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Arctic Mining Consultants

In: Business and Management

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Case 2: ARCTIC MINING CONSULTANTS Case Synopsis Arctic Mining Consultants is a mining company that deals with mineral exploration. In this case study, the project given is staking 15 claims in Eagle Lake, Alaska. The project Manager was Tom Parker, who has a wide experience and specialized knowledge in all nontechnical aspects of mineral exploration. He is a geological field technician and field coordinator for Arctic Mining Consultants. He assigned his previous field assistants John Talbot, Greg Boyce and Brian Millar to help him complete the project. The job required them to stake at least 7 lengths each day in order to be completed on time. However, the whole team has became very tense and agitated, especially Tom Parker, as the deadline was just around the corner and there¶s still many to be finished within the limited time. The problem became worse with the way Tom managed and treated his team. The only motivation to the team was the $300 bonuses promised by the company when the job is done on time, otherwise, they might wished to give up already. This happened because working as a field assistant and in long-working hours only giving them low wages, which is considered unreasonable compared to what they have to do. During the eight hard days, everything had actually proved the strengths and weaknesses of each of the team members, including Tom.

Summary of Case Project Team Tom Parker - geological field technician & field coordinator wide experience and specialized knowledge in all nontechnical aspects of mineral exploration. John Talbot Greg Boyce Brian Millar - Previously worked with parker as field assistants - Previously worked with parker as field assistants - Previously worked with parker as field assistants

During the Project CREW Tom Parker John Talbot Greg Boyce 6 4 6½ 6 7 5 7½ 6 5½ 7 6 8 1/3 6 5½ Helped by Talbot Brian Millar 8 7 8 7½ 8 7 8 LENGTHS Day 1 Day 2 8 Day 3 8 Day 4 8 Day 5 8 Day 6 8 Day 7 7 1/3 Day 8 10 1/3

After the project: John Talbot Greg Boyce Brian Millar - works full-time with the company. - sometimes does staking for Arctic. - never work for AMC again, even being offered.

CASE ANALYSIS Symptoms 1) What symptom(s) exist in this case to suggest that something has gone wrong? The symptom(s) to suggest are:

a) Depression ± In the case we might identified some depression went around especially between Parker and Millar. Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Parker and Millar express this through a wide variety of moods, such as irritability, anger and sadness. Like Parker, we can see that he was always in an angry mood towards his crew. The pressure to complete the job at the right time has made him forgot about the feelings of his employees and think wisely in making any decision or consideration. As for Millar, the pressure given by Parker tempered and his job has made him felt he has no value to him or to the group which makes him at the end has less interest to complete his job.

b) Low Productivity ± With only a week to complete the job, everyone would have to complete average seven and a half lengths per day. However, starting from day 2, there has been problems especially for Boyce and Millar to achieve the target. Furthermore, there were not much improvements made from those person.

c) Communication Problems ± To have good communication both the speaker and listener should interact well with each other. However, there always be that every person can be a good speaker but fail when it comes to the listener part. This scenario also happened in this case where Parker, as a leader, was very good in giving instructions to his crew but he failed to listen carefully to his crew¶s problems and suggestion. For example, Talbot suggested to Parker that he switched Millar¶s area with his area as he thought that his area condition was better than Millar¶s, and this could help Millar to perform better.

However, not only Parker refused to accept the suggestion, but he was also not even tried to consider it. Therefore, because of this kind of attitude, Parker also created communication problems with all his crew.


2) What are the main problems that have had led to these symptoms? i) The Leader - In any workplace, the leader plays the most important role in leading the group towards the right track. A leader should not only responsible to make sure that any tasks given completed on time, but also to make sure the employees are satisfied and well motivated. As in this case, obviously that Parker was not good as a leader. Even he has specialized knowledge and wide experience in the field, he failed to manage his team well. Physically Parker was a good worker as he can develop a good plan and perform better than the others even he was the eldest among them. However, psychologically he failed to understand his employees¶ problems and needs which then caused some conflicts between them. ii) The Motivation - Motivation is the force that makes people does things: this is a result individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that people would have inspiration to complete the task. These needs vary from person to person as everybody has their individual needs to motivate themselves. Depending on how motivated peoples are, it may further determine the effort they put into their work and therefore increase the standard of the output. We identified that in the case, the only thing motivated the crew to continue the task was the $300 bonus. If not because of that, they won¶t trouble their self with the long-hours heavy work. However, the other factors around them have made them be less motivated to work. The main factor was Parker. The way he behaved and treated his team makes them less motivated. He was always being angry and intolerant. He never considered another psychological approach to handle his teams to be more effective and productive. He also refused to listen to his employee¶s suggestion, Talbot. Another factor was the nature of the work itself. Working on a

hard task for long hours with fairly low daily wage was not easy and of course not motivated at all. The job cause them severe fatigue and any other conflict might cause them emotional disturbance. That was what happened to Millar on the 7th day of the task where he came into his climax when he announced in abject tone on how frustrated he was. iii) The Stress ± Stress is a state of tension experienced by individuals facing extraordinary demands, constraints, or opportunities. In this case, the sources of stress involved was work stressors. Without doubt, working in mining area can be stressful and the job demands can disrupt their work-life balance. The work stressors in this case can arrive from many sources such as: o Excessively high task demands ± the team members were being asked to do too much work in a very limited time. o Role conflicts ± The feeling of unable to satisfy multiple, possibly conflicting, performance expectations. o Poor interpersonal relations ± The team, especially Millar were experiencing bad relationships or working with Parker and they obviously can¶t get along well together. o Physical setting ± The unpleasant working condition and long working hours make the team to have severe fatigue and emotional distraction.


