Scenario Based Case Study Assignment Help

Please review the Advancement Plus Academy transcript. Then, using the information about systems theory that you know, complete the following: 


  1. Define systems theory clearly.
  2. Briefly describe the conflict between Anita and Terry.
  3. Analyze what you know about Advancement Plus Academy that is contributing to this conflict.
  4. Based on the your systems analysis of this conflict, propose some possible solutions or strategies for reducing the conflict. Examine the system as a whole were solutions may need to involve systemic changes as opposed to individual ones.

  SCENERIO – ADVANCEMENT PLUS ACADEMY   Welcome Welcome to AdvancementPlus Academy. AdvancementPlus Academy is an e-learning company that specializes in online writing courses. Advancement creates writing classes for middle school students, high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students. They also create writing courses for the corporate environment, and for people who are learning English as a second language. Advancement’s Plus most popular products are business writing courses, which can be purchased by anyone who wants to learn more about business and technical writing. These courses are sometimes purchased by individuals, and more frequently purchased by companies which offer these courses to their employees. Advancement Plus markets these courses directly to college and university career centers, which then offer students entering the working world access to these courses at a discount. AdvancementPlus Academy was founded in 1990 by CEO Wanda Washington, and is located in the metropolis of Chicago. It is the fastest growing and one of the most successful companies in the city, and has recently grown to more than 3,000 employees. Most of these employees work in Advancement PlusHeadquarters in downtown Chicago, an impoverished city that is slowly showing signs of making an economic rebound.

Boardroom Welcome to the AdvancementPlus Academy boardroom. This is the orientation meeting for prospective interns.

Anita Adams: Well, hello there, prospective interns. Welcome to Advancement Plus Academy. I’m Anita Adams, and I’m the internship director here at Advancement Plus. If you become a Advancement Plus intern, you’ll be reporting to me. You’ll also be working closely with some of the people in this room, who you’re about to meet. I’d like to start by introducing you to our CEO, Wanda Washington.

Wanda Washington: Thank you so much, Anita, and welcome, prospective interns. I’m Wanda Washington, and I’m very proud to say that I founded Advancement Plus Academy in 1990. As an intern for Advancement Plus, you’ll have a hands-on role in creating and marketing the best online writing courses in the country. You’ll also be part of Chicago’s fastest growing company, and that’s another thing I’m very proud of. If you become an intern for Chicago, you’ll be in very good hands with Anita, and you’ll definitely learn real world skills that will benefit you in whatever direction your career takes you. John Jefferson, why don’t you tell these folks about the marketing division? John Jefferson: Thanks, Wanda! Well, my name is John Jefferson, and I’m the Vice President of Marketing here at AdvancementpLUS. Here in marketing, we’re in charge of finding new markets for our writing courses, and we’re also in charge of marketing all of our terrific new products to our existing customers. We’re looking for two kinds of interns—general marketing interns, who will help get out the word about our great products; and public relations interns, who will help build Advancement’s Plus reputation both online and offline.

Anita: John, can you tell us about what you’re looking for in an intern? John: Sure. Well, my good buddy Melanie Madison over here keeps razzing me about how marketing is all about the bottom line and doesn’t care at all about the quality of classes.  

Melanie Madison: Thanks, John. John: But you know what? Great classes and profitability go hand in hand, right, Melanie? I’m looking for interns that can come up with creative ideas on how to market our great classes and for promoting Advancement Plus to the community. Oh, and one thing I need in an intern—great writing skills. People think that marketing is all about personality, but in reality, what’s even more important is that you know how to put your ideas down clearly on paper and that you understand how to use words to reach an audience. So, Melanie, why don’t you tell these bright-looking folks all about course development? Melanie: Um, well, thank you Brad, my good buddy. My name is Melanie Madison, and I’m the Vice President of Course Development. My division is in charge of actually making the classes that John’s division sells. We’re looking for instructional design interns.

Anita: Melanie, can you explain what instructional design means? Melanie: Sure. Instructional design is the process of creating courses that meet the particular demands of a client. At Advancement Plus, our clients include schools, corporations, and everyday people who want to learn how to write better. I’m looking for interns who have creative ideas about how to design writing classes. Also, like John, it’s very important that my interns have strong writing skills. It’s impossible to design a class if you don’t know how to write well. Meera, do you want to tell our prospective interns a little about IT? Meera Monroe: Thanks, Melanie. I’m Meera Monroe, and I’m the Vice President of the Information Technology Division. IT is also looking for two kinds of interns. First, we’re hiring Web Strategies interns. Web Strategies is responsible for making sure that courses work smoothly from a technical standpoint. Melanie’s division is responsible for making the courses, and we’re responsible for making sure the courses are easy to navigate. The second kind of IT internship involves being a liaison between Advancement Plus and our partner company in Singapore, Singapore Tech Solutions. Anita, have you been able to get them on the line? Anita: I think so, Meera. Jim Jui, are you there? Jim Jui: I’m here, Anita! Hello there, prospective interns. My name is Jim Jui, and I work for Singapore Technical Services. We’ve been partnered with Advancement Plus for the past year. We’re responsible for all of Advancement’s Plustechnical support needs. When someone is having problems with a course, the number they call comes to us in Singapore.

