Answered Essay: Assignment: Mary Watson was recently promoted to the position of regional sales manager for

Assignment: Mary Watson was recently promoted to the position of regional sales manager for Today’s Fashion, a national chain of specialty clothing stores with 200 outlets across the country. Mary is the regional manager for the Pacific Coast, which is one of Today’s Fashion’s largest markets. She manages 35 outlets in California and Oregon; each of these outlets has a store manager who reports directly to Mary. Each outlet has between 3 to 5 assistant store managers, depending on the number of specialty departments. Each assistant manager is responsible for on particular specialty department. These departments vary considerably in size and in the number of sales clerks reporting to the assistant manager. Because the chain’s success lies in being receptive to local customers’ tastes and buying habits, each store has a different collection of merchandise, and several different combination of departments can be found in Mary’s region. The departments include casual wear, formal wear, shoes, cosmetics, and jewelry. Prior to being appointed to the regional sales manager position, Mary had been both a store manager and an assistant manager in a casual wear department. While she was an assistant manager, Mary had often thought that she was responsible for many aspects of store manager that other assistant managers were not held responsible for. In addition, she never really felt comfortable that her store manager had clearly defined her areas of responsibility. Thus, despite the chain’s success, Mary felt that there was considerable room for improvement in how Today’s Fashion was managed. As a result, one of the first things Mary did after being appointed to the regional sales position was to initiate a job analysis for the job of assistant store manager. Mary had earned a BBA degree with a marketing emphasis from Wyoming State University. Although she had no formal training in job analysis, she was confident that she could construct an accurate and useful job description and specification for the assistant manager job, primarily because f her personal experience with that position. However, rather than simply writing from her own experience, Mary interviewed 3 current assistant store managers from the outlet closest to her regional office in Sacramento. On the basis of these interviews and her own experience, Mary constructed the job description and job specification shown in Exhibit I (after discussion questions). She hopes that these documents will form the basis of a new selection program that she wants to implement for her region. She believes that the best way to improve store management is to hire assistant managers who are qualified to perform successfully.

Exhibit I: Job Title: Assistant Store Manager Reports to: Store Manager General Description of the Job Manages the daily functions of a specialty department in the retail operations. The assistant store manager has responsibility for customer service, supervision of salesclerks, training of new employees, merchandising, and maintenance of inventory. Principal Duties and Responsibilities 1. Assists customer in merchandise selections, returns, and layaway as needed. 2. Clarifies any questions or problems that a salesclerk encounters. 3. Trains, coordinates, directs, and supervises department salesclerks daily. 4. Maintains inventory records. 5. Prepares the department for opening at the beginning of each day. 6. Ensures that the department remains professionally organized and orderly. General Qualification Requirements Education: 1. Minimum: Four-year college degree in marketing or related discipline from an accredited program. Experience: 1. Minimum: Six months to one year in a retail environment. 2. Preferred: One to three years as a salesclerk for Today’s Fashion. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: 1. Basic math 2. Effective interpersonal skills 3. Good judgment and independent thought 4. Self-starter / highly motivated 5. High integrity 6. Good typing and computer skills Physical Requirements: 1. Standing and walking required for more than 90 percent of work time 2. Ability to lift and carry boxes weighting approximately 15 pounds or less.

Questions: 1. Critically evaluate the job analysis that Mary conducted for the position of assistant manager. Has she used appropriate methods? What are the strengths and weaknesses of her efforts?

2. What kind of factors about Today’s Fashion and its operations should Mary have examined more seriously in order to improve her job analysis?

3. Carefully read the job description and job specifications that Mary prepared (Exhibit I below). Do they appear to be thorough? Do you think that they are adequate to serve as a basis for a new selection system? How well do you think these documents will work if Mary is sued for discrimination in her hiring practices? Why?

Expert Answer

There was a great impression made by Mary at the beginning of the job description. However there is need for it to be refined. The input of the description was based on her personal experience and the interviews done with assistant managers. The input lacked wider experience; it was limited in its own department. It would have been useful to interview the store manager for better information and also few clerks who were supervised by the assistant managers. It would also be useful to send a draft of the job description for the sake of approval and review.

Questions may arise for few qualifications mentioned by Mary. For example it as don’t necessary to mention experience if assisting customers and answering for a job that needs the employee to be on the sales floor for ninety percent of the time. Even the information related to typing was irrelevant.

There was need for mentioning concrete items.

2. It would have been useful for Mary to examine how the training is experienced by assistant managers and the expectations from them. It would also have been useful to take into account the performance reviews of assistant managers in the area and understand the weaknesses and problems. It would also have been effective to search for the similarity in the responsibilities for assistant managers of different departments.

3. The job description is not completely effective and it does not fulfill the requirements of a true job description even though it has been written well. The questions regarding preparation at the department for the day, frequency of inventory, details regarding the materials and training the clerks and requirement for previous management experience has not been mentioned.

It has discriminatory hiring practices and if sued then the job description will serve Mary well. There is no requirement of age, gender requirements, physical attributes for the job. The statements like authorised to work in the country has not been mentioned.

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