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Kate Daniel, the newly hired “controller”, is eager to make changes to the current labor and material standards that the department had been comfortable using thus far. There are a few negative behaviors that the managers and line workers may exhibit as a result of tightening the standards. First, their current work style is going to be negatively affected and may result in performance issues. The employees may feel upset and stubborn about their new work standards and therefore will lack the motivation and efficiency to work properly or even as a form of retaliation, slack off within their work. Over time, lack of productivity, product quality, and ultimately sales will decline over time. Essentially, if Kate were to disrupt the current work flow style, she would risk disrupting the company’s cashflow.

Kate can take a few actions to help mitigate the negative behaviors I mentioned above. First, she can periodically introduce new elements of the plan/standards which would, therefore, have less of a “shock” effect towards the employees. Kate may also prioritize what standards she wants to change and perhaps start with upper management to show the employees that EVERYONE is participating in the changes (not just the production workers). It would also be important for Kate to explain why there is a need for these changes and how they will positively affect everyone in the long run, not just for financial benefits towards the company. This way, Kate may win the employees over through showing that she in fact isn’t just being a mean and strict boss…Kate needs to show that she has a soft side.

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Tight standards may have a positive effect on employee’s behavior in certain instances. For example, a company that lacks productivity will be able to immediately identify (through KPI’s, etc.) where the weakest link/employee is as well as who is underperforming. Employees who are expected to follow certain work standards, ethics, and morals will most likely be terminated if found to be underperforming or fail to follow the company policy over time. Tight standards allow for the “survival of the fittest” and most valuable employees to present themselves. Over time, working hard is something everyone is expected to do, and certain individuals might work extra hard for that promotion or raise. Tight standards allow employees to get used to working to the best of their ability in a friendly/competitive environment as well as push themselves to get improved skill sets.

Management should have received and included the opinions of ALL individuals affected by the change including the lower-level workers and managers. Kate is essentially an outsider and for her to come in and disrupt the general routine and workflow of the current workers appears disrespectful and authoritative. Had Kate come in with open arms to the employees and ask for insight or advice on what THEY would want changed (presenting transparency), then implementing those standards would prove to the employees that she does listen and want the best for them. Once you have everyone on board for the plan, implementing it Is no issue.


Davis C. E., & Davis E. (2020). Managerial Accounting, Enhanced eText (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 9781119577669

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