insurance and investment consulting firm

H&H Financial was founded in 1997 as a local insurance and investment consulting firm specializing in financial, estate, and retirement planning. The business started as a part-time consulting practice given Mr. Blake’s dissatisfaction with his full-time job working for a franchise office affiliated with a large insurance agency. Mr. Blake found that his agency’s focus on productivity and numbers precluded his ability to do what he really wanted to do for his clients: provide personalized service that they could trust. He wanted his clients to be faces, not names and numbers. He wanted to offer them the optimal products and services that would best fit their needs, not just the selling needs of a corporation hyping their latest product through their franchises.

Mr. Blake bid his time and learned “the ropes to skip and the ropes to know” about running an agency. He obtained several key financial and insurance licenses and professional certifications (CFP, CFA, CFT, CTEP, etc.) as well as financial product suppliers. When he had developed a sizable private client base, he opened H&H as an independent agency to replace his consulting practice.

The firm started with just Mr. Blake operating out of a cheap storefront, and he was quickly overwhelmed with the paperwork side of the business. Mr. Blake was great at selling and knew the product lines in and out, but he was not an expediter or comfort- ablewith details.

Mr. Blake’s solution was to hire a part-time administrative assistant to handle phone calls, deal with foot traffic (what little there was), and do some light computer work. Times were not easy, and Mr. Blake squeaked by on a very limited income.

1. Critically evaluate the organization’s strategy and structure (complexity, formalization, and centralization) in your answer.How doesthis structure seem to affect Ms. Matthews’s behavior?

2. There are fourprimaryapproachesto job design:mechanistic,biological,perceptual, and motivational. How might each approach be employed to betterfit Ms. Matthewswith herjob?

3. Using the Job Characteristics Model, describe the impact Ms. Matthews’s job design is having on her work motivation.

4. Suggest how the firm could redesign Ms. Matthews’s job so it would increase her work motivation. Ms. Matthews may decide to stay at H&H if a more flexible work environment is created for her. Describe some alternative ways her job could be redesigned for greater flexibility.

5. Describe how formalized training and/or employee development might help Ms. Matthews better fit her job at H&H.

6. How you would you assess Jane Sutton’s need for training and development? What training methods you would recommend given her actionsin this case?

7. If Mr. Blake hired you as a consultant, summarize your recommendations based on the above six questions for which you found answers.

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