Dilemma at Devils Den
Allan R Cohen
This paper explores the case study Dilemma at Devils Den, which was created by Allan R. Cohen from Babson College (2004), and focuses on a fictional student named Susan and an experience with a few problems that she has at her college’s campus snack bar, the Devil’s Den. This paper aims to discuss Susan’s problems that she has identified with the night operations at the Devil’s Den, and whether or not the night shift managerial team performs strategy execution processes adequately.
Susan identifies that the main problem mainly has to do with the night shift operations at the Devil’s Den. She points out that she had been ...view middle of the document...
Susan does mention the fact that that she tells her close friend Mack, a student manager at the den about the theft. She then recalls that Mack did speak to any of the employees about the situation, and did nothing else besides locking the storage door that was already accessible to the employees, which means they could still take the snacks if they really wanted to. In terms of shaping culture, management did a poor job as well. Susan mentions how employees were hard to come by, and therefore qualifications for the job are fairly minimal. Taking this into consideration, this could most likely mean that management is prone to hire people with a less than credible background history, and have left themselves open to un-ethical actions such as theft.
In terms of a control system, the night management has no real method to stop employees from taking snacks while on and off the job. Management seems to care very little losing food, and more about keeping the employees around despite their misdeeds. According to Susan, this was because employees are hard to come by. Management also does a very poor job of developing discipline and reward systems. Management does not reward their employees nor do they offer incentive to work harder besides being promoted to student manager after some time. There is essentially no type of raise besides a 5 cent increase in pay after each semester of employment, and student managers only make 15% percent more than regular employees, who barely made over minimum wage before this. In addition to this, there is no form of punishment whatsoever. None of the employees were held responsible for customers taking food for free under their supervision, so this allowed the actions to continue. Another example of the lack of discipline can be seen when Susan recalls how one of her fellow employees was caught pocketing cash from the cash register. The employee was not punished in any shape or form besides being told to stay away from the register and the incident was not mentioned to anyone. Susan also mentions how she hadn’t heard of the CFS (College Food Services) taking corrective action against anyone. Lastly, the student management displays far from ethical leadership. The student managers often let their friends who do not work at the Devil’s take food without having to pay, which sets a bad example for the regular employees. This in turn led to employees taking food even when they were not on the job. There is also very little motivation to get employees to do their jobs.
Susan’s dilemma is that she does not know what to do about the employees taking advantage of the Devil’s Den and the student management’s negligence and complete lack of actual leadership. Susan is not sure about whether or not she should talk to management about what is taking place because she feels that it is not her place. As a regular employee, Susan does not want to overstep her boundaries and report to management behind the backs of the student...