Rob Parson

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Rob Parsons: A Morgan Stanley Case Analysis

Organizational Behavior and Leadership
Fall 2012

Eric Potter
Lindsay Hoh
Ehsan Rashid
Kwan Soo Myoung
Kyle West

I. Parsons’ Performance Assessment
Overall, Rob Parson’s performance at Morgan Stanley has been very strong when numbers are taken into consideration. In his time at MS, he has brought on new clients and expanded his division’s market share dramatically, increasing it over 10 percent. He has excellent repute with the clients and consistently creates new relationships with clients while also generating new opportunities for the firm. When it comes to sales, he creates a need for MS services even if there are none. Parson has fueled the increased performance of the Capital Markets Services division which has led to the division being ranked third in the market.

Parson appears to possess the trait of extroversion, which adds to his success as a leader but it also hinders his performance in the workplace. In terms of internal interaction with subordinates and others, his performance has been less than ideal. The culture at MS encourages teamwork, interaction, group oriented decision making, and respect toward others. Parson regularly acts without consensus on decisions in order to land new clients or deals. This can be attributed to his personality, since people high on the extroversion trait tend to be impulsive. He also shows a lack of respect toward secretaries and other members of the organization via emotional outbursts. Parson regularly goes to his superior, Nasr, when situations arise. He is open to criticism and makes earnest attempts at understanding why his behavior was inappropriate. Parson also takes a very energetic approach to his job. He shows enthusiasm with co-workers and increases employee motivation to secure new business and to perform. Furthermore, he is extremely committed to his work, which again demonstrates to subordinates that he is emotionally connected to his work which can act as a motivator. Parson also supports employees and assists to inform their decisions and manage their clients. These traits are important as a manager. It is important to note that the senior management realizes the difficulty and complexity of his job position. The management “recognizes that in order to service this client base effectively, it is not ‘business as usual’”. The client moved at a faster pace, sometimes requiring decisions and answers in minutes rather than in hours. As a result , Rob sometimes had to make decisions without bringing everyone on board, which goes against the Morgan Stanley culture of building consensus. With so much pressure of a result orientated environment and the amount of interaction at different levels, it is bound to have an emotional impact on the employee. So, sometimes his impatient, abrasive and volatile behavior can be attributed to his emotions/moods, work pressure, difficult clients or something similar. His colleagues/subordinates have also seen improvement in Parsons’ attitude throughout the year in terms of willingness to engage his team with clients. As a manager and colleagues/peers, these factors should be considered when evaluating someone for their behaviors and workplace attitudes.

I a. Promotion of Parsons
Based on the performance assessment, Rob Parson should be put up for promotion to managing director. Parson’s annual review and development summary, when presented to senior managing directors and the promotional committee, will adequately show that Parson is a top performer who can further improve the company’s performance. The benefits of promoting Parson outweigh some of the negative feedback stated in his performance review. The decision also considers if Parson is valuable enough to warrant the investment of ensuring a successful promotion. During his time with the firm, Parson significantly raised Morgan Stanley’s revenue and reputation. He was...
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