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ACCA paper 1 3 managing people 2003 question1

PART 1
MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2003

QUESTION PAPER
Time allowed 3 hours
This paper is divided into two sections
Section A

This ONE question is compulsory and MUST be
answered

Section B

FOUR questions ONLY to be answered

Paper 1.3

Managing People


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.
Required:
(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)

2


Section B – FOUR questions ONLY to be attempted
2

All managers need to understand which activities contribute to organisational success.
Required:
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.
Required:
(a) What factors need to be taken into account when preparing a recruitment advertisement?
(b) Briefly describe five factors which will influence the choice of advertising media.

(5 marks)
(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.
Required:
(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)

3

[P.T.O.


6

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

4



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