Thomas Green had been a lucky man. At 28, he was able to establish a name for himself. A name his contemporaries could only hope for. He’d been at Dynamic Displays, a company that specializes in customer assistance in airports and hotels, since March 2007. Dynamics Display had gold in their hands when they hired Green. As an account executive, he delivered beyond expectations. This was what drove Shannon McDonald, the vice president to the Travel and Hospitality Division, to take notice of his abilities.
By September 2007, he got promoted from the account executive position to senior market specialist. McDonald backed him up, fully acknowledging his skills and potentials. They, being both from Atlanta may have contributed to this promotion. McDonald, upon Green’s promotion, forewarned him of the status of his promotion and problems he might encounter, especially with his immediate superior, Frank Davis. Davis held Green’s position before he got promoted to Marketing Director. He had been set to choose his own replacement. Green had been keen to heed McDonald’s advice.
The Budget Panel meeting on October 2007 had been the signal of Green’s woes. Thinking that Davis’ projection for the year 2008 way overboard, he stood up to question the former’s marketing plans. This did not sit well for Davis. A series of communication was exchanged between McDonald and Davis, as well as meetings between Green and Davis. Davis obviously was not pleased how Green stood up against him, and thought it was highly inappropriate. Davis discussed with Green what he found lacking in him and made suggestions as to how to improve his performance. The same thing happened three months later. Davis continued on to take note of Green’s deficiencies. This prompted Green to think that Davis may have took what happened in the board meeting, personal and suspected that Davis was out to get him fired.
Now 5 months into the job, Green is in a limbo. He’s been ask by Shannon McDonald herself to explain his supposedly “shortcomings”. At this point, Green knew he was in trouble. He thinks that losing his job would be bad for him, with his current status, having just purchased a house and a series of furniture. His dilemma lies on to what steps he need to do to get the problem over and done with.
The problem lies with how Green handles his job. He is clashing heads with Davis as to ideas and ideologies. Issues regarding superior and subordinate may have contributed to this problem. Politics may have been a factor in getting Green hired it could also be the reason why he can get fired.
1. What is your analysis of Thomas’ actions and job performance in his first 5 months after he got promoted? What mistakes has he made? What other elements does your team think contribute to the problem that Thomas Green faces in the case?
5 months into the job, Green had been an asset to Dynamic Displays. His creativity and approach in dealing with his tasks had been effective, but not all would agree to his strategy. He had been a welcome addition to the managerial team. McDonald believed in him, well enough to gamble in making his promotion possible. Some co- workers may have seen him as too bold in his ways with his dealings. He does not adhere with convention, as to planning and making of reports. He approaches the task at face value, disregarding convention and ethics. He may have over- calculated, thinking skills alone would assure him success in his job. He failed to realize that as a novice in his position, he must have listened to immediate superiors and did precautionary measures to assure him his retention. McDonald has forewarned him that he did not necessarily get the job for his skills. He had been an expert at sales, but no experience whatsoever in managerial work. He was under- qualified for the position, so he must have tried to educate himself, by listening to superiors, without fully throwing his own skills. He should have established a cordial working relationship with his superior, Frank Davis. He must have been motivated by too much ambition, thinking he could take on the tasks alone. In trying to establish a name for himself in the company, his working relationship with his immediate superior had been tainted. One of the biggest factors that may have contributed to his dilemma is his opposing to Davis’ proposal. This shows a lack of respect for authority. Davis’ may have thought he knew better, being in the position for quite some time before getting promoted. He may have taken a strong dislike for Thomas Green for questioning his authority and his intelligence.
University of Georgia; Bachelor’s Degree- Economics (2001) ; summa cum laude
National Business Solutions; Atlanta, Georgia
Account Executive (2001- 2007)
Dynamic Displays; Boston, Massachusetts
Account Executive (February 2007- September 2007)
Dynamic Displays; Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Market Specialist (September 2007- present)
2. What are the personalities and work styles of Thomas Green and Frank Davis? How do actions of Thomas different from the expectations of Frank?
Both Green and Davis utilize different approach in organization. Frank, being the superior between the two utilizes McGregor’s Theory X that focuses on manager’s need to micromanage thinking their employees are immature for their job. Davis exhibits attitudes inherent to Theory X managers. He is bossy, bordering to arrogance, he demands perfection, he is result- driven, vengeful, often resort to ultimatums, and most pronouncedly, he is poor at accepting criticism and is likely to retaliate. Green, on the other hand, exhibit the Expectancy Theory, wherein he decides to act on his will and is motivated by the need to choose a certain behavior over the other to influence outcomes. He believes that outcomes will be determined by past experiences and his confidence of getting the job done.
Knows how to strategize
Highly sensitive to criticism
3. Assume that you are a conflict management consultant to advise Thomas on the conflict with Frank, which conflict-handling style(s) would you suggest as the most appropriate style(s) for Thomas to use going forward and why? Would you further recommend any other influence tactics that can be employed to help the situation? What actions would you ultimately take if you were Thomas?
