Problem Solving And Decision Making Construction Essay

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This is the final research report on the topic of organizational culture. The report is done on Dowie & Dowie Painters & Interior Decorators. Based on the observations the research team members made when the first proposal was done, it was observed that this company did not have the effective control at workplace. The research team has chosen this of control because this relates to the health and safety of employees at workplace in New Zealand. In New Zealand, there are many accidents at workplace. The research team was fascinated with the data that was obtained from Statistics New Zealand. According to the statistics New Zealand (2012), 187,300 people made 209,700 claims for injuries at workplace in 2010. The major claims were made by the four industries. These were tradesman, fishing and agriculture, plants and machineries and elementary occupants. Since tradesman falls in this category, the research team decided that this was a very realistic approach to do the research on the organization culture at workplace.


This research was about the problem of organizational culture at Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators Ltd that is located in Mangere in South Auckland. The research team has identified this problem because had observed that there is inadequate control of some of the ways in which company operates. The problem identified is not critical but it affects status of the company to some extent and may lead to financial loss so it needs to be rectified. The employer and employees need to work according to correct health and safety procedures implemented by Health and Safety Employment Act 1992 at workplace. The researchers believe that if this problem is solved then the workers will not be exposed to any hazards that will affect their performance and will have negative effect on their health. Therefore, this was opportunity problem.

Company Background:

Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators started operation in New Zealand twenty-eight years ago. Its main office is located in Panmure in the Auckland. Mr. Dowie had qualifications in the painting and decorators field so he had the knowledge and he also had enough funds to start the business. Since this company started, it has made a steady progress due to getting many jobs from the Auckland City Council. However, the workers started leaving the company. After, three years in service, the supervisor left his job and went to work somewhere else. Then, he employed another supervisor who was made in charge of the entire painting job as Mr. Dowie was out on liaising with customers in getting more jobs. The new supervisor, Mr. Anup Kishore, has been working for Mr. Dowie ever since. This company's success was due to the high quality of work they produced and the company's vision that had allowed them to prosper so fast.

Today Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators employees eight staff. They work in two teams. One team has four members. Each team works separately in different locations around Auckland. While doing this research, the research team has observed that there is a lot of harmony amongst the employees and they have developed a great teamwork. Many processes are involved in doing painting work. It has to go through many processes before putting on the final layer of paint. While doing this and the preparation work that is involved, some of the employees neglect their safety. The research team did observe this negligence in some of the stages of work. In the process of skimming, first negligence was observed. Skimming is a process where the wooden wall is plastered. This is done so that the underlying surface that would have the rough, uneven and damaged surface is levelled off using the plaster mix. Once this plaster has dried off then a sanding machine is used to sand off the surface so that the surface becomes smooth for painting. This is where the first negligence takes place. It was observed that one of the employees hardly used the respirator while sanding. As it was noticed that during the sanding operation, the dust particles filled up the atmosphere and there was no respirator worn by the employees. This is in fact injurious to health and it can cause irritation to breathing and vigorous sneezing. Secondly, the research team has also observed that after the painting has been done and when the employees go and wash their equipment, one of the employees washes his paintbrushes and trays on the grass. As it is logically understood that, there are harmful chemical contents in the paint. For example turpentine is washed off and it has very deadly chemical therefore it becomes a hazard to the environment and causes pollution. In addition, if the local council finds that this company is not properly following the correct procedures then, they the council can place a heavy fine on the company. It will be a huge loss in terms of finance and the reputation of this company will be at stake. In addition, it is very clear that the employees do not have adequate control in the execution of their work any suffer from health problems in future and this could cost the company a lot of financial loss in the form of compensation and fines for neglecting the health and Safety Procedures.


The data that collected in this project was be by giving out the questionnaires, conducting interviews and making personal observation. This is the triangulation method that the research team has used to collect data and compare to see if the problem identified was a problem to the organization.

The research team consisted of two members. Each member had a special role to as far as the collection of data. One member was responsible for interviewing, recording the data that has been collected. The second member was to make appointments with the relevant persons who will be interviewed and preparing the questionnaires. Both of the team members were directly responsible for making the final notes that needs to be submitted. A letter of request was sent to the supervisor of this particular company so that the team can go and interview him, questionnaires was distributed to five employees and critical observations were made at the workplace. The company would be clearly explained the purpose of this research and how it would benefit them and the environment. In addition, the team will release this final report to this company so that they also make changes to their work practices, become more responsible, and carry out the tasks according to the rules and regulation set by the governing authorities.

