Project One: Trust in a Virtual Work Environment
This purpose of this assignment is for you to examine the skills a leader needs to possess to develop and maintain trust in a virtual workplace. To accomplish the assignment you must research, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the class material to create recommendations for the leaders in the scenario provided.
Help Helen and George develop and maintain trust within the organization by solving their dilemma.
- Identify the challenges in managing in a virtual workplace
- Identify and explain techniques that encourage building trust in an organization
- Apply management techniques to create and maintain trust
- Develop critical thinking skills
- Develop communication skills
Read the Following Case Scenario
Helen and George own a for-profit online language school: Global Speak. They have been in business for ten years and have expanded to include four locations around the globe. They have individual clients seeking to learn a new language for a job opportunity and large corporate clients who have employees all over the world in need to training to work with other cultures. Currently, Global Speak has four locations all located in the suburbs of large cities. All branches are set up similarly with a few classrooms and two large computer labs where students can independently practice speaking, writing and reading in a language. Instructors are available for private and small face to face classes. Although Helen and George have a general fee scale for services, there is some room on the part of the branch manager to reduce or increase prices to remain competitive in their local marketplace. Several of the company’s larger clients utilize branch facilities for their employees. Branches are located in Prague, Mumbai, São Paulo, Washington, DC (Headquarters) and Tokyo. All of the branch managers are native to the country in which the branch is housed. The newest location is Tokyo.
In a recent conversation with the company accountant, Helen and George found some disconcerting news about two of the branch accounts. It appears that Tokyo and São Paulo are losing students resulting in an unusually large number of refunds. Worse yet, George took a phone call from Joe Blade, the representative from Acme Inc., one of the largest clients of Global Speak, who complained about having to pay larger fees to these two branches as compared to the others they use. Helen and George are concerned about these problems and want to work with both managers to see that the problems get resolved.
Azuka, the Tokyo branch manager is relatively new to the organization working just 3 months. She seems to have a strong sense of the competition in Tokyo. Azuka also reported an increased number of refunds as of late. George wonders whether Azuka needs some guidance. In his conversation, Joe Blade mentioned that he could get cheaper prices from one of the other schools that has been trying to get his business in Tokyo.
Gustavo, in São Paulo, is another matter altogether. Helen has been worried for some time that he is not handling things well. Although the situation with the refunds is relatively new, the increased salaries to instructors is another. Helen monitors the social media and the online reviews of GS. In a local employee site like Glassdoor, the company was said to pay low salaries and its turnover was said to be high. Instructors were said to go to Global Speak to gain experience but leave to obtain a translator job with a larger company. Helen wondered where the salary money was going.
In order to get to the bottom of the problems, Helen and George scheduled a Skype meeting at a time they believed everyone could meet. When Helen and George sat down to connect, they realized that the email they sent setting the time failed to include a date. The workers in Tokyo thought the meeting was a day later and the manager was not available for the meeting. Gustavo had not been online at the time requested so this too concerned George and Helen. Helen was worried that this problem could not wait so she set the meeting for the next day and cancelled her doctor’s appointment that she had waited 3 months to obtain.
Azuka, the branch manager in Tokyo, researched the questions posed by Helen and George regarding the purpose of the meeting. She found that the refund issues stemmed from a problem instructor who she recently let go. Azuka put off making a decision as to what to do with the instructor because of the serious health issues experienced by the instructor. Azuka was familiar with the Acme’s complaint because the local corporate contact, Arnie Howe, in very bad Japanese, had been complaining to her for the past two months about the price difference. She explained to Arnie many times that the prices she set were competitive to other private for-profit schools in Tokyo and were discounted because of the amount of work his company gave to Global Speak. Arnie made no mention of the competitor Joe Blade mentioned to Helen and George. Azuka refused to back down on the price of services. She felt her instructors and services in general were superior and that prices were competitive. Maybe the competition was cheaper but Azuka had to wonder for how long and what quality did they offer. The question Azuka had was why Brazil also had problems with Acme.
Azuka decided to call Gustavo with whom she had a friendly conversation before the meeting with Helen and George to find out what his take was on the issues.
During her conversation with Gustavo, Azuka learned that Gustavo’s justification for the higher fees he was charging was driven by the demand for quality translators in São Paulo. Gutavo said, “I must pay higher salaries to the teachers or lose them to companies that translate for big corporations.” Azuka was perplexed to hear this statement because in a conversation with Gustavo not one month earlier, she learned from comparing their salaries that hers were significantly higher. Also, Azuka got the feeling from the conversation that Gustavo was defensive about the large fees.
Gustavo dismissed the increase in refunds altogether stating that it was the way things were right now. She wondered if there was something suspicious going on with Gustavo. George wondered the same and said as much to Helen when they got off the Skype conversation the following day with Azuka and Gustavo. George also wondered if Azuka knew something she wasn’t telling. More worrisome yet was Gustavo’s explanation of the refund issues. Was there really so much of a need for translators in São Paulo?
Leading in the virtual world, especially in a global marketplace, is a huge challenge for today’s leader. It is especially hard to build a trust relationship that will keep workers moving toward the company’s vision. You will use the case scenario, class material and research to write this paper.
A trust relationship is critical to the longevity of the organization and losing Azuka or Gustavo would be a costly problem that distance makes more difficult. How should Helen and George approach Gustavo and Azuka? Research the problems surrounding the idea of leading in a virtual workplace. Use this research, class material, and facts from the fact pattern to suggest a course of action for Helen and George to take regarding their two branch managers.
Address the advantages and disadvantages of leading in a virtual environment as well as the skills needed to create a trusting relationship. Support your ideas, reasons and conclusions with research and the class material. Conclusions must be specific to the actual task and not a “they should do this” idea. Application is the key to success for this project. Show a good understanding of the material by using the facts along with the material to substantiate the conclusions.
The Following Points Should Be Addressed In the Paper:
- Write an introduction
- Identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of leading employees in the virtual world
- Identify and discuss the skills a leader needs to successfully lead and maintain trust in an organization
- Explain how the advantages and disadvantages of leading in the virtual world can affect how a leader creates and maintains trust
- Identify the two trust problems that Helen and George have with Gustavo and Azuka
- Present recommendations for Helen and George as to how best solve the trust problems with Gustavo and Azuka and why the solutions demonstrate good leadership skills.
- Write a summary paragraph
Review the Paper
Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present. Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.
Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.
- Read the paper aloud as a first measure;
- Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
- Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
Preparation for Writing the Assignment
Before you begin writing the paper, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements.
- Read the grading rubric for the assignment. Use the grading rubric while writing the paper to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
- Third person writing is required. Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing). If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.
- Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are expected NOT to use contractions in writing this assignment.
- You are expected to paraphrase and NOT use direct quotes. You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link: https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.
- You may not use books as source material
- All in-text citations should provide the page number or paragraph number.
How to Set Up the Paper
Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font. The final product will be between 5-7 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page. You are expected to write clearly and concisely.
Follow this format. Consider making an outline to ensure the correct headings are in place and to keep you organize the paper.
- Title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name; date
- Use headings throughout the paper
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