Case Analysis - Case: Swift Footwear Company

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Assessment 2 Case Analysis
Due date 11.59 pm (AEST/AEDT), Sunday 05-May 2024 (Week 8)
Weighting 40%
Word count/length 1500 words
Cover page, reference list, statement of AI usage, and appendix are excluded from the wordcount
In-text citations are included in the wordcount
Demonstrate an ability to engage effectively in teams to complete complex team tasks or structured projects. (SILO 2)

Explain the forces that affect behaviour in organisations with reference to the theory of organisational behaviour. (SILO 3)

Feedback Written feedback will be available within three (3) weeks of the due date
Assignment Task:
This individual assignment accounts for 40% of your total subject grade. It provides you with an opportunity to explore the topic of team development and engage with the Organisational Behaviour (OB) literature.

Assignment Instructions:
Read the case further below and complete the following three tasks:

1. Identify and critically discuss one challenge to the team’s effectiveness.

In your response, identify the problem, explain why it is an issue for team effectiveness, and provide examples from the case to support your discussion.

You need to use Organisational Behaviour (OB) academic theory as covered in this subject when defining concepts, theories, and frameworks (provide in-text citations and references at the end of the assignment). The core of your analysis should link to team development / team effectiveness as covered in this subject, primarily from Week 5, Week 6, and Week 8. Material from other weeks may be used where relevant.

2. In response to the challenge identified in Task 1, design a teamwork activity or activities to improve the effectiveness of the team in the case.

In your response, you need to explain the aim of the activity (how it will address the identified problem/s, describe the activity, and the timing and location considerations).

In your explanation of the activity, you need to use relevant OB theory as covered in this subject. Provide in-text citations and references at the end of the assignment.

See Chapter 7 of the subject textbook for examples of teamwork activities.

3. Design and develop the relevant supporting materials for the teamwork activity (e.g. instructions to participants, handouts etc).

In the design and development of the supporting material you can be as creative as you want!

Relevant support materials will vary, depending on the type of activity you are designing. For example, if you were to design an ‘ice-breaker’ activity, such as a game, you would need to provide the facilitator instruction sheet (outlining the aims of the activity, the rules, and discussion points for the end of the activity), and the participant material (such as the activity sheet).

Need to include all the facilitator supporting materials in-text. For example, activity overviews, end-of activity discussion points, activity run sheets, etc…

Any additional supporting materials for participants are to be included as an appendix. The appendix is not included in the word count.

*No introduction or conclusion is required. As a general guide, response to Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3 should be roughly equal in word count.

**We recommend you consider the following publications to identify relevant articles: Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, British Journal of Management, Human Relations, Journal of Management, Leadership Quarterly, Harvard Business Review.

***If you are using AI (i.e. ChatGPT) to assist you in this assignment, note that you are fully responsible for the work submitted.

Do not accept AI-generated “facts” and sources unless you have double checked them!
The AI can ‘hallucinate” or make things up.
The AI is unpredictable.
If you provide minimum effort prompts, you will get low quality results. You will need to refine your prompts in order to get good outcomes. This will take work.
AI is a tool, but one that you need to acknowledge using. Please include a paragraph at the end of any assignment that uses AI explaining what you used the AI for and what prompts you used to get the results, and reflect on what it was good and not good for. Failure to do so is in violation of academic integrity polices. Note: Statement of AI usage is excluded from the assignment wordcount.
Be thoughtful about when this tool is useful. Don’t use it if it isn’t appropriate for the case or circumstance.

** You can use AI generative tools to help you create the teamwork activity materials. It can help brainstorming and thinking outside the box. It can be used as a starting point to come up with types of activities you can then adapt and expand to your case.

Your assignment should have the following sections:

Cover page Listing your name, student number, class day/time, and the assignment wordcount (excluding reference list, statement of AI usage, and appendix)
Response to Task 1
Response to Task 2
Response to Task 3
Reference list. Use the APA7 referencing style. You MUST consult and reference a minimum of eight (8) academic sources (of which one can be the recommend subject textbook, Wood et al, 2019).
Statement of AI usage
Appendix (containing any additional details about any of the tasks which you think can supplement your work).

The following fictional case has been created for this assignment:

Case: Swift Footwear Company

The Swift Footwear Company, rooted in the heart of Detroit, USA, has etched its name in the industry by consistently delivering groundbreaking and trendsetting footwear. However, the once vibrant and innovative Design Team, responsible for shaping the company's athletic and leisure footwear, is facing a challenging phase.

The Design Team comprises a team leader and fifteen members with diverse backgrounds. This composition has remained consistent for the last seven years. Nestled in the main building alongside the marketing department, this team of artists, inventors, and specialists initially thrived on its diversity, bringing varied perspectives to the table. However, over time, a noticeable shift has occurred, transforming the team's dynamic.

What was once a hub of creativity and innovation has evolved into a unit more focused on routine problem-solving and efficient execution. Despite their individual expertise, the team has encountered obstacles in their recent projects. These obstacles include surpassing budgets, diminishing customer enthusiasm for their new designs compared to their past successes, and encountering intense competition in the market.

The sense of unity that once defined the team has eroded over the past five years.

Initially, the team leader was highly involved in team activities. However, following a promotion within the company, she now oversees two teams in other divisions. As a result, the team leader is frequently absent from team meetings and events.

Team members have become increasingly distant, preferring to work in isolation either from their offices or homes.

Staff meetings, once a collaborative forum, are now attended with reluctance, and the camaraderie that once existed during end-of-month drinks and office Christmas parties has dwindled. At the last Christmas party, only two team members showed up, openly expressing disinterest.

The new team dynamics are evident in the hostile and fragmented nature of team meetings. Two dominant voices consistently overshadow discussions, while another couple of team members are responsible for frequent interruptions. Openly hostile disagreements are frequent, and personal criticisms have become commonplace. Some members have withdrawn from active participation in meetings, reflecting a growing disconnect within the team. Decisions are reached hastily, frequently driven by team members' lack of concern.

The Design Team at Swift Footwear Company is now at a crossroads. Significant effort is required to restore the team to its former glory and regain its reputation for innovation in the competitive world of footwear design


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