Section A: Case Study Analysis
The Wages Of Sin?
Chris Dykstra, the person responsible for loss prevention at Westwind Electronics, took a deep breath before he launched into making his case for the changes that he was proposing to the company’s shoplifting policy. He knew that convincing Ross Chenoweth was going to be a hard sell. Ross, the company’s chairman and CEO, was the son of the founder of the local, still-family-owned consumer electronics chain. He’d inherited not only the company, but also his father’s strict moral code. ‘I think it’s time to follow the lead of other stores,’ Chris began. He pointed out that most other retailers didn’t bother calling the police and pressing charges unless the thief had shoplifted merchandise worth more than $50 to $100. In contrast, Westwind currently had the zero tolerance policy towards theft that Ross’s father had put in place when he started the business. Chris wanted to replace that policy with one that prosecuted only individuals between 18 and 65 years who had stolen more than $40 worth of goods, and who had a previous history of theft at Westwind. In the case of first-time culprits under or over these ages, he argued for letting them off with a strict warning, regardless of the value of their ill-gotten goods. Repeat offenders would be arrested. ‘Frankly, the local police are getting pretty tired of having to come to our stores every time a teenager sticks a DVD in his jacket pocket,’ Chris pointed out. ‘And besides, we just can’t afford the costs associated with prosecuting everyone.’ Every time he pressed charges against a shoplifter who’d made off with a $10 item, Westwind lost money. The company had to engage a lawyer and pay employees overtime for their court appearances. In addition, Chris was looking at hiring more security guards to keep up with the workload. Westwind was already in a losing battle with mass retailers that were competing, all too successfully, on price, so passing on the costs of its zero-tolerance policy to customers wasn’t really an option. ‘Let’s concentrate on catching dishonest employees and those organised-theft rings. They’re the ones who are really hurting us,’ Chris concluded. There was a long pause after Chris finished his carefully prepared speech. Ross thought about his recently deceased father, who was both an astute businessman and a person for whom honesty was a key guiding principle. If he were sitting here today, he’d no doubt say that theft was theft, and that setting a minimum was tantamount to saying that stealing was acceptable just as long as you don’t steal too much. He looked at Chris. ‘You know, we’ve both got teenagers. Is this really a message you want to send out, especially to kids? You know as well as I do that there’s nothing they like better than testing limits. It’s almost an invitation to see if you can beat the system.’ But then Ross faltered as he found himself glancing at the latest financial figures on his desk – another in a string of quarterly losses. If Westwind went under, a lot of employees would be looking for another way to make a living. In his heart, he believed in his father’s high moral standards, but he had to ask himself: just how moral could Westwind afford to be?
Case Questions: Please answer these two questions, A1 and A2. Please use relevant examples from this case in your responses to these questions where possible. Use approximately 300 words for each question
A1. Identify two (2) significant issues that Westwind faces from the information in the case study.
a) Explain why these are issues.
b) What would you recommend that Westwind should do to address the two (2) issues
A2. Referring to the management functions (ie. Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling), in which management function(s) did the system fail? Please explain how that particular management function(s) you selected had resulted in the financial problem in Westwind.
Section B: Reflective component
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes that have impacted our lives and environment. Businesses have needed to adjust their plans to accommodate these changes. You also had to adjust your university studies in this situation.
Feedback is an important component of the control management function. This combined with reflective practice contributes to the management function of planning. Spend some time reflecting on the situation before addressing each question below:
B1). Relating to the mid-semester test (assessment 1) and case study report (assignment 2), reflect on your preparation or strategy, you used for doing and completing these tasks.
B2). Continuing from the question above and on the same theme, looking back, what could you have done differently, how and why?
B3). Reflecting generally at this semester, how did this all go and would you have done anything differently? (