However, the group worked as a team in all the process and helped each other if one member was lagging behind in one task. The recommendations would be made to Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators so that it can comply with health and safety requirements towards each other and towards the environment.

Literature Review

Control is a very important aspect in any organization. It is also important so that "planning can be done, an organisational structure can be created to facilitate the efficient achievement of goals, and employees can be motivated through effective leadership" (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, 2009, p.570). There are few ways control can be measured. Robbins et al., (2009) tell that the common sources of information for measuring performing are personal observations, statistical reports, oral reports and written reports. (p.572). If proper control is practised at workplace then, the work will be safe and company will have high status and there will be less risk of financial loss.

Statement of Problem

The employees of Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators Ltd do not have adequate control at their workplace. Observations were made that is evidence that codes of practices were lacking and henceforth there was not enough control in their organizational culture. The business has been really successful in the last twenty-eight years since it has started. However, in these years, the employees tend to be neglecting the health and safety aspects. The research team conducted a desk research and found out that there have been few incidents in the past that had let to injury at the workplace. In addition, the research team has also observed many form of negligence associated with this painting profession at the workplace. The workers that are working for this company are all immigrants from Fiji and India. Therefore, these workers did not practice the health and safety procedures effectively in their own country. They believe that there is no need for them to practice health and safety, as they are not fully aware of the chronic effects.

Population Sampling

There are two types of data control that are used in this report. These are quantitative and qualitative data. In this report, the research team used both of these methods. The information from employees and the supervisor that are collected was noted down in the questionnaires are based on the qualitative data. These are the based on the opinions and views that are expressed. This data that was collected from all the respondents and analysed in the end. The quantitative data includes data that was tabulated and graphed accordingly. There were two teams working at two different locations. The first and team is controlled by the owner himself and the second team is controlled by a supervisor who is a painter as well. The research team did research on the second team because of its locality that is close to where the researchers reside. There were four members working in the second team. Three of them are front-line workers and the fourth one is the chief supervisor. The three front-line employees from the second team was given questionnaires to fill, the chief supervisor was interviewed while he filled the questionnaires and finally the factual data was collected based on the observation carried out by the team members. The research team distributed questionnaires on the 20th of July 2012 to the frontline employees and were given at least three weeks to complete this. In addition, on the 20th of July 2012, one member of the research team interviewed the supervisor. The research team managed to give out the questionnaire to an employee from the first team.

Ethical Issues

A letter of request was sent to the Chief Supervisor requesting him for the team to conduct research. Once he gave approval, the research team made necessary observations, conducted interviews and gave out questionnaires. In addition the respondents were clearly explained the purpose and the benefits of this research and to this organization and the environment as a whole. It was assumed that the employees gave the research team the correct information. However, the research team conducted observations that made the analysis easier.

Strength and Weaknesses

One of the evaluation tools used in this research was the questionnaires. It had both strength and weaknesses. The strength of questionnaires was that firstly, it was a very effective way of collecting information. Secondly, information regarding any issues was collected. In addition, it could be distributed to many people and does not need to be told about each question that needs to be answered. The disadvantages of giving out questionnaires are as follows. Firstly, the weakness would be that the respondents may not have given ethical feedback regarding certain issues. Secondly, the respondent can misuse the questionnaire by filling irrelevant information. To see that the information collected was factual, personal observations were made to cross check with the information from the questionnaires. It was a good form of verification of data from other sources. Personal interview was much effective way of obtaining data. It was effective when entangling complex issues and information provided will be in detail and henceforth was be easily understood and analysed. However, the weakness of personal interview was that it was bit difficult to reach a mutual for the interview, as the interviewee was a bit reluctant in disclosing critical information.

Resources Required

The resources required for carrying out this research included, time, money, people, internet, transport, stationary, APA referencing style, lecture notes, printer and referencing textbooks. The research team needed to use their precious time and go and interview, write questionnaires, make reports, consult the tutor and make observations. In this process, the research team needed money to buy stationary, pay for fuel and printing. In addition, transport was also be used to go to places and make observations, conduct interviews and do research work in the library. APA referencing is done so that the research team acknowledges the authors who have written the books.