Anita: Jim, some of the interns are going to be working with you remotely. Can you tell the prospective interns what they will be doing in this role? Jim: Well, we need someone to be a liaison between Advancement Plus and Singapore Technical Solutions. We’ve only been working together for a year, and we’re still figuring out a process that works as well as it should. We also need a steady flow of instructions from Advancement Plus that tell us what to say to callers when they contact us for help.

John: So, interns, for those of you with lousy writing skills, an internship with IT would be a good idea.

Meera: No, John, that’s not true at all. IT professionals must have strong writing skills because they need to convey complex material to people who lack an understanding of technology. And the interns who are going to be working with Singapore need especially good writing skills because they’ll need to write instructions for the people on the phones.

John: All right, Meera, never mind (sarcastically). Writing skills are very important for IT professionals. But interns, if you can’t write, you can always get a security internship.

Harrison Sanchez: Actually, John, security interns need to have good writing skills, too. Hello, interns! I’m Harrison Sanchez, and I’m the Director of Security here at Advancement Plus. As you know, this office isn’t located in the best area of town, so we’re in charge of making sure that employees and company possessions are safe. Writing skills are important because we’re always writing instructions and procedures documents with important information for employees. Um, I think we’re almost done… oh, Terry! It’s your turn.

Terry Taylor: Thanks, Harrison I’m Terry Taylor, and I’m the Director of Human Relations here at Advancement Plus. I’m also Anita’s boss, so you might find yourselves interacting with me and some point! Things are pretty crazy down at HR. This company is growing really quickly, which means that we’re hiring new employees constantly! We need interns to help with the hiring process, which includes advertising new positions, doing background checks, educating employees about benefits and company policies, and so forth! We need interns who have experience working in busy environments, and who are very good with working with detailed information. Oh, and writing skills are essential! In HR, we’re all about conveying information clearly and accurately to our employees.

Anita: Thanks, Terry! OK, prospective interns, here’s what happens next. You’re going to be applying for an internship here at Advancement Plus. When you apply, it’s important to keep in mind what you just learned about the internship positions here. Next, you’re going to read some bios of the folks in this room, and that’s also important information to keep in mind when you apply for these internships.

Confessionals In private, every employee will now say what they really think about working at Advancement Plus Academy.

Anita Adams, Internship Director Age: 30. Education: BA, Michigan State University. Family: Married, two children. Time at Advancement Plus: 2 years.

Anita: I can’t believe we’re hiring another round of interns. These ones better be more willing to work than the last lazy batch. And they’d better have some decent writing skills! I guess you can tell I have a bad attitude. The thing is, I wouldn’t be so negative about everything if this job wasn’t located in a pit like Chicago. The only reason we moved out here is for my husband’s job, and we live as far out into the suburbs as we possibly can. I’d also have a better attitude if I didn’t have to work for Terry Taylor. Oh my God! What an overgrown hippie. He and his boyfriend are involved in all these community organizations and are, like, totally committed to improving Chicago, which is such a lost cause! When I first started working here, Jeff tried to get me to volunteer with him, and when he found out that I’m not interested, he started treating me like there was something wrong with me. I just want to do my job and go home to my family, and I feel like I’m being penalized by my boss for being more concerned about my family than about this city. Of course, he doesn’t have a family, so how could he possibly understand? Wanda Washington, CEO Age: 41. BA & MA, Chicago State College. Family: Divorced, two children. Founded Advancement Plus in 1990.

Wanda: I’ve lived in Chicago all of my life, and I’m proud to be a Chicago success story who is able to give back to my community. I started this company with a city revitalization grant and have worked long, hard hours. As an African-American woman, I do feel like I have to work especially hard to prove myself. I also feel like I have to prove myself because my company is an online learning company, and that industry doesn’t have the respect from the general community yet that it deserves. Yes, I can be a hard ass. This company is my pride and joy, and I expect my employees to work almost as hard as I do.

