CASE STUDY

The First Day

Ann Scheck McAleaney

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Susan was both thrilled and terrified.  Tomorrow was her first day as a manager.  Having recently completed her Master of Health Science Administration degree at a prestigious local university, she had conducted a thorough job search and been hired as a new manager of patient accounts at University Health System.  She had numerous interviews with various directors and other managers in the health system, as well as a lunch interview/meeting with six people who would report to her, but those interviews seemed far away.

Susan wanted to make a good impression and get off to a positive start, yet she wasn’t sure what to do first.  She learned the importance of listening in management, but she also knew she was the boss.  Further, her own boss, the director of patient care services, had emphasized the importance of getting her employees to improve productivity at any cost.  Susan had heard that, although her new direct reports were nice to one’s face, they had a tendency to complain and scapegoat, which had led to the sudden departure of the previous manager of patient accounts.  Susan was particularly nervous about being younger than all of her new employees.  To quell her fears, she decided to make a list of what she wanted to accomplish in her first days and weeks on the job.

Case QuestionsAssume you are a friend of Susan’s considering a similar position.  What would you recommend that she put on the list?

How would you suggest that she prioritize her goals?

Responding to the case studies in this course requires critical thinking.  Thinking critically is the ability to analyze a concept objectively, considering the facts and differing perspectives to reach a sound, logical conclusion.  The reason critical thinking is a skill – and not just an automatic thought process – is because most people naturally think “uncritically” , making decisions based on personal biases, self-interest, or irrational emotions.  Everyone is vulnerable to this type of simplistic thinking – it’s human nature.  

As leaders, you are role models for your direct reports.  How you analyze problems/concerns influences how your team members will handle issues/concerns going forward.  Leaders that use critical thinking processes foster teams that are intentional about assessing problems and devising solutions.  

Here are some ways to improve your critical thinking skills:

  • Keep the goal in mind
  • Know your biases and try to look past them
  • Ask questions and gather information
  • Evaluate the facts of the situation and all available data
  • Collaborate and get feedback from others – especially people with different backgrounds to your own
  • Generate possible solutions (or goals, particularly out-of-the-box ideas
  • Consider the sort – and long -term consequences of implementing each solution

Please answer the case questions but in relation to information (evidence)  that you have gathered from external sources.  It’s a short case study with a lot of content to discuss.Please respond to a case study in Essay format with an Introduction, body, and conclusion. APA Format and list intext citations and references. 

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