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Mary Watson was recently promoted to the position of regional sales manager for Today's Fashion, a national chain of specialty clothing stores with 200 outlets across the country. Mary is the regional manager for the Pacific Coast, which is one of Today's Fashion's largest markets. She manages 35 outlets in California and Oregon; each of these outlets has a store manager who reports directly to Mary.
Each outlet has between 3 to 5 assistant store managers, depending on the number of specialty departments. Each assistant manager is responsible for on particular specialty department. These departments vary considerably in size and in the number of sales clerks reporting to the assistant manager. Because the chain's success lies in being receptive to local customers' tastes and buying habits, each store has a different collection of merchandise, and several different combination of departments can be found in Mary's region. The departments include casual wear, formal wear, shoes, cosmetics, and jewelry. Prior to being appointed to the regional sales manager position, Mary had been both a store manager and an assistant manager in a casual wear department. While she was an assistant manager, Mary had often thought that she was responsible for many aspects of store manager that other assistant managers were not held responsible for. In addition, she never really felt comfortable that her store manager had clearly defined her areas of responsibility.
Thus, despite the chain's success, Mary felt that there was considerable room for improvement in how Today's Fashion was managed. As a result, one of the first things Mary did after being appointed to the regional sales position was to initiate a job analysis for the job of assistant store manager. Mary had earned a BBA degree with a marketing emphasis from Wyoming State University. Although she had no formal training in job analysis, she was confident that she could construct an accurate and useful job description and specification for the assistant manager job, primarily because f her personal experience with that position. However, rather than simply writing from her own experience, Mary interviewed 3 current assistant store managers from the outlet closest to her regional office in Sacramento. On the basis of these interviews and her own experience, Mary constructed the job description and job specification shown in Exhibit I (after discussion questions). She hopes that these documents will form the basis of a new selection program that she wants to implement for her region. She believes that the best way to improve store management is to hire assistant managers who are qualified to perform successfully.