Management Principles

Management Principles
Semester 1, 2022
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Assessment 3: Individual Assignment
This assignment replaces the normal end of year closed book examination in Semester 2,
Title: Open Book Assignment
Due date: Week 14 (Please check with your lecturer or Moodle site for the correct
Worth: 50% of final grade
For this assignment, please complete both sections – Sections A and B.
For Section A, answer the two (2) questions relating to the Case Study provided.
Use approximately 300 words for each answer. (worth 20% of final mark)
For Section B (reflection questions), answer the three (3) questions. Use
approximately 300 words for each answer. (worth 30% of final mark)
Section A is worth 20% and Section B is worth 30%.
Please use appropriate theory to support your answers and use APA referencing
to cite academic material used. The APA referencing is not included in the word
Please clearly number your answers appropriately.
Please submit your word file in the appropriate Turnitin submission site on Moodle
before the due date.

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Section A: Case Study Analysis
The atmosphere in the room is tense. Ted Jones-Mason, CFO for International Industries has
just finished his presentation. President Brenda Wood, sits quietly making notes. After a pause,
she breaks the silence.
‘From what you have shown us, Ted, it seems that we face the following problems in Australia.
Our plant is not competitive when benchmarked against international best practice or against
our other plants in China, Germany and the United States. Our production costs are the highest
in the world. Our low productivity and high labour costs are killing us. In short, we must either
cut our Australian losses and expand elsewhere or make our Australian operations more
Ted looks directly at Brenda. ‘Brenda, that’s it in a nutshell. Our Australian operations are
bleeding badly. Worse, their financial performance is now affecting the group’s overall
profitability and ability to grow. If we don’t do something quickly about Australia, we risk being
taken over by Mega Manufacturing of China. If that happens, the Australian plant will certainly
be closed. You are all aware that our share price has dropped 20 per cent in recent months and
that it is rumoured in the financial media that we are now a potential takeover target if we don’t
do something about stemming the losses in our Australian operations.’
Brenda nods in acknowledgement then turns to face Steve Jaworski, vice-president of
manufacturing. ‘Steve, what do you think?’
‘Ted is right. The point I wish to make is this, if we could achieve 90 per cent of best practice
figures for productivity and labour costs our Australian plant would be among the most profitable
in the company. It’s basically that simple. Our performance is appalling. We have rotten
production figures because our plant and equipment is archaic and we don’t have any labour
flexibility. Excessive penalty rates make it uneconomical to operate the plants seven days a
week, absenteeism is ridiculously high, our workers are not motivated, we constantly face fights
with the unions over demarcation, our workers show more loyalty to the unions than they do to
us and the safety record of the Australian plant is the worst in the company. Yet, our pay and
conditions of employment are among the best in the industry. Our labour turnover is low — no
one ever leaves. It’s just that no one works either.’
‘I don’t know if you realise it or not,’ interrupts Ted, ‘but according to the US Bureau of Labor
Statistics, Australia is the least efficient manufacturing country in the world.’165

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‘I hear you Steve,’ says Brenda, ‘but I must admit it sounds like a terrible indictment of our
Australian management. Rachel, you have been quiet so far, what have you got to say?’
Rachel Barberis, vice-president of people and culture, looks at the faces around the boardroom
table. ‘It seems to me we have a terrible problem, but it is solvable. In the past, we have been
able to ignore much of what is hurting us now because business was so good. The newly
completed China and US plants were not in full production and the German plant was
undergoing a major technological overhaul. Australia now has to be competitive or it is going to
be run over.’
‘The unions need to understand that workers will fall into two groups — those that can work with
robots and those who will be replaced by them,’ adds Steve. ‘As of today, we can replace 250
jobs with robots and save ourselves at least $10 000 000 a year.’
‘That might be the case, but I can’t see the union agreeing to lose 250 jobs to foreign built
robots,’ says Ted.
‘What we have to do is get our Australian management back to basics,’ says Brenda. ‘We have
stated that our corporate mission is to be the fastest growing, most profitable company in the
industry. The company’s committed to investing in people, R&D and equipment. We want to be
the best by constantly seeking technological improvement and superior teamwork.’
‘I agree,’ interjects Rachel, ‘but we haven’t even articulated a clear human resource strategy
linked to our strategic business objectives. We have management problems and we have
industrial relations problems — all are human resources related. The Industrial Union of
Manufacturing Workers and the National Clerical Association are strong because we are not
doing a good job of managing our people. The unions manage our workers, not us. Our
managers have abrogated their HR management responsibilities. For heaven’s sake, the unions
tell us who to hire and fire, whether or not we can use contractors — we even have to ask them
if it is okay to automate or outsource any activity. We can’t do anything without getting their
permission. We say we are an equal employment opportunity employer, but we give preference
to union workers, we promote on seniority and not on ability, and if we have to reduce staff
members, it must be done on the basis of “last on, first off”. A practice, I need not remind you
that clearly discriminates against women. We can’t reward our best workers — performance is
an irrelevancy. Everyone is paid the same. Trying to fire someone for unsatisfactory
performance is a nightmare and more often than not we end up paying “go away” money.
Added to all of this the Australian industrial relations laws are a major block to efficiency.’166
Ted interjects, ‘The problem is that the FWC is overly concerned with process and job
protection. Productivity does not come into it.’
‘I agree that the situation in our Australian operations is a major worry,’ adds Steve. ‘Unless
things change we will have no option but to shut them down. To survive they must stop
operating by twentieth century rules and prepare for the twenty-first century. It needs to be

