Case Study

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Case Study

James Ornath read the latest sales figures with a great deal of satisfaction. The vice president of marketing at Nupath Foods, Inc., was pleased to see that the marketing campaign to improve sagging sales of Prowess cat food was working. Sales volume of the product had increased 20 percent in the past quarter compared with the previous year and market share was up.

The improved sales of Prowess could be credited to Denise Washington, the brand manager responsible for cat foods at Nupath. Washington had joined Nupath less than two years ago as an assistant brand manager after leaving a similar job at a consumer products firm. She was one of the few women in marketing management at Nupath and had a promising career with the company. Ornath was pleased with Washington’s work and tried to let her know this in the annual performance reviews. He now had an excellent opportunity to reward her by offering the recently vacated position of market research coordinator. Although technically only a lateral research was not the route to top management in most organizations, Washington thought. She had been sidelined.

After a long silence, Washington managed a weak “Than you Mr. Ornath.” She was too bewildered to protest. She wanted to collect her thoughts and reflect on what she had done wrong. Also, she did not know her boss well enough to be openly critical. Ornath recognized Washington’s surprise, which he naturally assumed was her positive response to hearing of this wonderful career opportunity. He, too, had been delighted several years earlier about his temporary transfer to marketing research to round out his marketing experience. “this move will be good for both you and Nupath,” said Ornath as he escorted Washington from his office.

Washington had several tasks to complete that afternoon but was able to consider the day’s events that evening. She was one of the top women in brand management at Nupath and feared that she was...
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