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It is a state owned organization with a staff population of 300 members of staff. It has been in existence for the last three years. The board as is the practice is appointed by the state. The President appoints the Chairpersons of Boards of all State Corporations while Board members are appointed by the Cabinet Secretary of the parent ministry. The reasoning behind this was to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest in line with the principles of integrity, accountability and transparency. The appointments for positions, especially the top ones and others are determined by the state in the sense that when they take stock of the inventoried staff to the country and during campaigning, their score becomes clearer and the electorate are convinced to offer or award them another term because their interests were taken care of through the employment offered to their sons and daughters. This forms their basis for creation of jobs and is a high score.

An organization sets out to recruit 100 members of staff. The Human Resource Manager is tasked with this assignment but the organization has one technicality, it does not have a substantive Human Resource Manager but has a Human Resource Officer who has two other officers reporting to the office. The Human Resource Officer was promoted to the position a year ago. Around this time again, the then Human Resource Manager had resigned triggering the response of appointing the Human Resource Officer to act the Human Resource Manager position. One of the Human Resource Officer Assistants takes the position of Human Resource Officer in an acting capacity. So it comes out like everyone else is acting.

The organization employed a Human Resource Manager to spearhead the recruitment of the 100 staff but the Human Resource Officer refuses to hand over to the new boss. The Human Resource Officer runs into headwinds as she is asked to step aside, which position she refuses, the board meets and pushes the expulsion. In the meantime, and as all this is happening, the Human Resource Officer runs that recruitment function process assisted by about 10 casuals he engaged. There was a little complication to this, the Human Resource Officer employed only ladies, young ladies and beautiful too. When the Human Resource Manager is employed, the HRO, and the other two officers come to a standstill on matters of a go slow and not obeying any instructions or advise given.

When the matter comes up before the board, it is recommended that the HRO be interdicted pending investigations to establish the conduct of the officer. In the intervening period, Director Human Resources has been employed. The Director Human Resource gets to the bottom of the case and tries or attempts to understand what the problem could have been. The Director Human Resource is a lady and a very understanding one; she calls the Human Resource Officer who is a lady too and they start a conversation. All that the Director Human Resource is trying to establish or understand is why the officer behaves the way she does. She thought that there could have been underlying reasons fundamental to her actions. What the lady HRO answers is this and to quote her verbatim, ‘I’m a Kisii woman and we have such high temperaments’. It strikes the DHR as strange when somebody falls back to the tribal identity. The Director explains to the officer that there is more reason why they should work together and pull in one direction. She explains that despite of the many differences among members, there is more to gain from walking and reading from the same script. The officer goes back and continues with her hard line stand and position. The Director’s options are now limited and running on thin ice, she goes ahead and dismisses the lady on grounds of gross insubordination, refusing to take lawful instructions, failing to perform according to the job description and job specification. As all these is happening, it is important to remember that the recruitment of 100 employees has not been concluded and so glaring that the HRO had failed management in that regard. The Director Human Resource interdicts the HRO. The HRO takes her employer to Court citing ill treatment, unfair treatment, impugning her name and portraying her in bad light in the eyes of the organization, the country and the world.

The other outcome was that the acting Managing Director was also shown the door in the mix of things and this threw the organization into a panic mode. The board argued that the Managing Director did not act on the earlier reports for the officer who had failed in the discharge of her duties. It was rumored that the Managing Director had been very lenient and sympathetic to the lady after death had robbed her of a husband. It is also argued that the officer used this death of her husband to hold everybody hostage. The other staff also reason that the lady had been promoted quickly to a position of ineptitude and inefficiency.


In your own thinking and position, make a management case in context and in reference to the case study just read.

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