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Case Study

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1. Jerry is clearly experiencing stress. What stress reactions does the he exhibit? What are the stressors that prompt this reaction?

Stress Reactions:
Jerry is exhibiting the following stress reactions:    He has not been able to sleep at night due to constant worry. He has been suffering from frequent colds and headaches due to lack of rest. He has been upset due to the uncertainty of the events relating to work and due to that is starting to have anger issues as well.

Stressors:
The type of stressors that prompt his reaction are as follows:

I.

Work Hindrance Stressors:
Role overload – In addition to his both full-time jobs and the contract, he acquires additional teaching assignments to fulfill his financial responsibility leading him to have the work load of two full-time jobs.

II.

Work Challenge Stressors:
Time pressure – Due to constant worry about his job he is not able to manage his time properly and has to rush from his office to class in order to teach and return students’ assignments. Work responsibility – His boss, Patricia Jones, is not informing him about the downsizing, which is her responsibility as it is related to his department. Due to this he is not able to carry out the work for his department effectively as is not able to prepare his staff about any unexpected news or events. In addition, Patricia responded vaguely and evasively to Jerry when he tried acquiring information about the downsizing. She also laid off his secretary without informing or consulting with him.

III.

Non-work Hindrance Stressors:
Work-family conflict – Jerry was not having time for his wives due to work overload; instead, he was stressing his second wife with continuous negative talk about work and the impending doom. Negative life events – Due to Jerry’s continuous talk about work related issues, the second wife became sick and was ordered complete bed rest due to the stage of her pregnancy. Financial uncertainty – The large mortgage payment on his house added to his stress. In addition, his car was stolen which was not fully covered by the insurance policy, adding to his financial problems.

IV. Non-work Challenge Stressors:
Family time demands – Jerry was stimulated by the full-time work but because of the two jobs he was not able to give time to his first wife which resulted in a divorce. Positive life events – Jerry’s marriages and expecting his first child were the good events in his life but also required him to be able to balance his personal and professional life, which due to the work stress he was not able to do. 2. Is interpersonal conflict an issue in the case? What are its causes? There are two types of interpersonal conflicts: relationship and task. The kind of interpersonal conflicts that Jerry faces in this case are all relationship conflicts. He experienced conflicts with his colleagues (managers from other departments) as they were talking ill about his department without any reason. They were only looking out for themselves and did not care about the implications that their suggestions might have on him and the people of his department. He also experienced conflict with both of his wives. For the first wife, he was not able to give enough time which resulted in a divorce and for the second wife he was stressing her with continuous negative talk about work and was being insensitive to her condition. In addition, he experienced conflicts with his boss, as the boss was not treating him properly by not providing any information or providing very vague information. She was

completely disregarding him and was taking decisions for his department and staff without consulting him. 3. Evaluate Patricia’s management style. How should Jerry deal with her? Patricia Jones demonstrates traits of both autocratic and democratic management styles. Her autocratic style is evident when she avoids discussing decisions made about Jerry’s department without his input. As well, she does not seem to care about explaining her decision to fire the secretary, such as when she ignored his concerns. On the other hand, her democratic style is shown when she consults her other employees about Jerry’s department. This shows she encourages her workers’ participation in the decision-making process, but only when it is in her interest. Given her vague responses, Jerry should set up a meeting with Patricia in order to clearly address his concerns about the downsizing of his section. He should call and email her, that way she is sure to receive the message. If she continues to ignore him, then he should consult her secretary to go see her personally in her office. 4. How could the University of Upper Ontario do a better job of dealing with the issues raised in the case? The University of Upper Ontario should start off by having an open line of communication across all levels of organization, through which the information relayed is more transparent. The effective and clear communication will lead to less stress for the employees as they will have a clear idea of what is going on with the organization and what to expect in the future. It takes more money to acquire and train new people. It is better to keep the existing ones and negotiate with them to cut down on some of the benefits for the mean time. The university should also acquire more investors. All this money should be used to market the university to a broader range of students, so that more students will be attracted to the university and that will increase the university’s revenue. Once a stable state has been achieved the benefits that were cut-down can be re-introduced.…...

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