John Jefferson, VP of Marketing Age: 52. Education: MBA, University of Pennsylvania. Family: Married, four children. Time at Advancement Plus: 3 years. John: I’m not the most popular guy at this company. The thing is, I tell it like it is—that it is all about the bottom line. That’s why Wanda Washington hired me to come to Advancement Plus—to make money. I’m always fighting with Melanie Madison in course development because in her mind, it’s all about making great classes, no matter how expensive the classes are and no matter how unprofitable they are. She’s living in a dream world, and if she weren’t a close personal friend of the CEO, she would have been fired years ago! Meanwhile, I’m about to make more enemies around here because I’m trying to persuade the CEO to consider moving the company out of Chicago and into the suburbs, where we wouldn’t have to spend all this money on security. She’s committed to Chicago, but she’s a smart cookie, so I just may be able to convince her. But these community organizers who live in la-la land, like Terry Taylor in HR, are going to try to have my hide. I say bring it on, community-organizer boy!

Melanie Madison, VP of Course Development Age: 46. Education: PhD, Cornell University, Education. Time at Advancement Plus: 5 years.

Melanie: To me, this job is all about teaching people how to be good writers. Before I came to Advancement Plus, I was an English teacher, and there remains a desperate need to teach Americans to learn writing skills! If we don’t, we’re going to continue to fall behind the rest of the world. It’s no secret that Brad Hayes in marketing and I are at odds. Good God! That moron can barely string together a coherent sentence. Wanda Washington is a good friend of mine and I support the fact that she hired him to make the company more profitable, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy with her decision.

Meera Monroe, VP of Information Technology Age: 39. Education: MS, Chicago State College. Family: Married, two children. Time at Advancement Plus: Since founding.

Meera: I used to like my job a whole lot more than I do. I grew up in Chicago too, just like Wanda Washington. Wanda and I go way back—we actually went to high school together—and I share her concern for helping to improve the economic conditions in Chicago. So when Wanda made the decision to start outsourcing our tech support to Singapore? I nearly quit! We laid off 25 people! Needless to say, things have become strained between me and Wanda. I used to consider her a good friend, but that’s before it all became about the bottom line and saving money by outsourcing. Now, I heard a rumor that John Jefferson from marketing is going to try to persuade Wanda to move this company to the suburbs. If that happens, I am out of here.

Jim Jui, Singapore Tech Solutions Age: 32. Education: MS, National University of Singapore. Family: Married, one child. Jim: Working with Advancement Plus has been a real challenge! Meera Monroe hates me. Well, I know she doesn’t really hate me. But she hates outsourcing, so because of that, she hates me. That’s one of the reasons why we need some good interns to serve as liaisons between Singapore Tech Solutions and Advancement Plus—so she and I won’t have to talk to each other much anymore! We also really need interns who can write reliable instructions that we can give to people over the phone. Even though English is the official language of Singapore, it’s very hard to train our tech support people to communicate well with users. Cultural differences get in the way. I need to prove to Meera Monroe that hiring us wasn’t a horrible decision.

Terry Taylor, Director of Human Resources Age: 50. Education: MBA, Indiana University. Family: In long-term partnership. Time at Advancement Plus: 7 years.

Terry: I love my job at Advancement, but it’s very stressful! We’re hiring left and right and we’ve never been so busy. Of course, I have to remind myself how wonderful it is that Advancement Plus is creating so many jobs in Chicago. My partner Terrance and I are community activists and are very committed to doing all we can to give back to the city. Unfortunately, not everyone in the company feels that way. Brad Hayes from marketing—curse that horrible man!—has a plan to move the company out into the suburbs. Can you imagine? At least that would make my employee Anita Adams happy, as she can’t wait to get her Pilates-perfect behind into her Volvo at the end of the day and drive to her starter mansion in the burbs. Honestly, I’ve tried to reach out to that girl, but I think she just wants to hate me. Between you and me, I don’t think she’s ever had to deal with a gay person before, much less work for one! Harrison Sanchez, Director of Security Age: 29. Education: AA, Chicago Community College. Family: Single, no children. Time at Advancement Plus: 6 years Harrison: So you actually want to hear what I have to say? The higher ups don’t pay me much attention—I’m just that young Puerto Rican guy who works in security, as far as they’re concerned. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all a bunch of overeducated prima donnas who wouldn’t have a clue what to do away from a desk. I asked Melanie Michaels to join me and my friends for happy hour once, and she just about wrote me up for sexual harassment. But just you wait. One of these days we’ll have a break-in at Advancement Plus, and then they’ll appreciate all the things my department does around here.

