Lisa Benton Hbs Analysis

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Lisa Benton Case Analysis
Benton is a Harvard educated MBA who chose to work at the Home care Division of Houseworld based upon the classical marketing training in a structured environment from an industry leader over Right-Away which she had interned at. Benton was informed she would become a product manager within 2 to 3 years, yet was not informed of the importance of her performance in the first year. She was informed that the product manager’s responsibility was to groom his or her associates to be “promotable”. Benton was assigned Deborah Linton as her product manager who informed her of her dislike for MBA’s with “MBA’s act like they know a lot more than they do.” & “the only way to learn is on the job and your formal education won’t help you.” And made it clear she would have to prove herself like everyone else. Linton informed her she should feel free to stop by her office if she had any questions and she was to report to her and not to Scoville, the associate product manager. She also was informed to get objectives for her job which she never received and also learned Linton was recently promoted and Benton was the first Assistant manager she ever had showing limited ability to groom associates for promotion. Scoville, the associate manager reiterated that he was not impressed with MBA’s, and later in the case yelled at her and used her MBA degree against her. Scoville consistently undermined her and asked her to do his work and she hesitated to ask for more responsibility for fear of coming across as an aggressive MBA. She also consistently deferred questions due to Scoville telling her she was in “learning mode” and thought it best to be quiet and act like a learner, causing Scoville and Linton rarely to ask for her opinion. He also informed her that she would need to stay late at certain times and not rely on the train while later on she was told not to stay late in the office after 6:00 by another employee because it will limit her chance of promotion. To further complicate issue, Linton was always very secretive with her work and was rumored to be having an affair with Scoville. Benton understood that her first year with houseworld was critical to her later success and promotional status and so desires to make advancements. She also had several problems with her superiors with Vernon telling her that word processing was secretarial work and should never be done by her while Linton telling her sometimes it was necessary and she viewed it better to follow senior management instructions. Furthermore, Linton insulted her for having her MBA for not performing Scoville’s task of copying immediately which is clerical work and therefore counters the senior manager, Vernon’s rule. Benton furthermore received a performance review that identified she did not take initiative, was unassertive, and lacked confidence with her quiet manners; the things that she felt she was told to do by Scoville as she was in “learner mode” and Linton had never encouraged. In the end, Scoville opened up to her that he was upset that he had not been promoted yet. Benton feels that her talents were not being utilized and that Linton’s mind was preoccupied with other matters and that she now needed to decide whether to approach Vernon to ask her to switch to another brand, but was reluctant to alienate her superiors and her peers. She also was considering calling her former boss, Kingston and telling him she made a large mistake and to see if he would take her back. The core problem here is communication, Benton’s desire to not step on anyone’s toes as she progressed toward her goal of getting promoted up the corporate ladder, and a cognitive dissonance with the view that she would play a very important role immediately as she was informed by the individuals who interviewed her versus what has taken placed where she feels underutilized. Benton has to take partial responsibility for the situation she is in. She was specifically...
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