ACCA Paper 1.3 Managing People 2003 Question1

Full text


Managing People




Time allowed

3 hours

This paper is divided into two sections

Section A

This ONE question is compulsory and MUST be


Section B

FOUR questions ONLY to be answered



Section A – This ONE question is compulsory and MUST be attempted

1 A management consultancy has been employed by Swandiff Local Authority to examine the problems junior staff

appear to be having in reaching the performance expected of all staff. The authority employs 8,500 staff in total with 25 senior managers, 123 middle managers and some 2,560 employed at junior management level, mainly supervisors. The authority has evolved into a traditional, bureaucratic, formal governmental type of organisational structure.

The management consultants decided to hold a series of meetings with all levels of management. Initially they found that the junior managers were unhappy with and sceptical about the value of the meetings; ‘we’ve seen it all before’ was the main response. After the meetings, the consultants produced a report which identified three main problem areas.

Firstly, it became apparent that the level of morale for all staff was low. Lack of facilities, pressure of work and particularly reductions in available funds appeared to be the main grievance. There appeared however to be a deeper problem, that of mistrust between the staff as a whole and senior management. The mistrust appeared to be more apparent between the senior management and supervisors. The reason for this was unclear.

The second problem appeared to be that the staff as a whole regarded the supervisors as a level of management poor at managing their sections, disregarding or ignoring work practices and performance standards. In response, the supervisors said that their position in general was unclear; there were no clear lines of authority, command or responsibility which allowed them to make decisions for their departments. Some supervisors simply regarded themselves as menial and unrecognised, referring to funding shortages, unrealistic targets, little recognition of their position, no job descriptions and lack of training.

Job security was the third issue. Financial cutbacks and changes in service levels had led to rumours of substantial cutbacks in staff. Rumours were especially strong amongst the junior management. New, younger staff would be better trained to replace supervisors, more adaptable and better able to use computer systems and the latest available software packages.

In all, the problems had shown themselves in high labour turnover, which in addition to the problems already outlined, were blamed on low salaries, little opportunity for personal advancement and poor working conditions.


(a) Using Herzberg’s theory of motivation, explain the attitude of the supervisors. (15 marks)

(b) What aspects of organisational structure and culture could explain the supervisors’ attitude at Swandiff Local Authority? (10 marks)

(c) How could re-training supervisors overcome the problems identified in (a) and (b)? (15 marks)

(40 marks)


Section B – FOUR questions ONLY to be attempted

2 All managers need to understand which activities contribute to organisational success.


Briefly describe and discuss Tom Peters’ characteristics of successful business.

(15 marks)

3 You have been asked to provide guidelines on the structure and content of an advertisement to be used for the future

recruitment of new staff.


(a) What factors need to be taken into account when preparing a recruitment advertisement? (5 marks)

(b) Briefly describe five factors which will influence the choice of advertising media. (10 marks)

(15 marks)

4 Training and development programmes form an important part of improving employee skills.

(a) Briefly explain what is meant by the following different types of training and development:

(i) Coaching; (5 marks)

(ii) Mentoring. (5 marks)

(b) Explain five criteria against which the effectiveness of training might generally be evaluated. (5 marks)

(15 marks)

5 All managers and supervisors need to understand the concept of motivation in the workplace.


(a) Explain the ‘content theory’ of motivation. (5 marks)

(b) Explain what is meant by MacGregor’s (5 marks)

(i) Theory X;

(ii) Theory Y. (5 marks)

(15 marks)


6 Communication is vital in all organisations but requires an understanding of appropriate structures and communication channels and patterns.


(a) Briefly explain the main purposes of the three main formal communication channels in an organisation: (i) Downwards; (3 marks)

(ii) Upwards; (3 marks)

(iii) Lateral or horizontal. (3 marks)

(b) Briefly explain the characteristics and effectiveness of ANY THREE of the following communication patterns: (i) The Circle;

(ii) The ‘Y’; (iii) The Wheel;

(iv) The All Channel. (6 marks)

(15 marks)

End of Question Paper





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