Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2014 Contents SBG16 | CASE STUDY
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN APRIL 27 • 2014
The following guide is intended to aid readers
in analysing the case Clothes Enough Ltd.
When analysing a case, remember that there
are many possible approaches and solutions
and the goal is to develop your analytical
and problem-solving skills rather than figure
out "the one right answer."
Hamza Ali has been appointed to manage his family's clothing
store which is currently losing money. Employee morale is
very low and customer service appears to be suffering. He has
taken several decisive steps to turn things around but is unsure
what his next move should be.
Q1. What are the major issues being confronted by Hamza
The major issues identified in the case that will need to be
1. The store is currently losing money
2. Customers are not happy with the service they are receiv-
ing3. Employee morale is very low
4. Hamza is young, inexperienced and the owner's son
which has created staff resentment.
Q2. Is Hamza Ali s leadership style appropriate for this sit-
Hamza has adopted a very autocratic approach to decision
actions on the
the business is
styles can be
characterised as task-oriented and relationship-oriented.
Hamza appears to be primarily focused on "fixing" the problems
encountered but the workers may conclude that coaching and
training are meaningless since Hamza's appointment is a clear
case of nepotism.
Apart from the initial meeting with employees, he has not
engaged his staff in any meaningful dialogue to empower them
to make the changes needed. The age difference between
Hamza and some of his workers is another factor that could
be potentially problematic.
These factors suggest that Hamza is more likely to be suc-
cessful by adopting a relationship-oriented leadership style
and involving the employees in decision making. As Hamza
is quickly finding out, a business degree is no guarantee of
success. Ultimately, the job of a great leader is to serve, not
simply boss people around.
Q3. What specific actions should Hamza Ali take to turn
things around at the store?
Hamza needs to immediately halt the losses that the store
is experiencing. He needs to determine what costs in all aspects
of the business can be cut back; not just wages. He can set
a powerful example to employees by taking a pay cut himself
which would signal his commitment to turning things around.
Distributing flyers advertising the store's low prices could also
help to increase short term sales.
Managers cannot assume that employees fully understand
why they are adopting particular strategies so involvement in
weekly meetings and motivational team building sessions could
help improve staff motivation.
Explaining to employees why they need to do something
rather than only telling them what to do is more likely to yield
If Hamza has no choice but to layoff staff he needs to
manage this process in a very sensitive way. He should clearly
explain why such a step is necessary and indicate whether
this is a temporary situation, with the possibility that employees
will be rehired if business picks up. If he involves workers in
the decision he is less likely to face resistance when the layoffs
occur. An alternative strategy to avoid layoffs is for workers
to agree to a reduction in salaries in order to save the jobs of
Hamza is young and lacks managerial experience. Being
humble and acknowledging this fact is the first step in gaining
the respect of the staff. He could generate greater buy-in to
his plans by consulting some of the more experienced workers
as part of a planning committee when major decisions have
to be made.
Hamza needs to continue his relentless focus on customer
Investments need to be made in continuous employee
training and a reward system can be implemented to recognise
employees who display the required behaviour. He also needs
to remind employees of the values that accounted for the
store's earlier success.
Customer service is the key
Case preparation guide: Clothes Enough Ltd
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