Result and Discussion:


The first source of gathering information was through questionnaires. The result and the analysis of the question are tabulated in the graph below.

Question Number


Number of people said 'Yes"

Number of people said 'No'


Are you well informed about the standards of health and safety practices?




Have you ever had an injury at work?




Do you use the gloves while painting?




Do you know the importance of wearing gloves?




Do you use the respirators while sanding?




Do you know the importance of using respirators?




Are you aware that the above health related problems you ticked is due to the lack of health and safety practices at work?




Have you ever disposed or washed the paint into storm water drains?




Are you aware of the consequences of washing the paint and turpentine into storm water drains?




Do you wear goggles while using sanding machine?




Do you know the importance of wearing goggles?




Is there a hazard identification checklist at your workplace?




Has this been followed regularly?



The analysis of Question 1 is graphed according to percentage of employees engage in which types of work.

The graph above shows the number of people (Vertical Axis) performing the different types of duties at work (Horizontal axis).

The analysis of Question 2 from is graphed below:

The graph above shows the number of people (vertical axis) that suffered from the different health related issues (Horizontal axis).

Interview Analysis:

Interview analysis of the Chief Supervisor:

The Mr. Anup Kishore, the Chief Supervisor stated the following in the interview the research team conducted:

All the staff is fully aware of the health and safety control policies at workplace. He stated that the employees neglect these practices because they do not feel it is important to wear the protective protection clothing.

Mr. Kishore explained the research team that there was an incident once he did ask the employees why they are not wearing the protection gear. They responded that could cope it without them, as they have not used these in their home countries.

All the employees have signed a health and safety handbook when this company at the first place employed them. The policies were clearly explained to them. However, the employees themselves not follow this effectively.

Problem Solving and Decision Making

In this research, the research team applied the Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making. When organizations are confronted with problems, necessary actions should be taken to find the best solution for the problems. This theory helps to solve most complex problems that arise in any organization. This will help to develop good thinking skills that will be needed to solve these problems.

This theory tells that are six-steps in decision- making. The first step is taken when the manager recognises a problem. Here at Dowie and Dowie painters & Decorators the employees did not carry out their health and safety procedures effectively so there is inadequate control. The observations that were carried out states that there was in inadequate control in the organization in regards to the health and safety standards. The people that are involved in this problem are the employees, the supervisor and the employer himself. The main problem in this problem identification was that the employees of this company have inadequate control as far as the health and safety procedures are concerned in this organization. My main goal was to put in place the proper health and safety procedure at workplace of Dowie and Dowie Painters & Decorators so that the employees have a good standard at workplace.

The second step was to gather data relative to the problem. The observations that have made this problem a fact is that based on the research's team observation. Secondly, the members of the research team has personally went and talked to the employees and have found out the correct health and safety standards not followed. The assumptions that ware made are that, the employees themselves have neglected the health and safety procedures because it would have the responsibility of the employer to provide all the personal protection equipment in doing this work.

The third step for this decision making process is to make the list of the possible barriers that will in involved in carrying out the final report. Some of the barriers included are the lack of knowledge of employees, the negative feedback from the employees, the incapacity of the employees to adapt to the new standards of the health and safety aspects of the workplace, the prejudicial behaviour the employees about the personal protective equipments.

The fourth step was to test the possible solutions to this problem. The following solutions can be tested:

Teach the employees about the health and safety practice. This will create awareness amongst the employees and each of them will look out for each other. In this, the employer should clearly explain the duties of employer and duties of employees.

The employer for the new employees should provide health and safety training. According to the analysis of the questionnaires, most employees are unaware of consequences of the negligence in health and safety. Since all of the employees are migrants, they do not feel necessary to wear the personal protective equipment because they have not worn these in their home countries. The research team strongly believes that the things that they are neglecting should be taught and implemented.

The employees need to address their concerns to the employer. It can be a case where the employees may feel that their job might be at risk if they voice their concern their issues regarding health and safety. The employees need to realise that a major accident could happen if they keep quiet.

Review the health and safety policies of the company regularly so that workers are constantly reminded about the duties they need to perform.

Keep a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) at workplace all the time. It a document that contains information on the chemical contents, the use, handling and storage,. Emergency procedures and health related risks to a hazardous material and how to report an incident/ accident. The MSDS has more information regarding a particular than the label on the container.

