Thomas Green Case Study

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The case starts with the result of a problem that has been brewing for months-Thomas Green’s faltering career has transitioned from the fast track to a destination of potential unemployment. We sought to analyze the factors leading up to this rapid downward spiral and what other challenges were present in the situation. We identified some of the underlying causes, and developed potential solutions and how to apply them to rectify the challenges Green is experiencing. Current Problems:

The tension has developed between Davis and Green in part because of Green’s very public opposition to Davis’s next year’s projections of the 10% market growth, and in part because Green did not meet Davis’s expectations for the person who will be holding his previous position. According to Davis, Green has failed. Both in 1:1 meetings with Green and in interactions with his boss Shannon McDonald his ‘surface’ story has remained the same. He says Green is doing a poor job of communicating; not keeping his boss updated of his travel plans and current location. He also complains that when Green is on the road he doesn’t check in with the office enough and fails to send Davis information he has requested in a timely manner. Moreover, Davis feels that Green’s strategies and way of working with clients needs to be more concrete; that Green needs to provide factual data and reports to his clients instead of just ideas. In addition, Davis refers to Green’s negative attitude (as expressed at the goal-setting meeting) indicated that Green lacked the enthusiasm needed for the job. Deeper Problems & Underlying Causes for the Conflict:

1. Power Politics & Dynamics at Work: Davis’s public complaints do not reflect the full story. His perspective seems to be skewed by some common fallacies of thought that often plague business organizations. Davis has seen Thomas's objection in front of the other employees as challenging him. This may be a case of Schadenfreude where Davis, who now has reason to dislike Green, finds everything possible wrong with his work as a way to discredit him. He may be jealous that Green jumped a few rungs on the corporate ladder, and incensed that he wasn’t consulted in the hiring decisions. Attribution can come into play where, instead of believing that there is a reason Green was promoted and maybe he did have value to bring to the table, a cognitive bias making him think Green’s previous successes were due to luck, and that he is a rookie who can’t be relied upon. That becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of perception, where Davis sees all the little things Green does wrong as insurmountable flaws confirming his original opinion of Green being the wrong man for the job. Many tenured workers feel that ‘paying ones dues’ is an important part of building a career, and that those on the fast track aren’t truly deserving of their positions. Since Green took over Davis’s former position, projection can also come into play, where Davis compares everything Green does to how he would have handled it. Davis does seem to be biased against Green, and rather than helping him to be the most successful he can, he appears to prefer firing him and starting over. A reverse halo effect has come into play, where nothing Green does is right. 2. Structural Problems in Hiring/Training. There are some structural problems in terms of chain of command and in how Dynamic Displays does their hiring and training. McDonald even identified this huge jump in positions and expressed her reservations. She openly admitted that her biggest concern was the increased level of managerial responsibility with no experience. This huge jump bypassed positions of needed training and practical work experience. Upper management had not initially counseled Green on expectations of communication, direction, report, and etc. Davis was not giving Green any real direction and guidance on how he wanted the reports until after it was identified as a problem....
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