RetailMax: A Study in Social Power in the Workplace
In the case of RetailMax there are two major players, Cam Archer a young and upcoming MBA with great potential and the new Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Regan Kessel. Archer has a difficult decision to make today, does she want her dream job in Marketing with Kessel, or accept a position offered to her in the Product Services division where she is working now. Both positions have qualities that appeal to her and she needs to decide where she wants to make her future. As the situation stands now, Archer has a great amount of potential power. The CEO and the two vice presidents have great respect for her and have left the decision of which job she will take to her. Each VP can make their position look the most attractive to her, but when it comes down to it she gets to decide her own fate. This is a great amount of power in a small company such as RetailMax. She holds the fate of two departments in her hand until her decision is made at the end of the day. Not only does she have a great amount of potential power, she has expert and referent power with both VPs and the more importantly the CEO. The CEO recognizes these powers when he calls on her to take over the Toys N’ Stuff account because “We know you are great with clients” (McGinn & Witter, Archer, p.3). Kesser also recognizes her expert and referent power when he says “Archer is considered both internally and by customers as smart, diligent and valuable” (McGinn & Witter, Kessel, p.2). He is also in a position of power in that he has the power to offer Archer compensation to compete with the salary and bonuses that were offered by the other VP. He can also offer her a position that would get her closer to the top of the management hierarchy, a place she would much rather be. While one could say that she may have more referent power because she is a female, I did not realize that Archer was a female until...
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