The fifth stage was that the best solutions was selected that could used to overcome these barriers. Since it is a step-by-step process, alternative solutions was tested to see which one was the best solution out of all.

The final step in Kepner- Tregoe problem solving is the implementation of the decision. In this one, the positive results should follow. The employees, the supervisor and the employer by the end of the final report should know their roles and responsibilities so that everyone is involved in following the correct health and safety procedures at workplace.


Discussion of relevant point relating to:

Personal Protective Equipment( PPE):

There is not enough control on implementing the employees wear these. The policies are in place to follow but the employer is not always around to constantly wear this personal protective equipment. The background of the employees states that they did not wear this equipment while working in their home countries. They do not know the purpose of wearing this equipment. Effects on the health of each employee were clearly evident in the information they provided in the questionnaires. The employees are simply not aware of the chronic effects of the chemical they are exposed to daily.

The following shows the types of personal protection equipment that one should wear when they perform a particular task:

Duties Performed

Personal Protective Equipments

Effects if not worn


Goggles, respirators

Asthma, cough, sneezing, fever



Skin irritation


Respirators, gloves

Asthma, cough, fever, skin irritation

Washing Paints


Skin irritation

Using Management Theories:


Planning is the first step in management functions. Planning is done so that organizations achieve their goals and implement ways on how to achieve their goals.

Dowie & Dowie Painters & Interior decorators have a good planning as far as their how their work is being carried out. However, it needs to implement strategies that incorporate the health and safety of the employees. This will improve the company's organizational structure.


In any business, if the good organisation takes place, then the role of each worker is clearly identified.

The workers in this company know their roles well. Each of them know what is expected of them. This includes the specific people to report to in case of any issues. However, the company needs to organize their files and papers that it contains the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Hazard Identification Forms.


Leading is a very important aspect of business management. leading just not mean getting things done, but it means getting work done by motivating, solving conflicts, providing incentives and developing team work etc.

In this company, there is not good leadership displayed by the supervisor. A supervisor is supposed to make things happen and not neglecting the workers safety. While, the workers know the importance of wearing the personal protective clothing, they do not wear it. The main responsibility goes to the employer who should put practices so everyone abides by the rule.


Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter (2008) states that controlling is done after the goals are set and plans are formulated. To see that goals are met and plans are being followed to get the things done, the mangers should evaluate if these things are done rationally. If there are some issues regarding how work is being carried out, then the managers should monitor the process and correct it. (p. 12)

In this company, the control is weak. Based on the observations and interviews and the questionnaires, due to the lack of control, the employees are getting injured and sick. Tghe employees are unaware of the chronic effects.


All businesses make decisions daily. Whether it is small organisation or small, whether it is making profit or loss. Decision-making is a day-to-day routine.

This company needs to make effective decisions so that there are good health and safety control at workplace.

Effects on the Environment:

According to the answer from the questionnaires distributed, five of the respondents (100%) stated that they dispose the paint and turpentine in the storm water outlet. These storm water drains lead to streams, waterways and coastal waters. However if these chemical are not treated then it has a detrimental effects on the environment. These pollutants can damage the environment by contaminating plant and animal life and affecting freshwater and coastal ecosystems. People's health can also suffer if they eat contaminated fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals, or aquatic plants such as watercress and edible seaweed. (Waikato Regional Council, 2012).


This report done by the research team found that there was a problem with the organisation's structure as far as the health and safety practices is concerned. Employees of Dowie & Dowie do not follow the health and safety practices. The policies and procedures are in place but the workers neglect this. The result from the questionnaires, interviews and management theories proves that the data triangulation of results proves that it is the employee's prejudicial behaviour about the personal protective clothing. They have stated that they have not used the personal protective equipment in their home country.

The problem that the research team did the research is an opportunity problem. There are opportunities for the company to improve on their policies and procedures. This will result in better health of the employees and this will increase their production rate. Finally, a better healthier workplace practices will help in motivation, teamwork and unity.


The following recommendations will be made to Dowie & Dowie Painters & Interior Decorators:

Teach the employees about the health and safety procedures at workplace.

The workers to be send for the health and safety training externally.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should be kept at the work place so that everyone can refer to it when working with all different paints.

(WORD COUNT - 3974)