Case: Customer Services section at the Copper Ridge Local Council In Tutorial Library

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TITLE: Case: Customer Services section at the Copper Ridge Local Council



Assignment question

Case: Customer Services section at the Copper Ridge Local Council

You are the HR officer of Copper Ridge Local Council. Your manager, Mr. Frank Stone, is the HR manager and he called you in to investigate the staffing structure in the Customer Services section of the Council.

The Customer Services section was created as a result of the restructuring process of Council. Where enquiries were previously channeled directly to a particular section such as the building and planning section or waste and recycling sections; enquiries are now all centralized at the Customer Services section. The aim of the Customer Services section is to provide a high level of customer services by effectively managing the counter, electronic and telephone customer enquiries. During the last three months, the customer feedback on the Customer Services section has not been positive. Customers commented and complained about the long queues at the counter, long waiting times for phone enquiries, slow responses to electronic queries and the impatient attitude of the counter staff.

The Customer Services section is managed by the Customer Services Manager (CSM) and staffed with a team of four Customer Services Officers (CSOs). The CSOs were transferred to this section from their former positions of Administrative Officers in other Departments. The CSOs work according to a rostered schedule of working times and hours to cover the extended business hours of the section. When one of the officers takes holiday or sick leave, the other officers are required to work overtime to cover the absence of the team member.

The increase in customer complaints raised the concern of Council’s senior management. During a discussion between the HR Director and the senior management staff of the Customer Services section, the CSM indicated that the number of enquiries increased to such an extent that the four CSO’s could just not keep up with the workload. Working in a high-volume customer service environment is stressful and dealing with demanding and sometimes abusive customers takes a toll on officers. The CSM mentioned that he noted an increase in absenteeism among the CSO’s which made managing the roster even more difficult. He noted his concern that the incumbents and positions of Administrative Officers were directly converted into Customer Service Officers and that the contents of the new jobs as well as the requirements for incumbents of these jobs were quite different from the positions of Administrative Officers. The job descriptions and job specifications have never been formally updated. The HR Director requested a review of the staffing situation in the Customer Services section.


Mr. Stone requires you to write a report addressed to the HR Director where you include the following aspects:

1.Explain why Job Analysis is necessary and develop a job description and job specification for the position of Customer Service Officer.

2.Discuss Job Design and explain how it can contribute to quality of work life.  Explain how this can apply to the Customer Services section.

3.Outline the purpose of recruitment and explain the methods of recruitment that you recommend for creating additional positions of CSO.

4.Identify and explain the most suitable methods for selecting the best candidate for a CSO position.

Guidelines for presenting your assignment:

1.Word count: 1500 words – this includes the Introduction, Body and Conclusion and excludes the Title Page, Executive Summary, Table of Contents, List of References and Appendices (job description and job specification).  Your assignment must fall within the required length guidelines – plus or minus 10% of the maximum length is acceptable. The markers will be instructed to cease marking once the allowable word limit has been exceeded.

2.You are not required to write a letter of transmittal.

3.The job description and job specification must be attached to the report as an Appendix.  These must not be included in the body of the report and will not be included in the word count.

4.The left and right hand margins of your assignment should be 3.2cm wide and the top and bottom margins 2.5cm.

5.You must use numbered headings and sub-headings.

6.Use a 12 point font size, preferably Times Roman. Please use 1.5 line spacing.

7.Number all pages.

8.Proof-read your assignment and use a spell-checker.

9.Retain an electronic copy of your assignment for your records. If an assignment is misplaced the onus is on you, the student, to provide a copy.

Additional requirements

1.Although your report should focus on addressing the above issues within the practical context of the case, you should present your report as an academic report. This means that each section in the body of report must include components of theory and application. See <>.  Reports without theory components will achieve a fail in this assignment.

2.It is essential that you follow the correct format of report writing and you are required to follow the guidelines about report writing that are available through the Learning Centre on the USQ Website: On this page you will also find numerous links under the heading ‘Useful hints’ to assist you in the art of report writing.

