Part 1: Case Study – Jamie Turner at MLI, Inc.
2. What were the likely choice points where either of them could have done things differently? Provide clear recommendations about how things could have been done differently
There were many opportunities for Turner and Cardullo to sit down together to raise and discuss the matters that had caused their individual and growing dissatisfaction throughout the case study. The two major opportunities that I feel would have put the relationship between Cardullo and Turner on a different tangent are:
1. Tackling sales management
At Turner’s interview, Cardullo made some fairly significant key statements. He stated that he: * Firmly believed in management by objectives
* Valued good communication among the top executive team
* Each manager should run his/her own area with minimal help from other functions * The controller was the guardian of the company’s assets * The need for efficiency and inventory control in production * Control and marketing are the most important functions
Cardullo was expressing his ‘business philosophy’ through this statement, it was these points that demonstrated Cardullo’s expected priorities of the Vice President of Marketing and Sales role and of his direct professional relationship with Turner. This statement was crucial information Turner needed to pay the heed to, but seems to have missed. Cardullo was indicating his own leadership style in this statement. His inclination is predominately a pacesetting style of leadership, of the six leadership style/behaviours (Goleman 2000; David A. Buchanan 2010), see also Appendix 1, which sets high standards with a ‘do as I do’ attitude, but this leadership style has a negative impact on the climate of the organisation, communication and on personal relationships (Goleman 2000) as indicated to-date by his strained relationships with his peers at Triple S. Cardullo also displayed coerciveness – Cardullo’s cajoling of Turner to take up the sales role as well as marketing before Turner felt ready; and authoritativeness – he was looking to mobilise a team toward the vision he had for MLI, though he seems to have failed to bring along the whole team; and to some degree affiliativeness – he has tried to build a bond with his new team member; he has undone his work with his pacesetting preference. Turner on the other hand displays more affiliative and authoritative leadership styles (Goleman 2000; David A. Buchanan 2010) and this enables him to bring along the sales team, shown in his ability to harness Tim Kelly. Turner’s disagreement with Chin is more the result of his increasing frustration and lack of resolution of the developing situation with Cardullo. As much as Cardullo had expressed in his business philosophy that he valued communication, he perhaps had a slightly skewed view of what that meant. Reading between the lines Cardullo expected Turner to regularly communicate with him, but the feedback/communication back to Turner was very little and second-hand. Overriding all of these observations is the expectations each man had of their individual and collective outcomes. Turner’s motivation for taking the role was primarily for the autonomy that he would be afforded and Cardullo had hired Turner because he saw potential in Turner to help him validate the purchase of MLI to the Triple S hierarchy.
2. Attempting to reconcile and Long outbound flight
Turners attempt to reconcile prior to the outbound flight to San Diego may have influenced his approach during the flight. Cardullo struggled with conflict and was perhaps even afraid of its presence, which is underlined in his response to Turner’s question about Cardullo’s expectations of him stating that ‘.... everything was fine and there was nothing to be overly concerned about...’. Cardullo was conceivably of the school of thought that conflict was something that should be eliminated rather than...
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