• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Managing Distributed Work Group. In this paper I will discuss the issue involved in managing employees who work at a location that is not the same as their supervisor and therefore are not under direct supervisory control. My observations come from my e

Extracts from this document...


Managing Distant Workers of a Distributed Work Group In this paper I will discuss the issue involved in managing employees who work at a location that is not the same as their supervisor and therefore are not under direct supervisory control. My observations come from my experiences at Sysco Foodservices of Central Florida, where I have worked as a Marketing Associate for the past five years, and an interview I conducted with my direct supervisor John Doe, Regional Manager. I will discuss how dispersed employees at Sysco are managed, and based on the literature on distributed working groups, describe methods that this research would indicate are best for managing employees under these circumstances. Finally, I will compare that approach with what actually happens at Sysco. Observation Sysco Foodservices of Central Florida goes to market with a sales force of approximately 120 Marketing Associates (MAs) dispersed through the Central Florida area. I spoke with John Doe, my former District Manager and current Regional Manager, about managing what he referred to as "his team". The Marketing Associate MAs are telecommuters who service customers inside their geographical territory. John Doe stated the role of the Marketing Associate "is to profitably increase sales in their individual territories, and move cases from Sysco's warehouse to our customers." To accomplish this goal there are three basic things that an MA must do: increase current customer sales and profit dollars, collect money, and open new business. ...read more.


Communication should be less important for effective functioning of a working group. Groups with lower interdependence have higher performance when communication and cohesion levels are lower (Barrick et al., 2007). Working group effectiveness is defined in terms of both productivity and employee satisfaction (Campion, Medsker & Higgs, 1993). Effective working groups engage more in external knowledge sharing. Structural geographic diversity has the potential to expose group members who are in different environments to different sources of task information, knowhow and feedback, which can lead to new opportunities for knowledge sharing (Cummings, 2004). Working groups can be strategically designed and distributed to take advantage of changing resources and opportunities (Kiesler &Cummings, 2002) associated with structural diversity. The best working groups come together to share information, perspectives and insights that help each person do their job better (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Self management at the individual job level is essential in effective teams. Self management gives team members autonomy and increases their sense of responsibility and ownership of the collective work products (Campion et al., 1993). Successful teams develop direction and shape their purpose as a response to a demand or opportunity given to them by higher management (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Communication is an essential team process because it clarifies how a team interpersonally orchestrates work to get things done (Kurland & Egan, 1999). In distributed work groups, communication through technology is more likely to be effective when groups are cohesive (Kiesler & Cummings, 2002). ...read more.


market trends, and insight into prices of customers similar to theirs as part of Project 212 through the Sysco Resource Center, Sysco Test Kitchen and Market Mover. The Resource Center enables MAs and DMs to access everything at Sysco's offices without having to go there physically. MAs can print off new customer credit applications, market reports, contact lists and special sheets, track promotions, and compare their performance to other MAs. The Sysco Test Kitchen website provides product knowledge and sales training in a virtual environment. Market Mover gathers information from across the country to help Marketing Associates make more informed pricing decisions. Sysco's use of technology should improve the effectiveness of their working groups by providing a new source of external knowledge. Conclusions This paper has described the processes by which Sysco's DMs manage their sales force of MAs. There are a number of areas where Sysco's supervision methods are in line with theory and best practice from the literature. These areas are: Sysco's use of technology to manage their employees, the encouragement of knowledge sharing among districts, and effectively using written records to evaluate MAs. There are other areas where Sysco practices need improvement based on the literature and theory of managing distributed work groups. These areas are: Sysco's lack of written job descriptions and requirement, and the use of more formalized communication. In my view, making changes in these areas should help Sysco correct these problems and the result should be improved sales and a more motivated and productive sales force. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Human Resource Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Human Resource Management essays

  1. Reflective essay on a teamwork task. The main objective of this paper is to ...

    In addition, the description of the resolved roles problem has been described above. Poor feedback from our professor has been another challenge for our team for a period of time. However this problem hasn't been identified for a while. But in the end, it was resolved by the positive attempts

  2. OB - Personal Reflection paper

    The results reiterated the fact that I'm a vocally assertive, impression-leaving, social-interacting, generally-attentive, relaxed communicator. All have obvious implications for my future plans both in group and individual settings. Teambuilding and leading, listening and trustworthiness were the subjects of Assessments #30, 25, 29 respectively.

  1. The author wishes to pursue a career in purchasing therefore this project will ...

    Although the author had worked as part of a team in her working life, she had either been assigned a specific role or been in charge of her team. Having worked alongside people to form joint decisions may be of benefit if she is called upon to work as a part of a cross functional team during her career.

  2. Why people come together?

    purposes; * Satisfaction which is felt by people belonging to this particular team. Among set of the factors defining efficiency of a team there are 2 core ones: an external (the working environment, space) and an internal (feeling of the unity, ideology and motivation).

  1. Recruiting and Developing a Team. As can be seen, in our team we have ...

    Finally, the members in the team must have good communication skill. Communication is very important to a business organization. No organization can succeed or progress, build up reputation, and win friends and customers without effective communication skills. In fact successful communication is the pleasant relationship between the seniors and sub

  2. To what extent does the Human Relations Approach to the design of work and ...

    With the aid of the Gilbreths' and Gantt, it also reduced the effects of fatigue in the workforce and along with its increased productivity came increased wages. In many ways however it was not, as already shown, 'Taylorism' was sometimes seen by the workers as exploitative and led to clashes

  1. Management and leadership within health visiting team in Edmonton locality.

    * Duties or objectives: It should provide the outcome representing the key output of the job. * Communication and working relationships: This describes the various people within the organization with whom the job is associated with. Strike. Anthony, J (1995)

  2. What kinds of interventions are typically used to manage 'stress' at work? How effective ...

    from other similar forms of intervention and necessitates a different approach to evaluation. Important differences relate to the characteristics of the client groups of CBT and SMT. As Reynolds and Briner (1996) remark, "typical SMT participants are a heterogeneous group of unselected, non-distressed, white-collar employees for whom the potential benefits

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work