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understood by our Australian management and the unions that International Industries does not
have to invest in their country.’
Brenda pauses, ‘I agree major changes are required in management personnel, employee
attitudes and in our approach to human resource management. Rachel is right, we have a
business strategy but we don’t have a people strategy. This is our last chance to save the
Australian operations. Rachel, I want you, Steve and Ted to get together and formulate an
action plan for the board’s consideration at the July meeting.’
The three executives nod and voice their agreement.
Source: Stone, R.J., Cox, A. and Gavin, M. (2021) Human Resource Management. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Chapter 13, p379
Case Questions: Please answer these two questions, A1 and A2. Please use relevant examples
from this case in your responses to these questions where possible. Use approximately 300
words for each question. Please use appropriate theory to support your answers and use APA
referencing to cite academic material used. The APA referencing is not included in the word
A1. Identify two (2) significant issues that International Industries are facing from the
information in the case study.
a) Explain why these are issues. (5 marks)
b) What would you recommend the organisation to do to address the two (2) issues which
you identified. (5 Marks)
A2. Identify the various stakeholders involved and determine which ones are likely to represent
the forces for change or the forces resisting change. (10 Marks)

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Section B: Reflective component. This section is worth 30 marks
Over the past couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes that have
impacted our lives and environment. Businesses have needed to adjust their plans to
accommodate these changes. You also had to adjust your university studies in this situation.
Feedback is an important component of the control management function. This combined with
reflective practice contributes to the management function of planning. Spend some time
reflecting on the situation before addressing each question below:
B1). Relating to the mid-semester test (assessment 1) and case study report (assignment 2),
reflect on your preparation or strategy, you used for doing and completing these tasks. (10
B2). Continuing from the question above and on the same theme, looking back, especially to
your group work, what could you have done differently, how and why? (10 marks)
B3). Reflecting on the topics covered in this course. Which topics and how do you think you
would use the knowledge and lessons in the future? (10 marks)
For each of the questions above:
1) Please include any theory and concepts covered in this course to support your
responses (for example, any of – management function(s), management approaches,
motivation theory, environmental factors, etc.).
Clearly state what theory(ies) or
concept(s) that you are referring to in your response.
2) Please
include references (in APA format) to support your responses, especially the
theory(ies) and concept(s) used in your reponses. The reference list is not included in
the word count.
3) The length of the written responses for each question should be approximately 300
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BUMGT1501 – General Marking Rubric for Assignment 3

Objective/Criteria Performance Indicators
Missing from
Below pass
Meets pass
Meets credit
Meets distinction
Meets high
Definition and
explanation of key or
relevant concepts
(0 points) (max. 3 points)
Missing Not adequately
defined or explained
Not all required
definitions provided
in the answer
Just adequately
defined or explained
Well defined but some
required definitions
required by question
Good definition or
Excellent definition or
clear explanation –
reflecting learning of
Excellent definition or
clear explanation,
reflecting excellent
detail in answer
Exceeds standards
Completeness of
illustration or
applications or
discussion as asked by
the question
(Answered question)
(0 points) (max. 5 points)
Missing May not have
addressed question
All/Most required
Just adequately
addressed question
Good but some
good but limited to
required by the
question provided
some reasoning
terminology (where
some reasoning
terminology (where
Exceeds standards
Overall quality of
References /
Supporting material
(0 points) (max. 2 points)
Poor Inadequate
(not learnt material)
No support for claims
(did learn but not
Some support
Good understanding
of material
(did listen and learn in
Good support
demonstrating good
knowledge of material
(learnt well from
classes and textbook)
Well supported
mastery of material
(learnt well from
classes, readings and
other sources)
Excellent support
Exceeds standards