Scenario Based Case Study Assignment Help

System Theory In concern to organizational setting, system theory is firstly introduced by Kataz and Khan in year of 1966. It can be defined as an approach for organization that links the independent parts of an enterprise in an organism form. In this form, each part has its own and specific functions with interrelated responsibilities. The whole organization, a division, team etc may be a system. As per this approach, each function, activity etc. of an organization is interrelated to each other in such extent that if any change occurs in one then it influences the other parts as well (Patton & McMahon, 2006). This relation and dependency of one part on another is necessary to analyze and understand the attainment of the objectives of an organization, team, department etc. On the other hand, system theory explains that the organization is an open system that engages to interact with its environment in which it operates. For successful completion of organizational objectives, this interaction among the different parts and with its environment is required to understand for continually adopting and improving (Cole, 2006). Conflict Scenario Anita Adams is an internship director and in contrast Terry Taylor is a human resource director in Advancement Plus Academy. For hiring and retaining best interns, mutual understanding between both of them in organizational context is quite essential. There is a strong relationship in between the functions executed by both members in this academy. Reporting and human relation activities are interrelated and interdependent to each other in an organization that performs by Anita and Terry respectively. The reporting system of an organization is engaged to provide a full over view of employees performance individually. On the basis of reporting, an organization is enabled to identify the causes of any increment and decrement of individuals’ performance (Swanson, 2009). These causes are required to communicate with the HR director effectively as through which it enables to motivate the employees positively. Anita and Terry both are having different point of views towards each other that violates organization as a system. Both are not engage to understand their perspective in context of their roles and responsibilities towards the Advancement Plus Academy. They are so much influenced by their personal attitudes and beliefs that create conflict between Anita and Terry. Without the corporation of Anita, Terry is not enabled to know the reasons due to which the performance of their interns increase and decrease. Due to this, as a HR director, Terry does not enable to motivate their interns effectively that reduces performance and satisfaction level accordingly. An unsatisfied intern may not report precisely that is quite reasonable for the success of this academy (Goodall , Goodall & Schiefelbein, 2009). At the same time, there is a lack of corporation and coordination between a boss and his subordinate that also prevents an organization for working as a system.

Factor that Contribute in this Conflict Organizational environment of this academy does not include system thinking perspective that becomes critical factor to increase this conflict. Each employee of this organization understands its department separately that creates several conflicts between the departments. The vice president of marketing department is not engaged to understand its relation with other departments such as quality, IT and operational departments. Lack of coordination and cooperation between the departments is also responsible to create significant conflict within this organization (Jones, Jones & Hill, 2009). At the same time, due to lack of system perspective, managers of each department is engaged to understand their roles and responsibilities independently. They are not realized that each activity of one department is likely to influence other as an organization is not a close system. This type of perspective of each employee is responsible to contribute in increasing the given conflict. In addition, due to lack of system perspective, mangers of each department didn’t try to understand their perspectives towards each other in effective manner that de-motivates them to work mutually (Burke, 2010). Eventually, it creates unhealthy environment in this academy that reasonably increase the conflict between Anita and Terry.

Recommendation to Reduce Conflict In order to reduce the given conflict, this academy should improve its organization culture and environment accordingly. The culture of an organization plays a critical role in creating an understanding in regard to the role and responsibilities of others in effective manner. In the culture improvement process, each individual of this organization would be enabled to understand the perspective of other in effective manner. It could create system thinking perspective at the each level of organization. Currently, an environment of mutual understanding does not exist within this academy that creates conflicts among the individuals’ of different departments and it influences their relationship negatively (Loosemore, 2003). The improvement of organization culture would make them enable to understand the roles and responsibilities towards each other and organization as well. The other solution is to organize coaching facility in which employees and managers of this academy could be able to understand system thinking perspective. Through coaching, each department would be enabled to realize how their roles and responsibilities influence others and organizational objectives as well it may also help to reduce conflicts. In addition, effective communication among the departments should also be facilitated that could provide an effective floor to understand the role, responsibilities and perspective of other employees (Goodall , Goodall & Schiefelbein, 2009). It may bring transparency in the organizational system as a whole that could reduce conflicts.     References Burke, W. W. (2010). Organization Change: Theory and Practice. (3rd ed.). USA: SAGE. Cole, G.A. (2004). Management: Theory And Practice. (6th ed.). UK: Cengage Learning EMEA. Goodall, S., Goodall, H.L. & Schiefelbein, J. (2009). Business and Professional Communication in the Global Workplace: Skills, Ethics, and Technologies. (3rd ed.). USA: Cengage Learning. Hill, C., Jones, G. & Jones, G.R. (2009). Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach. (9th ed.). USA: Cengage Learning. Loosemore, T.E. (2003). Essentials Of Construction Project Management. Australia: NewSouth Publishing. Patton, W. & McMahon, M. (2006). Career Development and Systems Theory: Connecting Theory and Practic. (2nd ed.). Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Swanson, R.A. (2009). Analysis for Improving Performance: Tools for Diagnosing Organizations and Documenting Workplace Expertise. Easyread Large.

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