Discuss how the views contained in the case study given in the image could be applied in practice to a restaurant, and a food shop.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are many different ways in which the case study's implications can be applied in practice to a restaurant or a food shop.  Consider the words of Heathfield in terms of what employees want in their work:  

Most people want involvement in decisions that affect their work.  People who contribute their ideas should be recognized and rewarded.  True employee involvement is based on the expectation that people are competent to make decisions about their work every single day on the job.

Heathfield's point speaks to how managers of small scale industries like food shops or restaurants can find a way to validate employee efforts.  The construction of decisions can be made on small levels so as to empower employees.  In food shops or restaurants, managerial positions can be developed to help employees feel validated.  The presence of interpersonal relationships that predicate respect and trust is essential.  Such respect can   extend to menu items offered, and even the physical layout of the restaurant. Heathfield's premise extends to how management treats its employees.  Those who manage food shops and restaurants are able to speak to this in being able to validate employee voice in a variety of ways in order to ensure that their employees are "recognized and rewarded."

Bob Nelson's ideas can also be applied to the situation of a food shop or a restaurant.  Nelson articulates several conditions that must be present in order for an employee to find their work gratifying and self- fulfilling.  Self- control os one of those aspects.  The managers of restaurants and food shops have to develop a sphere of self- control where their workers feel that they are able to possess a sense of responsibility that is critical to the development of the business.  This might come in the way of creating schedules of shifts or determining which set of tasks will be completed when.  Nelson speaks to how management has to trust employees with a sense of responsibility in order for them to be productive and efficient in the workplace setting.  Feedback is another part of this equation. This can be seen in a food shop or restaurant with the owner or manager there and present, offering suggestions and insight to help workers recognize where problems are in the hopes of making them better.  This presence is not an autocratic one, as much as it is democratic, facilitating dialogue and constructive discourse.

There was a striking absence of all of these in the case study of the university president and his lecturers.  There was nothing in way of recognition and reward and little in way of developing authentic responsibility and discourse. The silence of the President, upon receiving the committee's suggestions, spoke volumes.  In the case of the food shop or restaurant owner, it is essential that such silence and absence is avoided if the end goal is to construct a happy and content workforce.

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