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Case Study (Power & Politics)
Damned if you do; Damned if you don’t

Fran Gilson has spent 15 years with the Thompson Grocery Company. Starting out as a part-time cashier while attending college, Fran has risen up through the ranks of this 50-store grocery store chain. Today, at the age of 24, she is a regional manager, overseeing seven stores and earning approximately $95,000 a year. Fran also thinks she’s ready to take on more responsibility. About five weeks ago, she was contacted by an executive-search recruiter inquiring about her interest in the position of vice president and regional manager for a national drugstore chain. She would be responsible for more than 100 stores in five states. She agreed to meet with the recruiter. This led to two meetings with top executives at the drugstore chain. The recruiter called Fran two days ago to tell her she was one of the two finalists for the job. The only person at Thompson who knows Fran is looking at this other job is her good friend and colleague, Ken Hamilton. Ken is director of finance for the grocery chain.” It’s a dream job”, Fran told Ken.” It’s a lot more responsibility and it’s a good company to work for. The regional office is just 20 miles from here so I would not have to move, and the pay is first rate. With performance bonus, I could make nearly $200,000 a year. But best of all, the job provides terrific visibility. I’d be their only female vice president. The job would allow me to be a more visible role model for young women and ethnic minorities in retailing management.” Since Fran considered Ken a close friend and wanted to keep the fact that she was looking at another job secret, she asked Ken last week if she could use his name as reference. Said Ken,” Of course, I’ll give you a great recommendation. We’d hate to lose you here, but you’ve got a lot of talent. They’d be lucky to get someone with your experience and energy.” Fran passed Ken’s name on to the executive recruiter as her only...
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