MGT521 Week 3 Learning Team Reflection


Read the “Developing Your Empowering People (Delegating) Skill” Skills Exercise at the end of Ch. 10 of Management.

Discuss the scenario with your Learning Team.

Consider the five behaviors described for delegating to determine how to handle the scenario.

Prepare a 350- to 1,050-word paper detailing how your team would handle the situation described in the scenario.

Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.

SCENARIO: Ricky Lee is the manager of the contracts group of a large regional office supply distributor. His boss, Anne Zumwalt, has asked him to prepare by the end of the month the department’s new procedures manual that will outline the steps followed in negotiating contracts with office products manufacturers who supply the organization’s products. Because Ricky has another major project he’s working on, he went to Anne and asked her if it would be possible to assign the rewriting of the procedures manual to Bill Harmon, one of his employees who’s worked in the contracts group for about three years. Anne said she had no problems with Ricky reassigning the project as long as Bill knew the parameters and the expectations for the completion of the project. Ricky is preparing for his meeting in the morning with Bill regarding this assignment.

1. Clarify the assignment. Determine what is to be delegated and to whom. You need to identify the person who’s most capable of doing the task and then determine whether he or she has the time and motivation to do the task. If you have a willing and able employee, it’s your responsibility to provide clear information on what is being delegated, the results you expect, and any time or performance expectations you may have. Unless there’s an overriding need to adhere to specific methods, you should delegate only the results expected. Get agreement on what is to be done and the results expected, but let the employee decide the best way to complete the task.

2. Specify the employee’s range of discretion. Every situation of delegation comes with constraints. Although you’re delegating to an employee the authority to perform some task or tasks, you’re not delegating unlimited authority. You are delegating authority to act on certain issues within certain parameters. You need to specify what those parameters are so that employees know, without any doubt, the range of their discretion.

3. Allow the employee to participate. One of the best ways to decide how much authority will be necessary to accomplish a task is to allow the employee who will be held accountable for that task to participate in that decision. Be aware, however, that allowing employees to participate can present its own set of potential problems as a result of employees’ self-interests and biases in evaluating their own abilities.

4. Inform others that delegation has occurred. Delegation shouldn’t take place behind the scenes. Not only do the manager and employee need to know specifically what has been delegated and how much authority has been given, but so does anyone else who’s likely to be affected by the employee’s decisions and actions. This includes people inside and outside the organization. Essentially, you need to communicate what has been delegated (the task and amount of authority) and to whom.

5. Establish feedback channels. To delegate without establishing feedback controls is inviting problems. The establishment of controls to monitor the employee’s performance increases the likelihood that important problems will be identified and that the task will be completed on time and to the desired specifications. Ideally, these controls should be determined at the time of the initial assignment. Agree on a specific time for the completion of the task and then set progress dates when the employee will report back on how well he or she is doing and any major problems that may have arisen. These controls can be supplemented with periodic checks to ensure that authority guidelines aren’t being abused, organizational policies are being followed, proper procedures are being met, and the like.