Final Paper-Organization and Management Analysis of the movie: Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 film adaptation of a play by David Mamet. The film depicts four salesmen pressed to sell the Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms real estate properties. It is assumed that Mitch and Murray, the unseen business owners, are unhappy with the sales performance of the office, as they send a motivational speaker, named Blake. Blake (played by Alec Baldwin) is sent to challenge the staff. Blake is merciless in his criticism of the salesmen. Blake holds a stack of cards containing contact information of people interested in the property. He waves the stack of potential leads and declares the group is not worthy to have them. With derision, Blake reiterates the salesmen’s ABC’s of “Always-Be-Closing”. He announces the Glengarry leads will be awarded to the salesman who closes a sale. With disgust, he gives the group an ultimatum; he announces there will be a sales competition; only two will win their job back. The top seller will be awarded a Cadillac Eldorado, the runner-up will win steak knives, and the third and the last place will lose their jobs. The men react to the competition and ultimatum in different ways. The current top seller in the group, Ricky Roma, (played by Al Pacino) embraces the challenge; he has no doubt he will win the Cadillac. Shelley Levene, (played by Jack Lemmon), is a desperate man. He was a top seller in the past but his sale techniques are no longer effective; he is desperate to make a sale, he has a sick daughter in need of medical attention. Dave Moss (played by Ed Harris) and George Aaronow (played by Alan Arkin) are angry and resort to complaining that the owners don’t understand that without good leads they will not be successful. In frustration, Moss commiserates with Aaronow and begins to devise a plan to steal the Glengarry leads; he suggests Aaronow can steal the cards and he will sell the prospects to their competitor for cash. This behavior highlights the observation made by author Greenberg; unhappy staff may behave badly. In the text book Behavior in Organizations by Greenberg, he explains this deviant organizational behavior is the “actions on the part of employees that intentionally violate the norms of organizations and/or the formal rules of society”. (Pg. 396-397). Furthermore, very angry staff may exhibit destructive organizational deviances which are acts that violate both organizational and societal norms. The business owners, Mitch and Murray are clearly disconnected from the day-to-day operations. The owners are high at the top of a tall organizational structure; they don’t speak with the sales staff directly. Instead, they send an outsider to motivate the staff. There is a toxic organizational culture, the salesmen feel they are not valued; Blake snickers at the group, “These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They're for closers.” The group listens in shocked amazement. It is not clear why a destructive method was chosen for the intent of motivating the sales group. Blake leans into Moss’ face and sneers, “… I made $970,000 last year. How much did you make?...”. Blake looks at the group. There is no respect in his attitude and speech. Blake’s barrage of insults and negative energy sets up the Golem effect; it is a set-up for failure. As Greenberg described the Golem effect is, “a negative instance of the self-fulfilling prophecy, in which people holding low expectations of another tends to lower that individual’s performance.” (Pg. 83). Blake’s abusive language and derision is clearly breaking the spirit of the disheartened salesmen. There is no relationship between Blake and the salesmen, and yet the owners expect he will motivate them to produce sales. Upon the office wall is a...
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