Communication; Decision Making; Delegation; Motivation

delayed CHaNGe of CoMMaNd

Primary Topic—Change Management

Additional Topics—Communication; Decision Making; Delegation; Motivation

With full notice to administration and with the knowledge of his staff, the manager of information services left the hospital to take a more responsible position else- where. Within the department it was assumed that Mr. Smith—“Smitty” to almost everyone—would move up from senior systems analyst and become manager. How- ever, a week passed and no appointment had been made.

The week became several weeks. The finance director, to whom the information services manager normally reported, began to make the administrative decisions for the department. Smitty was left with the growing task of overseeing the functions of the group in addition to performing his regular work.

Department personnel became aware that the hospital was advertising for an information services manager and that the finance director was conducting inter- views. However, nobody was hired. Finally, after the group had been without a manager for 6 months, Smitty was elevated to data processing manager and was immediately authorized to hire a replacement systems analyst.


1. For the period during which there was no manager, how would you assess Smitty’s position from the department’s viewpoint? The finance director’s viewpoint? Smitty’s own viewpoint?

2. How would you assess Smitty’s position after he was finally made manager?

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