The People ± The fact that people are different with each other are undeniable, whether in thinking, feeling, behave, as well as perform. Individual differences also has somewhat led to these symptoms. For example, in the case we can see that each of them were performing differently as they have different abilities and capabilities. Some might be able to produce more than expected like Parker who had wide experience and skills, but some like Millar might need more motivation and guidance in order for him to improve his performance. However, like stated before, as they are totally different especially in thinking and behave, conflicts occurred from the unpleasant feelings among them. From there, problems were getting even harder to handle.

3) What should Arctic Mining Consultants and/or Tom Parker do to minimize these problems in the future? We think that both Arctic Mining Consultants and Tom Parker might need to improve themselves in certain areas in order to minimize these problems in the future.


Arctic Mining Consultants should: a) Gain employee surveys - Since a company's workforce is one of its greatest assets, employers should solicit feedback from employees to see if employees are happy, what the company's strengths or weaknesses are and where organizational

improvements can be made. After the outcomes of a survey are collected, employers may make organizational changes to create more effective or efficient processes, or to uplift low morale (if employees are dissatisfied). Surveys benefit employees because employees will feel as though they can still voice their opinions in a process that is safe. This survey also should be made regardless in which positions the employees are in.

b) Improve motivation in terms of rewards - Can money motivate? Yes, but money alone is not enough, though it does help. Therefore, we suggested that the company should consider as well as to give non-monetary rewards in order to motivate the employees. In today's high paced work environment employees consider it very rare and infrequent that they receive recognition of their work and efforts. What better way to have employees continue their good work and success then to offer them praise-verbal, written or ideally a public announcement or employee award? Recognition is probably the most sought after of the non-monetary rewards in the workplace. The other non-monetary rewards can be opportunity to contribute, flexible hours as well as career advancement.


Tom Parker should: a) Improve communication skill ± Cleary Parker has problems in creating good communication with his employees. He should learn how to be better and effective in communicating his employees. Some of the areas that he should improve are when he wanted to express something. He should think carefully before speaking and use appropriate words, volume and tone. Most important, he should learn how to be a good listener as well, pay attention to what others are saying without getting distracted and consider others points in the conversation.

b) Improve leadership - A leader is someone who helps others do and become more than they ever thought possible. Leadership is about unlocking potential, whether individual potential or that of a group, company, or organization. It is not about telling people what to do, but inspiring them to see what they are capable of, then, helping them get there. For Parker, there are a lot more to improve in those areas.

c) Manage anger and be more positive ± Anger can be destructive to oneself and others. Therefore, the ability to control anger is very important, for it helps Parker communicates more efficiently, establish new relationships, as well as maintain existing ones in future. Being positive is probably a good step to Parker to avoid from being angry. In order for him to empower and motivate his employees, he simply needs to be a genuine, positive and cheerful person. He can be as positive as he wants to be if he will simply think about the future, focus on the solution and look only for the good.

d) Gain constructive feedback - Constructive feedback is a direct communication between the manager and his subordinate about the task he has not performed in a desired manner. It should be taken and given impersonally, without criticism and without giving a let down feeling to anybody. It needs to be more of factual. The manager should provide a path for resolution of issues at hand. Criticizing the employees will hurt them, they might turn rigid and they might not accept the changes required. Feedback should be given immediately after the incident/ event. It should be given timely and at right place. Use of harsh tone should be avoided. The manager should begin with a positive feedback. If the person has performed well and accomplished / over achieved his targets, he should be appreciated. This will keep him motivated and the manager this way will get a skillful and well motivated team of employees which in turn will contribute to organization's success. Negative feedback can be given but it should be given tactfully. The manager should be specific in telling the employee what went wrong, how can it be handled now, and what impact it had on other employees in organization and on society at large. The employees suggestions and views should also be taken into consideration. Constructive feedback helps to build relationships between managers and employees.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION As a conclusion to the case, we can say that leadership and motivation are very important in any organization. Leadership is considered synonymous with motivation and ultimately, it is the leadership quality which leads to the success of a company through team building and motivating its people. It¶s not about who are you, but how you lead. Undeniably, Parker was an excellent employee; he is talented and has wide experience in the field to make him able to give excellent performance. Unfortunately, those didn¶t make him a good leader and that fact was the main reason why his team became less motivated. Physically, he was good in giving instructions and making plans, but psychologically he failed to understand and identify his employees¶ needs. In addition, individual differences make it harder as different people would have different thinking, feelings, behavior and of course different needs. But that was the real challenge for a good leader to learn how to manage his subordinates well and satisfy all parties. Team conflict of interest is an expected part of any organizations. Clash of thoughts, ideas, process, procedure or even attitude can derail a project if not handled well. However, not all conflict is bad, when well channelized it can be highly productive. While resolving conflict, leader (Parker) should study its causes and consequences well. Figure out the best way to resolve it, without sounding biased. Do not get involved into all conflicts but give time to the members to resolve it on their own. Let them know subtly that you trust their intelligence and experience, and have enough confidence that they will work through their conflicts. Inculcating or choosing people with more or less common shared values will ensure a good working relation among the team. A leader is someone who can overlook a failure and ensure collective success for the group. To be a good team head, Parker must be a part of the team and lead by example. And most important, everyone in the team, including the company should get involved in managing any conflict and develop good relationship with each other.…...

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