • In absence of any monitoring and control system, principals and master teachers were skimping their visits and providing false reports. This is also a major flaw of the system. Recommendations to tackle the flaws of the feedback control system are as follows: • Proper monitoring and control system need to be established by the state department of education to ensure adequate evaluation. It is very crucial to get the accurate feedbacks. • The weightage of principal's feedback should be reduced from 40 percent to 20 percent and the remaining 20 percent scores should be awarded as per student's feedback or based on the opinion of outside experts. • Frequency of evaluations need to be increased for better evaluations of the teachers. • Furthermore, half yearly or annual tests, workshops, role playing sessions can also be conducted for the teachers to evaluate their teaching skills and knowledge. • The new system should focus on providing quality feedbacks to the teachers so that they can understand their performance and identify key area of improvements. This would enhance their performance, which in turn would ultimately improve the students' learning and performance.

Hierarchical control means the control lies with the centralized authority. It is more procedural in nature. Decentralized control means rules and procedures used only when they are inescapable. For the given scenario, the strategy to be followed should be the Decentralised Approach for the following reasons: • For a company low on employee morale, it is necessary to have a strategy which empowers the employees and make them feel an equal part of the organisation. This approach would enable them to come forward and provide fresh ideas to the already doomed organization. A sense on belongingness will uplift the employee morale and they will feel more committed to their work. • Moreover, for a travel agency, decentralised approach is more desirable as first-hand information will be provided to the customers by the tour guides and operators. • Decentralising will also enable the supervisor to concentrate on the core activities and the peripheral activities could be handled by his subordinates. It will save time and cost. • A decentralised organisation permits better coordination amongst various departments. This is because each department is assigned with a particular task and they are solely accountable and responsible for it. • It also facilitates quick decision making by dividing the work load. Thus, at this stage , providing greater autonomy to employees will yield positive results for the company.

Loss prevention expert C is recommending a change in the shoplifting policy at Company W, which would modify the current "zero tolerance" policy to one where first time offenders under 18 or over 65 would not be prosecuted unless the items they took exceeded a specified limit. Although it is a change from the long-term established policy at Company W, they should select option #2 as their new shoplifting policy. This policy does not prosecute first time offenders under 18 or over 65 unless the items they took exceeded a value of $20. This change in policy has the following benefits to Company W: • It reduces their prosecution costs , which are high and hurting the company results. • It shows sensitivity to specific groups - teenagers and older adults - who are first time offenders. This hopefully gives these people the opportunity to regret their decision to steal from the store and decide not to repeat it without the stigma of a prosecution on their record. • It frees up time and money for other activities , which might allow the company to improve their business results through promotions or other actions. The company is losing money, and prosecuting these low-value first time offenders requires attorney fees and staff time which can now be focused on other activities.

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