MacWhirr’s definite grasp of his Operations Control when

MacWhirr’s TempestMakai AguiguiWenatchee Valley College12/1/17Words today are often portrayed as powerless, in the case of the Nan Shan’s Captain MacWhirr, however, his stoic nature lends to the weight his instruction has during the storm. MacWhirr’s management style can best be described as authoritative, and intuitive, often leaning on what must be done in necessity, rather than what must be done by formality.In Images of the Organization, by Gareth Morgan, “The task of successful organizational change and development thus hinges on bringing variables into closer alignment so that the organization can meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the environment.”(Morgan, 58). MacWhirr demonstrates this by dealing with the storm in several ways, whether it be keeping the same stearman for the course of the storm, or extinguishing any internal problems as they arise, or delegating to his various crewmembers both above and below decks.

Constantly as MacWhirr and the Nan Shan weather the storm, the Captain makes his one objective to survive the typhoon and the ship, and delegates all ulterior objectives to those in positions of power below him such as Jukes or Rout. This demonstrates the hierarchical system of the Nan Shan’s crew, though brotherly in spirit and fellowship, strict and relying on orders from the top-down (Bierman, 448).Though MacWhirr is not strict in the literal sense of the term, the Captain exercises bureaucratic control on his vessel with a regiment of delegation, and a hierarchical system that is evident to those on board. This can be seen when the Captain necessitates that First Mate Jukes must confront the coolies, and deal with sorting them straight and getting them to refrain from fighting over the spilled spoils of their labors.

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Again, this is seen when the Second Mate loses his nerves, and the Captain must set him straight, when he is charged at by the Second Mate, enraged by the madness of the storm. The Captain has an inherent trust in Jukes, Solomon Rout, and most of the rest of his crew to be responsive and diligent to his instruction.MacWhirr has a definite grasp of his Operations Control when it comes to running his ship, he dictates the individual operating systems with masterful guidance (Bierman, 448). There are the deckhands, those who steer the ship and provide assistance topside, and those who work below the decks for the engineers, those who shovel coal into, run, and cool the steam engines.

The Captain knows the collusion of the two in perfect synchronization allow him to survive the harsh typhoon, even though Jukes later mentions these factions have a rivalry, and MacWhirr’s controls make him famous, for “every ship Captain MacWhirr commanded was the floating abode of harmony and peace” (Conrad, Ch. 1). The Captain’s decision-making process is far too intuitive for comfort when it comes to deciding whether to weather the storm, or to plot a diverted course and head directly off course by four whole points. MacWhirr is well read on the subject, however, wholeheartedly denies recommendations by the literature he reads in the calm before the storm. He sees the signs of the oncoming turmoil but, having consulted the manuals of seamanship, guffaws at a change in strategy, calling it speculation or  hogwash. “Suppose”, he says, “I went swinging off my course and came in two days late, and they asked me ‘where have you been?’ ‘Went round to dodge the bad weather,’ I would say.

‘It must have been dam’ bad, they would say. ‘Don’t know,’ I would have to say, ‘I’ve dodged clear of it.'” This would be an example of a nonprogrammed decision (Bierman, 193) as made in response to a situation that is unique, or of a major consequence to the organization. The Nan Shan’s risk and uncertainty (Bierman, 194) hinge delicately on the little information being provided by the Captain’s barometer, and other sensory observations. These factors are known to MacWhirr, but are ultimately controlled by the environment, and not adjustable by the Captain.

This relates to the administrative model of decision-making. Captain MacWhirr’s second dilemma, to the typhoon, was a managerial issue, when the storm broke open the chests belonging to the Chinamen on board, leaving a pile of anonymous silver dollars to be fought over by the coolies. How can you distribute money amongst a group when only the people involved know the size of their prize and must be expected to lie about how much they had? Captain MacWhirr deducted that the only fair and safe solution was to divide the money equally among the coolies. Without any proof or paperwork, this solution was the best possible for the situation, because an unfair distribution could have started a mutiny, other violence among the crew, or worse. This decision evaluated through the administrative model is a good example of the process the Captain must proceed with. The Captain has incomplete information about who is owed what money on the ship, and the problem is not clearly defined with possible outcomes or alternatives. The Captain, or decision-maker, satisfies by choosing the first satisfactory, and what seems to be the only rational decision that will suffice.

While this is not the best solution, this is a good solution. All in all, MacWhirr’s management style can be described as stoic, and pertinent to critical situations, like braving the typhoon or dealing with the silver dollar dilemma. Authority, and intuition, provide the Captain with surefire guidance of what must be done by necessity on the Nan Shan. Even the average manager can provide superb management when pressured by a particular scenario, and the reliance of his subordinates. ReferencesBierman, L.

, Ferrell, O. C., & Ferrell, L. (2015). Management: principles and applications (3rd edition).

Solon, OH.: Academic Media Solutions.Conrad, Joseph. “Typhoon.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, andQuotes.  Essays & Summaries, www.gutenberg.

org/files/1142/1142-h/1142-h.html.Morgan, G.

(1998), Images of Organization, Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Retrieved November 10, 2017|9781576750384


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