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American Express Essay

1233 words - 5 pages

When American Express first came about, it would fit the assumed picture of a typical call center: a tall building filled with thousands of service agents aligned on every floor. For years, a typical work-day for each employee consisted of repeated, recorded, scripted, and timed phone conversations. Today, though, it is a whole new world. Today, no two conversations are the same. American Express finally realized that opening the gates and allowing employees be themselves would sell more product than ever before.
American Express exemplifies and practices many of the theories described in the Management textbook. The first, and possibly most imperative, would be Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy ...view middle of the document...

The participants answer a group of questions in order to be put into the four different categories. Within the test the questions are reworded off and on to help ensure consistency and accuracy. This framework could be beneficial in finding the right person for the right job. It could also be utilized to create teams, playing off of each other’s weaknesses. Another use of the Myers-Briggs framework that American Express could utilize is that it could be used for self-discovery and growth within the individual employees.
Another theory that is not present with American Express is the Expectancy Theory. This theory suggests that motivation depends on two things – how much we want something and how likely we think we are to get it. (Griffin, 454) One thing that needs to be considered is that the employees at American Express want to succeed. However, if their goals are set to high for them and they do not believe they can achieve these goals, they will not even try to reach them. This is known as the effort-to-performance expectancy. The performance-to-outcome expectancy is the employee’s perception that their performance will lead to a specific outcome.
Also, the LPC theory, developed by Fred Fiedler is not present with American Express. This is a theory of leadership that suggests that the appropriate style of leadership varies with situational favorableness. Fiedler identified two styles of leadership: task oriented and relationship oriented. He identifies the leadership style by using a controversial questionnaire called the least-preferred coworker (LPC) measure. To use this measure, a manager or leader is asked to fill out the questionnaire on a specific person with whom he/she is able to work least well with. After answering the questionnaire the score is then calculated by adding up the numbers they have chosen. The higher numbers are associated with positive qualities and also called the relationship orient, whereas the lower numbers are negative qualities and called the task orient. This questionnaire would help the American Express Company determine if someone is leader or not a leader, it will show if someone will do the job or rely on someone else. After learning each employee’s leadership style, the company could then group individuals that they believe would work well together. This would allow for production to increase.
Team and Group Incentive reward systems could also be incorporated. American Express could offer group reward systems. One group reward system they could offer is gainsharing programs, these programs are designed to share the cost savings from productivity improvements with employees. American Express could start by measuring group level productivity. It is important that this measure be valid and reliable and that it truly...

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