The Consolidated Life Case Study

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The consolidated Life case study

Main problem

The main problem in this case is the conflict between two different cultures underlined by two divergent management styles. A loose and people-oriented management style, applied by the supervisor Mike Wilson which proved to be efficient with the current situation of Consolidated Life company, versus a strict and task-oriented management style exercised by the senior vice president Jack Greely, a style assumed by the management to be the reference model that reflects the company’s culture and to be followed by all managers.

Clash of cultures and management styles

When Mike first got hired, the culture was “laissez faire” with flexible supervisory style, supervisors were free to manage their units as they saw fit and the management was tolerant to some limits. This culture permitted Mike Wisely to go far with his flexible management and create a loose and casual atmosphere in the company. Mike was more into a family type of culture with personal, face-to-face relationship with his team members. After he returned to the company, the management changed to be more tough and stricter with rules enforcement and task-oriented style. People have to do the work following the vice president rules and procedures with no margin of freedom or self-initiatives. Management, by oppression and hardship, governed the atmosphere in the company that some employees felt like working in a prison. Tension among employees, especially supervisors, was very high and people were looking for new jobs and this was reflected into poor job quality. Jack was more into a guided missile culture with impersonal relationships and task-oriented approach.

This disparity in the management styles between Mike and his boss was the main source of Mike’s problems inside the company. The management wanted him to conform to their style and methods and to follow orders and rules instead of taking the lead and do things differently. Being very...
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