If I were to handle the situation, I would advise Green to study his options. If he wanted to stay on his job, he better man up and propose to Davis solutions as to settle their differences. He would have a lot of pride- swallowing to do in admitting to Davis that he had his faults, as well as assuring Davis he would be up to doing his task accordingly. Another option for him is, if he decides he wants to stand by his principles, he quit his job immediately. If he believes that their differences in opinions and working styles cannot be mended, he better save face and resign voluntarily.
4. Please discuss methods/strategies for developing an effective relationship with one’s boss. Can you provide advice/tips for making the most out of experiences with a difficult boss?
Businessdirectory.com defines Organizational behavior as Actions and attitudes of individuals and groups toward one another and toward the organization as a whole, and its effect on the organization's functioning and performance.
Both characters tend to clash in opinions thus, structure is in disarray. Communication is a means of ensuring that goals are to be met and outcomes are to be specifically set. In order to have good working relationship between individuals, sharing of ideas, through good communication, must be practiced. Communication can be formal or informal. The use of correspondence, such as memos and planning through schedules is formal communication, whilst informal communication is done by words of mouth.
I recommend that utilizing the Principle of Functional Definition be imposed. This principle suggests that all functions of individuals in a group be properly defined. By defining duties, responsibilities, and authority, a company ensures good working relationship and proper coordination among members of a team. This would help in ensuring effective and correct role- assumptions. Outlining structures, such as redefining roles and responsibilities must be done to ensure a harmonious and productive environment.
Utilizing the Unity and Chain of Command Principle help in ensuring that roles are clearly emphasized. In this principle the superior and subordinate follows a chain of hierarchy that enable the team to work in such a way leaders assume a role to lead and maximize employees skill potential.
Thomas Green must know where he stands in the company. Being a novice entails that he works well with his boss. By doing so, he gets to get the job at hand done without having to deal with internal conflicts in the organization. Listening to suggestions and adhering to convention won’t get in the way of his job, so he might as well listen and don’t act alone in making decisions. It would help him extremely if he observed company protocol and do his best to stick to the rules of the company. By listening intently, he gets to know pointers from the experts. Davis fully knows what he is talking about. He’d been in the company for 17 years. If there was anything Green could do, it would be to maintain an open line of communication with his immediate superior.
Getting your boss to listen to your insights can be difficult, especially if the boss has taken a certain dislike of you, but getting your point across by making the boss look bad is certainly a career- killer. Green would benefit much if he practiced work Ethics in dealing with his difference in opinion with Davis.
5. “Politics is not inherently bad. It is merely a way to get things done within organizations—In fact, politics is a fact of life in organizations”. Do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Please defend your position. a) If you answered “yes” to Question 5, do you then believe it is ever justifiable to engage in illegitimate political behaviors (In doing so, you need to define what constitutes illegitimate political behaviors in organizations)? If so, what are some conditions that might justify such behaviors? What might be some negative effects on the perpetrators and on the organization as a whole? b) If you answered “no” to Question 6, do you then believe that political behaviors, whether illegitimate or legitimate, should not be part of organizational life under any circumstances/conditions--please elaborate on your position.
Though politicking is part of the trade, I have to disagree in this statement. Businessdirectory.com defines organizational politics as the pursuit of individual agendas and self-interest in an organization without regard to their effect on the organization's efforts to achieve its goals.
If organizational politicking was to be allowed, despite issues with Ethics, structures in organizations will be disrupted. Politics in organization hinders growth and sets limits to individuals. Politics entails getting people hire not for what they know, but who they know, can be harmful for the working environment. Not only does politics flame conflicts, it tend to result in poor job delivery. Indulging in the illegal is not only unjustifiable, it is downright harmful. No amount of justification can ever correct a system that has been based on politics. Organizational politics lead to people getting jobs they are not qualified for, thus threatening the structure of the organization by not measuring up to expectations. Goals that were set are never achieved once this becomes inherent in a company.
6. Please create a question that you believe is crucial to understanding issues presented in the case but the preceding questions did not adequately address. Then, answer your question.
The main issue in the cases presented is Green’s handling of his new position. Now, the main question to be asked is “Was he the right man for the position? Did he deserve that promotion?”
I sincerely believe that Thomas Green, though good at sales, could have honed his skills more if he got promoted to Market Specialist instead. His lack of experience may be the root of his problems now. He was obviously not qualified to assume a position that was so different from the previous. He assumed a position he has no knowledge of, he did not adhere to company protocols, his work Ethics is questionable, he is stubborn to listen to superiors. With these faults, it can safely be assumed that he did not deserve to be Senior Market Specialist. He does not have the adequate qualifications whatsoever. Someone who had worked for Dynamic Displays longer could have done a greater job. Politics inside the organization helped him get the promotion. Because of this, he is at peril of losing his job.
To ensure that goals are met in an organization, communication is vital. Organizations, such as Dynamic Displays, must adhere to strict policies regarding promotion and evaluation of employee’s skills and competency. More often than not, conflicts arise from internal politics. This is bad for the organization because it hinders growth and harmonious working relationships. Each individual has his own attitude towards work and leadership. It is through communication that these individual personalities meet halfway.