3.To make things a bit easier, there are some parts of the recommended structure for report writing that you can omit from your assignment.  Please do not include a Letter of Transmittal, a List of abbreviations and/or glossary, and separate section of Recommendations. The method of analysis and the method of data collection are not relevant for this assignment and can be omitted from the report.

4.Please also use the term “List of References” instead of “Bibliography”.  A bibliography is not the same as a list of references; the difference between a list of references and a bibliography is explained as: “a reference list is a list of all the sources you referred to in the body of your writing, whereas a bibliography might contain additional readings not referred to in your writing that you think might make for useful reading” <>. Only the sources that you referred to in the body of your report should be listed alphabetically in the List of References using Harvard AGPS method.

5.Your assignment must be based on research of the topics. To support the explanations and discussions in your report, you are required to draw upon information contained in your text book and at least four (4) scholarly journal articles.  These articles must be obtained from electronic journals through the USQ Library website. To learn how to find these articles online, you can either visit the USQ Library if you are an oncampus student, or follow the online tutorial if you are an external student.  Help is available through the USQ Library website: <>.   These journal articles must have been published between 2005 and the present. Private web pages such as pages of study notes from USQ and other university courses are not acceptable.

6.Further to the four scholarly journal articles, you should also use your prescribed text (Stone 2014)  as your base source of information.  Your text will explain the topics in detail and it is essential that you use this source for your basis information.  You have to apply in-text  referencing  in your discussion when you refer to specific ideas/words obtained from your prescribed text and also the journal articles and both the prescribed text and the journal articles must be referenced correctly in the List of References.

7.You MUST use the Harvard AGPS referencing method in this assignment.  Details about this method are available from the USQ Library website: <>. Powerpoint slides for using Harvard AGPS: <>. ALL sources of theory must be properly referenced using the HarvardAGPS method of referencing. You do not need to reference the case study. Failure to reference correctly is deemed as Academic Misconduct.  Details about why referencing sources is necessary and what plagiarism is, are available from the USQ Library Website:       <>.

8.Do NOT use the Study Book for MGT1001 or other courses as a source of reference in your report.  The Study Book is prepared to provide you with an explanation of the context of the topics and is built upon theory sources that are referenced at the end of the module – the study book information is viewed as secondary information.  You must include information directly from the theory source (journal articles obtained through USQ Library databases).

Case study analysis

The Communication skills handbook (2010) describes a case study as a written description of a business problem at a specific point of time.  Case studies come in different formats, including short, less formal descriptions of organisations or business situations or specific scenarios.

The case study for this assignment is in the form of a scenario.  This presents you with a specific situation at a given moment in time and does not provide all the information before or after this moment in time.  What should you do if you need information about the case that are not provided?  You need to make logical assumptions about the case.  Make sure in your writing that the reader is informed about your specific assumptions to explain your recommendations or conclusions.

Case study analysis provides you with the opportunity to experience the challenges faced in real-life situations.  The aim of this type of assessment is to facilitate learning by doing through the application of theories.  This means that your response to the assignment question must be a blend of theory and case study.

Remember: there is no one correct solution to a case study question – your solution depends on your interpretation of the case and your application of the theory.


1.This may seem like stating the obvious, but start your assignment byreading the identified pages in your prescribed text related to the Learning Objectives of Module 2 (Study Book).  By reading through the areas relevant to this course in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of your prescribed text, you will develop a clear idea of the issues related to the assignment question.  Without using the learning objectives as your guide in what to address, you will find it difficult to identify the content related to the assignment question.  As I indicated before, use your prescribed text (Stone 2014) as your main theory source.

2.Read through the marking criteria for the assignment (see course home page) to see how the report will be assessed: 70% of the marks go towards the content and research and 30% for the structure and written expression.  This means that the content of your answer and the way it is integrated with the theory is extremely important!

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