Subject= Organizational Behavior

Read the following scenario and give your analysis on the stated questions

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How can they make more than me? A thought provoking case –

Maria Ali, a business graduate from a leading university, began her job as the supervisor of a top ranking Bank three years ago. She was generally pleased with her team of four trainers and one secretary. Indeed, Maria took pride in her ability to create a high morale and high performance unit. This was particularly pleasing for Maria since her team was constantly busy and barely able to keep up with the volume of training expected from them.

Then, early on Wednesday morning, Maria’s secretary, Sarah Ahmed, knocked on Maria’s door and asked to see her. Maria liked Sarah and considered the secretary to be one of her “Stars”. Indeed, in an effort to develop Sarah’s talents and abilities, Maria had gone out of her way to give Sarah special assignments, including her in all the major planning activities of the department and entrusting her with the administration of certain departmental programs, such as tuition assistant and evaluation follow through. By now, Sarah functioned more as an administrative assistant than as a secretary.

It was clear that Sarah was upset about something as she seated herself in the chair next to Maria’s desk. Slowly, Sarah placed a job posting application form in front of Maria. She would not look her supervisor in the eyes. Maria was surprised, to say the least. As far as Maria knew, Sarah liked both her job and working in the training department. In turn, everyone else in the department liked and respected Sarah.

Maria looked upon the form and said casually, “So you want to post for the job of executive secretary in the branch management department”. She paused and said “Could I ask you for some additional information, Sarah I am kind of surprised”. Sarah looked at her clasped hands, thinking, Maria waited.

Finally Sarah looked up and said “I noticed in last week’s job posting that the executive secretary position is graded at a 14, now that’s two grades higher than my current job”. She caught her breath and said, “You know my friend Nadia works over there and she has told me that half of the time the secretary sits around doing nothing”.

Sarah continued, gathering some anger in her look and voice, “Look Maria, you know how hard I work here, I mean, I am always busy. I don’t see why I should work in a job graded at 12 and work twice as hard and yet not be paid the same as that secretary. The job requirements for the job are just a little higher than mine and the merit raise you gave me last month hardly helped at all”.

Maria listened, then she replied, “It sounds to me Sarah, that you are feeling angry because you think you should make more for the work you do and that you want to switch jobs rather than to continue with things as they are, am I right”. Sarah nodded her head in agreement.

Maria knew, though, that the Bank job evaluation system was up to date, done with equity and that the executive secretary job to which Sarah referred did require more academic education, additional background experience, more skills and responsibilities beyond what was needed in Sarah’s current job. Furthermore, the environment in the branch management department was more formalized. Because Sarah was such a good employee and a nice person, Maria was quite concerned. She felt strongly that moving to the secretary job would not be what Sarah wanted, and she hated to lose Sarah, especially since her decision was based on faulty reasoning and the move would not be good for her career.

Questions from the scenario

  1. What are the reasons given by Sarah Ahmed for wanting to post for a position in another department? Which points are accurate and which points are debatable? (App 150 to 200 words)(Including headings) 7 marks
  2. How should Maria respond to Sarah’s request to transfer? Should Maria let her go to other department to avoid conflict? (App 100 to 150 words)(Including headings) 5 marks
  3. How should Maria negotiate with Sarah and convince her to stay in the current position and department? Is there a way to compensate for Sarah’s grievances regarding salary and career growth?
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